Did I take a risk?

  Sapins 20:23 25 Oct 2008

The other day I ran the battery on my car completely flat. Got it started via the insurance and a local garage and I realised I did not have enough petrol to get to the next petrol station, so would not be able to run the car to charge the battery up properly. The mechanic who started it with a portable unit could not wait to see if it would re-start if I switched it off as there were very long queues at the pumps.

I decided I had to put some petrol in and not switch off the ignition, so I put in €20 worth and paid cash and drove off.

I presumed It would be OK as obviously there were cars arriving and leaving all of the pumps so they had their engines running at some point next to cars filling up.

Was I right?

  kev d 20:32 25 Oct 2008

or explosion but there is always the danger of the car slipping into gear while you are not in it. I also believe that your action, although understandable due to the state of your battery, was illegal.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:34 25 Oct 2008

good job you didn't need the ignition key to open the petrol cap :0)

  WhiteTruckMan 21:44 25 Oct 2008

was having some opportunistic thief drive off while you were paying.


  rdave13 21:52 25 Oct 2008

So long as you weren't smoking, with the engine running, whilst 'filling up' then the risk was acceptable I think. As Fruit Bat /\0/\ and WhiteTruckMan's posts show that other problems could have occured.
Go for diesel next time... :)

  Sapins 22:11 25 Oct 2008

My wife was in the car!!!

  spuds 22:14 25 Oct 2008

There was talk at one time about using radio equipment on garage forecourts and in hospital surroundings. It appears that as now been given the safe approval.

  namtas 22:19 25 Oct 2008

Possibly, It is a offence to leave a motor vehicle unnattended with the engine running on a public highway or anywhere classed as a public place.

I cannot find referenced but I thought that the original requirement for "switch off engine" was an action to prevent spills onto hot exhausts

  spuds 22:22 25 Oct 2008

The wife or girlfriend in the car is an added bonus to some car thieves ;o)

Recently we had an incident at one of the local supermarket forecourts. Thieve stole a car with young baby on the back seat. Fortunately they abandoned the car a mile down the road and made the public aware as to what was in the car.

  WhiteTruckMan 22:39 25 Oct 2008

Spuds beat me to that reply <g>!

But its a curious thing about spills onto hot exhausts etc. As no doubt many are aware, petrol and diesel do not burn. It is the fumes (i.e. vapours) mixed in the correct ration with air that burn. The flash point of petrol - the temperature it starts giving off flammable vapours is about - 40C while diesel has to be cooked to a respectable +60C. Which is why a lit match will go out when tossed in a bucket of derv, but produce an impressive fireball when tried with petrol. (dont try this at home).

However, things get reversed when you look at the autoignition temps. This is the point at which flames are going to happen even without a source of ignition. Petrol -depending on grade- will go nearly to 300 degrees before firing up. and you rarely find this on the outside of a car engine unless you are working it especially hard. Diesel however, will cook off at just over 200C depending on additives, and thats an easy temperature for an exhaust manifold to reach. Which is why things like leaking injector pipes (and rubber runoff pipes) are especially dangerous, and vosa inspectors will come down hard if they find any.


  bluto1 22:48 25 Oct 2008

It is definitely an offence to leave a stationary vehicle with it's engine running.

Sapins, I'm glad for your sake that you got away with it. Did your wife know what was happening?

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