How to Fix Putting Diesel in a Gas Engine Car?

Have you ever found yourself in a panic after mistakenly filling your gas engine car with diesel? We understand the frustration and stress that can come with such a mistake.

But worry not, because we have the solution for you! In this blog post, we will explore the steps you can take to fix the issue of putting diesel in a gas/petrol engine car and get your vehicle back on the road in no time.

1. Understanding the Problem

Firstly, it’s important to understand the implications of putting diesel in a gas engine car. The main issue lies in the difference in fuel composition and ignition systems between these two types of engines.

Gasoline engines use spark plugs for ignition, while diesel engines rely on compression to ignite the fuel. Diesel fuel has a higher viscosity and requires different combustion properties than gasoline.

It is not advisable to drive your petrol engine car with with diesel fuel. However, in emergency situation diesel fuel in gas engine can help you travel for a limited distance. But remember, never exceed the limit for the safety of your car.

2. Don’t Start the Engine

If you realize that you’ve put diesel in your gas engine car before starting the engine, consider yourself lucky. Do not start the engine!

Starting the engine will circulate the diesel fuel through the system, potentially causing more damage. It’s crucial to prevent the diesel from entering the combustion chamber and damaging the spark plugs or other components.

3. Drain the Fuel Tank

To fix the issue, you’ll need to drain the fuel tank.

  • Locate the fuel tank drain plug, usually found underneath the vehicle near the tank.
  • Place a container underneath the plug to catch the diesel fuel as it drains out.
  • Carefully remove the plug and allow the fuel to drain completely.
  • Ensure that the container is large enough to hold the entire volume of the fuel tank.

4. Clean the Fuel System

Once you’ve drained the fuel tank, it’s essential to clean the fuel system thoroughly. Start by replacing the fuel filter, as it may have been contaminated by the diesel fuel.

Additionally, you may need to flush the fuel lines and injectors to remove any remaining traces of diesel. Consult your vehicle’s manual or seek professional assistance for specific instructions on how to clean the fuel system effectively.

5. Refill with Gasoline

After cleaning the fuel system, it’s time to refill the tank with gasoline. Make sure you are using the correct fuel for your gas/petrol engine car. Check the owner’s manual or the fuel cap for the recommended gasoline octane rating.

Fill the tank to the appropriate level, and ensure that the fuel cap is securely fastened.

6. Check for Potential Damage

Even after taking the necessary steps to fix the issue, it’s important to be vigilant for any potential damage caused by the diesel fuel. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as rough idling, difficulty starting the engine, or abnormal exhaust smoke.

If you notice any of these issues, it’s advisable to consult a qualified mechanic to assess and repair any damage that may have occurred.

7. Prevention Tips for the Future

To avoid a similar mishap in the future, here are a few preventive measures you can take:

  • Double-check the fuel type before refueling your vehicle.
  • Pay attention to the fuel pump nozzle color or label to ensure you’re using the correct one.
  • If you’re unsure, seek assistance from a fuel station attendant.
  • Keep your vehicle’s fuel cap and filler area clean and free from debris to avoid any mix-ups.

Common Reasons for Putting Diesel in a Gas Engine Car

Understanding the common reasons behind the mistake of putting diesel in a gas engine car can help prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are a few factors that contribute to this error:

1. Lack of Awareness or Distraction

One of the primary reasons for mistakenly fueling a gas engine car with diesel is a lack of awareness or distraction during the refueling process. Sometimes, we may be preoccupied or not paying attention, leading to the wrong fuel selection.

2. Similar Fueling Nozzles

In some cases, the design of fueling nozzles for diesel and gasoline can be similar, making it easier to confuse them, especially if you’re not familiar with the specific markings or color-coding. This confusion can lead to accidental misfueling.

3. Borrowing or Sharing Vehicles

If you borrow or share vehicles with others, there’s a chance that someone may forget to inform you about the fuel type the car requires. This lack of communication can result in inadvertently using the wrong fuel and causing potential damage.

Understanding these reasons can help raise awareness and minimize the likelihood of making this mistake in the future.

Potential Risks and Consequences of Putting Diesel in a Gas Engine Car

Putting diesel in a gas engine car can have several risks and consequences that go beyond immediate engine issues. It’s essential to be aware of these potential risks to fully grasp the importance of prompt action and seeking professional assistance. Here are a few risks associated with this mistake:

1. Engine Damage

Diesel fuel, when used in a gas engine, can lead to engine damage due to the differences in combustion and fuel system requirements. The longer the engine operates with the wrong fuel, the higher the risk of severe damage to engine components.

2. Fuel System Complications

The fuel system of a gas engine car is not designed to handle diesel fuel. The use of diesel can clog fuel injectors, filters, and lines, leading to reduced performance, decreased fuel efficiency, and potential breakdowns.

3. Catalytic Converter Failure

The catalytic converter, an essential component for reducing emissions in gas engine cars, can be significantly affected by the use of diesel fuel. Continued operation with diesel in the fuel system can cause the catalytic converter to fail, resulting in costly repairs or replacement.

Understanding the potential risks and consequences emphasizes the urgency of addressing the issue promptly and seeking professional help to mitigate any long-term damage.

Expert Opinion:

In my experience, the best solution for fixing the issue of putting diesel in a gas engine car is to act quickly and follow the steps outlined above. Time is of the essence, as starting the engine can exacerbate the problem.

Remember to drain the fuel tank, clean the fuel system, and refill with gasoline. And always stay vigilant for any signs of damage or irregularities.


Q1: Can putting diesel in a gas engine car cause permanent damage?

A1: Yes, if not addressed promptly, it can lead to damage to various components of the fuel system, including the spark plugs, fuel pump, and injectors.

Q2: How much does it cost to fix the issue of putting diesel in a gas engine car?

A2: The cost can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the specific vehicle. It’s advisable to consult a professional mechanic for an accurate assessment and cost estimate.

Q3: What happens if I accidentally start the engine after putting diesel in a gas/petrol engine car?

A3: Starting the engine can circulate the diesel fuel through the system, potentially causing more damage to the spark plugs and other components. It’s crucial to avoid starting the engine in such a situation.

Q4: Can I fix the issue myself, or should I seek professional help?

A4: While draining the fuel tank and cleaning the fuel system can be done by some car owners, it’s recommended to seek professional assistance, especially if you’re unsure or inexperienced in handling such repairs.

Q5: How common is the mistake of putting diesel in a gas/petrol engine car?

A5: Although not incredibly common, this mistake can happen, particularly if someone is unfamiliar with different fuel types or accidentally grabs the wrong nozzle at the fuel station.


In conclusion, if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of putting diesel in a gas/petrol engine car, don’t panic. Act quickly by not starting the engine, draining the fuel tank, cleaning the fuel system, and refilling with gasoline. Remember to stay cautious for any potential damage and take preventive measures to avoid similar mishaps in the future.

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