What Happens If You Put the Wrong Fuel in Your Car?

Wrong Fuel Guide Dailycarblog

It is an immediate moment of panic when you realize that you have put the wrong fuel in your car straight after filling up and it can be even worse if you try to drive off unaware that you made this error. A surprising number of motorists make this mistake at some point and the usual scenario is to call a fuel rescue service so that they can professionally extract the rogue fuel and get your car back to normal.

You know that you have made a mistake but do you know the consequences and what actually happens when you put the wrong fuel in your car?


Here is a look at what to expect when you fill up with the wrong fuel.

As soon as you know what you have done

If you have a fueling mishap and the wrong type of fuel is now in your car’s petrol tank there are a couple of things to do if you get the opportunity.

If you immediately realize your error at the pump you could save yourself a lot of extra hassle if you avoid turning on the ignition as attempting to start the car will ensure that the rogue fuel will get into your engine system.

The most important point to remember is that attempting to start your car with the wrong fuel could potentially cause permanent damage to your vehicle and your repair bill will be much larger.

If you can, leave the car in neutral and push it to a safe spot while you wait for help to arrive.

Petrol in a diesel engine

Putting petrol into a diesel car is often worse than making the mistake the other way around, this is because diesel works as a lubricant but petrol has the opposite effect which means you will suffer increased friction between parts in your diesel engine.

The bottom line is that the more petrol you pump through a diesel engine the more damage you could be doing.

If that happens, you may be looking at replacing your fuel pump system and other components and the worst-case scenario is an engine replacement.

Different ignition system

Diesel and petrol engines use different ignition methods and because diesel has to be compressed to ignite there is a high chance that your car won’t start if you end up putting diesel into a petrol car.

What will normally happen when you put diesel into a petrol car is the fuel will likely have the impact of clogging your spark plugs and fuel system.

This will still require professional attention to clean your engine system but you can at least take some comfort in the knowledge that accidentally putting diesel into your petrol engine is the least damaging misfuelling scenario.

A simple solution would be to buy a device that fits into your filler cap in order to stop you from putting the wrong nozzle into your tank opening.

If you have made the mistake of misfuelling your car, stand back and see if a professional recovery service can achieve damage limitation and keep your repair costs down as low as possible.


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