What to do if you put Petrol in a Diesel Car

Alice Nicolson

By: Alice Nicolson

What to do if you put Petrol in a Diesel Car

So, you’ve pulled up at the gas pump to fill up your car. You’re doing something you’ve done 100s of times, what could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot! Putting petrol into a diesel car can be a disaster, especially if you ignore the problem.

Contaminating your engine with the wrong kind of fuel can cause lots of damage to your car. This includes damage to a small metal filter located above your injectors, which is usually lubricated by diesel. If it isn’t lubricated, it will start to wear and shed small bits of metal into the injectors which could cause them to get blocked and fail.

On top of this, petrol is that toxic to diesel engines it could erode parts of the engine’s fuel delivery system, causing leaks. As you imagine, any of these things are very expensive to fix.

So what can you do? Don’t worry, all is not lost. Read the following three sections to help you make the next step.

I’ve put Petrol in my Diesel car but I haven’t moved my car

The chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably still in the fuel station. Your face is glued to the phone and you’re in a bit of a panic because you’ve just put petrol in your diesel car. Don’t panic, but follow these instructions carefully.

• Don’t start your engine
• Don’t turn your ignition on, even the lights on your dashboard will start to pump the wrong fuel through your engine
• Let the people at the fuel station know what has happened, they might be able to suggest a company who will drain your tank
• Call for help - there are companies that will come and drain your tank and replace the petrol with the correct fuel

If you haven’t started your engine, there shouldn’t be any damage to your car.

I’ve put Petrol in my Diesel and I’ve already moved my car

So you’re halfway down the road and your eye glances at your receipt from the fuel station. Petrol? But the car you’re driving isn’t petrol, it’s a diesel. Deep breaths, don’t panic. Find a safe place to park and turn off your engine.

At this point you need to make every effort to flush out the entire engine of the contamination to avoid any more damage. Call for help and explain exactly what has happened. It’s good to know how much of the wrong fuel that you’ve put in your car and how far you’ve driven.

There is a cost with flushing out your engine, but it’s a lot cheaper than the damage that may be caused if you don’t stop immediately.

My car has stopped working and I’ve realised I’ve put Petrol in my Diesel car

You’ve driven some distance from filling up your car and all of a sudden you lose power. Or you’ve stopped your car and you can’t start it again. These are a few of the things that can happen when you contaminate your diesel engine with petrol.

There’s not much more you can do at this moment other than call for help and wait. Don’t panic, there have been cases where draining the fuel and replacing it with the correct fuel has made the car go back to normal. But get your car into a garage as soon as possible so they can access the damage and replace any parts.

Please note we record all our calls to ensure that we give you the service you deserve.