Thousands of motorists every year put the wrong fuel in their vehicle. The mistake which we can so easily be made is to not pay enough attention at the pump. I can be a real day dreamer sometimes, so I have to be extra careful when I stand there ready to fill up the tank. I have a car that takes diesel and a motorbike that takes unleaded, so I'm finding myself almost singing the fuel type as I enter the garage depending on what vehicle I'm using. It would be such an easy mistake, particularly when tired, or late at night. When motorists have bought a new car that takes different fuel from the previous, there is a high risk of using the wrong fuel. The main thing to remember in such an eventuality is DO NOT turn the ignition key. The moment that happens, suddenly the fuel has circulated into the engine which leads to bigger problems.
What to do if you put the wrong fuel into your tank
It is quite easy to wrongly fill petrol into a diesel, but not the other way around (unless your filling a motorbike). Diesel nozzles are bigger than petrol, therefore the diesel nozzle is more difficult to fit around a petrol neck. You should easily notice the mistake before pressing the handle.
Should you be one of those fortunate ones who realises the mistake while holding the fuel nozzle, then don't panic.
Attendants at fuel garages are quite accustomed to these kinds of errors and can often point you in the right direction. Failing that, call your local mechanic as they can easily drain out the wrong fuel in a tank if you have not turned the ignition on.
The AA, etc. are extremely expensive; they have been known to quote £1200 plus; this is nearly ten times other specialist quotes. Do not fret though, there are others who can help you out within minutes, and do not charge the earth. Be sure to contact your insurance too as more and more policies are covering this problem as this comes under 'accidental damage'. You can also check out Fuel Doctor, Fuel Drainer, Wrong Fuel UK and Auto Fuel Fix, etc. and of course check your local area. These kind of companies often have a nationwide service and have been known to give an estimated call out time of twenty minutes.
Once you realized your mistake do not panic as you may do something silly like turn the engine on to check if it's ok. Turning the ignition on after putting the wrong fuel in your car can seriously damage the car. Furthermore, it could cost you a lot of money in repairs depending how deep the fuel circulated into the system.
Should you be one of those unfortunate ones who drives off after adding the wrong fuel, then it will not be long before your car starts chugging. Pull over into a safe place, switch the engine off and call for help. You may find in this situation the car will more than likely need to be towed away as it will have incurred damage to the engine and other parts. Those infected parts will need cleaning, or maybe even replacing.
Have you got any tips for us on filling up with the wrong fuel?