Filling up your car with the wrong fuel type
Filling up our car one day a friend and I were alarmed to see the attendant waving frantically at us. As she caught our attention she called out “No! That’s diesel!!!” Luckily for us, our car was a diesel engine. But the experience did make us wonder what would happen if we put in the wrong fuel? And how would you ever get it out?
Well apparently it does happen and people do accidentally put the wrong type of fuel into their vehicle. It even has a name: misfuelling. And it happens more often than you would expect. The most common mix up is putting diesel in a petrol car and vice versa. It’s an easy enough mistake to make – especially if you are like my friend and drive a petrol and diesel vehicle at different times. So if you ever find yourself in this pickle I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news is that you can’t just drive like normal and fill up with the proper fuel on your next trip to the pump. The fuel that is in your car does need to be professionally drained out. The good news in there is services out there to help you though this mix-up.
The main issues arise if you put petrol into a diesel engine.
The petrol dose does not contain the same lubricating qualities as the diesel fuel. This means the metal to metal contact components begin to grind against each other. In turn, this can lead to metal fragments to breaking off and working their way through your fuel system. Petrol can also act as a solvent which can damage fuel systems seals. Mixing up your fuels is, unfortunately, something that you need to get fixed.
So what do you do if you discover your mix up mid fill-up? Well, the most important thing to remember is not to hide your mix up. Pretending it didn’t happen and driving off (if you car will even start) could lead to greater damage to your car and the fuel will spread to different systems. It could also put you in a potentially dangerous situation as your engine may cut out or have other difficulties, such as abnormal exhaust patterns, down the road.
According to the London Wrong Fuel Angels the best thing you can do in this situation is not drive your vehicle. If you have already started your car they recommend you shut it off as soon as possible to prevent any additional damage. Make sure you and your vehicle are in as safe place and contact someone to come and drain your fuel. If you notice it while you’re still at the station, let the attendant know what happened. Experts even recommend not locking the door as some diesel vehicles use a fuel up that is primed when any electrical activity, such as the doors being locked or unlocked, takes place.
So next time you’re at the pump takes a moment to double check what fuel you are putting in your car. But if you do find yourself in the middle of a mix up somehow mix up – rest assured you are not alone and that there are professionals that can help get on the road again.