In 2008, the News reported that approximately 120,000 people per year add the wrong fuel to a vehicle. That is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 13 per hour. Over £50 million are paid out in repair bills. Putting petrol into a diesel tank is more common than the reverse. Diesel nozzles are bigger and unable to fit most petrol tanks.

Continue reading to discover the best way to limit your expense if you find yourself in this predicament. If you have any questions you would like to ask us, simply tweet us @MotorRange using the hashtag #MRQuestions.

Miss-fueling, in and of itself is not what causes damage. The problem can be compounded by starting the engine. Igniting the engine and then driving away will cause damage. If necessary, move the vehicle by pushing it to a safe location. By turning on the ignition contaminated fuel circulates and increases the damage risk to your car. Diesel is both a propellant and lubricant. Petrol’s solvent nature strips out the lubricant and causes grinding of metal components. Accidentally putting petrol into a diesel car may result in expensive damage. Metal particles can be deposited in the fuel and cause damage to the entire fuel system. Diesel fuel pumps run at high pressures and very fine tolerances. Rail diesel engines are specially vulnerable. Contaminated fuel can cause replacement of both high and low-pressure fuel pumps, injectors, rail, filters, and tank.

If a vehicle is under warranty, contact a local dealer about the necessary action to take. Likely, a dealer will suggest having the car towed to a garage where the tank will be drained, and the filters and seals changed. Taking action on your own, or starting the engine could invalidate the warranty.

For used cars out of warranty, assess the percentage of the fuel tank capacity that has been filled with the wrong fuel. Is it more or less than ten percent? If 10 percent or more of the tank has the wrong fuel, drain the tank and refill with the proper fuel. For less than 10 percent, top off with the correct fuel and run normally, unless a manufacturer or local dealer advises to the contrary.

Petrol does more damage to a diesel engine than diesel does to a petrol engine. If the mistake of putting diesel into a petrol tank is made, clean the spark plugs and fuel lines, and then add fresh petrol. Running the vehicle a bit will do no serious harm. After changing the fuel, avoid smog checks until a few tanks of petrol have been used.

We hope this article has helped inform you. If you have any questions you would like to ask us, simply tweet us @MotorRange using the hashtag #MRQuestions.

Until next time…

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