Whether you’re a new driver or you’ve had your license for 20 years, these mistakes can happen! A momentary lapse of attention and a mix-up at the fuel pump, and before you know it, you’ve put the wrong fuel in your car. It’s a frustrating situation that can leave you feeling confused and worried about potential damage to your vehicle. However, it’s crucial to remain calm and take the right steps to address the issue promptly to avoid any hazards or serious damage.

In this blog post, we will guide you through the necessary actions to take when putting the wrong fuel in your vehicle, from preventing further damage to seeking professional assistance. Here is a selection of crucial steps you need to take when faced with the challenge of the wrong fuel type! 

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What happens if you put the wrong fuel in your car?

Putting the incorrect fuel in your car could be more than just an inconvenient mistake; it can have severe consequences for both your vehicle and your wallet if not handled correctly and quickly. This action can lead to a chain of events that may result in costly repairs and potential long-term damage so isn’t something to ponder or disregard. 

Here are some of the primary issues associated with incorrect fuel use. 

  • Engine Damage: Different types of engines require specific fuel compositions to operate efficiently. Using the wrong fuel can cause significant damage to your engine. 
  • Fuel System Difficulties: Inserting the wrong fuel can clog the fuel filters, injectors, and other delicate components. 
  • Reduced Fuel Efficiency: The engine may not be able to adequately combust the fuel, resulting in insufficient combustion and wasted energy. This can then lead to increased fuel consumption, reduced mileage, and higher expenses.
  • Stalling and breakdowns: If you’ve put the wrong fuel in your car, you may experience stalling or sudden breakdowns while driving as the engine will struggle to operate correctly.
  • Costly repairs: Repairing the damage caused by using the wrong fuel can be costly and could lead to even more issues in the future.
  • Safety risks: In some cases, using the wrong fuel can pose safety risks to both you as a driver and those around you. If the engine malfunctions unexpectedly, this can increase the likelihood of accidents or hazardous driving. 
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Step-by-step guide for using the wrong fuel type

  1. Do not start the engine: Starting the engine can cause the fuel to circulate throughout the system and potentially cause more damage as it will be the wrong type.
  1. Stay calm and assess the situation: If you panic, you might do something which makes the situation worse but it is also important to address the issue promptly. The first thing to consider is to determine the type of fuel you’ve put in your car and whether it’s gasoline in a diesel vehicle or vice versa.
  1. Do not drive the car: Driving your vehicle can lead to serious damage, especially if you’ve put diesel fuel in a gasoline car. It’s essential to avoid further complications and potential breakdowns. Stay put and work out your options.
  1. Seek professional help: If you’re on the road or at home, call a roadside assistance service or a tow truck to transport your vehicle to a nearby mechanic or fuel station. These professionals will have the expertise and proper equipment to deal with fuel-related issues.
  1. Drain the fuel tank: Depending on the situation, the mechanic may need to drain the fuel tank to remove the incorrect fuel. This process involves removing the fuel from the tank, flushing it, and ensuring there is no residue left inside the vehicle.
  1. Clean the fuel system: After draining the fuel tank, the mechanic will need to clean the fuel system, including the fuel lines, filters, and injectors, to remove any traces of the wrong fuel and make sure it can’t get mixed up in any new fuel. This step ensures that the correct fuel can flow smoothly through the system and avoid potential damage.
  1. Refill with the correct fuel: Once the fuel system has been emptied and cleaned, it’s safe to go ahead with the correct fuel!
  1. Inspect for additional damage: Before setting off, the mechanic should inspect your vehicle thoroughly to check for any potential damage and also address any necessary repairs if required. 

Automotive Consumables by Filter Services

Whether you’re a single driver looking for a new car battery or need a new set of filters for your set of HGV vehicles, we have a range of consumables for all purposes, models and users.

We also sell a huge range of automotive filters for all kinds of vehicles. With some of the world’s leading brands, like Baldwin, Mann filters, Donaldson, Fleetguard, HiFi and more on offer, we’re sure we’ve got something to suit your needs (and if not, we’ll get it for you).

Call us today on 01246 802 822 and we’ll be glad to help!