Wrong Fuel in Car - a guide

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Published: 18th May 2020
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The AA lists that each year there are 150000 cases of wrong fuel in car a year. Men and women equally likely. This problem is fast becoming one of the most widely discussed, and feared, causes of vehicle breakdown in the UK.
So what do you do if you have put the wrong fuel in car?

Firstly don’t start the vehicle. Staff in petrol stations are more than likely to have seen this happen many times. They may even help you get a push off the pumps into a parking bay! Do not start the engine or drive. Starting the engine will allow the fuel to flow through the cars system and will mean at the very least changing filters and being recovered to a garage.

Providing you haven't driven the vehicle, the second thing to do is establish if there is a company who can attend your vehicle to remove the wrong fuel without needing recovery to a garage (this will only cost you more money and time). Mobile fuel drainage services usually attend within 90 minutes. Look up wrong fuel in car or fuel drainage on your phone.Wrong fuel in car

A mobile roadside fuel drain costs on average £175.00 to £300.00.

The Removal process should take no more than 15 minutes. Once this has been achieved the vehicle will be supplied with enough fuel to re start.

A mobile fuel drain should comply with a number of stringent safety standards in order to operate on UK roads. Full details of these safety standards can be found at Autofuelfix
If you have driven with wrong fuel in car......

If you realise that you have put wrong fuel in car after you have already started the engine and driven the vehicle then unfortunately, you may have made it worse. Starting the engine allows the fuel to flow through the cars engine management system and can cause damage. The quicker you realise and act , the better for your car (and your pocket).

The main components and elements of the drivetrain that could possibly be affected are as follows:

Fuel pump
Catalytic converters
Contamination of fuel tank
Post mis-fuelling, carburettor service
Valve guides and valve seats.

So what should you do? Firstly, turn the engine off ASAP.

Then phone a fuel drainage company like AFF to attend your vehicle. They will either attempt to drain your car where it has broken down or recover it to a garage for drainage and repair. a main dealer repair will be completely comprehensive. Parts will include a new fuel tank and connecting pipes, new fuel lines, new filters, new fuel pump (sometimes there will be 2 to replace)and injectors. A local garage will normally drain and flush, however, they can also supply a new fuel filter dependent upon availability.

Recovery to a local dealer and fuel drain usually costs between £300.00 to £400.00.

Recovery to a main dealer for vehicle under warranty – £2,000.00 – £10,000.00.

Recovery to a main dealer can take up to 5 days as they will have to wait for an available slot and parts to arrive.

If the fuel misfuelling professionals who attend are able to drain the vehicle in situ, they may well offer a fuel additive. These products help to clean, lubricate and dispose of any remaining contaminated fuel left in the vehicles system. More advanced additives can also boost cetane levels increasing combustibility.

For more information on wrong fuel in car, please take a look at the comprehensive petrol in diesel and diesel in petrol guides on the AFF website.

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