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What to do if you put the wrong fuel in your car

It’s a nightmare scenario. You’ve pulled in to the petrol station and started to fill up, only to realise you’ve put the wrong type of fuel in your car. Or, even worse, you haven’t realised what you’ve done and tried to drive off, or you think that you can take your car to a garage to get it fixed. Big mistake.

So what can you do?

Don’t start the engine!

The most important thing to do is not to panic and try to drive off anyway. If you start your car with the wrong type of fuel inside, it will cause serious damage to your vehicle. No matter if its petrol in a diesel car, or vice versa, you should not even think about starting the ignition.

When petrol and diesel combine, the petrol turns into a solvent. This is a big problem in diesel cars, as the diesel you normally put in works as a lubricant as well as a fuel. With this lubrication dissolved, the fuel lines and pump will become severely damaged.

In a petrol engine, the damage is not as severe as it’s likely the car just won’t be able to start. Even so, it’s still not a good idea to even try. You just need to take the next step.

Tell the petrol station attendant what to do

Forget about being ashamed or trying to hide what you’ve done from other people. You just need to face up to the fact that you’ve made a mistake and take steps to deal with it. Go and speak to the petrol station attendant and let them know what you’ve done. They might have a number you can call for assistance. At the very least, they will tell you a place you can move your car to while you wait for help.

Put your car in neutral and ask some people to help you move it in to a better position, out of the way of other drivers.

Call for help

If you have breakdown cover, now is the time to give them a call. Let them know exactly what you’ve done so they can ensure they bring the right tools to fix your situation. Then you just have to wait for them to arrive and, hopefully, suck out all the wrong fuel and give your car’s inners a power flush.

If you don’t have breakdown cover, you can contact your mechanic and ask for their advice. They may be able to send out a recovery vehicle to bring your car to them where they can make the repairs.

You may also want to contact your insurance provider, especially if you have started the engine. They may be able to sort out a hire car and some help, based on the package you have.

And, if the car isn’t yours, you should then call the owner and let them know the situation. They probably won’t be happy, but you should confess none the less! 

Car Care Tips  03/12/2019 14:30:34

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