What to Do If You Put Petrol in a Diesel Car


With the busy lifestyles that we all lead, it’s perhaps no surprise that more and more of us are making the mistake of putting the wrong fuel in our cars. According to motoring organisations, every three to four minutes in the UK, another motorist accidentally puts petrol in their diesel tank or vice versa.

Of course, it’s an easy mistake to make. If you’re in a hurry and not paying attention, it’s all too easy to grab the wrong nozzle at the petrol station. If you’re one of the unlucky ones who’ve put petrol in a diesel car, you’ll know it’s not a pleasant experience. 

As well as the apparent cost of getting your car towed to a garage to get fixed, it can be a real headache trying to sort out the insurance claim and get back on the road. So, what exactly happens when you put the wrong fuel in your car?

What Happens When You Put Petrol in a Diesel Car?

If you misfuel your car, the best thing you can do is not to start the engine. Running a petrol engine on diesel will quickly ruin the fuel injectors. Diesel is much thicker than petrol and won’t lubricate the injectors in the same way. This will cause them to seize up, and once they’re seized, they’ll need replacing. The same goes for the fuel pump, which is also lubricated by the fuel.

If you manage to get the engine started, it’ll run for a while before the misfuelled fuel makes its way through to the engine. When it does, the engine will run rough and eventually stall. Starting it again is likely to cause even more damage. The bottom line is that if you misfuel your car, don’t start the engine. Call for a tow truck or a mobile fuel drainer to come and sort it out. It’s not worth the risk of causing expensive damage to your car.

What to Do If You Put Petrol in Your Diesel Car

Tip #1: Stop Fuelling as Soon as You Notice the Mistake

If you accidentally put petrol in your diesel car, it’s essential to act fast. As soon as you realise your mistake, stop fuelling and turn off the engine. Do not start the engine, as this could cause serious damage.

Tip #3: Don’t Try to Fix It Yourself

It’s important not to try to fix the problem yourself. Even if you think you know what you’re doing, it’s not worth the risk. Flushing out a fuel system is a delicate process, and if it’s not done correctly, it can cause serious damage. The best thing to do is call for help and let the professionals take care of it.

Tip #3: Call for Help

The next step is to call for help. If you’re lucky, you may have roadside assistance as part of your car insurance policy. If not, you’ll need to call a tow truck or a mechanic.

Explain what happened and ask for advice on what to do next. In most cases, you’ll need to have your car towed to a mechanic to have the fuel system flushed out. This is the only way to remove all the petrol from the system and prevent damage.

The Bottom Line: Don’t Panic When You Mistakenly Put Petrol in Your Diesel Car

Putting petrol in your diesel car is a stressful experience, but it’s important to stay calm and follow the advice of the experts. With a little help, you’ll be back on the road in no time.

If you need 24/7 fuel replacement services, Fuel Fixer is the company for you. We provide around-the-clock fuel replacement services so that you’re never without the fuel you need. 

We understand that fuel is essential for many businesses and that downtime can be costly, so we work hard to make sure that our customers are always up and running.

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