Quite often a car does not break down immediately after a misfueling, assuming you’ve driven to a petrol station to buy your fuel – your cars engine will be hot, and a warm engine copes with wrong fuel much better than a cold engine.
This is the reason we attend so many call outs to peoples houses, or work places, – typically someone would misfuel, drive home without noticing, and then the car would refuse to start again from cold – often the next day.
Don’t worry, if you are reading this and you have a diesel car outside that wont start because of a wrong fueling – it most likely isn’t ruined , it just doesnt like petrol.
Diesel engines work on a compression ignition, the diesel fuel gets squashed in the piston until it auto ignites, this is what gives diesels better efficiency = the fuel burns at exactly the right time every time, Petrol ignites when a spark plug sparks, petrol is refined in such a way that it does not ignite under pressure – but waits for a spark, so the reason your diesel car refuses to start with the wrong fuel is simply because petrol will not ignite without a spark, so calm down, your car isn’t wrecked – its just got the wrong fuel in it.
In the case of a car that has been driven with the wrong fuel we perform a standard fuel drain and remove the contaminated fuel that is in the tank, we then open the fuel lines as close to the engine as we can and then suck out the remaining bad fuel with our fuel scavenging equiptment, finally we put the correct fuel in and draw this up to the engine with our pump, so when we start the car – the correct fuel is injected into the pistons.
This is where our experience and expertise comes in, there is some magic sauce and know how to quickly and safely getting a car started after a misfuel, if it is done wrong, or by an enthusiastic DIY mechanic – starter motors can get burnt out, fuel lines not reconnected properly, batteries flattened, or at worst a fire.
If you have misfuelled and your car won’t start, call us, or any experienced fuel draining mechanic, its a simple fix and takes less than an hour.