Warning: You are using an outdated Browser, Please switch to a more modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

  

 What to do if you put the wrong fuel in your car

 

Putting the wrong fuel in your car can be frustrating, but it does happen for a number of reasons. However, it is important for you to know what steps to take should you mistakenly put the wrong fuel in your car, as this can be very damaging to your vehicle and potentially void the warranty, subject to the terms and conditions.

 

Here at Allianz Assistance, we want to make sure you’re prepared for many circumstances to do with your car. Find out what to do if you put the wrong fuel in your car below.

Do not put your key in the ignition or start your engine
If you discover that you have put the incorrect fuel in your engine, it is important that you don't turn your engine on because it can cause damage to the engine and fuel system, which is costly to fix. 

If you realise that you have put the incorrect fuel in your car before you drive away, here are the steps you should take to get it fixed:

1. Speak to the petrol station
Letting the petrol station know about the situation will enable them to assist you if you need it.

2. Push your car to a safe location
Put your car in neutral
and push it to a safe location where it can be looked at easily. At the petrol station, there are often car parking spaces or space available to side of the pumps for you to push your car. Be sure to ask for help when pushing your car to avoid any strain or injury.

Many new vehicles will use an electric park brake, which will not switch off without the ignition being switched on. The same point applies for Automatic cars being put into neutral.

3. Call your insurance provider
Your insurance provider should be called immediately, as they may be able to assist you in accordance with your cover level. If your insurance provider doesn’t cover this cost, you should contact your roadside assistance provider for help. However, you may be responsible for the cost of draining, flushing, and refilling your tank.

4. Call your breakdown cover provider
The breakdown cover team (if you have this cover) will be able to help you to drain your fuel tank and fix the problem. However, you may be responsible for the cost of draining, flushing, and refilling your tank.

If you have already driven or turned on your engine after filling up with the incorrect fuel, it can be trickier to fix. However, follow the steps below if this happens to you.

Stop driving and turn off your car
Do not panic in this scenario, simply pull over to a safe place and turn off the engine as soon as possible. 

Put your car in neutral or neutral/park if automatic

Call your insurance provider 
Call your insurance provider as soon as possible, as they may be able to assist you in accordance with your cover level. If your insurance provider doesn’t cover this cost, you should contact your roadside assistance provider for help. However, you may be responsible for the cost of draining, flushing, and refilling your tank.

Call your breakdown cover provider
The breakdown cover provider (if you have this cover) will be able to help with draining and flushing the fuel system, making it clean enough to run safely again. If you do not have this cover, you will have to organise to get your car transported to a repairer who can assist you with fixing your car, and you will have to cover the cost of this. Each manufacturer will have a specific process when repairing wrongly fueled vechiles that have been driven.

How to recognise when you have used the wrong fuel

If you think you have put in the wrong fuel but you aren’t sure, here are some things to look out for:

If you have used petrol in a diesel car you can expect:

·        Loud knocking/banging when you accelerate

·        Smoke coming from the exhaust

·        Loss of power when accelerating and the engine cutting out

·        Warning lights on your dashboard

·        Your car’s engine not starting

If you have used diesel in a petrol car you can expect:

·        Smoke coming from the exhaust

·        Engine misfiring

·        Your car’s engine not starting 

  •         Loss of power when accelerating and the engine cutting out

Check the labels: Sometimes people put the incorrect fuel in because they haven’t checked the labels on the fuel pumps properly. Make sure you look at the labels properly before refuelling your car, the pump hose is black for Diesel and green for Petrol. You can also check the label inside the fuel flap or the owner’s manual will provide fuelling information.

Place reminders: Putting a sticker with the correct fuel label on your petrol cap will help to remind you which to use.

Add a fuel cap: Fuel caps will make it impossible for you to use the incorrect fuel in your vehicle. You can purchase one of these online, but you must use the correct one for the make and model of your car.

It is important for you to feel protected when you are driving your car, that’s why we offer comprehensive breakdown coverage to help to keep you on the road. Browse our policies here.