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RAC

Petrol in a diesel car

If you have put petrol in a diesel car, then you need to act quickly.  Putting the wrong fuel into your vehicle can cause havoc to your journey and potentially cause extensive damage to your car engine.

But don’t worry, it’s a common mistake to make, occurring on average every 3 minutes in the UK with roughly 150,000 motorists filling their tank with the wrong fuel every year. So you’re not alone!

If you put petrol in a diesel car, the most important thing to remember is not to try to start your car. Starting your engine will circulate the mixed fuel around your engine, which can cause more damage.

What to do if you’ve put petrol in a diesel car?

If you’ve already put the wrong fuel in your car and are looking for immediate assistance, the RAC can help.

Remember - do not switch on your ignition. You want to make sure that the fuel is drained as quickly as possible so that you can be on your way.

If you need our Wrong Fuel Recovery Service, call us on 0800 051 7845 so that we can come and drain the fuel and flush your engine.

What happens if you put petrol in a diesel car?

Putting petrol in your diesel car will damage your fuel pump if not dealt with immediately. In diesel cars, the main fuel pump uses the diesel fuel flowing through it for lubrication. However, when you put petrol fuel in, the mix of petrol in diesel acts as a solvent, reducing lubrication and quickly causing damage to the pump as the metal parts come into contact and rub together. Other parts of the fuel system which might not be compatible with petrol, can also be damaged.

Switching on your car’s ignition will circulate this mix of petrol in diesel through your fuel system, causing further contamination to other components..

Ultimately, if left for too long this could mean that the entire fuel system requires costly repairs, or replacing completely!  

Call the RAC Fuel Patrol on 0800 051 7845.


Breakdown cover provided by RAC Motoring Services (Registered No 01424399) and RAC Insurance Ltd (Registered No 2355834). Registered in England; Registered Offices: RAC House, Brockhurst Crescent, Walsall WS5 4AW. Arranged, sold and administered by RAC Motoring Services who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of insurance mediation activities only. RAC Insurance Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

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