What Happens If You Use the Wrong Fuel in Your Vehicle?

What Happens If You Use The Wrong Fuel (2)When you take your car to the gas station, you will most likely find an array of pumps. You should already know which one you need to use for your vehicle, but have you ever wondered what would happen if you used the wrong fuel for your car? Ultimately, you want to stick with the gasoline you need, because if you use something different, it could result in a range of problems.

Putting Diesel Into a Gas Engine

Most personal vehicles utilize a gas engine. This means you need to use one of the pumps labeled 87, 89 or 91. If you put diesel into the system, then you are in for some trouble. In the event you fill an entire gas engine with diesel, the vehicle will stop working. If you only put in a couple gallons of diesel and then realize your mistake, then your car will still be OK, but it will likely run poorly for some time.

The reason diesel damages gas engines is that these engines do not have a compression ratio sufficient enough to ignite the fuel. The fuel will simply remain in the tank, where it can damage the car’s injectors, lines and fuel pump. Do not start your car if it is filled with diesel. Instead, contact a tow service to take your automobile to a shop so that it can be drained thoroughly.

Putting Gasoline in a Diesel Engine

The same damage can occur if you put gasoline in a car that has a diesel engine. Basically, the same principle is at play. A diesel engine is unable to burn gasoline efficiently, so within a few miles of driving, your car’s engine will break down, and your vehicle’s pistons, rods and even the entire engine can fail.

If you realize what you have done before starting your car, then you want to take the same preventive action. You will need an experienced technician to look at your vehicle and completely flush the system. Ultimately, it is better to pay a professional to do this than pay for a brand new engine.

Using the Correct Octane Numbers

Most drivers do not have to worry too much about diesel. Instead, their attention is likely on the three pumps labeled 87, 89 and 91. There are slight differences between each one, but generally, you do not have to worry as much if you use the wrong one as you do with diesel fuel.

The majority of engines require 87. However, if you put 91 into one of these cars, then your vehicle will still operate adequately. 91 simply costs more than 87, so you are just wasting money by using it. 

Some vehicles, such as sports and vintage cars, call for 91. If you put 87 into the system of one of these high-performance vehicles, then the engine is not going to break down. Chances are your vehicle would have reduced fuel economy, but no significant problems should occur. Ultimately, you simply should stick with the octane level your car needs so that you are not wasting money.

Preventing Any Problems

At the end of the day, you should consult your vehicle’s manual to see what fuel is right. There is never any reason to change fuel, so stick with what you know. If you are going to be loaning your car to someone, make sure to tell them what type of fuel your automobile needs.

Once you have been filling your vehicle for a while, then picking the right fuel will become second nature. Keep your car in great shape by using the right fuel, and take it to a professional technician if you notice any issues with the engine.