June 25, 2024

Steps to take if you mistakenly fill your car with the wrong type of fuel

Putting the wrong fuel in your car can be a costly and embarrassing mistake. It happens to around 150,000 drivers in the UK each year, so you’re not alone.

If you realize your error while filling up, do not start the engine. Inform the petrol station staff, keep the car in neutral, and ask for help pushing it to a safe location. Call your insurer or breakdown service for assistance in draining and flushing the fuel tank.

If you only notice the mistake after leaving the petrol station and your car breaks down, treat it like any other breakdown situation when seeking help.

FAQs about putting the wrong fuel in your car:

  • What happens if I put petrol in a diesel engine?
    Putting petrol in a diesel engine can damage the fuel pump and lines due to friction between parts. Attempting to drive with petrol in a diesel tank can lead to further, expensive damage.
  • What happens if I put diesel in a petrol engine?
    If you accidentally put diesel in a petrol engine, the engine is unlikely to start as diesel needs compression to ignite.

It’s important to be cautious and avoid these mistakes. At Adrian Flux, we offer misfuelling insurance cover for added protection.


Putting the wrong fuel in your car can have serious consequences, so it’s essential to take precautions and follow the correct steps if it happens. By staying informed and seeking help promptly, you can minimize the damage and costs associated with misfuelling.

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