It may seem impossible to make that mistake but it happens to an estimated 150,000 motorists every year. All it takes is a momentary lapse in concentration, or driving a different car than usual and before you know it you have put the wrong fuel in your car whilst at the petrol station forecourt. We share with your our top tips on what to do should this occur.
Don’t start your engine
Possibly the most important thing to do if you put the wrong fuel in your car is to not start the engine. Damage could be limited if you spot your mistake early and not starting your engine, it means flushing out the wrong fuel is a much simpler task as it hasn’t be pushed round your engine by starting the car! Inform the filling station attendants immediately, they may ask you to move your car, push it to a safe spot, without starting the engine. Then give your breakdown service a call, they should be able to drain the tank and within half an hour you should be able to fill again, with the right fuel this time, and you can be on your way. Hopefully a little wiser the next time you fill up your car!
What if I have already driven the car away?
You may be so preoccupied with something else that you only realise your fuelling mistake when your engine begins to splutter and stall a few miles away from the petrol station. Don’t panic, pull over to a safe place and call your breakdown service or misfuelling recovery experts. Petrol in a diesel car can cause very expensive damage even after driving a few short miles, so be prepared for an expensive repair bill. If you haven’t driven too many miles the misfuelling recovery team may still be able to flush the engine and remove the fuel, they will be able to advise you of the damage once they arrive.
Our top tips on avoiding misfuelling
If you drive more than one car then make sure you always take note of the fuel type before arriving at the petrol station, stick a little note somewhere on your dashboard to remind you
Don’t rely on the colour of the nozzle, check the label on the pump to make sure you are picking up the correct fuel
If you drive a diesel car and are worried about misfuelling then you can buy a small device that fits onto your fuel cap, preventing you from filling up with petrol rather than diesel!