Image showing pouring of wrong fuel in car

What to do when you put the wrong fuel in your car

Sahaj Palla GUIDES Leave a Comment

In a fast-paced world when we are pressed for time, human errors are bound to happen. One of the such, though uncommon, mistakes is filling our car with the wrong fuel. It happens mostly with diesel cars compared to petrol vehicles as the fuel nozzle of diesel cannot fit in through a petrol car. Either way, topping our vehicle’s fuel tank with the wrong fuel can cost us a lot if we are not careful.

To do and not to do – Diesel in petrol cars

As soon as you realise that the wrong fuel has been filled, take immediate action. Do not switch on the ignition, nor put the key into it. Push your vehicle to a safer place within the station and call your car’s customer service. They would help and guide you to take your car to the nearest service centre where the fuel could be drained, and the fuel tank cleaned. 

In case you didn’t realise the error while leaving the fuel station but did so after a few minutes of driving, stop your car at the earliest in a safer place. Call your car’s customer care or arrange for your car to be towed to the nearest service centre or workshop, where the diesel could be drained off, and the petrol tank along with the fuel lines could be thoroughly flushed and cleaned. The fuel filter might mostly get clogged and this will have to be replaced.

If while filling the fuel you get to know that the attendant is filling diesel and not petrol, alert them. If only 5% of the tank has been filled with diesel, then you can top the rest of the tank with petrol and leave your worry aside as diesel mixes with petrol well. But it would be better to get your car checked and see if the fuel contamination can be cleaned off.

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To do and not to do – Petrol in diesel cars

Filling petrol in a diesel car can be more damaging than the other way round. This is because a diesel engine uses the fuel to lubricate its internal parts. And when the petrol mixes with diesel, it increases the friction between the parts and damages the fuel lines and pump. Hence the minute you realise that the wrong fuel has been pumped in, do not switch on the ignition nor push the key in. As long as petrol doesn’t reach inside the engine your car will still be safe. You’ll only have to tow your car to the nearest service centre or workshop and get the tank drained and flushed. 

But if you find out that the fuel used in your diesel car is wrong after you have started to drive your car, then it could pose a problem. Stop your vehicle the instant you come to know of the mistake and call your car’s customer care. Get your vehicle towed to the nearest service centre and let the professionals help. The cost of repair will depend on the extent of the damage caused.

Always be careful when you visit the fuel stations to fill the fuel in your car. Remind the attendant to fill in the right fuel. Should any mistake happen, keep calm and do not drive. Seek professional help to reverse the damage.


How to avoid filling the wrong fuel?

Be alert and not in hurry. Always check for the signboards that are displaying the kind of fuel the station has to offer. Always double check with the petrol attendant who is going to pour fuel in your vehicle.

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How is the damage minimised after filling wrong fuel?

Petrol cars can bear up to 5% of diesel according to tank capacity but you will have to top it off with petrol and continue driving. While such is not the case with diesel cars, if you accidentally pour petrol in it, immediately stop and get your car towed to the nearest service station, where they’ll drain the tank and flush it.

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