"One of our protective vehicles experienced mechanical problems in Israel earlier today," U.S. Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said in a White House pool report. "We experienced mechanical trouble with one of the cars. We don't know the cause."
There were reports it was a fuel issue. CNN said the armor-plated Cadillac limo failed to start because it was refueled after arriving in Israel with gasoline rather than diesel fuel. However, Cars.com said the vehicle had been filled with diesel rather than gasoline.
An Israeli journalist tweeted: "turns out presidential limo driver put gasoline instead of diesel."
In any case, a backup limousine was being readied for the president.
Cars.com said if the vehicle has a gasoline engine and was filled with diesel fuel its fuel tank would have to emptied, fuel lines, spark plugs and oxygen sensor replaced and it probably would be OK.
The damage would be much worse if the vehicle has a diesel engine and was filled with gasoline, which would damage the engine's pistons, wrist pins and connecting rods and destroy the fuel pump.
"This is why we bring multiple vehicles and a mechanic on all trips," the Secret Service spokesman said. "Situations like this are planned for extensively by our advance teams so that the president's itinerary is unaffected by these types of issues."