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What happens if you put petrol in a diesel car?

Car and fuel pump manufacturers are kind to us. They’ve made the diesel nozzle larger than the hole at the top of your car’s petrol tank to make it harder to put in the wrong fuel. But sadly, they can’t save us from the mistake of putting petrol in a diesel car. If you’ve ever done this, you’re not alone. Estimates suggest that it happens every one minute and 45 seconds. This simple mistake can cost you up to £3,000 to put right. But don’t panic. Find out what happens when you put petrol in a diesel engine and how to limit the impact on your wallet with misfuel insurance.

What happens when you put petrol in a diesel car?

Putting the wrong fuel in your car causes damage to the engine, which can result in costly repairs or even a complete engine replacement.

Diesel contains a lubricant, but the addition of petrol reduces this lubrication and means metal parts can rub and become damaged. If you put a very small amount of petrol into a tank that already contains plenty of diesel, the damage will be more limited. But you still need to take action to put things right as soon as possible. If you don’t, you risk various parts of your car’s engine and fuel system being damaged, and that can cost a lot to put right.

What should I do if I put petrol in a diesel car?

If you realise your mistake in time, don’t start your car. As soon as you turn the ignition, the petrol will circulate around the engine, and start to do its damage.

Instead, you’ll need to call for someone who can drain the tank to remove the wrong fuel. If you have misfuel insurance, you’ll be given a 24/7 contact number to get help to you quickly so you can get back on your way. If not, you could call your usual garage or look online for a specialist fuel drain service.

Does my breakdown cover already include fuel draining?

Probably not. Most breakdown cover does not include the cost of a fuel drain or for any repairs or replacement parts.

Is it worth claiming on your insurance?

If you’ve made this mistake you’ll need to carefully weigh up whether it’s worth you claiming the costs back from your insurance company. If you can’t get hold of that amount of cash to put the problem right, you may have no option. But bear in mind that this claim will impact on your no claims bonus, and could see your car insurance prices rise next time you renew.

An alternative, that allows you to claim back the money to fix your car without affecting your no claims bonus is to take out misfuel insurance. This can be a relatively low-cost add-on option to your car insurance. And it will give you the peace of mind you can fix your car without claiming on your normal car insurance.

Do I need misfuel insurance?

Around 300,000 of us put the wrong fuel in our car every year. We can all have momentary lapses in concentration when we’re at the pumps. So really, misfuel insurance is something for everyone to consider.

Cheap misfuel insurance

Call our friendly team at Easy2Insure on 0800 917 9522 or get in touch to find out just how little you’ll need to pay for misfuel insurance. We’re an independent insurance brokerage, so we’ll shop around to find you the best price out there, giving you peace of mind for less.