What’s the likely damage to your car?
Typically misfuelling incidents involve putting petrol into a diesel engine, let’s look at what happens - why is it such a problem?
- The fuel pump. Diesel fuel lubricates the fuel pump as it passes through it. Running petrol through a diesel pump is a little like running an engine without oil. There’s a lot of friction and potentially metal fragments are ground off which may then travel into the fuel system.
- The fuel lines. If you drive off in your petrol filled diesel car, the petrol will have travelled from the fuel tank along fuel lines towards the engine. These will need flushing or worst case, replacing.
- The filter. The fuel filters job is to prevent contamination in your engine. If petrol has found its way to the filter that will need replacing too.
- Fuel injectors. If metal fragments have been produced by the damaged fuel tank and they enter the fuel injectors, this is when it can get very expensive. The injectors have tiny holes which if blocked, would essentially ruin the system. Now you’re looking at thousands of pounds.
Not all misfuelling is the same. Filling your car and realising before you start the engine will probably mean a drain and refill. Annoying, and wasted money on fuel, but no engine damage.
If you fill your car and drive off until it conks out, it’s more of a lottery. You might be lucky and still simply need the wrong fuel flushed out. Worst case though, you may have done more significant damage.