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Motorists lose engines, pay more for repairs over dirty fuel purchase

By Guardian Nigeria
18 February 2022   |   4:06 am
Motorists whose vehicles were affected by adulterated fuel imported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, need to get new engines or incur higher costs to maintain the performance of their vehicles.

Motorists whose vehicles were affected by adulterated fuel imported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, need to get new engines or incur higher costs to maintain the performance of their vehicles.

Depending on the level of damage to their vehicles, some are being advised to replace the engines, if they hope to get value for their money or spend an average of N100,000 to replace certain parts without guarantee of efficient output.

Some auto technicians who spoke to The Guardian said that motorists might end up spending about N100,000 to N150,000 depending on the brand of vehicles involved to fix the mess.

The technicians said dirty fuel in circulation affect everyone and it depends on the degrees of damages that the bad fuel has caused.

Service Manager of an auto-tech company, Fixit45, Odusina Abiodun, said some people got the fuel and almost immediately they noticed, while some people had used it for some time. The highest point is that it will spoil their fuel pumps and injector nozzles.

Abiodun explained that for repair of such vehicles, there is need to repair the fuel pump, injector and fuel line servicing.

“We have to clean the fuel reservoir. It’s either plastic or metal. If it’s a metallic material you may need to service it. Even if you change your fuel filter and injector without servicing the reservoir, it would still develop faults because there would still be left over particles in the tank. The fuel tank needs to be cleaned thoroughly, and then you now clean all the fuel lines.”

Speaking on the cost implications for repair, he said it depends on the brand of vehicles involved.

“If you are talking about Corolla for instance, you are looking at a fuel pump for Tokunbo, N30,000, with the whole assembly going to N50,000. Then you have to talk about the nozzle. You can service the nozzle, which could be like N5,000 to 10,000 depending on the mechanic or the workshop.

“Cleaning the fuel tank, that is about a two to three hours job, you might want to change about N15,000 or N20,000 for cleaning the entire system.

“Like I said, it depends on the type of brand. For some cars, you can remove the fuel pump just by removing the passenger seat at the back to get access to the fuel tank. But if it were to be for Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs), you will have to drop the tanks. I mean, that is a lot of work,” Abiodun explained.

Besides, automobile experts had earlier warned fleet owners, especially corporate organisations, haulage companies and car owners to get set for engine-related challenges and drivability problems in their vehicles if fueled with the dirty petrol.

Founder of Automedics, Kunle Sonaike, had told The Guardian that the development might cause serious financial damages to motorists, stressing that dirty fuel is directly linked to engine-related, drive faults.

Sonaike insisted that there is a need for citizens to rise against consumption of dirty fuel in the country, stressing that the menace affects the country’s productivity with vehicles not only breaking down easily but also multiplying cost of repair.

While lamenting the inability to fix the nation’s refineries, he advised legal actions by citizens, noting that the multiplier impacts of driving vehicles with dirty fuel should not be accepted.

A roadside mechanic identified as Lucky, said: “Some of the bad fuels damage the nozzle, fuel pump and also service the injector. They would have to drill all the fuel in the tank. It doesn’t affect the engine. I have never heard anybody complain about the engine.

On the cost for repair, he said it depends on the brand of vehicle involved. For instance, repairs on a Toyota corolla, may cost between N25, 000 to 30,000.