19 Aug 2022

Warning: AA on what to do if you fill your car with the wrong fuel

Warning: AA  on what to do if you fill your car with the wrong fuel

Do you know what to do if you accidentally put the wrong fuel into your car? 

The event is a common enough one, and there are steps you can take to minimise the damage, if you have absent mindedly pumped the wrong fuel into your car.

According to the AA, this year so far (October 2021) – they  have been called out to almost 870 motorists (compared to 1,093 for the same period in 2019 and 756 for the same period in 2020 – at the height of COVID restrictions) who have accidentally put petrol into a diesel car, or diesel into a petrol car.

While you might think that it is catastrophic, it doesn't have to be if you follow the right steps. 

In a blog by the AA,  Vijay Gangarh, Patrol Supervisor with The AA advises what you can do if you find yourself in this situation. “Should you realise that you have put the wrong fuel into your car, the first thing to do is not to start your vehicle, get the vehicle pushed away from the fuel pump and call us for assistance.” 

“AA will drain the fuel out of your car, put an additive in to clean the fuel system and then we will refill your vehicle with the correct fuel and make sure it is all running ok,” says Vijay. 

Not driving the car is particularly important after you have put the wrong fuel in, to prevent damage occurring.

“If you haven’t driven the car, there is normally no damage, but if you have driven your car, there could be some damage, further down the line in the fuel pump, so we would recommend you get the vehicle checked at your garage, get the fuel filter changed and get them to do a final check, make sure the vehicle is running ok and everything else is reading ok, with the sensors,” adds Vijay. 

He added that putting petrol into a diesel car is worse.

"Diesel fuel acts as a lubricant for the fuel pump, so if you petrol in it washes away the lubricant in the fuel pump and you can be looking at thousands in repairs if you have to replace the fuel pump. Diesel into petrol is not good, it can still do damage – either way, it isn’t good,” he explained. 

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