Have you put the wrong fuel in your car?
Petrol in a Diesel Car
If you have put petrol in a diesel car, then you need to act quickly. Putting the wrong fuel into your vehicle can cause havoc to your journey and potentially cause extensive damage to your car engine.
It’s a common mistake to make. On average, it happens every three minutes in the UK with roughly 150,000 motorists filling their tank with the wrong fuel every year. That includes putting diesel in a petrol car too – but putting petrol in a diesel is more serious.
If you put petrol in a diesel car, the most important thing to remember is not to try to start your car. Starting your engine will circulate the mixed fuel around your engine, which can cause more damage.
What to do if you’ve put Petrol in a Diesel Car
Remember – do not switch on your ignition. You want to make sure that the fuel is drained so that you can be on your way.
What Happens if You Put Petrol in a Diesel Car?
Putting petrol in your diesel car may damage your fuel system if not dealt with properly. When you put petrol fuel in, the mix of petrol in diesel acts as a solvent, reducing lubrication and causing damage to the pump as the metal parts come into contact and rub together. Other parts of the fuel system which might not be compatible with petrol, can also be damaged.
Switching on your car’s ignition will circulate this mix of petrol in diesel through your fuel system, causing further contamination to other components.
Ultimately, this could mean that the entire fuel system requires costly repairs, or replacing completely
Diesel in a Petrol Car
If you have made the mistake of putting diesel in a petrol car, you run the risk of causing serious damage to your vehicle. It’s important to act quickly when you have put the wrong type of fuel into your car, so you can limit that potential damage.
It’s actually a surprisingly common and easy mistake to make. There are approximately 150,000 motorists in the UK who put diesel in a petrol car or the opposite – petrol in a diesel car – and that works out as an average of a fuel-based mistake every three minutes. So, you’re definitely not alone in refuelling incorrectly – but you still need to act quickly.
If you have put diesel in a petrol car, it’s vitally important that you don’t start the engine if possible. Once the car’s engine is running, it will start to circulate the newly added diesel around your petrol engine.
What to do if you put Diesel in a Petrol Car
The most important thing to do if you have put diesel in a petrol car is nothing. Don’t start the engine – hopefully you will have realised your mistake before attempting to drive off – and make sure the keys are well away from the ignition.
Unless you have put only a very small amount of diesel in your petrol car, you will need the fuel draining from your vehicle before driving it again.
What happens if you put Diesel in a Petrol Car?
Putting diesel in a petrol car is the less serious mistake to make, and the damage is usually not so severe. What damage can it cause? If the engine is started the diesel will coat the spark plugs and the fuel system – typical diesel in a petrol car symptoms include the vehicle misfiring. Other signs of diesel in a petrol car include the engine smoking and of course, the vehicle stopping. The engine may cut out or fail to start at all.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is putting wrong fuel in car covered by insurance?
According to insurer MORE TH>N you would be covered if you put the wrong fuel in your car and damaged the engine. But if you broke down as a result you would need to have breakdown cover in place to rescue you. Some insurers will not specifically cover misfuelling in their policies
How long does it take to drain fuel from a car?
Some unrun vehicles can be fully drained and ready to go in a matter of 20 minutes– others drain more slowly and could take almost an hour to empty out. Run vehicles always take longer than unrun ones due to the extra process of flushing the fuel system. This process alone could take 15 to 30 minutes.
What are the symptoms of bad fuel in a car?
- Difficulty starting up.
- Rough idling.
- Pinging sounds.
- Check engine light illumination.
- Reduced fuel economy.
- Higher emissions.
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