PUTTING the wrong fuel in your motor can be a costly mistake, as vital parts of your car can be completely destroyed.
And it’s certainly not an uncommon error, with a whopping 150,000 Brits each year accidentally going to the wrong pump at the service station.
But if you do make this simple mistake, all is not lost.
The most important thing to do in any case is not turn on the engine, as this will prevent fuel from being circulated around the car.
Whether you drive a petrol or diesel motor, here’s what you need to do if you make an error at the pump.
Petrol in a diesel car
Putting petrol into a diesel car is the most common error as a petrol nozzle can fit easily into the filler neck of the fuel tank.
Unfortunately, it also causes the most damage.
Adding petrol to a diesel creates a solvent solution, reducing lubrication in the engine and damaging the fuel pump.
If this occurs and you switch on your engine, you could end up being forced to replace your entire fuel system.
The only way you can prevent further damage is having your fuel tank drained.
Roadside assistance providers such as the RAC and the AA offer a fuel drain service to get you back on the road if you’ve made an error at the pump.
But until you’ve had all the fuel removed, you shouldn’t switch the car on.
Diesel in a petrol car
Putting diesel in a petrol car is much harder to do, as diesel nozzles usually don’t fit into a petrol fuel tank.
But if you do manage to get diesel into your petrol motor, it’s still important you don’t turn on the engine.
This error is less serious than the other way around, as diesel is a heavier fuel that is more difficult to ignite in the engine of a petrol car.
Regardless, you will still need your fuel tank drained to resolve the problem.
How much will it cost to fix?
A fuel drain call-out with one of the major providers will cost you between £100-£200 – as long as you haven’t started the engine.
If you have turned your car on, the damage could be far more extensive, leaving you with repairs bills well into the thousands.
And unfortunately, it’s unlikely your insurer will cover all of these costs either.
Most policies don’t automatically pay out for misfuelling, while some will ask you to select it as an optional extra if you wish to be covered for the error.