Filled Wrong Fuel In Your Car? Steps You Should Follow


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Updated on Mar 16, 2023

Has the fuel tank in your car been filled with the wrong fuel? Well, it is not usual to fill diesel in a petrol engine. One of the main reasons for this is that the tanks in the petrol cars come with a very small opening, and the nozzle of the diesel dispenser will not fit into it. What if petrol is used in a diesel engine? Well, that’s much more common than the other way around. But what happens if petrol is used in a diesel engine?

When one fills petrol in diesel engine, the major problem that shows up is in the working mechanism of the engine. As petrol enters the engine, the diesel engine will try to use the fuel for lubricating the internal parts of the engine. This creates a major problem. According to the mechanism, the petrol moves in the internal parts of the diesel engine, and since it does not have the lubricating capacity, it causes damage to the engine.

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What are the consequences of filling the wrong fuel?

Whether petrol has been filled in a diesel engine or vice-versa, your car’s engine can get damaged in any of the cases. Let us take two scenarios and discuss them.

Scenario 1: Petrol is filled in a diesel engine

Once this happens, you can expect large-scale damage to your car’s engine. The dispenser nozzle in a petrol engine is smaller; therefore, one such incident may happen easily. Diesel engines compress petrol to ignite and the fuel goes into the internal parts of the engine so that it can get lubricated. This is where the problem starts. Removing petrol that has already been circulated in the internal parts of a diesel engine is quite tough. The functioning of the fuel injection pump depends on the lubrication property of diesel. However, petrol cannot do the job, and the performance goes for a toss. The difficult part is that it will take you some time to realize that this kind of thing has happened. When you start realizing it, you may see black fume coming out of the exhaust pipe and your car may stop working.

Scenario 2: Diesel is filled in a petrol engine

The nozzle of a diesel dispenser is bigger than that of a petrol dispenser. Therefore, the chance of misfuelling is unlikely. Also, if diesel is filled in a petrol engine, the damage will be lesser. We all know that petrol is more refined than diesel. This is why it is easily ignited by the spark that’s created by spark plugs. When diesel is filled in a petrol car, the spark plugs, as well as the fuel system, are going to be clogged by the thick fuel. One of the first things to be affected by it is the fuel filter. This is because petrol engines are not so greasy as diesel engines. This may result in misfiring of the engine, and you may even notice heavy smoke coming out of the exhaust. It will finally stop the car from functioning.

Also Read: Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car in Good Condition

What to do if the wrong fuel has been filled in the engine of your car?

The sooner you realize it, the better it is. Here are some of the ways out.

Diesel in a petrol car

In this case, you can simply follow the steps mentioned below:

When you realize while filling the fuel: If you realize that diesel has been filled in your petrol car and it is just 5% now, you can fill the rest of the engine with petrol. This should not affect the engine and the car can be used normally. 5% of diesel will easily mix with petrol and you will not face any problem driving your car.

Realizing after it is filled-up: If the tank has been filled with more than 5% diesel, you can still control the situation. You should immediately call the tow service and take your car to the nearest workshop. The next step should be draining the diesel and flushing your petrol tank.  Once the tank has been thoroughly flushed, you can fill it up with petrol and use the car without a problem.

Petrol in a diesel car

When petrol is filled in a diesel tank, the situation won’t be very easy. However, here are some of the steps that you can take.

Ensure not to turn the engine on: If you find out that petrol has been filled in the diesel engine of your car, you must not turn on the engine. As long as the fuel is not taken out and your car is not turned on, your car is out of danger. You can call for a tow service and get the car to the nearest workstation. As you get in touch with a professional mechanic, half of your problem is solved. The mechanic will make the tank empty. Once the fuel line is flushed, you can fill it up with diesel again. You can get an additive added so the injectors can be cleaned.

If you realize it while driving the car: This can actually be very dangerous. If you drive your diesel car in which petrol has been filled and you realize it after some time, you should stop there immediately. Make sure you turn the engine off as soon as you find this out. In this case also, get a tow service and take the car to your nearest authorized service center. This can be very damaging and only a professional can do the job.

When we use a car, many things may happen, especially that can be tragic for our car and us. And to fix the damages to the car, you might have to pay heavy bills. Getting car insurance can be really helpful in this case.

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Also Read: Significance of grace period in car insurance renewal

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Apr 23, 2022
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