Contact Information

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G.W. Dale Ltd
139 Newcastle Street
Stoke on Trent

Phone: +44 (0) 1782 837 665
Fax: +44 (0) 1782 839 550

Putting Petrol in a diesel car

petrol pump

Don't turn on the ignition or start the engine

If you have just accidentally put the wrong fuel in your car you're not alone. At least 150,000 drivers put the wrong fuel in their car every year. That's one every three and a half minutes. Modern diesels are so quiet it's easy to forget you're driving one, particularly if it's a second family car or hire car.

If you've put the wrong fuel in your car, don't turn on the ignition or start the engine as this will circulate the contaminated fuel and increase the risk of expensive damage.

Potential damage

Diesel fuel pumps operate on very fine tolerances and are lubricated by the fuel. Petrol in diesel acts as a solvent, reducing lubrication, and can cause damage to the pump through metal to metal contact.

Some fuel system seals can be affected by the compounds in petrol too.

The further the contaminated petrol goes in the system the more expensive the repair. In some cases it can be cheaper to fit a new engine!

Common rail (or HDi) diesel engines are particularly vulnerable – if fuel contaminated by pump wear debris gets as far as the common rail system you may have to replace the low and high-pressure fuel pumps, injectors, fuel rail, line filters and the fuel tank.

Many cars have a low-pressure electric pump in the tank which starts to work as soon as the ignition is switched on, circulating contaminated fuel through the pump and rail, so it's important not to turn the ignition on.

Don't worry

We can drain the fuel system, renew the fuel filters and dispose legally of the contaminated fuel for you, if you have run the car we can also check the car to see if any other damage has been caused to the fuel system such as to the fuel pump or system seals.