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Putting the Wrong Fuel in Your Vehicle - What Happens and What to Do…

It is a situation we hope you’ll never find yourself in, but the statistics suggest that one day you may. According to recent research, somebody somewhere in Britain puts the incorrect fuel into their vehicle an average of once every three minutes.


Unleaded or Diesel? Make sure you get it right first time


If you have ever had the misfortune to do this, you already know what a frustrating and fearful experience it can be. But if you haven’t, then we’ve laid out what you should and shouldn’t do if you put the wrong fuel into your car.


If You Put Petrol into a Diesel Car

Diesel gets a get a bad rap for being environmentally unfriendly, but it helps lubricate essential elements of your car. Squirting petrol into the tank of a diesel vehicle is the most common mistake when it comes to misfuelling. It’s also the most damaging.


You see, when petroleum (to give it its full posh name) gets put into a diesel-propelled car, it blends with diesel and turns into a nasty solvent. This gunk then does the reverse of what diesel does and damages, rather than lubricates, critical engine components.


Starting a diesel-driven car that has petrol in its tank can cause big and serious harm. So, whatever you do, don’t start (or even stick the key in the ignition of) a motor that you know you’ve misfuelled.


If You Stick Diesel into a Petrol Vehicle

This is less likely to happen. Why? Well, there is a difference in nozzle proportions that means depositing diesel into a petrol car’s tank is more difficult to do.


If for whatever reason, it does happen, though, there’s not as much cause for concern. This is because diesel needs compression before it can burn. As this won’t occur in a petrol car, it’s doubtful that your petrol-powered set-of-wheels will start — not that you should test this, of course.


What Next?

With luck, you’ll have realised that you’ve put the incorrect fuel into your car before firing it up. If this is the case, leave the keys out of the ignition.


Next, you need to inform the fuel station about what you’ve done. From this point, you can get someone to help you move your vehicle by placing the gearbox into ‘neutral’ and pushing your car to a safe place.


Now you can relax a little, as this is the time to summon breakdown assistance and explain the nature of your breakdown — in this situation, a misfuelling. You can use the RexQ app that’s available on iOS and Android. It’s free to download and register and you can request and get help without leaving the app. We cover all roadside issues such as tyre, tow, locked out etc!


Once your RexQ rescuer has arrived, the breakdown professional will need to drain your vehicle’s fuel tank. If you’ve started your car or it seems to be suffering from damage, you may need to have it recovered to a garage for fixing, but your rescuer will be able to advise you on this.



Become a Rescuer

Of course, if you’re a fuel specialist, you’ll be very used to motorists needing help due to misfuelling.


RexQ is the UK’s first on-demand, subscription-free roadside assistance app — and it’s looking for more rescuers.


If you’re a skilled breakdown recovery provider, fuel specialist, mobile-tyre fitting professional or auto locksmith, and you’d like to expand your customer base to get more work, then you should join RexQ.


There are numerous benefits to you:

  • ​The RexQ app is free to download and register

  • No subscription or membership is needed

  • There’s no monthly or annual cost to you

  • You get alerted when work is nearby

  • You bid for the work and choose what price to quote.

RexQ will transfer the money to your preferred account if you acquire the job, less a modest commission.


​​Seize fresh opportunities and improve your revenue. Join RexQ and get paid each time you help our clients. Register for free and wait for RexQ’s app to inform you about new work.

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