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

AA Car Insurance

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

Published 1st August 2023Read Time 4 min

Putting the wrong fuel into your car is called ‘misfuelling’. It is a common occurrence. Our AA Rescue Centre regularly gets calls from people that have mistakenly put the wrong fuel in their car. 

If you have put the wrong fuel in your car, do not turn on the engine. The first thing to do is call the AA Fuel Assist Team on 0818 66 77 88. Fuel Rescue is covered within a lot of our Motoring Insurance policies. We will have someone come out to you. 


What if I put Diesel into my Petrol car?

This is the lesser of the two evils, and will not typically have the same impact as putting Petrol into a Diesel car. The first thing you do is ensure that the car is not turned on. Do not even turn the ignition on. Call the AA Fuel Assist Team on 0818 66 77 88 


What if I put Petrol into my Diesel car?

In theory, this is difficult to do as the size of the nozzle on the Petrol pump is different to the fuel filler neck in a modern Diesel vehicle. Putting Petrol into your Diesel car can be particularly damaging if the car is driven afterwards. Obviously, the more you drive, the more potential damage you are causing to your engine.

If you manage to put Petrol into your Diesel car, it is hugely important that you do not drive the car. In fact, do not even turn on the ignition as this can activate the pump and allow Petrol into the system. It may be tempting to move your car off the forecourt, but resist the temptation. 

Running a Diesel engine, even partly, with Petrol can cause a build up of swarf. These imperfections can clog filters and damages sealants. The inherent lubrication within Diesel fuel is necessary as a modern Diesel engine is much less tolerant. Petrol doesn't have these properties and will cause undue wear and tear.


What if I have driven my car after putting in the wrong fuel?

If you realise that you have put the wrong fuel in your car afterwards, then pull over as soon as you can. Make sure you pull over in a safe manner so as not to endanger yourself or other road users.

Then you can call the AA Fuel Assist Team on 0818 66 77 88. We will organise for your car to be looked at. Of course, each circumstance will be different, so our staff will guide you on what steps come next. 


What happens to my car if I put in the wrong fuel?


Hopefully, you have realised before you even turned on the ignition. In which case, it is a relatively easy fix in the vast majority of cases. A technician drains, flushes and refills your vehicle’s fuel system. This gets it up and running, without the potential long-term damage.


What happens to the fuel after it is removed?


The fuel that is removed will be transferred into a safe container for transport. It will be collected by an environmental agency that will dispose of it in a safe manner.


Misfuelling your car doesn’t have to be a costly mistake. Make sure that you act quickly, avoid driving the car, and call the AA Fuel Assist Team as soon as you can.


Many of our Car Insurance policies have Fuel Rescue included. If your insurance is up for renewal then be sure to contact one of friendly staff for a competitive quote!

Have a question? Get in touch with our customer service 👌

0818 227 228

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