What To Do If You Put The Wrong Fuel Type in Your Car?

Mis-fuelling is not common. However, it can still happen due to one’s carelessness.

What can you do if you put the wrong fuel type in your car? Read on as we share some safety tips that you can follow in such a situation.


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Have you ever filled your car with the wrong fuel type? It may sound peculiar, but to many, it is more common than it sounds. People can be forgetful as they daze off when refueling their car tank of the petrol attendant may fill the petrol car with the wrong type.

Please be careful. Our cars are a bit strict when it comes to petrol preferences. The wrong fuel type may even result in engine seizures.

What happens if you put the wrong fuel?

Misfuelling occurs when you accidentally put the wrong type of fuel in a vehicle other than the one that the vehicle is designed to use. For example, you put petrol in a diesel car or diesel in a petrol car.

The vehicle owner may not discover it immediately. Therefore, they continue putting in the fuel and continue their drive. There are various signs and symptoms that the vehicle will start showing after it has been fuelled with the wrong fuel.

Symptoms if petrol is used in a diesel car:

  • a loud knocking sound while accelerating
  • excessive smoke coming from your exhaust
  • slower than usual acceleration
  • the engine warning light illuminating
  • the engine stopping altogether
  • your car struggling to restart 

Symptoms if diesel is used in a petrol car:

  • your engine misfiring
  • excessive smoke from your exhaust 
  • your engine cutting out
  • your engine failing to restart

What to do if the wrong fuel type is put in a car?

Don’t start your engine

Have you turned the ignition yet? If not, don’t! We hope you’ll have realised your error while you’re at the petrol station and before you’ve driven off. You’re in luck if you realise your fault before starting the engine.

Immediately disconnect the main fuel line between the tank and the engine.

The most important thing to do is not switch on the engine or even put the key in the ignition. Misfuelling is a much more straightforward problem to fix if the petrol or diesel entered your car’s fuel system.

Move your car without turning on the engine

Please move your vehicle, and make way for other drivers to refill their fuel tanks.

Let the staff at the petrol station know what’s happened. Put your car into neutral and slowly push it. Please seek help from others to ensure your car moves to a safer location.

Contact mechanic for assistance

If this happens, you need to drain and flush your fuel system. Please seek help – contact a trained mechanic to assist you.

Draining the fuel tank can be dangerous and need proper guidance as it is flammable. Your vehicle may need to be towed to the workshop for further repair depending on the amount of the fuel that you put in.

Call your insurance provider

You need to contact your insurer as soon as possible to inform them about your situation.

What to do if you start your engine after misfuelling

However, you may be unfortunate to have realised the error after continuing your journey. The engine may be running smoothly but after you have just refuelled however, it would come to halt after some distance. suddenly stops.

The source of this problem may be that you have used the wrong fuel type. In case you had started it, stop it as soon as possible. This will be worsening the problem. The wrong fuel will penetrate other parts of the fuel system and cause further damage.

What should you do?

  1. Turn off the engine immediately if your surrounding is safe and allow you to stop. If not, pull over to a safe spot.
  2. Put the vehicle in neutral
  3. Contact the mechanic for assistance.
  4. Call your insurance provider as soon as possible

Pay attention when putting the fuel in your vehicle

Although it may look trivial, the damage is not. Please be careful!

Though the problem is uncommon, it does happen in several instances. The results of the problem are severe and cause lots of inconveniences to the driver or vehicle owner.

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