Petrol in the diesel - have you been there too?

Yesterday morning my OH went to fill up the car- I was a bit worried because there is some history - OH standing in a growing pool of diesel, while I’m shouting, “Let go of the trigger!”

However, in more recent times, she seemed to have got the hang of it (for her first thirty or so years of driving in S Africa, the car would always be filled up by petrol pump attendants- could be the subject of a future post, as that can go badly wrong too). Nevertheless, yesterday morning I decided to go too because I could collect some kindling from the 2020 high water mark of the Lot. Unfortunately, I got an email from a close relative who’s not in a good place and decided to phone him immediately rather than go out onthe diesel and wood expedition.

OH returns in some confusion, didn’t remember that I’d told her to use “the orange one” and if that was empty, 'the yellow one." Unfortunately, instead she’d panicked and put in forty litres of “l’essence vetre”. And on the way home, the car “wasn’t working very well”.

Subsequently grace à Internet, I rapidly became a proxy authority on *what to do if you put petrol ina diesel car and also how much re-conditoned BMW injecteurs cost. You might therefore imagine the relief when our garage phoned this evening to tell us c’est renové!

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Sell it, yesterday.

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Sadly Paul could well be right. Happened to a friend and he was told it was all alright. Car packed in months later. :frowning_face:

After flushing the system twice, the garage ran a diagnostique and the car’s fine. Also OH only drove 5 kms after her mistake so I think we’re OK.Finally if there was even a faint opportunity to sell us a new car, I’m sure the garage would have told us.

The problem is the fuel pump - diesel is lubricating, petrol not and the damage is latent.

The end result, potentially, is that metal fragments start coming out of the pump - this does not do the injectors any favours.

I (unknowingly) bought a car in this state, it ran fine for 6 weeks and then died - the local franchised dealer quote for repair was more than the car was worth, eventually I, or rather the outfit I bought it from, got it fixed at an independent for merely half what the car was worth (and I paid half of that).

Except that they would not have wanted to touch yours with a barge pole.

Seriously, you might be lucky - but if you are not, budget 2-5000€ depending on model.

Oh, sh*t, just noticed the magic three letters in your original post. just make that 5k€.

That is about right for brake pads on a BMW ! I had an X3 - the garage costs were massive every time.

You are a generous man. If I had done this I think I would be curled up sleeping with the dog for a long time.

Actually, looking at a few online tales of woe getting away with only 5k€ might be considered lucky.

Mark, if you do keep the car let us have an update in 6 months or so. Fingers crossed for you.

In the interest of balance I’ve found quite a few tales where people claim to have driven diesels which have been wrongly filled with petrol and been lucky, as I said - fingers crossed.

5km is not much distance and it will have run on the diesel in the fuel lines and filter for part of that, you should be ok as I have dealt with this dozens of time at the garage, we usually put some two stroke low ash oil in the first couple of tanks to give extra lubrication for the pump, around 250ml to a tank.

Thanks, that’s the impression I’d got from reading a large number of postings on various sites.

There’s a lot of variation in these stories though - many have not run the engine (which should be 100% fixable by draining and flushing the fuel system), some probably won’t have diluted the existing diesel much (up to 5% is said to be no problem), some will have been in vehicles without high pressure common rail systems. Some even claim that stories of expensive damage are myths, or that garages are conning people into having unnecessary repair work done for many ££££s (or $$$$s or €€€€s).

My own experience is that it is not a myth - the main dealer quote for new fuel lines, filters, rail and injectors was £3.5k (on a 5 year old Mondeo I’d just paid £3k for). In the end it was done for £1.6k and I paid half of that - mainly because taking the people I bought it from to court would have been too time consuming, expensive and without guarantee of victory as I’d never be able to prove the misfuelling occured before I took ownership and not after.

It ran absolutely fine afterwards BTW and I owned it about 7 years before selling it.

I hope that your experience turns out to add one to the list of “lucky” stories :slight_smile:

In another thread I admitted to ‘topping up’ a new fuel tank in a boat. So new was it that my engineer had yet to connect the fuel outlet pipe to the engine … I wondered why it was taking so long :roll_eyes:

Oops wrong kind of electricity! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
No more smelly hands or clothes
Cant wait!

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A French friend who borrowed my car, a VW Golf, topped it up with Petrol and said when he delivered the car back, “It is smoking quite a bit”. He had put petrol in a diesel car. Phoned my private mechanic rather than a garage and he said that providing it was not more than 50% petrol in the diesel car then it will smoke but it should be fine. The next day it smoked all the way to the UK and I ran it until it was nearly empty and then filled it up with diesel. After that no smoke. Since that incident it has done 40,000 kms with no ill effects.