BMW’s Diesel Incorrect Fueling Protection System - standard across the EU and NA Redesign prevents filling a diesel powered vehicle with gasoline. [xfloat=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2009_BMW_335d_testing_in_Europe.jpg[/xfloat]Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Jan. 23, 2009 BMW 335d – 23/36 mpgUS on the 08 EPA. Munich - BMW today announced that it will be the first automobile manufacturer to equip all of its European and North American diesel-powered vehicles with an “Incorrect Fuelling Protection System”. The innovative system stops cases of an unaware or distracted driver from dispensing gasoline into a diesel models tank. Consider this. You are in a hurry, stop at the station in your brand new $50,000 + BWM diesel, insert the nozzle into the filler neck and pull the trigger. Unfortunately, you’ve inadvertently filled your luxury vehicle with gasoline instead of diesel and you just had one of those “Ah oh” moments. Even if you realized the mistake before attempting to start the car, your $30.00 fuel fill just turned into a very expensive tow to the local BMW dealership to have the fuel tank and low pressure pump emptied, cleaned and flushed, the fuel lines and injectors flushed as well as the fuel filter replaced. Estimates for this specific repair range from as little as $400 to as much as multi-thousands of dollars! Unfortunately or not, this situation occurs far more often then most would have thought. Consider individuals who drive multiple vehicles from rental companies or company fleets. Modern day diesels are just as quiet and almost as vibration free as their gasoline counterparts so an inadvertent fill would not be out of the question from someone unfamiliar with the exact vehicle they were driving. The diesel fuel fill nozzle has larger diameter often preventing an accidental filling of a gasoline powered vehicle with diesel given their narrower fuel filler neck. The smaller diameter gasoline fill nozzle however can easily and mistakenly be inserted into the filler neck of a diesel. In the UK alone, it is estimated that Gasoline vs. Diesel mis-fuelling occurs over 150,000 times per year. The high number of mis-fuelling instances shows that a moment of inattention is all that is needed to select the wrong fuel filler nozzle at the gas station. For this exact reason, BMW developed the Incorrect Fuelling Protection System (IFPS). The system works via two opposing plates on opposite sides of the vehicles fuel fill neck that must both be contacted. The contact releases a locking system that opens and allows the diesel fuel fill nozzle to be inserted to fuel the vehicle. This can only be accomplished by the larger-diameter diesel pump fill nozzle. The smaller-diameter gasoline pump nozzle is not able to touch the contact patches, meaning the filler neck remains blocked to nozzle access, thereby halting a mis-fuelling. The Incorrect Fuelling Protection System is also designed for fuelling under circumstances when you may have to be fuelled from a spare fuel can. Narrow recesses on the outer walls of the filler neck allow the introduction of smaller amounts of diesel fuel in the rare case you would have to refuel when on the road. Using a container for re-fuelling should serve as a reminder to the driver to ensure that they are using the right type of fuel. Available since at least early 2007, it is now standard across the entire European lineup... finally. Cutaway mimic of BMW's IFPS 21 mm Gasoline nozzle on the left and 24 mm Diesel fuel nozzle on the right. In Practice To reduce the chance that gasoline is mistakenly used to fuel the vehicle, a protection system has been installed. A standardized gas station nozzle is 21 mm in diameter while a standardized diesel fueling nozzle is 24 mm. If a nozzle smaller than the correct 24 mm diesel nozzle is used, a flap stays closed and prevents filling with gasoline. The misfueling protection won’t let the flap open unless the correct 24 mm diameter diesel nozzle contacts two release buttons and releases the flap lock. This system works very well but here in the US, there are more than just two sizes of nozzles on standard pumps. The 21 mm is indeed standard for gasoline pumps, but diesel pumps can be equipped with either a 21 mm, 24 mm or a larger (30 mm?) diameter nozzle for big rig saddle tanks. Unfortunately, not all stations dispensing diesel have the car based 24 mm diesel nozzle. Fortunately, BMW left enough openings for you to refuel by filling from outside the MPS. Just insert the fill nozzle and fill at a slightly slower than normal rate. We drove to 5 stations and did not find a single pump with the 24 mm nozzle needed. We eventually discovered the above and managed to fill the tank, though it did not feel as secure simply because the nozzle could not be inserted down into the filler neck. While in the BMW335d, we drove to 5 Truck Stop and std. automobile stations and did not find a single pump with the standard 24 mm diesel nozzle needed. Remember however that you can fill with both the (non-standard) gasoline sized 21 mm diesel nozzle or a 30 + mm large Big Rig diesel nozzle but at a slower rate and without the ability to securely insert the large nozzle into the 335d’s filler neck is all.