What Happens When You Put Diesel in a Petrol Car?

consequences of putting diesel in a petrol car

Petrol and diesel are the two types of most commonly used automotive fuels in the UAE. They have very different chemical compositions and cannot replace each other. The type of fuel used in a car helps the engine perform and impacts its longevity, preventing wear and tear. Owing to all these performance and longevity-related factors, a car should always be run on the correct fuel. 

That said, what happens when someone accidentally puts diesel in a petrol car or vice versa? To find out, let’s understand the consequences and precautions to take in case of incorrect refuelling.

Whether you have filled diesel in a petrol car or vice versa, the consequences can be pretty serious. If the mistake isn’t rectified timely, it can lead to engine damage. Let’s find out more about the two misfuelling scenarios.

The very first thing to avoid misfuelling is noticing the size of the nozzle. The nozzle of a car’s petrol tank is noticeably smaller than a diesel dispenser’s nozzle. Nevertheless, in case a petrol car gets filled with diesel, the chances of mechanical damage start building up. Petrol is a much more refined form of fuel than diesel. It is ignited by a chain of reactions in spark plugs. 

If a petrol car is started with the wrong fuel in its tank, it can clog spark plugs and the fuel system. The fuel filters that are not meant for diesel’s greasy properties will be among the first few parts to be affected. Misfueling can also lead to car engine misfires. Misfiring is often followed by a heavy amount of discoloured car exhaust smoke, which can be a critical sign of engine damage.

Unlike petrol engine functioning, diesel engines work by compressing the fuel to ignite. The fuel is then pushed in to lubricate the critical internal components of a car’s engine compartment. However, in case of misfuelling, the problem starts here. If petrol is circulated throughout the integral parts of the diesel engine, it would be hard to get rid of it.

Since petrol has less viscosity and different chemical properties than diesel, the car’s performance becomes unstable. The most concerning part is that it takes time to show misfuelling signs in diesel cars. Consequently, by that time, black smoke would probably start blowing out through the car’s exhaust system, while its movement gets sluggishly.

It is important to handle the wrong fuel in car consequences with extreme care to prevent diesel contamination in a petrol car and vice versa. Here’s what you can do, depending on the misfuelling situation.

The sooner the misfuelling mistake is realised, the better. Watch out for these symptoms of putting the wrong fuel in a car

If diesel is mistakenly added to a petrol car, it can lead to engine damage. Diesel, being less refined, can clog spark plugs and fuel filters while causing engine misfires. The visible sign of these problems is discoloured exhaust smoke.

When petrol is added to a diesel car, the lighter viscosity of petrol can lead to unstable performance. Signs may not be immediately apparent, but over time, the engine may produce black smoke and the vehicle’s movement can become sluggish.

The answer is a definitive ‘no’. A diesel car should not be driven with petrol in its tank. It can cause severe damage to the car’s mechanical internals.

The repairing cost of a misfuelled car may depend on its make and model, as well as the intensity of the damage. To get an estimate, you can head over to these popular car garages in Dubai or your respective emirate.

These were some of the potential misfuelling scenarios, entailing problems and their quick solutions. To avoid such costly mistakes, make sure to be aware of the common car fuel myths. 

Whether you are looking for a new or a used car for sale in the UAE, beware of its fueling, oiling and fluid requirements. Refer to the car owner’s manual for all the necessary instructions.

For more tips on draining diesel from a petrol car and other mechanical problems, stay connected to the dubizzle auto blog.

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