What Happens if You Put Gas in a Diesel Engine?

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Accidentally mixing diesel duel with gasoline is a common error, so common that it comes up in search results on YouTube rather easily. An even easier mistake to make is putting diesel fuel in a regular automobile.

Somewhat less frequent is accidentally putting ordinary gasoline in a diesel engine, but under the right circumstances, it’s extraordinarily easy to do. In fact, if you happen to be driving a diesel-fueled vehicle, but you’re used to running a regular gas-powered car- you are in especially high danger of putting the wrong type of fuel in it.

After all, it’s so easy to pull up to a gas pump, slide your card through, and put the wrong fuel in. If you are planning to drive a diesel vehicle but are accustomed to normal gasoline, you’ve better put a note on a red post-it right on the gas cap. If, on the other hand, you’ve already made that mistake and are afraid to turn the ignition… here’s what you can expect.

What Does Diesel do to a Gas Engine?

If you attempt to drive the vehicle after putting the wrong fuel in, it can cause serious damage. Your first goal should be to set yourself up to stop yourself from making this mistake before you make it. But if you do put gas in a diesel engine, here are the most important signs to look for.

1. Won’t Start

Diesel engines are designed through and through to run on diesel. These two fuel types ignite in different ways, so if you’ve put gas in a diesel vehicle, you may not even get the beginning of the ignition process to start. If this happens, you can consider yourself lucky. Most of the time, there will still be enough starter fuel in the line to start up, even if you have put the wrong fuel in, and you’ll be able to drive for a short time. That’s when the serious damage really starts.

2. Lack of Lubrication

Diesel fuel is part lubricant, and diesel engines need it just like a conventional vehicle needs oil. If your vehicle starts up after you put diesel in it, you’re going to start grinding gears and pistons soon. If you’re lucky, you’ll start hearing the grinding noise and stop driving. But it’s more likely that you’ll drive it for a while and cause damage.

3. Damage to the Fuel System

The fuel pumps and fuel injectors in diesel engines are made to accept diesel only. Gasoline will ruin the fuel system, and you’ll have to replace the entire fueling system if the damage goes too far.

4. Shock Wave

Gasoline and diesel fuel burn in different ways. Putting the wrong fuel type into a vehicle can cause irregular combustion patterns that can damage critical components.

5. Black Smoke

One of the most noticeable signs is thick black smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe. If you see this, you know it’s serious and should pull over and stop the vehicle immediately.

6. Engine Damage

If the problem goes too far, the entire engine may be ruined, and the vehicle may be a total loss. If trouble starting the vehicle, grinding noises, and irregular combustion patterns don’t prompt you to pull over and call for help, you are likely to destroy the engine.

What’s the Difference Between Diesel & Gasoline?

For a start, most diesel pumps at the gas station are green and marked “Diesel.” Hopefully, this will stop you from making this mistake in the first place.

In addition to this, diesel is thicker, as it is part fuel and part lubricant. Diesel fuel does not evaporate as quickly as gasoline, and it can be ignited at lower temperatures. Because diesel has a cooler ignition point, diesel engines do not use spark plugs. Finally, diesel engines have a higher compression rate than gasoline-powered engines.

All of these differences make it necessary for conventional motors and diesel motors to operate in very different ways.

What Should I Do if I’ve Put Gasoline in My Diesel-Powered Vehicle?

The earlier you realize you’ve used the wrong fuel, the better. Hopefully learning about the signs and stages of mis-fueling will help you to catch the problem at the earliest possible stage. Once you do realize it, your main concern will be to minimize the damage and to get it to a diesel service center as soon as possible.

Do not attempt to start the vehicle. If you have already started it or attempted to start it, stop. Turn it off. Do not even turn the ignition in order to reposition the wheel unless you must move the vehicle for safety reasons.

Let the gas station attendant know what the trouble is and inform them that you cannot move the vehicle under its own power unless an emergency arises. Don’t worry, you won’t be the first person to have made this mistake!

Call your roadside service or a tow truck and have the vehicle towed to a diesel service center. Be sure to tell them the nature of the problem so that they will come equipped to tow the vehicle without starting the engine.

Also Read: 0x0 0x0 Mistake

What Happens if I Put Diesel in Gas Powered Vehicle?

If you’ve put diesel in a gasoline-powered vehicle, the situation is more or less the same. Diesel will damage conventional engines. Your best bet is to know the signs to stop the damage from becoming catastrophic. Better still, is to know that the green pump is diesel, and the others are for ordinary gasoline.

Call the Professionals

Whether you’ve got a diesel- or gas-powered vehicle and have put the wrong fuel in either, you’ve got a serious problem on your hands. Hopefully, you will notice before trying to drive it and cause serious damage. Know the signs so that you’ll know to stop driving and call the professionals at Thompson Diesel. They’ll save you time, money, and, if you haven’t done too much damage, they’ll save your engine.

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