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How to Manage Petrol in a Diesel Car Catastrophe

Written By: admin on June 21, 2013 No Comment


As friends or family of young children, we all know how adorable to watch confused kids try to put a square peg in a round hole. It truly is amazing to watch how they develop as they grow up, and see them discover how to match the right shape with the right hole.

Unfortunately, when we reach adulthood, this fact doesn't stay with us 100% of the time. It has a particular tendency to exit our minds at the pumps of a petrol station, when we fill up our diesel car with petrol. Here's what to do when managing that exact catastrophe.

An Easy Mistake?

Although it might seem a silly thing to do, many drivers forget that they drive a diesel motor. Most diesel engines drive so smoothly and quietly today that it's not uncommon to slip back into petrol mode. This is especially the case since there are more diesels on the road than there used to be and most mistakes come from drivers who have switched.

Making sure you make the right decisions with your petrol is important.

Image source: http://farm1.staticflickr.com/5/6041716_1645ce2ff3.jpg


The first thing to do in the petrol catastrophe is not to panic. Stop kicking yourself and getting into a fluster; if you're worrying about the 'wasted' money in fuel that you just put into your engine, then you've got your focus all wrong. What you should be worrying about is the damage it could be doing to your car while your mind is wandering. Proceed quickly to the next step!

Stop Before You Start

The most important thing to do as soon as you realise is to stop petrol flowing through your car's internals. Basically, don't start the ignition. If you realise while you're still at the pump, then damage should be minimal as it hasn't worked its way through the system yet. Diesel engines can handle a small amount of petrol, so if you've added less than 10% of petrol then you need to fill the rest with diesel and you should be ok to carry on as normal. You should still get your car checked out by a professional as soon as you can though, and make sure things are running ok. If it's more than 10% then don't even consider making a move, your tank needs draining!

If you're already on the road when you realise then things could be a little bit more difficult. However don't panic if you have put petrol in a diesel car, just pull over in a safe place and turn off your engine. You can either opt for a rubber tube and a foul taste in your mouth, or try the safer option of making a phone call. This brings us on to step 3…


Picking the right petrol in the first place will save you a lot of hassle.

Image source: http://farm1.staticflickr.com/7/11650960_21d0bd7623.jpg

Phone a Friend

D.I.Y is great, but as far as your car is concerned it's probably not the best option unless you're a mechanic by trade. The right tools for the job are only a quick call away, so the good news is that you could be back on the road and damage-free within the hour. There are dedicated teams and companies that specialise in mis-fuelling; they will help assess any damage, advise you on the proper action to take next, as well as drain/re-fill your car. The important thing is patience; sit tight once you've called in the pros, and deploy your safety signals if necessary. Make sure you've got that lucky telephone number on hand; you never know when you might need it!


Most car owners would agree that they couldn't manage their schedules and lifestyles without the luxury and benefits that a car brings. But your invaluable vehicle needn't be out of action for long if you opt for the right plan of attack. Knowing these little tips will help you do your part, and let the experts take care of the rest. Don't end up paying through the teeth for a new engine, parts or even a complete new set of wheels. Stop a car catastrophe before it starts; make the right call the next time you find yourself facing a petrol/diesel disaster.


Image credits: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ and Nedrichards

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