What to do if you misfuel

With blustery weather in full swing, you’d be forgiven for being in a rush on while on the forecourt. Mistakes can happen when we’re in a hurry, so if you’ve picked up the wrong nozzle and misfuelled, follow our advice to help get you on your way again.

Petrol in diesel

Don’t turn on the ignition or start the car.

In line with car manufacturers’ recommendations, AA advice is that any diesel fuel contaminated with petrol should be removed from the tank and replaced with clean fuel before the ignition is turned on and the car started.

Diesel in petrol

Don’t turn on the ignition or start the car.

This is less common because the standard diesel nozzle is bigger than the filler neck on modern petrol cars.

In line with car manufacturers’ recommendations, AA advice is that any petrol contaminated with diesel should be removed from the tank and replaced with clean fuel before the ignition is turned on and the car started.

Fuel Assist is a specialist roadside service that drains, flushes and replenishes vehicle fuel systems on the spot, saving you time, money and inconvenience.

Fuel Assist is available to the general public as well as to AA Members. We will attend any vehicle providing the Fuel Assist van has enough capacity in its tanks. If you’ve misfuelled, you can call the AA Fuel Assist Team at any time between 8:30am to 8:30pm on 1890 456 226.

Reduce the risk

No one misfuels deliberately and no one expects it to happen to them, but hundreds of motorists put the wrong fuel in their vehicle every year.

Misfuelling mostly involves petrol in diesel as the petrol nozzle is the smaller of the two, but a significant number of drivers still manage to misfuel by putting diesel in petrol, even though the nozzle is considerably larger than the filler neck! This suggests a high level of distraction and/or strong visual cues convincing the driver that they’re dispensing the correct fuel.

Always double check the fuel grade indicator on the pump before filling.

The risk of misfuelling is higher if:

  • you use an unfamiliar filling station – don’t assume hose colours are the same as your ‘local’ site
  • you switch between brands using different hose/nozzle colours
  • you swap cars (using different fuel) at home or work – it’s easy to ‘forget’ which car you’re filling
  • you hire a car using different fuel to your normal car
  • you buy a new car using different fuel to your old car
  • you continue a conversation with passengers while filling up
  • you are in a hurry/running late

If you’re concerned about the risk of misfuelling you can buy devices to fit into the (diesel) filler neck to prevent you inserting the narrower petrol nozzle.

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