Wrong Fuel in Car: What to Do and How to Fix

Diesel and petrol interact with the engine and the whole fuel system in different ways. Both work as fuel but diesel is also a lubricant while petrol functions as a solvent. So, the wrong fuel in car can create damaging effects. A petrol engine with diesel fuel cannot fire due to different combustion temperatures of the two fuel substances. Similarly, petrol cannot adequately lubricate a diesel engine.

What to do If You Put Wrong Fuel in Car?

A large number of people do the mistake of refueling their vehicles with the wrong fuel. So, it’s a common mistake. To keep the damage to the minimal level, don’t turn on the ignition. Doing so will spread the wrong fuel into the engine and the fuel system, increasing the extent of the damage.

wrong fuel
Don’t panic and call a roadside service. Cre: Shutterstock

How badly the car and its internal components can get affected? Gas in a fuel engine will increase the friction between components. Fuel lines and the pump are the first to be affected. The car will vibrate at the time of driving. Diesel in a gas engine will cause less damage since it will not start the engine due to having a thicker property. One minor problem will be soot buildup on the spark plugs.


Recommended Fixing Measures

If you need to move the car from the gas station, don’t drive it. Release the parking brake and ask someone to help you push the car. When it’s in a safe place, engage the parking brake, and call a car service.

Call a Roadside Service

There are some shops that offer a mobile drainage service. It’s actually a vehicle that has an onboard empty fuel tank and a powerful pump, which sucks up bad fuel from your car’s tank and reserve into the empty tank. Such a service does not include replacing your pump and filters but will flush the fuel lines. Also, they will add a special solvent into the system to dissolve the remaining traces of incorrect fuel.

Tow to a Garage

If you can’t get a roadside repair service, tow the car to a garage for draining the fuel. This is more suitable if you have already started the car and done some damage.

fixing Wrong fuel in car
A garage can do the job better. Source: Pexels

The plus side is that the garage has the tools and the time to assess the damage properly and replace any parts there and then. The mechanics there have proper tools to diagnose the extent of the injury and repair the damaged parts. A roadside repair is somewhat risky in the sense that some wrong fuel may still be left in the system. But this won’t happen when you take it for servicing in a garage.

Do DIY Drainage

Or, you can fix the problem by yourself with a siphon toolkit. Just siphon the wrong fuel in car out into a container and dispose of it safely. The fuel tank in some vehicles has a drainage plug. In that case, you have to drain the liquid by taking the plug off.