So you have put the wrong fuel in your car, what now?
Well – you’re not alone! It’s estimated that around 150,000 drivers put the wrong fuel in their car each year – which equates to one every three and a half minutes!
BMS Cars Misfuel Service
Here at BMS Cars, we specialise in fuel retrieving and have a rapid response to call outs. We hold the appropriate waste collector’s licence and ensure that all contaminated fuel is collected by a waste management company.
Misfuelling: Useful Information
If you have put the wrong fuel in your car do not turn on the ignition or start the engine. Doing so will increase the risk of damage as many systems use a low-pressure electric pump in the tank or sender unit and this begins to work as soon as the ignition is switched on. Once the system is switched on the contaminated fuel will circulate through the pump and up to the engine and fuel filter, so it’s important not to turn the ignition on as the further the contaminated fuel goes into the system, the more expensive the repair will get. In the most extreme cases it can actually be cheaper to fit a new engine than repair one damaged by misfuelling.
What To Do If You Misfuel Your Vehicle
The damage caused through misfuelling will vary upon how much fuel has entered the system and whether or not you have turned the ignition or engine on. Mistakes happen and what matters is how you respond to it.
In The Event You Put Diesel In Petrol
It’s much less common to misfuel a petrol car with diesel due to the fuel filler neck on diesel cars being much smaller than the standard petrol nozzle at fuel stations. But even though you’d have to be pretty determined and patient to misfuel this way, it still happens and so if you find yourself in a misfuelling situation you should ensure that neither the engine, nor the ignition, is turned on. Generally speaking, a small amount of diesel in a petrol engine shouldn’t damage the engine so long as it hasn’t been started and the car is fully topped up with petrol. But this is usually only the case in instances where less than 10% (say 5 litres in a 50 litre tank) has been added and the vehicle manufacturer hasn’t advised against it. If more than 10% of diesel has been added to a petrol tank then the tank should always be drained by a professional because this will damage the catalytic converters and lambda sensors in the exhaust system.
In The Event You Put Petrol Into A Diesel Vehicle
Do not turn on the ignition or the engine.
Generally, a small amount shouldn’t cause any damage to the engine as long as the vehicle is fully topped up with the correct fuel. However, this varies per circumstance and so you should always seek professional help if you have misfuelled.
Diesel fuel pumps operate on very fine tolerances and are lubricated by the diesel fuel itself. Petrol in diesel acts as a solvent and reduces that lubrication which can cause damage to the pump through metal-to-metal contact. The compounds in petrol can affect some fuel system seals too. In the event that you do misfuel you should always check the manufacturer guidelines to make sure that you don’t void the warranty.
Regardless of how you misfuel, it can be a stressful time and a very expensive mistake to make but we can help limit that by getting your vehicle back on track. If you ever find yourself in a misfuelling situation, do not panic. Just give us a call on 01243 201011 and we’ll be able to arrange for a professional to help assist you.