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What Happens If I Put the Wrong Fuel in My Car?

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Nearly everyone who drives has either done it or knows someone who did it – putting the wrong fuel into your vehicle is not only embarrassing and likely to garner as many sniggers as stalling your engine, but it can be potentially expensive and damaging to your vehicle. What damage can be done depends on whether you have accidentally put petrol into a diesel vehicle or diesel into a petrol car.

Petrol into a Diesel Car:

This is not the worst case scenario although petrol does tend to strip out the lubricant qualities of diesel which can cause issues with the engine if the proportion of petrol to diesel becomes too high. As long as you have only put a small amount of petrol into a fairly large diesel tank, for example, less than 10 litres into a 60 litre tank, you will not have to worry too much.

If this is the case, immediately fill up the rest of the tank with high-lube diesel and keep the tank topped up constantly (over half full) for quite some time. The petrol will tend to float on top of the diesel so it will take at least 2,000 miles for the petrol to be gradually assimilated into the diesel at a level which will not be harmful to the car.

However, if there is a larger amount of petrol in the diesel engine, it is strongly advisable that you have the engine drained so as to avoid damage to the high-pressure injection pump. Some modern models of diesel engine are shaped to prevent the insertion of a petrol nozzle to prevent such a calamity from ever occurring.

Diesel into a Petrol Vehicle:

Many US manufacturers quickly cottoned on to the disaster that could ensue if diesel was put into a car designed for unleaded fuel and worked with filling station designers to create petrol nozzles and fuel inlets that were smaller than diesel ones, physically preventing the mistake from being made. However, other countries, including the UK, do not have any such measures in place, and the only difference between the two fuel pumps is the colour: black for diesel and green for petrol.

Diesel is dense and much oilier than petrol and if the diesel is allowed to work its way through the engine, it won’t be long before it becomes unable to combust the heavy fuel. The only way to solve this issue is to have the engine drained as soon as the error is realised.

Don’t be embarrassed or too mortified to call on an expert when you have accidentally filled up your vehicle with the wrong fuel. Over 150,000 people every year put the wrong fuel in their car, and if you call us, we can swiftly and discreetly drain the engine and get you back on the road within 90 minutes or so. With service that fast, no-one need ever know about your absent-minded slip so call us at Fuel-Drain and we will get you back on the road again!

Fuel-Drain operates in Hertfordshire,
Bedfordshire,
Buckinghamshire,
Cambridgeshire,
Essex,
Norfolk,
Suffolk.

Unit 7
Parsons Green Industrial Estate,
Boulton Road,
Stevenage,
Hertfordshire,
SG1 4QG
Email: info(at)fueldrain.co.uk

Company No. 07115591
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Contaminated Fuel Evacuation Specialists
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