Misfuelling is a mistake around 150,000 motorists make in the UK every year, but one that can be VERY costly, so it’s definitely worth knowing what to do should you ever make the mistake of putting the wrong fuel in your car!

It’s actually very easy to do, particularly putting petrol in a diesel car because a petrol pump nozzle will fit into most diesel filler caps whereas, in a petrol car, it is much less common because the diesel nozzle tends to be larger than most petrol filler caps.

And unfortunately, for motorists making the mistake of putting petrol in a diesel car, it is much more serious. Here’s why…

Putting petrol in your diesel car may damage your fuel system if not dealt with properly. The mix of petrol in diesel acts as a solvent, reducing lubrication and causing damage to the pump as the metal parts come into contact and rub together. Other parts of the fuel system, which might not be compatible with petrol, can also be damaged.

The first thing to know is – DO NOT turn on the ignition or attempt to start the engine as this can circulate the contaminated fuel around your fuel system and increase the risk of potential damage. Driving your car after filling up with the wrong fuel, particularly petrol in a diesel car can cause catastrophic damage to your engine. Ultimately, this could mean that the entire fuel system requires costly repairs, or replacing completely.

Putting diesel in a petrol car is a less serious mistake to make, and the damage is unlikely to be as severe. If you failed to realise and started the engine then the diesel would coat the spark plugs and the fuel system, which could result in the vehicle misfiring.  Other signs could be the engine smoking, or the vehicle stopping with the engine cutting out or just failing to start.

If you have put the wrong fuel in your car, follow our advice and DO NOT turn on your ignition or start your engine and call your Breakdown provider straightaway for further advice.

For more helpful tips and advice, visit our blog on our website!

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