Wrong Fueling Nozzle: What to Do If the Wrong Fuel Got Into the Tank

This mistake is not very frequent, but such things happen.

And, if you know what to do, it is not as fatal as it is commonly believed.

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There are many reasons why the fuel in your car's tank may not be the right one: from the banal fatigue when you put the wrong nozzle in the tank and confirmed refueling at the checkout, or from the mistake of a gas jockey to the situation when you changed the car and did not have time to get used to the new fuel. Whatever the reason for this mistake is, the main thing is not to panic and act with a cold head, so as not to aggravate the situation.

If a gas station attendant made a mistake

It is the simplest situation that will only cost you time. Large-scale gas stations value their reputation, so companies will take care of their employee's mistake — you will not have to pay for the delivery of your car to the service center and its repair, because the fault for what happened is not on you. The main thing is to detect the problem before you start the engine.

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If you made a mistake

It is difficult (but possible) to fill a petrol car with diesel fuel or to fill the tank of a diesel car with gas. First of all, you should be aware of the fact that you cannot put a nozzle into the tank from the first time (diesel fueling nozzles are larger in diameter than petrol ones). But if you still managed to refuel your car “incorrectly”, then do not start the engine.

You need to call a tow truck and deliver your car to the service center if you used the wrong fuel. Specialists will empty and wash the tank of your car, clean its fuel system and replace fuel filters. Yes, you will lose some free time and fork out a huge amount of money, but serious and expensive repairs will be avoided.

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If there was a small amount of fuel left in the tank and you managed to start your car, and then it stalled due to the fact that petrol began to flow into the diesel engine and vice versa, then this is a bad sign. Washing a fuel system and a tank, when the engine was running on the wrong fuel for not too long, can be enough. But if the engine has managed to work on something that it should not work on, this can result in expensive and lengthy repairs — it is easy to get rid of the entire fuel system and even to replace the electronics that control the engine.

In any case, the advice is the same: if you suspect that you made a mistake with fuel, do not start your car. Study the receipt from the gas station to make sure what you have refueled. And if your worst fears are confirmed, call a tow truck, but do not try to get to the service center on your own.

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If the wrong grade of gasoline is filled in

Another common mistake is when petrol car owners fill the wrong grade of fuel that is not specified in the car documentation, for example 95 RON instead of 92 RON or 95 RON instead of 98 RON. In fact, such thing does not pose any threat to the engine. Yes, a manufacturer sets the most suitable octane fuel for its cars, but an engine will work on another type of gasoline too. There may be a loss in power or an increase in consumption, but no fatal problem will occur. Modern engines are smart enough to adjust to gasoline with different octane numbers, avoiding detonation, so you can safely drive away on the conditionally «wrong» fuel for your car, then fill up the usual grade and do not know any problems.

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