I’ve Added The Wrong Type of Fuel, What Should I Do?

04 November 2015 / Lindleys Autocentres

We all have one of those days from time to time. Those days where things just happen to slip your mind. One thing many people are guilty of is accidently filling your diesel car with petrol, or vise versa.

Over the past 10 years, misfuelling of vehicles has transformed from a nearly unheard of problem to one of the widest causes of breakdowns in the UK. It is estimated that 150,000 road users put the wrong type of fuel in their vehicles, every year. In this article, we explain what to do if you ever find yourself in this situation.


What Should I Do First?

If you’re at a fuel station, you’ll find the staff to normally be sympathetic to your situation as they will have seen this on many occasions. The next thing is to establish if there is a company who can attend your vehicle and remove the fuel without recovering you to a garage. Usually, a good provider should be able to attend within 90 minutes.


Petrol into Diesel

If you put petrol into a diesel car, you need to act fast. Remember, do not turn on the ignition of your vehicle. This is extremely important, as if you were to turn on the ignition, it will start pumping fuel towards the engine - therefore contaminating vital components of your vehicle. Before turning on the engine, all the fuel needs to be drained from the tank and replaced with diesel.

How Does It Affect My Vehicle?

In diesel vehicles, diesel fuel flows through the main fuel pump for lubrication. When petrol is used instead, the two fuels mix and act as a solvent and reduce lubrication. This causes damage to the pump as metal areas come into contact with each other and begin to rub together. There are also other components of the fuel system which may not be compatible with petrol, that can also be damaged and can often result in costly repairs if not resolved immediately.


Diesel into Petrol

Putting diesel into petrol cars is not as common, as the diesel pump nozzle tends to be of a larger size than the neck of the petrol tanks on most modern cars. However, if the situation occurs where this does happen, as with putting petrol into a diesel vehicle; do not turn on the ignition and make sure your car’s fuel tank is completely drained and replaced with petrol.

How Does It Affect My Vehicle?

Fortunately, the consequences are less damaging than petrol into diesel, however, it will have some negative effects. There will most probably be smoke coming out of the engine and your vehicle will run abnormally.


I Have Driven My Car With The Wrong Fuel

Often, people only realise they have put the wrong type of fuel into their car when their engine begins to give up whilst driving. If you find yourself in this situation, immediately pull over into a safe place and call a reliable breakdown service for assistance.


How Much Will Repairs / Replacements Cost?

Roadside Fuel Drain - £100 to £300.

If you realise your mistake before turning on the ignition, you can call for a mobile roadside fuel drain and carry on with your journey.

Recovery to a Local Dealer and Fuel Drain - £250 to £400.

If you happened to turn on the ignition after misfuelling your vehicle, having it recovered to a local dealer gives a better scope to handle related problems.

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