diesel_green_lidAnyone who has ever pumped diesel gasoline into their tank knows just how critical it is that it’s DIESEL that makes it into the tank, not regular, not premium, but diesel fuel.

When I was loaned a Mercedes-Benz GL 350 to test drive recently, I made note of the fact that it was diesel.  I feared I would end up putting regular gas into the tank, simply out of habit.  But the gas cap is green, so there’s a pretty good reminder.

For a bit, I didn’t even have to think about it.  That’s because you can drive on a tank full of diesel gas for a VERY long way.   I’m talking two or three times as far as a regular tank.  In the car I typically drive, a Chrysler Pacifica, I can go about 250 miles on a tank of gas.

On my trip to the Mercedes plant and back, I didn’t need to put more gas into the tank the entire time.  And we drove it around a ton while we were there, from the hotel to the plant and all the other locations they set us up to visit.

It wasn’t until I got back to Atlanta that I saw the fuel light pop on.

Since I was set to turn the vehicle back in, I wanted to put just enough gas in the tank to get it back safely to its owners.diesel_green_handle

When I got the car, it was made clear to me that diesel is typically differentiated by a green handle at the pump when you get to the gas station.  So, I tucked that knowledge away in my brain…if I put gas in, it needed to be the green one.

So, when I ran low, I pulled into a BP gas station to put a couple bucks of gas into the tank.

I silently praised myself for remembering the green option and didn’t think twice about it when I pumped away.

What I didn’t realize is BP doesn’t follow the norm when it comes to marking diesel. Green is their ‘brand’ color and they use green for their regular gas.

So, yeah, I ended up putting regular gas into a diesel tank.


I realized something was wrong within a mile, when the vehicle didn’t want to go above 20 mph.  Luckily, I got the gas about a mile from my home, so I only had to get it down my street and into my driveway when the problem started.

I didn’t realize it was a gas issue until I called the folks who had delivered the car.   When I described the problem, they knew right away.

diesel_bpI insisted I put diesel in the tank.  I KNEW I went with the green choice.  But as soon as I told them I went to BP to get the gas, they knew it was regular gas, not diesel in the tank.

They went on to explain that BP is confusing and they’d heard of it happening before.

When I told a girlfriend about it, she told me I was the third person she heard about it happening to in recent months.


BP, don’t you get this is a big problem?  You’re not creating fans here. Quite the opposite.

Help us out already.

Forget your color scheme and help us keep things straight.

Let’s make this a standard for all diesel fuel tanks… green should be diesel, and nothing else.