You Put the Wrong Fuel in Your Car – What Next?
- on October 21, 2020
- Categories: Car Feature Articles
And so, it finally happened; that nightmare scenario you always dreaded. You arrived at the petrol station only to find that you were using the wrong pump and you’ve put Diesel in your petrol car, or vice versa.
It’s a pretty serious situation, and you may have heard horror stories of what happens to the car’s engine if allowed to run on the wrong fuel. However, this is no time to panic. Below we will explain what to do in each situation. First, though, what exactly does happen to the engine?
Petrol in a Diesel Car
Diesel is quite unique in that it doubles up as lubrication that keeps the many fuel system parts moving properly. When you mix petrol in there, however, you get a different effect. Petrol is a solvent to diesel and will create friction that will quickly do damage to the moving parts.
Diesel in a Petrol Car
You may be able to avoid this if the pumps have been modified to make the diesel nozzles too large. You might then notice your mistake and not allow any diesel in. Should you still fill up with diesel, the most likely result is that you simply won’t be able to start your car. It’s bad, but at least there’s less chance of engine damage.
Here’s what you should do in any event:
- First – Do NOT Start the Car
This is especially important when you’ve put petrol in the diesel engine. As we mention above, the lack of proper lubrication will cause friction between key engine parts, resulting in potentially very expensive damage to your engine.
- Second – Report the Situation
Leave your car un-started and in neutral gear and tell the petrol station attendant(s) what has happened. Push the car to a safe out-of-the-way location, with help if you need, so that it’s not blocking the way for other customers.
- Next, Consult Your Insurer
For those who know they have breakdown cover, you should proceed to step 4. If you are unsure, then you need to contact your insurer, let them know what has happened and confirm your breakdown cover arrangements. They may have a specific company that you need to use in order to be covered, or you may learn that you’ll have to foot the bill on this one yourself. Either way, it’s better to know.
- Finally, Call Your Breakdown Service
If your insurance provides you with breakdown cover, then this event should be included as part of that. Make use of it and they will be able to drain the fuel out and flush out the petrol tank so it’s ready to receive proper fuel without any bad mixing.
Check Your Own Policy – And Read the Pump!
You should, of course, always take the time to check the pump you are using to make sure it’s the right one. Just in case, though, give your insurance policy a read and check what kind of breakdown cover you have for this type of problem. If you know that in advance then at least you can quickly take action if it does happen. Stay safe!