More than 150,000 motorists put petrol in their diesel cars by mistake every year, so you’re not alone if this happens to you. Nor is it an expensive mistake, providing you immediately take the right action. Remove your keys from the ignition and do not attempt to start your car. Petrol acts as a solvent, weakening the lubricating effects of diesel and turning on your ignition will start the fuel pump causing damage. Simply put your car in neutral and ask for help to push it away from the petrol pumps to a safe place. Call your breakdown service to take you to a garage to have your fuel tank pumped out. Alternatively, call the AA Fuel Assist team on 0800 072 7420, they will drain the wrong fuel and fill your car with the right one on the spot – and you don’t have to be a member.
Fortunately, putting diesel in a petrol car is less likely as the nozzle on a diesel pump is bigger than the one for petrol, making it almost impossible to put into your car’s filler neck. However, if you do manage to put diesel in your petrol car, the advice is the same. To avoid mishaps, focus when you pull into a petrol station: don’t rely on the colour of the hose or nozzle before filling up. Properly read the pump’s trigger label and fuel grade indicator.