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What Happens if You Put Petrol Into a Diesel Car

Putting petrol into a diesel car can have serious consequences for both your vehicle and your wallet. In the United Kingdom, where diesel cars are quite popular, it is not uncommon for people to mistakenly fill up with the wrong fuel. So, what exactly happens if you put petrol into a diesel car?

When petrol is introduced into a diesel engine, several issues arise. Petrol acts as a solvent, reducing lubrication in the fuel system. This can result in damage to the fuel pump and the injectors, which are vital components of a diesel engine. Additionally, petrol has a lower flashpoint than diesel, which means it ignites at a lower temperature. This can cause knocking and pinging in the engine, leading to damage to the cylinder walls and piston rings.

Moreover, diesel acts as a lubricant for the fuel system, and when petrol is added, it reduces this lubrication. This can lead to increased friction between metal parts, resulting in excessive wear and tear. The fuel system may also become clogged due to the different properties of petrol, which can cause a drop in engine performance and efficiency.

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If you realize you have mistakenly filled your diesel car with petrol, it is crucial to avoid starting the engine. Starting the engine will circulate the petrol throughout the fuel system, making the damage worse. Instead, call for professional help or a breakdown service to drain and flush the fuel system.


1. Is it common to put petrol into a diesel car in the UK?
Yes, it happens quite frequently in the UK due to the popularity of diesel cars.

2. Can putting petrol into a diesel car cause engine damage?
Yes, it can lead to damage to the fuel pump, injectors, cylinder walls, and piston rings.

3. What should I do if I accidentally put petrol in my diesel car?
Do not start the engine. Call for professional help or a breakdown service to drain and flush the fuel system.

4. How much will it cost to repair the damage caused by putting petrol in a diesel car?
The cost of repairs can vary depending on the extent of the damage, but it can be quite expensive.

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5. Can I drive my diesel car after mistakenly putting petrol in it?
It is strongly advised not to drive the car as it can cause further damage to the engine.

6. Will my insurance cover the costs of repairing the damage?
It depends on your insurance policy. Some may cover the repairs, while others may not.

7. How can I prevent putting petrol in a diesel car?
Be vigilant and double-check the fuel type before filling up. Additionally, using color-coded fuel nozzles can help avoid mistakes.