What Do I Do If I Put Diesel Fuel In An Unleaded Fuel Engine?
November 3, 2013
Oh no, disaster has struck. You lost concentration for 5 seconds. You were busy thinking about picking the children up from school, getting one to ballet and one to football, the end of month figures at work and how on earth you are going to find time to cook for 15 people on Saturday night and write that big presentation for Monday morning. You look down and realize the hose in your hand is black not green. You've put diesel fuel in your unleaded fuel engine. You start to panic, you are unsure what to do. Is your car broken? Who do you call? What do you do?
Stop, Breath, Calm.
Firstly, remove the diesel hose from you car. There's no point adding more cost to the problem, as the petrol station owner will require you to pay for the fuel you've taken even though you didn't mean to. See how much you have added. In most cases a small amount of the wrong fuel should not damage your vehicle if it has not been started, providing you then fill up to the brim with the correct fuel.
There used to be a rule of thumb called the 5 litre guide! This is roughly 8 - 10% of an average size fuel tank. If you have added more than 5 litres of the wrong fuel, do not start the engine and you will need to have your tank fully drained.
If you have added less than 5 litres of the wrong fuel, fill up to the brim with the correct fuel and drive normally (unless your manufacturer advises otherwise). However, with the popularity of smaller cars, due to increasing fuel prices, the 5 litre rule does not apply.
If you have a small or new car then call for advice as even 5 litres can cause serious problems as modern diagnostics can detect even small quantities of the wrong fuel.
Don't panic though, this simple mistake is easy to make and is very common with misfuelling accidents happening every day, across the UK.
If you can, leave your car exactly where it is and don't start the engine. This will prevent damage to the engine. If you have started your car and driven it, park it safely as soon as you can and turn the ignition off.
Help is just a phone call away. As soon as you can, call a reputable fuel drain down company. They will come out to you, wherever you are and remove the diesel fuel from your unleaded fuel engine. Quickly and thoroughly, they will flush the system through before refilling your tank with the correct unleaded fuel it requires. You should be able to continue with your day within an hour or so.
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