Drivers warned of ‘milky’ and ‘contaminated’ fuel causing car breakdowns as Sainsbury’s launch investigation

Drivers warned of ‘milky’ and ‘contaminated’ fuel causing car breakdowns as Sainsbury’s launch investigation

WATCH: Petrol and diesel drivers react to expensive fuel prices

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 09/02/2024

- 16:10

One affected driver claimed: 'Sainsbury’s told me the fuel was contaminated and looked milky'

Sainsbury's has apologised to drivers after a number of motorists had their cars break down after visiting a petrol station forecourt in Wiltshire.

Drivers have complained to the supermarket giant after filling their cars up with unleaded petrol before breaking down shortly after.

Sylwia Jones and her son Matt were among those impacted by the “contaminated fuel” earlier this week at the petrol station on Bath Road in Chippenham.

Matt, 21, filled his car up with unleaded petrol in the evening before heading towards Corsham at which point the car broke down on a roundabout near the town centre.

Do you have a story you'd like to share? Get in touch by

The Chippenham Sainsbury's filling station

The Chippenham Sainsbury's filling station where some drivers experienced 'contaminated fuel'


His mum Sylwia came to help the stranded driver but the pair were left on the side of the road until 2am the next morning, according to the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald.

Sylwia Jones called Sainsbury’s and said she was informed by customer services that there had been reports of “contaminated fuel” causing issues.

She claimed: “I was told by the garage there were other cars with the same issue, it seems to be quite widespread, and Sainsbury’s told me the fuel was contaminated and looked milky.

“It’s very frustrating, I understand that things happen but it was a catalogue of disasters, the car broke down and we ended up sitting in a cold car for seven hours.

“My son was in quite a state because people were sat in a queue beeping at him and he didn’t know what to do.”

If someone is affected by contaminated fuel, they should stop using the fuel as soon as possible, followed by draining the tank or visiting a garage to have it drained for you.

In the event that water is in the fuel, drivers should replace fuel filters and check the advice from the manufacturers of their vehicles.

Other motorists affected by the filling station issues said they had reported a “juddering” effect after using the pumps, with local Chippenham Facebook groups echoing the claims.

Sainsbury’s said it was investigating the cause of the contamination and stopped selling the unleaded fuel at the Chippenham location.

It also stated that it could not confirm how many people were affected by the issue and what remedies could be offered in the future.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said: “We have received a small number of complaints from customers who used the unleaded pumps at our Chippenham petrol filling station on Wednesday afternoon.

“Unleaded petrol is unavailable while we investigate and we continue to offer diesel and super unleaded.


Petrol pump

The supermarket made unleaded fuel unavailable after it was made aware of reports


“We will keep our customers updated and we’re sorry for the inconvenience this may cause," they told the BBC.

You may like