If you have ever put the wrong fuel in your car you'll know how stupid it makes you feel. However don't feel too bad about it - it has been estimated that on average more than 400 people put the wrong fuel in their cars every day in the UK.
If you have 2 cars and one is a diesel and the other is a petrol, it's possible for anyone to make the mistake. You should however remember that what you do after you realise your mistake could make the difference between £300 to drain your tank and several thousand pounds for a new engine.
If you do mis-fuel your car the most important thing to remember is - do not start the engine!
How your car get's damaged
If you put petrol into a diesel and start the engine, the petrol will be drawn through the fuel pump and into the engine itself. Diesel fuel acts as a lubricant in the fuel pump of a diesel engine, petrol will have the opposite effect, causing friction in the pumps components and ultimately damage.
If the engine is run for any length of time the debris caused by the friction will pass through to other parts of the engine, causing more and more damage the further it goes into the system.
It is unlikely that you would put diesel in a petrol engine as the filler nozzle on a diesel pump is larger than a petrol nozzle and so it will not fit into your tank. Hopefully you would have realised your mistake at that point!
What should I do when I have realised my mistake?
Assuming that you have not started the engine you should get someone to help you push the car out the way of the pump and contact a garage or a breakdown recovery service. They will drain the fuel tank and flush out any fuel in the hoses for you.
If you have started the car then the engine will also need to be stripped down to assess the damage and you may need to have the entire engine replaced.
If you have only added a small amount of the wrong fuel you may have had a lucky escape, but you should still consult your garage before attempting to start the engine.
Would my insurance cover the repair costs?
You should consult your insurance provider as this will depend on the terms of your insurance policy.
If you have had an accident that was not your fault, please call us now on 02392 484 244 for free help and advice from one of our experienced claims advisors.