Put In The Wrong Fuel? How Much Is Too Much?

If you have misfuelled and put petrol in a diesel car or diesel in a petrol car, then you could be wondering what damage you have done and what your mistake may cost you.  Although putting the wrong fuel in your car can be distressing, don’t be too embarrassed as it is far more common than you would think and is equally common for both sexes.

The extent of time and money which your misfuelling mistake will cost along with the extent of damage caused to your vehicle and subsequent action required depends on the volume of wrong fuel and the type of fuel which you have misfuelled with.

Diesel in a Petrol Car
It is actually much more difficult to put diesel in a petrol car than petrol in a diesel car on account of the diesel fuel nozzle being much larger than its counterpart.  In other words, the nozzle would not fit in most petrol cars.  For this reason, having misfuelled with diesel in a petrol car is a far less common scenario.

Diesel in a petrol car is not unheard of however, and if you have misfuelled with diesel in petrol then starting the car could cause the spark plugs and fuel system to clog up causing misfire and smoking.  If a more substantial quantity of wrong fuel has been put in the tank then the vehicle could stop running.

What quantity of wrong fuel, Diesel in Petrol is too much?
If you have misfuelled with 2 litres or less of diesel in a petrol car (proportionate to 5% or less of a completely full fuel tank) when you realise you have put the wrong fuel in your car, continue to fill your tank with the correct fuel.  This should enable you to avoid both damage to your vehicle and the need to call for assistance removing the wrong fuel from a specialist.
In the unfortunate circumstance that you have misfuelled in excess of 5% of a full tank with the wrong fuel, then you should keep the engine switched off.  If you have already started the engine with the wrong fuel in car, then switch off immediately you realise and call a misfuelling recovery service for assistance.  Your misfuelled car will be completely drained of wrong fuel, generally in situ and the fuel fix specialist will be able give you advice regarding any other measures which you should take following the fuel drain,  before getting you on your way again.  Fuel drain specialists are generally available 24/7.

Petrol in a Diesel Car
The most common way to have misfuelled, is to have put petrol in a diesel car.  As the neck of a diesel car is generally bigger than the neck of a petrol vehicle, the petrol fuel nozzle easily fits into the diesel tank and a momentary lapse in concentration can leave you with the wrong fuel in your car.  With an ever increasing number of diesel cars being sold each year, it is a growing mistake.
Petrol in a diesel car can be slightly more problematic than diesel in a petrol car.  Influenced by how long the car is run for with the wrong fuel in it, what type of diesel engine you have and the quantity of petrol you have misfuelled with.  If you have already started the engine, the fuel system seals and pumps could be damaged as the wrong fuel travels along the fuel system.
If you haven’t noticed that you have misfuelled with petrol in a diesel car, you may realise when you notice smoking when it’s running. It may well not start at all and could have a noisy rattling sound.  If you notice any of these signs and realise you have misfuelled, immediately switch off your engine before any further damage is done.

How much petrol in a diesel car is too much?
If you have misfuelled with 10% or less of a full tank of petrol in a diesel car, equating to 5 litres or less, you should be able to continue fuelling with diesel and burn off any wrong fuel without the need to call for added assistance.
If you have put in excess of 10% petrol in a diesel car then unfortunately, starting your engine or carrying on driving could cause much more damage.   Your only option is to call a misfuelling specialist company who will drain the wrong fuel from your car.  You will need to call a specialist company to drain the wrong fuel from your car and get you back on your way.  After putting petrol in a diesel car, it is advised that you change your fuel filters at a sooner date than usual as they could be affected by the wrong fuel.    You shouldn’t notice any ill effects or subsequent damage to your car following the fuel drain provided that you have not started the engine after you misfuelled as the wrong fuel will not have circulated the fuel system.

Written on behalf of Auto Fuel Fix.com by Nik Wilkisnon

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