What happens if you put diesel in a petrol car?

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What Happens if you put Diesel in a Petrol Car?

The most commonly asked question in our call centre is “What happens if you put diesel in a Petrol car”. We have seen cases where there has been no damage to the car. We have also seen cases where there has been substantial damage to the engine. “What happens if you put diesel in a petrol car”, the outcome can vary depending on a number of factors e.g. how far the diesel contamination has spread.

At first, the petrol will float on top of the diesel. After some time, the Petrol will disperse into Diesel fuel.

What causes the damage to the engine is the diesel itself, as coming into contact will cause the engine not to fire.

If the car has not been started then a simple fuel drain will rectify the problem. however, if in the unfortunate case the car has been started, the diesel will essentially fill the cylinder bores and cause a hydraulic lock. This can, in turn, cause damage to your conrods, crankshaft and engine components.

There seems to be much confusion on what the appropriate steps are to rectify the problem. To help clear the confusion we asked our technical director for clarity:

It is about protecting your investment and at the very least you should always change the fuel filter. To avoid any diesel contained in the filter. We recommend power flushing the lines. Would you risk contaminated fuel left sitting in your fuel lines, to strip the lubrication of the pump and cause the pump to break up, which will inevitably cause catastrophic damage to your car engine? You would not risk it, so I often advise all my customers to ensure you have the flush carried out

In 2017, 150,000 British drivers made the costly mistake of putting the wrong fuel in their car leaving them with repair bills of up to £3,000.[1]


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[1] https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/5265924/the-3000-misfueling-mistake-150000-brits-make-every-year-and-the-40-gadget-thatll-stop-you-wrecking-your-car/

What happens if you put diesel in a petrol car?

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