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What to do if you put petrol in the tank of a diesel engine?

February 24, 2017

What to do if you put petrol in the tank of a diesel engine?

Do Not Turn On The Ignition.

Diesel is heavier than petrol, and much more oily.  It needs pressure to be ignited and does not evaporate as petrol does.  What happens after putting diesel on a tank is, diesel sank and injectors feed the engine a load of diesel.  When you try to ignite the engine, spark plugs won’t be able to fire the diesel and the engine won’t start.

To fix the issue, draining the tank and filling it again with petrol, cleaning the injectors and finally cranking the engine to throw up the unwanted diesel would suffice.  If fuel has entered the fuel lines it would be advisable to replace the fuel filter also just to be on the safe side.

Please do not start the engine or turn on the ignition as this will push the alien fuel through the system.

If this happens contact Baldoyle Auto Centre or your local mechanic and tell them the exact quantities and circumstances involved.  If it’s only a small amount, they may reckon you will get away wit it but please be aware every case is different. The age and condition of the car, engine etc are crucial factors.

If it was a good few litres you will almost certainly have to get it drained – you have to balance the potential high cost of damage/repairs against the lesser price of draining the tank and flushing the system

The danger with petrol in diesel i that it reduces lubrication that can increase damage to the pump and injectors because you have more metal to metal contact.

Reminder no matter what do not turn on the ignition until you get advice from a mechanic that will give you time and expertise before any harm is done.

If you need advise we can be contacted at 018321045 and our workshop is based inside Baldoyle Industrial Estate in Dublin

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