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What to do if you fill up your car with the wrong fuel

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February 16, 2018
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Whether you’ve been in a rush at the petrol station, driving a new vehicle, or simply had a momentary lapse of concentration – filling up with the wrong fuel can be an embarrassing, and expensive, experience.

But you’re not alone. In fact, according to The Telegraph around 150,000 drivers do it each year in the UK. So here’s some advice on how to get out of this tricky situation.

Here’s what to do if you fill up your car with the wrong fuel:

  • If you’re lucky enough to have spotted your mistake while filling up – albeit with the wrong fuel – then do not start your engine. In fact, do not even put your key in the ignition as even trying to start the engine will cause further damage.
  • Simply tell the petrol station staff what has happened, make sure the car in is neutral, and ask someone to help push your car to a safe place where you can call your insurer. If you have breakdown cover, your car will be drained and flushed before adding the right fuel to your vehicle.
  • If you didn’t spot your mistake before leaving the petrol station it won’t be long until your car breaks down. By this point, you need to treat this like any other breakdown when phoning for help.

What happens if I put the wrong fuel in my car?

Drivers putting petrol in a diesel engine is more common than the other way around as diesel pump nozzles are larger than most petrol fuel necks.

What happens if I put petrol into a diesel engine?

Putting petrol in a diesel engine will result in friction between parts and causing damage to the fuel pump and lines. Trying to drive whilst having petrol in a diesel tank could cause some serious and more frighteningly expensive damage to your vehicle.

What happens if I put diesel into a petrol engine?

If you have in fact done the opposite and put diesel in a petrol engine, the good news is that it isn’t as bad as above, as the engine is unlikely to start due to diesel needing to be compressed before it ignites.

At Adrian Flux we know what an easy mistake it is to fill your car with the wrong fuel. That’s why we offer misfuelling insurance cover. We think it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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