Wrong Fuel in car, Vehicle Fuel Drain FAQs

The FAQs listed below on this page are intended to assist motorists who are in a wrong fuel in car situation. It can be a very frustrating and stressful experience and a little guidance will make it easier to make good decisions with regards to a course of action.

I’ve accidentally filled up with unleaded petrol instead of diesel. What’s the first thing I should do?

Replace the nozzle and inform the forecourt staff about your wrong fuel in car problem. If you haven’t already started the car then it’s best if you don’t try it as the unleaded fuel would circulate around the vehicle fuel system which is not good for it. The forecourt staff may be able to assist you to move the car to a safe place out of the way of other motorists using the fuel station but, if not, leave your vehicle where it is.

Call us for a Wrong Fuel in car solution as soon as you are able and give your vehicle and location details to the operator. If you are a vulnerable motorist or you’re in an awkward situation, please inform the operator so that we can prioritise your case.

I have started my car and driven it off the fuel station forecourt. It has stalled in the road and is causing a problem. What can I do?

If you can safely move the vehicle off the road then please do so. A passer-by may help or a fellow motorist. If this is not possible then put on your hazard warning lights and erect the red warning triangle behind your vehicle if it is safe and feasible to do so. Call Wrong Fuel Emergency and we will prioritize your case.

If I started my car does that spell disaster?

In all likelihood, no. In 99% of wrong fuel in car cases where the vehicle has been started and driven, there will be no lasting damage done internally provided that it was only a short distance and that the wrong fuel is removed and the fuel system flushed through as soon as possible. Please do not risk topping the car up with diesel and trying to run the car until all the petrol has gone through the system. Petrol is a solvent and also doesn’t have the lubricating qualities of diesel. If you run a diesel car with any amount of petrol in the fuel system, you will cause long term and lasting damage which will come back to haunt you.

Why should I use Wrong Fuel Emergency over another company?

We’ve been in this business for a long time and all of our engineers have many years of experience with wrong fuel recovery. They are time served mechanics who know exactly what they are doing and they will do the job right first time. Our emergency response vehicles are fitted with state of the art equipment to guarantee the safety of the customer, their vehicle and other road users and also to ensure that the job is done correctly with the utmost care shown for your vehicle and it’s intricate fuel system. As with many other automotive industries, the wrong fuel in car industry has its share of cowboys. Our engineers will never ask you to pay upfront and will always treat you with professional courtesy.

I’m in a hurry. How long will the Wrong Fuel Emergency engineer take?

We aim to be with our customers within the hour but we have to say that to cover ourselves in case of traffic incidents that cause major delays. We have a large network of drivers and more often than not, there will be one in your area who can be with you in about 20 to 30 minutes. A correctly and safely executed fuel drain should take between 20 and 30 minutes depending upon the amount of fuel in the tank and also the ease of access to your vehicle. We acknowledge that a wrong fuel in car situation is a stressful one, but it is important that the job is done correctly and safely to ensure that there is no safety risk to you or other motorists and no lasting damage done to your vehicle.

Wouldn’t my emergency roadside assistance company be able to perform the same service?

In our experience, this is not always the case and we have heard of motorists being charged high fees for the work and also of jobs being done incorrectly or half heartedly, leaving motorists with heavy repair bills. Our engineers are specialists in the wrong fuel recovery activity and deal with cases day in, day out rather than being general mechanics. Our charges are low and are fixed depending upon the complexity of the job, our engineers will always inform you of the cost before going ahead with the job.

What kind of licence or paperwork does a wrong fuel recovery engineer need?

All of engineers carry an SPA passport to demonstrate that they have been fully trained and assessed recently, to ensure that they are fully capable and up to date with the latest in automotive fuel system technology. We are also licensed by the Environment Agency to handle and transport contaminated fuel which is classed as an extremely hazardous material. You can also be sure that the fuel will be treated and refined before being put back into the fuel distribution network, so there is no risk of harm to the environment from unlawful disposal.

If the vehicle fuel system needs repairs, is it going to be expensive?

Always take the advice of a wrong fuel in car engineer before getting the vehicle repaired. Our engineers are impartial and will happily advise you what you should be paying if you have been unlucky enough to be amongst the tiny percentage of motorists whose vehicles need repair after a wrong fuel incident. The cost will be very much dependent upon the type of vehicle and the likely components that may need replacing would be the fuel injectors, the fuel pump and filters and hoses. We have heard some very scary stories abut motorists who have gone to main dealers with their vehicle following a wrong fuel incident and have been quoted thousands of pounds for repair work. It is extremely unlikely for the repair work to cost as much as this.

Can I prevent misfuelling of a vehicle?

There are devices available on the market that prevent you from putting the wrong nozzle into your fuel tank aperture, you may also have seen a hire car with a large sticker on the fuel tank cap telling you what sort of fuel the vehicle takes. These may be useful measures for you but, in our experience, motorists generally don’t consider these things when buying a new car and changing from a petrol to a diesel. More often than not, wrong fuel in car incidents occur due to a lapse in concentration whilst under pressure.

  • On most vehicles there is a sticker inside the fuel cap to tell you what fuel type to use
  • Hire cars, company cars or pool cars should have a sticker on the outside of the filler cap to indicate the correct fuel type
  • Special devices can be purchased which help prevent misfuelling, but you’d need to check with the owner’s handbook to be sure that they would be suitable for your vehicle make and model
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