What Happens If You Put Diesel in a Gas Car?
Diesel fuel and gasoline are two distinct types of fuel, and they’re not interchangeable. If you put diesel fuel in a gasoline engine, you could cause serious damage. Depending on the severity of the error, you may have difficulty getting an engine to start or run again after an attempted fill-up with diesel.
What Are the Risks of Putting Diesel in a Gas Car?
Using the wrong fuel in a car can cause serious damage and even lead to unusable engines. Some of the potential problems caused by putting diesel fuel into a gasoline engine include:
- Motor Malfunctions: In some cases, diesel fuel can lead to a clogged catalytic converter or fuel injector, resulting in reduced fuel efficiency. It can also damage sensitive engine components, leading to expensive repairs.
- Ineffective Starting: Different properties in gasoline and diesel fuel can prevent a gasoline engine from starting effectively when diesel fuel is used. In extreme cases, this may cause permanent engine damage.
- Fuel Incompatibility: The attempt to use diesel fuel in a gasoline engine can cause vehicle parts to become clogged due to fuel incompatibility. Engine components that become blocked can cause permanent damage.
How to Fix a Car That’s Been Filled with Diesel
If you’ve used diesel fuel in a car with a gasoline engine, the first thing to do is stop using the car until it can be serviced. Additional damage could occur if you continue to operate the vehicle as normal. It’s also important to avoid starting the engine, since any attempts to get the car running can increase the damage it has sustained.
In order to repair the engine, mechanics will typically need to start by draining it of any remaining diesel fuel. This can be a lengthy process, as many tanks have to be emptied and flushed before the tank is free of all diesel fuel. After that, the fuel filter must be replaced and possibly other engine components. It can take several hours or longer to get the car running again, depending on the severity of the damage caused by the diesel fuel.
How to Avoid Mistakes with Car Fuel
Often, mistakes with car fuel occur simply because drivers aren’t paying attention at the gas station. To avoid filling a car with the wrong type of fuel, it’s important to make sure you’re selecting the appropriate fuel pump when refueling. Additionally, take a moment to look at the pump’s handle more closely; most are labeled with the type of fuel that is being dispensed.
Vehicle owners should also keep a close eye on their vehicles and act if anything seems out of the ordinary. If a car appears to be using more fuel than expected or giving unusual performance, it could be an indication that diesel fuel was used instead of gasoline.
In the end, mistakes happen and putting diesel in a car designed for gasoline is something that can easily occur. Taking the right steps to immediately address the mistake, however, can help reduce the risk associated with it.