Feeds

UK supermarkets fingered in crap petrol probe

Yet more rage for British motorists

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Supermarkets in the south-eastern UK presented a fresh target for motorist anger today, as reports circulated that the grocery chains had been selling contaminated fuel.

A large number of irate drivers have contacted media and consumer-affairs organisations over the past 24 hours, complaining that their cars did not run properly after refuelling at certain forecourts.

When taken for repairs, the affected vehicles were typically found to have defective "lambda sensors," used in modern car engines to regulate the richness of the fuel-air mixture. The sensor measures the amount of oxygen present in the car's exhaust gas, allowing the engine electronics to feed in the correct amount of fuel.

Such exhaust-oxygen sensors normally fail after 30,000 to 50,000 miles. This will cause the engine to use too much fuel and emit more pollution. It will often run rough at idle, and respond sluggishly or misfire when accelerating.

Automotive parts suppliers seeing unprecedented demand for replacement oxygen sensors in the South East, giving rise to suspicion that duff fuel may be involved. Some reports have hinted at ethanol contamination, but the AA said that tests have shown this is not the case. Other fuel contaminants can degrade lambda sensors, for example antifreezes or silicones.

Trading standards officers are now investing the matter. It's to be hoped they can wrap the case swiftly, lest disgruntled drivers mount a letter-bombing campaign or worse, a Downing Street e-petition. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.