What Happens if You Refuel Your Car with the Wrong Fuel?

If you drive a “petrol vehicle” you refuel it with petrol, and if you drive a “diesel car” you refuel it with diesel, right? But, what happens and how should you react if, by accident, you refuel your vehicle with the wrong fuel. What is worse scenario: petrol in a diesel vehicle or vice versa? 

Since the filler neck of a diesel vehicle allows almost all nozzle kinds inside, it’s technically possible to put petrol in a diesel car. If something like that happens to you (by accident, of course), here’s what you should do. First of all, it’s crucial not to start up the diesel car’s engine, nor drive the car. Even with the slightest amount of petrol in it, diesel fuel alters its flashpoint and that may damage the engine. For that reason, it’s of high importance to push or tow away the vehicle from the pump island and, afterwards, its fuel system needs to be emptied properly. This is usually done by the nearest authorized repair shop.

The other way around, putting diesel fuel in an unleaded petrol vehicle is currently impossible, because the diesel dispenser nozzle doesn’t fit in its tank opening. But, what if this, somehow, happens? Since diesel is heavier than petrol, it needs pressure to be ignited and doesn’t evaporate as petrol does. Simply put, if you try to ignite the engine, spark plugs in petrol vehicles won’t be able to fire the diesel fuel, so the engine won’t start. However, in order to avoid the risk of damaging an engine, you should empty and properly refuel the tank. Some drivers choose to change the fuel filter, too, but that’s not necessary.

The answer to the question is clear: putting diesel in a petrol car is worse than putting petrol in diesel car. However, make sure you don’t put the wrong fuel in any vehicle and, if you do, call the experts to fix that issue.

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