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What Happens if you Put Gasoline in a Diesel Engine

October 25, 2017 | Engine Info

If you are at the gas station and you accidentally fill your diesel engine vehicle with regular gasoline, then it can cause lots of problems for your vehicle. You see, a diesel engine does not depend on a spark plug like a gasoline engine does. The gasoline engine depends on the spark plug for the gasoline fuel to ignite in the combustion chamber. The diesel engine, on the other hand, uses high amounts of air compression while diesel fuel gets injected at the right time afterward. That is the difference between the two engines and so mixing fuel with the wrong engine will only cause problems.

Top 5 Effects of Gasoline in a Diesel Engine

If you catch this problem early enough, you may be able to prevent serious damage from being done to your vehicle. But if you keep driving your vehicle with the wrong fuel in it, then you might experience all these problems. Below are the top 5 effects of gasoline in a diesel engine.

  1. No Ignition – A diesel engine is not designed to ignite fuel. Gasoline is designed so that it won’t ignite automatically (it requires a spark plug to ignite). Therefore, when gasoline flows into a diesel engine, there will be no ignition that takes place. If by chance there is an ignition, it will be too severe for what the engine can handle.
  2. Shock Wave Damage – There are lots of reciprocating parts and components inside a diesel engine, such as rods, pistons, and wrist pins. If there is an unusual dentation that is uncontrollable, the shock waves from the detonation could destroy these components permanently. Gasoline will surely cause a detonation that the diesel engine’s components cannot handle.
  3. No Lubrication Damage – A lot of people forget that diesel fuel is basically the same as a lubricant for the diesel engine’s components. If you put gasoline into the engine, it is not made to lubricate these components. Instead, it will contaminate them while they receive no lubrication. As a result, the metal components will rub against each other and became permanently damaged.
  4. Fuel System Damage – Gasoline will certainly affect the fuel injectors, fuel pump, and fuel filter of your diesel engine. This makes up the whole fuel system of your vehicle. Without these components working properly, you will have to replace your fuel system entirely.
  5. Engine Damage – If the problem is caught soon enough, the engine can be salvaged before it is too damaged beyond repair. But the longer you attempt to drive with the gasoline in the diesel engine, the more likely your engine will be completely destroyed. And as you probably know, replacing an entire engine is very expensive.

Read also: Symptoms of a bad lower control arm bushing and replacement cost

What to Do and Don’t Do

If you realize that you put the wrong fuel in your diesel engine at the gas pump, do not panic. There are a few things that you can do to save your vehicle from sustaining any real damage. Below are the top 4 tips that you should follow in a situation like this.

  1. Do not even try to start the engine. Leave the vehicle exactly where it is.
  2. Do not try to turn on the ignition. Any attempt to activate the ignition will cause the fuel pump and fuel injectors to activate.
  3. Call for a tow truck to come and tow your vehicle away from the gas station pump. Have them take your vehicle to your local dealership or any trustworthy auto mechanic.
  4. You will need to drain the fuel tank completely of all the gasoline. As long as the vehicle was not turned on, none of the gasoline will have contaminated any of the components.

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