Putting the wrong type of fuel in your vehicle is more common than you think. First off, it’s very embarrassing and second, it can obviously damage your engine. But fear not, because if you have accidentally put the wrong fuel in your car, you are not alone.
Every year, there are at least 150,000 drivers who put wrong fuel in their car. Using a new vehicle or being distracted when filling up are just few of the reasons why this happens. Anderson Behel, the best body shop in Silicon Valley gives you tips to overcome this.
Diesel fuel pumps work on very fine tolerances and at very high pressures while being lubricated by fuel. Most modern systems run at between 350 and 1600 bar. Petrol in the diesel acts as a solvent that reduces lubrication. This can cause damage to the pump by metal to metal contact. The damaged pump produced metal particles which can be deposited in the fuel. This causes more damage to the rest of the car’s fuel system. There are some fuel system seals that are also affected by petrol compounds. The further the contaminated fuel goes in the system, the more expensive car repair can be. In fact, is may even be cheaper to fit a new engine.
Common rail diesel engines or HDi are highly vulnerable. If the contaminated fuel gets as far as the common rail system, the low and high-pressure fuel pumps, injectors, fuel rail, line filters and fuel tank will definitely need replacement. The gasoline direct injection petrol engines or GDI are also prone to damage too. A lot of cars have low pressure electric pump in the tank. This starts to work immediately as the ignition is switched on and will start circulating the contaminated fuel through the pump and rail. If you find your car filled with the wrong type of fuel, never turn on the ignition or start your engine. This is to avoid circulating the contaminated fuel that leads to damage.
For diesel cars with petrol, the wrong fuel must be removed from the tank and replaced with clean fuel before attempting to start the car. For petrol cars with diesel, same advice should be followed. This scenario is less common for modern cars because the standard diesel nozzle is bigger than the filler neck.