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Confusion at the Gas Pump

Would you know what to do if you put the wrong gas into your tank? Let’s look at what you need to do if you make this mistake at the gas pump.

According to an article at, “Putting the Wrong Fuel into the Gas Pump”

“Today’s gas pumps are a potentially confusing array of names, colors and alphanumeric symbols. Gasoline comes in five or more varieties, and that doesn’t account for diesel. Mix them up and the results may range from a ruined engine to corroded fuel lines to “no harm, no foul.” In my opinion, this is the worst mix-up: Filling a diesel-engine vehicle with gasoline. It’s going to be either expensive or extremely expensive.

Gasoline into A Diesel Engine

“If you notice (that you’ve filled a diesel car with gasoline) before starting the engine, you just have to clean the whole system,” said Jim Gill, head of product and technology public relations communications for Volkswagen. “This primarily entails draining the fuel tank and refilling with correct diesel fuel.”

But if you do realize that you’ve put gasoline into your diesel engine, don’t drive it or your engine may suffer serious damage. You’ll need it towed to a professional mechanic or dealership that can flush the system properly.

“If you notice (that you put gas in a diesel engine) after you started the engine, then catastrophic failure of the injection pump, the injectors, and finally the whole engine will likely occur,” continued Gill. “Nobody really can tell you when that will happen. But it is not a long time or distance.”

Of course, there are technical reasons gasoline can be fatal for a diesel engine, and a gasoline engine won’t run on pure diesel. First the petroleum refining process (creation of gasoline) results in products that have progressively higher boiling points. Gasoline boils somewhere between approximately 105 and 410 degrees Fahrenheit, while diesel boils around approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit to 650 degrees Farenheit, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.” To read the entire article click here.

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