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If you’ve put the wrong fuel in your car, whether it’s because you’re driving one you’ve not used before, the petrol pumps weren’t clearly marked or you just had a blonde moment, the chances are you’ve done it at precisely the wrong time.
Although you can’t magically go back in time and undo what you’ve done, there are a few steps you can take to prevent the damage from worsening further. To prepare you for such awful times, we’ve put together a short guide of advice for you to follow.
Whatever you do, do not turn on your engine
When you’ve put the wrong fuel in your car, the likelihood of your engine losing power is high. Previous experiences tell us that it is common for people not to actually realise that they’ve put the wrong fuel in their car until they have pulled away from the petrol station, in which case all you can do is stop and call for assistance.
Nevertheless, if you’ve managed to realise what you’ve done before the engine is turned on again, you’re in luck and could save yourself both time and money. This is due to the fact that once you turn the engine on, the fuel is draw up into the system and therefore has the ability to damage the engine further. By not switching your engine on, you make the repair process far easier and cheaper.
Check the amount of wrong fuel in the tank
Calculating how much wrong fuel you have put in can help you work out the amount of damage that has been done. If you realise the mistake early on, you may be able to get away without calling for breakdown assistance, though it is always advised that you do drain the wrong fuel from your tank before turning the engine on.
A good way of telling if you need to call for assistance is to work out how much was actually pumped in. If this turns out to be less than 10% of the overall tank capacity, you should be able to simply top up with the correct fuel and drive away without causing damage. Nevertheless, failing to calculate this correctly and still driving away could land you some hefty bills, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Call for breakdown or repairs assistance
Calling for a breakdown or repair service to come and save the day is a bright idea. Unless you’re well-versed in car mechanics, you’ll need to seek a professional who can get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Depending on the amount of damage done to the car, your car may need to be transported to a garage to be repaired and fixed with ease. This can be done on the road-side, but often workers prefer to carry out such duties in a more efficient environment.
Filling your tank up with the wrong fuel is extremely common, so if this does ever happen to you be sure to keep calm, switch your engine off and head straight to the professionals!