Rumours are circulating that claim motorists are advised not to fill up their petrol tanks to maximum capacity as this presents the risk of explosions when temperatures outside are high.
An example of one such rumour can be seen below –
Warning! Due to increase of temperature in the next days, please dont fill petrol to the max. It will cause explosion in the fuel tank.
If u want petrol, then fill to half and leave a space for air.
This week 5 explosive accidents happened due to filling petrol to maximum.
Dont leave the msg stop here. Let others and your family who drive know about it so they can avoid this mistake…
Please DO SHARE THIS MESSAGE.
The claims made in the warning are false. Firstly it is important to note that this warning has been spreading across social media for a number of years, since at least 2011. Many examples of this warning come attached to the claim that there have been “5 explosions this week”, something which is demonstrably false since the rumour itself has been spreading for years. However more modern variants, including one that circulated in 2018, omit this claim.
Over the years, the warning has been falsely attributed to a number of entities. For example, in 2015, the warning appeared to have come from Indian Oil and came attached to a graphic photo of the victim of an apparent explosion. However Indian Oil hadn’t issued the warning, and the photo had nothing to do with a petrol-related explosion.
Additionally when the warning was primarily spreading through Middle Eastern countries, the warning was then attributed to coming from ADNOC Distribution, the state owned oil company from the United Arab Emirates. They explicitly denied issuing the warning as well as asserting that it is indeed completely safe to fill petrol tanks to their capacity, even during hotter days. Khalid Hadi, Vice-President, Marketing and Corporate Communications at Adnoc Distribution said –
We would like to point out that filling fuel tanks to full capacity does not imply any risks as all car fuel tanks are designed to withstand pressure build-up in high temperatures
In 2018, another variant of the warning appeared to have came from Pakistan State Oil, but they too denied issuing the false claim.
Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has announced that filling fuel tank to its full capacity poses no threat of any kind to the cars or its passengers.
PSO made the statement after a Whatsapp message went viral over the past few days. The message falsely claimed that PSO had warned the public against filling fuel tanks to the full capacity in light of increasing temperatures.
Of course, if filling up petrol tanks did present any kind of significant risk or explosions, we would expect demonstrable and verifiable documentation of related incidents actually occurring, especially in countries in the Middle East or even Australia where temperatures can rise exceedingly high during their respective summer months.
With a lack of any such evidence or any verifiable or legitimate warnings out there, we can safely assume this is just a silly urban legend and should not be shared as a genuine warning.