What happens if you put the wrong fuel in your car?

Timothy Alcock March 22, 2012 0

It might not be the end of the world. Read on for extra guidance.

Find out what happens to your engine if you fill up with petrol instead of diesel.

Ever put the wrong fuel in your car by accident? It can be damaging to your engine and costly to fix but it’s not the end of the world!

If you’ve just filled your tank up with petrol instead of diesel don’t start the engine! The further the petrol travels through your engine system the worse the problem will become.

The next step is to consider how much of the wrong fuel you’ve actually pumped into your car. If you’ve added less than 5 litres you can usually fill the rest of the tank up with diesel and the car should still run normally. However, if you’ve pumped in more than 5 litres you will need to get the tank drained. This is because the petrol reduces the lubrication capacity of diesel fuel pumps, which can lead to damage to the internal system.

The same rules apply if you have accidentally put diesel in your petrol car so if you haven’t added a large quantity of the wrong fuel you should be okay to continue to drive as long as you fill up the rest of the tank with petrol. However, you should always check with the manufacturer of your vehicle first.

There are many roadside assistance firms who can drain your engine for you on site using clever machinery. You won’t need to get your vehicle towed to a garage so it can sometimes save on costs as well as on time. Check your policy before driving off and see if you are eligible for the service.