Virginia Drivers Mistakenly Filling Vehicles with Incompatible Fuel

Dec. 5, 2023
Moyers Automotive Service in Virginia has seen incidents of drivers filling up their tanks with flex-fuel, or E85, even though the vehicles were incompatible.

An auto shop in Virginia has seen an influx of drivers who have mistakenly filled their cars up with incompatible fuel at the pump, NBC 12 reports.

Moyers Automotive Service, located in Midlothian, Virginia, has seen at least six incidents of drivers filling up their tanks with flex-fuel, or E85, even though their vehicles were incompatible.

Daniella Muir was one of those drivers. She chose the flex-fuel because of its lower price and thought it was more environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, a couple of days later, Muir discovered that her car was not compatible with flex-fuel–a mishap that cost her over $500 in repairs.

It didn’t take long for the shop to realize that the problem was a result of the flex-fuel option at the pump. In statements provided to NBC 12, the shop credits the repeat problem to the cheaper price.

“A customer gets to a new station, and they see the cheapest price of fuel. That’s what they’re going to pump in,” explained Moyers.

Due to the volume of alcohol in flex-fuel, many cars are unable to run on it. Common symptoms of the mistake include cars breaking down, a decrease in drivability, and difficulty starting up in the morning.

Moyers has advised its customers to make sure their vehicles are equipped for flex-fuel by being aware of notices on gas pumps and studying the owner’s manual.

“Cheaper is not always best,” said Muir. “I didn’t know there was a thing called flex fuel. Just see what your car takes and put that in it.”