What To Do When You Accidentally Fill Your Gas Tank with Diesel Fuel

Gasoline in a diesel tank or diesel in a gasoline tank; either way it’s not great news. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to deal with using the wrong fuel.

What To Do When You Accidentally Fill Your Gas Tank with Diesel Fuel Photo: Syda Productions/ShutterStock

Filling your gas tank with the wrong kind of fuel can cause serious damage to your engine. No need to panic, however; just follow these four simple steps from Ingenie Canada, a telematics based auto insurance provider for Ontario drivers aged 16 to 24.

If you HAVE NOT started the engine:

1. Don’t start the engine.

2. Tell a gas station attendant what’s happened.

3. Ask someone to help you push your car out of the way.

4. Call a towing company so they can tow your car to a mechanic who will drain the fuel.

If the fuel hasn’t been drawn into the engine, you may get away with no damage at all.

If you HAVE started the engine:

Don’t start it again unless you have to, such as you are in an unsafe position and have no one to help you push your car. Things may be more difficult if you’ve driven the car, as the wrong fuel can damage your engine if it’s drawn through the system.

1. Make sure you’re parked in a safe place.

2. Make sure your ignition is off.

3. Call your mechanic and the towing company.

4. Call your insurer.

A mechanic will need to drain your tank of fuel and you’ll probably need the filter replaced to protect your engine.

How it will affect your insurance:

Filling up with the wrong fuel is classed as accidental damage with a comprehensive insurance policy. However, you need to check with your insurer whether they’ll cover roadside assistance and fuel removal.

Additional information and tips on running a car can be found at www.ingenie.ca.

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