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Misfuelling in Car and its Impact


Written by Amit Jain

Updated Oct 16, 2023

Misfuelling in Car and its Impact

Can we work efficiently without nurturing ourselves with food and water? The answer is no. Food and water fuel the human body to function at its highest potential. Similarly, petrol and diesel are two fuel types used for operating vehicles. You visit petroleum centres to fuel your vehicle for a smooth and seamless driving experience. However, human errors are common, which means sometimes your car can be wrongly fuelled and lead to some severe consequences. Read on to know about misfuelling in cars and its impact in detail! 

Misfuelling in Car and its Impact

Cases of Wrong Fuel in Cars and their Consequences

As mentioned above, petrol and diesel are two types of fuel that are used in cars. During a fuelling session, the attendant may either fuel your diesel car with petrol or vice versa. Let’s understand both cases in detail! 

  • Fuelling Diesel in Petrol Car: 

The nozzle of a petrol car tank is smaller than that of a diesel car tank. Therefore, the chances of misfuelling are limited. However, if diesel is fuelled in a gasoline tank, a spark may occur in the spark plugs, and the diesel will clog the fuel system. Therefore, the fuel filter is one of the primary parts to get affected because of the wrong fuelling. 

  • Fuelling Petrol in Diesel Car: 

Wrongly fuelling gasoline in diesel cars is definitely a disaster, as it could damage the engine of your car. Diesel engines, in contrast to petrol vehicles, compress the fuel before ignition and force it into the engine’s internal workings to lubricate them. Thus, the problem begins when it becomes hard to get rid of petrol flowing through the integral parts of the diesel engine. The lubricating ability of diesel is necessary for the fuel injection pump to operate properly. Thus, the performance of the vehicle becomes unstable as petrol cannot perform this function. 

What Should You Do If Your Car Is Fuelled Wrongly? 

Here are the steps that you can follow if your car is fuelled incorrectly in any case. 

  • Fuelling Diesel in Petrol Car: 

If you have filled your petrol car with diesel, you should follow the steps outlined below. 

  • Realising during fuelling: 

You can fill the remaining fuel in your car’s tank with petrol and continue driving if the tank’s capacity is less than 5% filled with diesel. There would be no problems in this situation because diesel and gasoline mix well. Furthermore, it is advised to completely drain the diesel to prevent contamination. 

  • Realising after fuelling: 

You can still control the situation in which the tank’s capacity is filled by more than 5% with diesel. All you have to do is visit the nearest car service centre to drain the diesel completely. However, while doing so, make sure that the engine does not crank. You can refill your car with petrol once all the fuel is completely drained. 

  • Ignited engine of the car:

Turn off the engine as soon as you realise that the wrong fuelling was done. Drain the fuel tank and thoroughly flush the tank. After this, you can fuel the tank again with petrol and drive your vehicle without any hassle. 

  • After driving the car for some time: 

Once you realise the car is wrongly fuelled, turn off the engine and look for roadside assistance. You can also call a towing service to tow your vehicle to the nearest service  centre. Get the tank and fuel lines in your car flushed to get rid of any remaining contaminated fuel. After this, you can refill your car with petrol and drive without any obstacles. However, it is recommended to get the fuel filter of your car changed to ensure smooth and seamless driving. 

  • Fuelling Petrol in Diesel Car: 

If you fuel your diesel car incorrectly with gasoline, you could end up with hefty bills. This is because as soon as you turn on the engine of your car, the petrol flows into the internal parts of the engine. Here are the steps you can take if your diesel car is wrongly fuelled with petrol. 

  • Do not turn on the engine: 

If you’ve realised that the petrol is fueled in your diesel car, ensure that you do not turn on the engine. The car is out of danger until you’ve ignited the engine. You can call for help to tow your car and take it to the nearest service point. Once all the petrol has been drained from your car, refill the fuel with diesel and continue your driving journey. 

  • If the car is driven by you for sometime: 

This is a worst-case scenario that can deplete your funds. Turn off the engine of your car at the earliest as you realise that your car is wrongly fuelled by petrol. By that time, petrol must have been spread to the integral parts of the engine. Therefore, you can take the help of a tow service to take your vehicle to the nearest service centre. 

How to Avoid Misfuelling in a Car? 

Listed below are some of the ways to avoid misfuelling in a car. 

  1. Place the sticker on the fuel filler cap of the vehicle indicating whether it is a diesel or petrol car. 
  2. Diesel and petrol fuel filling stations are different. Therefore, make sure that you check whether it is a petrol station or a diesel station carefully. 
  3. Always communicate with the petrol station attendant about the type of fuel that should be filled in your car. 


Misfueling in the car can bring serious trouble for you. Therefore, make sure that you take all the preventive measures to avoid filling the engine of your car with the wrong fuel. In case this blunder happens, do not turn on your engine unless the wrong fuel is drained from your car.

Also read: Reasons for Car Accident in India


Written by Amit Jain

Amit is an upcoming name in the motor industry be it new cars/ bikes or used ones. Amit in his last stint worked as a consultant for major Fortune 500 companies across the globe.&Read More


This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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