Driver tries to vacuum fuel from her tank, sets car on fire

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Words: Nile Bijoux
14 Aug 2019

Putting the wrong fuel in your car is easy enough to do on accident, and also easy enough to rectify with the help of a professional if you haven’t run the car for too long. Alternatively, if you’re feeling especially brave, you could try sticking a vacuum cleaner hose into the fuel filler and empty out the tank yourself. It should be said that we here at NZ Autocar don’t endorse this.

A driver in Eschborn, Germany, found themselves in exactly the situation described above but instead of contacting their local professional, they roped in a young passer-by and pushed the car to a nearby service station, hoping a vacuum cleaner intended for a vehicle’s interior would do the trick. They dropped one end of a garden hose into the fuel tank and tried to attach the vacuum pipe to suck the petrol out of the diesel-powered VW Passat.

Makes sense, in theory, at least until the petrol fumes ignited and set fire to both the car and the vacuum cleaner. Damage costs reportedly broke €30,000 but, thankfully, some form of divine intervention prevented the whole petrol station from going up in flames.

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