Your diesel car or truck is not designed to run on regular gasoline. However, if you've accidentally put it in your vehicle, you're not alone. If you own both gasoline and diesel cars, it's not an uncommon mistake, especially if you own older vehicles built before pump nozzles were differentiated. Unfortunately, though, making this mistake can be extremely costly depending on how old your car or truck is and how much you put in. Here are some common questions and answers about putting gas in a diesel tank and what you should do about it.
What's the Difference Between Gasoline and Diesel Engines?
Diesel fuel is specifically designed to combust through compression only with no added spark, while gasoline engines use a spark plug to ignite the gasoline. Both fuels have different viscosity and density, and diesel fuels are less refined.
What Happens When Gas is Used in Diesel Engines?
Depending on how much you put in, you'll likely notice your car running roughly or not at all. The gasoline will ignite prematurely in the combustion chamber, and your engine's pistons could be severely damaged. Other components, such as fuel pumps and injectors, may also become damaged due to inadequate lubrication and contaminants.
Does Putting Gas in a Diesel Engine Completely Ruin the Vehicle?
Not necessarily, but it's going to cost you, and it won't be a cheap fix no matter how much you put in. If you only put a small amount and you didn't drive at all, or very much, you might be lucky and not have a lot of damage. If you continued driving, then you could be a candidate for a total engine and fuel system replacement. Older cars tend to fare better with this mistake than newer vehicles with emission controls, but they also don't go unscathed.
What Should be Done if Gas is Put in a Diesel Tank?
If you're still at the pump and you realize your mistake, don't start up the engine, not even to move it a short distance. Call a tow truck and have your car towed right to the shop. If you realize your mistake as you're driving down the road, stop driving and call for help. The longer you drive, the more damage and repairs your vehicle will need.
While putting gas in a diesel engine, or vice versa, is not the end of the world, it does result in some serious consequences. No matter what you did after you put the gas in your diesel's tank, or how much, you'll need a mechanic to sort things out. Contact a company like South Houston Engine to do the repairs.