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What To Do When You Put the Wrong Fuel in Your Car

Filling your car with the wrong fuel is a common slip-up that happens in the blink of an eye before you realize it. According to research, around 150,000 people in the UK make this mistake annually. So, if you ever do it, you are not alone; however, this mistake can be an expensive one. That is why you need to be cautious when fuelling your car. However, if you have already put in the wrong fuel and haven’t turned on the ignition, then don’t do so, as it may damage your car’s engine.

Don’t panic if you have mis-fuelled your car and realize it after you’ve already started driving, as it wouldn’t help you to think clearly about what to do next. To make it easy, we have put together a few steps that might help:

1. Pull over at a safe place and stop driving your car immediately.

2. Turn off the engine and remove the key from the ignition to avoid accidentally turning it on.

3. Call for breakdown assistance.

4. Wait until they have drained the wrong fuel completely, and only start the engine once the specialists have advised you to do so.

Wrong Fuel Signs:

If you’ve just got out of a fuel station and your vehicle is showing any of the following signs, there is a high chance of misfuelling:

• Engine keeps stalling

• Engine warning lights present on your dashboard

• Engine has issues starting

• Strong gasoline smell from the exhaust

• Noises from the engine

• Black smoke from the exhaust

Wrong fuel signs

Filling Diesel instead of Petrol:

If you have filled your Petrol engine with Diesel, the effects don’t immediately show; the engine stalls in fact after driving for a short distance. The damage could be minimal if you can quickly drain the wrong fuel out.

Filling Petrol instead of Diesel:

If you have filled your Diesel engine with Petrol, it can lead to severe damage to the engine as Petrol is not as lubricating as Diesel, causing damage to the fuel pump and injectors. The engine will show an instant reaction by not starting. In some cases, the entire fuel system would need to be replaced to get your car back to normal.

Filling E10 in an incompatible car:

Filling up E10 in an incompatible car won’t be very problematic, as sometimes it doesn’t show up any issues. Just top it off with your regular fuel as soon as the amount of E10 has decreased. However, if your engine experiences starting and stalling issues, you must get it drained to avoid further damage.

Does car insurance cover misfuelling?

Not all insurance companies cover the cost of misfuelling. Some of the providers may offer it as a part of their accidental damage policy, so it’s best to check your policy details for more information. Additionally, it may also be worth contacting your insurance provider after misfuelling to see if they can compensate for the cost of draining and cleaning your fuel tank.

To avoid misfuelling, it’s important to always double-check if you’re filling your car with the correct fuel. If you mistakenly fill it up with the wrong one, make sure to fix your mistake as soon as possible in order to minimize any damage to the engine. If you’re unsure of what to do in this situation, you can call a breakdown service for help.

We hope our article has helped you understand the risks associated with putting the wrong fuel in your car. However, if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Tags: Misfuelling *Wrong_fuel *Petrol *Diesel *Educational_Article *Fuel_Drain

Written by Vineetha | 4.5 min read
10 Feb 2023