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Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: gadje
Date: August 04, 2022 07:23AM
He was at his Renault dealer, they flushed it, filled it with fresh gas and are now trying to start the car.

He does not have good signal at the dealer and WhatsApp drops out, so I don't know the whole story yet.

How bad is it?
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: gadje
Date: August 04, 2022 07:27AM
OK I called Mom, she was with him at the car shop. Apparently he made an error and used the wrong nozzle or pump. Drive away and soon after the car started misbehaving.

It seem it was his error, not the gas station error, but I am still waiting for details.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: August 04, 2022 07:39AM
Should be fine once you get ALL the diesel out. Going to have to completely clean the gas tank, pull the injectors and flush them as well as all the fuel lines out. Then do an oil change and fuel filter replacement. Usually $1000 to $1500 for all the work depending on how hard it is to access the injectors are.



C(-)ris
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2022 07:41AM by C(-)ris.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: mstudio
Date: August 04, 2022 07:46AM
Too bad he drove it, if he hadn't, the tank may have just needed flushing. Since it got into his fuel lines and injectors, more work is needed. He may have clogged the fuel filter with the heavier/oilier diesel fuel so that would cause a no-start situation. It would have been way worse if it was a diesel engine with gas contamination. I wish him the best.

As an aside, I drive a diesel and was filling it the other day. A young kid came running over to me yelling, Sir, sir, that's diesel fuel you are pumping! I thanked him for noticing but assured him I was good.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 04, 2022 07:49AM
He just needs to pump out most of the diesel, but there's no need to drop the tank, etc, unless they can't get most of it out. About a few liters would be the max for a full tank. It will run like crap, however, until the diesel is burned off.

Gasoline cars can run with a little bit of diesel, it's the other way around that is bad.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: MindMeld
Date: August 04, 2022 07:56AM
That's very unfortunate. However, I thought that diesel nozzles were larger than a gasoline nozzle and wouldn't fit into a gasoline filler pipe on a car. I must be mistaken.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: August 04, 2022 08:05AM
Yeah, if he hadn't started the car it would have been easy, just tow it to a shop and flush the gas tank. Since he did they'll have to clean out the innards.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: August 04, 2022 08:26AM
In the early 80s GM dabbled in producing diesel passenger cars. My dad really liked them. We had a diesel Malibu and later a Skylark. My grandfather ended up with a diesel Cadillac (very rare). EVERY time we refueled someone would scream that we were using the wrong pump. We'd have to explain that it was in fact a diesel engine, followed by discussions about fuel economy, maintenance, etc. At the time diesel was cheaper than gasoline, no one cared about emissions, and they did get better efficiency.

As for the OP's situation...it could be worse. Putting gasoline in a diesel engine is far worse. As others have mentioned above, you'll likely need to drop the tank and purge it, change the oil, replace injectors, replace the filters, purge the fuel lines...You'll likely need to replace the fuel filters a few times as the residual diesel oil is purged from the system.

Quote
mstudio
Too bad he drove it, if he hadn't, the tank may have just needed flushing. Since it got into his fuel lines and injectors, more work is needed. He may have clogged the fuel filter with the heavier/oilier diesel fuel so that would cause a no-start situation. It would have been way worse if it was a diesel engine with gas contamination. I wish him the best.

As an aside, I drive a diesel and was filling it the other day. A young kid came running over to me yelling, Sir, sir, that's diesel fuel you are pumping! I thanked him for noticing but assured him I was good.



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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: gadje
Date: August 04, 2022 08:34AM
Quote
MindMeld
That's very unfortunate. However, I thought that diesel nozzles were larger than a gasoline nozzle and wouldn't fit into a gasoline filler pipe on a car. I must be mistaken.

Thus is in Europe, I’m not sure about nozzle size over there.

Here in US why is the Diesel nozzle larger? That would not prevent someone from putting Gasoline in a Diesel engine which seems to be much worse.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Acer
Date: August 04, 2022 08:40AM
Quote
gadje
Quote
MindMeld
That's very unfortunate. However, I thought that diesel nozzles were larger than a gasoline nozzle and wouldn't fit into a gasoline filler pipe on a car. I must be mistaken.

Thus is in Europe, I’m not sure about nozzle size over there.

Here in US why is the Diesel nozzle larger? That would not prevent someone from putting Gasoline in a Diesel engine which seems to be much worse.

I think it's because the preventative measure can only work one direction, and you have to pick one. Sheer preponderance of numbers favors a passenger car driver more likely to make the mistake.

Or maybe diesel spouts were always larger, because of the higher volumes typically dispensed in trucks and equipment?
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Forrest
Date: August 04, 2022 08:41AM
Not something I worry about. I live in NJ, and am not allowed to pump my fuel.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: August 04, 2022 08:43AM
Quote
gadje
Quote
MindMeld
That's very unfortunate. However, I thought that diesel nozzles were larger than a gasoline nozzle and wouldn't fit into a gasoline filler pipe on a car. I must be mistaken.

Thus is in Europe, I’m not sure about nozzle size over there.

Here in US why is the Diesel nozzle larger? That would not prevent someone from putting Gasoline in a Diesel engine which seems to be much worse.

Because people with Diesel cars know they have one and are used to looking for the diesel pump. People with gas cars are oblivious to the fact that there might be a diesel nozzle on the pump they are at.



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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: August 04, 2022 08:54AM
Quote
C(-)ris
Quote
gadje
Quote
MindMeld
That's very unfortunate. However, I thought that diesel nozzles were larger than a gasoline nozzle and wouldn't fit into a gasoline filler pipe on a car. I must be mistaken.

Thus is in Europe, I’m not sure about nozzle size over there.

Here in US why is the Diesel nozzle larger? That would not prevent someone from putting Gasoline in a Diesel engine which seems to be much worse.

Because people with Diesel cars know they have one and are used to looking for the diesel pump. People with gas cars are oblivious to the fact that there might be a diesel nozzle on the pump they are at.

This.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: August 04, 2022 08:55AM
I'll be shocked if they have to replace more than the fuel filter.

It might take a bit of cranking to clear the fuel lines to get the car to start but once it's running it should be OK.

A small amount of diesel mixed into the gas won't harm a thing.



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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: August 04, 2022 08:59AM
on the plus side, could have been even worse

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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: August 04, 2022 09:11AM
Quote
Acer
Quote
gadje
Quote
MindMeld
That's very unfortunate. However, I thought that diesel nozzles were larger than a gasoline nozzle and wouldn't fit into a gasoline filler pipe on a car. I must be mistaken.

Thus is in Europe, I’m not sure about nozzle size over there.

Here in US why is the Diesel nozzle larger? That would not prevent someone from putting Gasoline in a Diesel engine which seems to be much worse.

I think it's because the preventative measure can only work one direction, and you have to pick one. Sheer preponderance of numbers favors a passenger car driver more likely to make the mistake.

Or maybe diesel spouts were always larger, because of the higher volumes typically dispensed in trucks and equipment?

In the US the spouts used to be the same diameter for gas and diesel. When cars started needing lead free gas for engines with catalytic convertors the fill pipe was made smaller to keep someone from pumping in leaded gas. Pumps with lead free gas had the smaller diameter nozzle.

Of course now you only find leaded gas at places like airports where use of it is still allowed. They never changed the requirement for the restriction on the fill pipe size.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 04, 2022 09:20AM
.....still have a pair of Diesel jeans......somewhere in the closet......



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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: btfc
Date: August 04, 2022 09:31AM
“ Not something I worry about. I live in NJ, and am not allowed to pump my fuel. “

Happened to a friend here in Oregon a few weeks ago, where someone else pumps your gas.

Luckily he noticed it quickly and not much was added, and he never started it up.

I was wondering about the spout size too. Of course, the gas station was on the hook.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Rolando
Date: August 04, 2022 10:41AM
Didn't the smaller nozzles start with Unleaded vs Leaded? That is a very early, fuzzy memory.



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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: August 04, 2022 10:55AM
Renault dealer? Okay... it was in Europe.

Damage and cost of repairs depends on how old the car is. Looks like they haven't sold a luxury V8 for a while. A newer 4 cylinder car with direct injection could need a new high pressure pump, injectors, and a complete flush (€3,000 to €5,000). A nudge to buy a new electric car?



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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: testcase
Date: August 04, 2022 12:19PM
I’ve pumped my own DIESEL in NJ. I don’t remember if I did so in OR (but I think I did). Diesel fuel is much safer. NJ & OR were more concerned when highly flammable gasoline was being pumped by careless people.

BP stations use GREEN handles on ALL of their hoses. Every other station I’ve seen uses a green handle for diesel and some other color for gasoline. At BP stations, even the diesel nozzles are the same small diameter as gasoline hoses so, it’s MUCH easier to make a mistake at a BP station. NOTE: I don’t believe I’ve EVER seen a BP Truck Stop. Big Diesel engines usually have BIG fuel tanks with BIG fill nozzles that allow for a high fuel flow rate. As I generally fill my Freightliner RV at truck stops, I only have to be extra careful the few times I’m NOT at a truck stop.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 04, 2022 12:27PM
Quote
testcase

BP stations use GREEN handles on ALL of their hoses. Every other station I’ve seen uses a green handle for diesel and some other color for gasoline.

I was going to post about the Green handles, but my recollection was limited to that all diesel pumps used to have green, and now some are not. Agree it is confusing at first and I have more than once checked before I started pumping just to be sure it was in fact gasoline!
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: August 04, 2022 12:34PM
BP using the same nozzles for diesel and gasoline is a cost saving measure. They are made in much greater numbers for gasoline pumps, the regular sized nozzles now often cost more to buy. The downside is that with self service someone is going to get them mixed up and end up with costly repairs needed.

Years ago when I drove buses as a student, I really wished they had the large fill nozzles at the refueling pump. For "reasons" they chose to use a regular sized nozzle like used for filling cars. Pumping 60+ gallons of diesel at the end of the evening runs took quite a bit of time, and the small nozzle increased the amount of foaming. That would often shut off the nozzle with 10-15 more gallons to go, would have to wait a bit for the foam to settle and then continue.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: btfc
Date: August 04, 2022 01:00PM
“ I don’t remember if I did so in OR (but I think I did). “


Quite possible:


[traveloregon.com]


[www.oregonlive.com]


[www.kxl.com]
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Pat
Date: August 04, 2022 02:03PM
Diesel will not clog a fuel filter. Since diesel is an excellent solvent, all the crap it cleans out of your fuel system will clog the filter. So a filter change is necessary.

Instead of dropping the tank, disconnecting the fuel line and pumping it out is a much cheaper option. Then fill tank. The amount of diesel remaining will be diluted enough to not make a difference.

Pulling injectors. Personally I wouldn't. I'd drain the fuel lines as much as possible and start over.

This all assumes that one has the space, tools, and knowledge to do this. Otherwise ones wallet will be several thousand dollars lighter.

Fuel nozzles. In the last 20 years, the ONLY time I've seen the larger nozzles is at the high flow pumps. Everything at the islands is the same size as gasoline nozzles. Diesel cars and pickups had restrictors in the fill pipes to prevent you from using the high flow pumps. That's gone in pickups now since they have large enough tanks to fill without foaming too bad. EARLY cars probably did not have the restrictor since there were no diesel pumps available other than the high flow pumps.

This is only my opinion of what I'd do and my experience in the western half of the US.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2022 02:06PM by Pat.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: gadje
Date: August 04, 2022 03:53PM
before the incident, there was a lot of traffic (construction) so they were stuck for about 1 1/2 hours in stop and go traffic. The engine stops automatically to decide pollution and save fuel. The starter probably overheated.

Then they reached the dealership (car is still under warranty, and even though he will need to pay for this, he wanted to take it to the dealer). They drained the Diesel, changed spark plugs, etc. and tried to start it up. They had to crank it a lot to get fresh has to the cylinders, so the started overheated again, this time there was SMOKE. The car did start and they said he could drive it home, but the started will probably fail in a few days.

So he left the car there, took a ride home (a few hours away). The new started is supposed to come in on Monday. He may get his car back early next week.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2022 03:56PM by gadje.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: August 04, 2022 03:58PM
Pump out the tank or siphon it into the Diesel supply tank at the station, then fill up with gasoline and crank away until it starts, then drive as before. If necessary, loosen the fuel line at the fuel pump, then pressurize the tank to clear the Diesel from the gas line. You can do the same post fuel pump by loosening each injector line and blowing out the Diesel by pressurizing the line you removed from the pump.

Or, much easier and cheaper, after exchanging Diesel for gas, run the car on starting fluid until it runs by itself by squirting starting fluid in the air cleaner. Have a second person press on the gas pedal to get the RPMs up so/until you know the car will run on its own.

>>>

Except for a handful of years in the late ‘90’s and since I got our Volt in 2016, I exclusively drove Diesel cars since I was in my early 20’s (today I turned 72!, yay, I think). I never added gas but did run out of fuel more than once. The process to get the car going was about the same as adding the wrong dino fuel, just flushing air rather than gas/Diesel. I never used more than half a can of starting fluid. Works on big trucks, too. You just have to use care not to over rev the engine on starting fluid. I spray just enough to barely keep the car running.

BTW, I just bid my last Diesel, a beautiful Passat wagon (Mayan red exterior, beige real leather interior in superb condition - once he fixes the damage from a rear end collision when he went to Home Despot a couple of weeks ago; 106k miles on an ‘04), goodbye a week ago when my son took it to his home in Texas. I’ll visit it this winter. He and his wife flew here, then drove it back. He said she didn’t want it and hated the idea of Diesel. But she drove it most of the way home and has been it’s only driver this week until today when she relinquished it to him to take it to a preregistration inspection and fill it with fuel, then she is taking it back. He laughed when he told me that, as did I. And only he will fill it which isn’t an issue because it gets 600 miles on a 15 to 16 gallon fill.

Edit: I bought the Passat in S.W. Colorado via eBay in 2010. My son and I drove it home and in eastern Colorado, where there was little to no traffic, I was passed by a Suburban that was moving right along. After the Suburban got a couple of miles ahead I stepped on the fuel until the Passat was doing 135 MPH (and then I slowed back to 9 MPH over the limit). The car’s ECU had obviously been chipped. My Diesel ‘03 Jetta that I bought new was governed at 100 MPH and I’m sure the Passat was similarly governed. We drove the Passat to Mexico City a few times and I would occasionally follow another speeder often hitting 120 MPH..



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2022 04:20PM by Speedy.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: gadje
Date: August 04, 2022 04:11PM
Why is diesel so expensive these days? many years ago, when gas was cheap, Diesel was even cheaper. I recall gas being around $1.xx and diesel being 10 cents cheaper.

Now gas is $4 and diesel is $5. It went from 5-10% less to 25% more expensive.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: RgrF
Date: August 04, 2022 04:22PM
Quote
gadje
Why is diesel so expensive these days? many years ago, when gas was cheap, Diesel was even cheaper. I recall gas being around $1.xx and diesel being 10 cents cheaper.

Now gas is $4 and diesel is $5. It went from 5-10% less to 25% more expensive.

It's called capitalism just look at oil company profits and how they coincide with the rise in inflation.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: August 04, 2022 04:29PM
Feds charge an extra 6¢ tax on Diesel fuel (because heavy trucks damage the roads). States can charge more or less tax/gallon than gas. Gas is a low profit product from refineries whereas Diesel isn’t. Still, occasionally Diesel will be cheaper. Demand for Diesel is less elastic than for gas because trucks have to move no matter what whereas you might leave your car sit and combine many stops in a single trip to save gas when it is expensive.

[igentax.com]

I frequently stopped at a particular station in Missouri in the early ‘70’s to fuel my truck holding 150 gallons at 19.9¢/gallon. That’s $30 for a 150 gallon fill! At the time gas was around 30¢/gallon. Likely back then Missouri was a very low tax state for Diesel. To contrast, in the mid-aughts I would pay well over $1k to fill my truck’s twin 150s. Luckily I never had fuel stolen from my truck. In the ‘70’s it was all cash except at a few stations that would cash a fuel advance check from my carrier; no credit cards. Fortunately that has long since changed.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2022 04:43PM by Speedy.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: August 04, 2022 04:44PM
Almost literally passing your money away filling with urea.

Quote
SDGuy
on the plus side, could have been even worse




Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Maddog
Date: August 04, 2022 05:04PM
I am in Oregon. You can pump your own diesel and you can pump gas yourself into your motorcycle. After hours in some places, self service gas is ok. Not really sure why it is necessary to forbid people from pumping gas, but since I have a Volt, don't really care anymore.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: August 04, 2022 06:28PM
Quote
Maddog
since I have a Volt, don't really care anymore.

Sure, go ahead, lord it over us.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: August 05, 2022 09:45AM
Quote
Rolando
Didn't the smaller nozzles start with Unleaded vs Leaded? That is a very early, fuzzy memory.

I remember the leaded having a larger nozzle back when I had a 68 Firebird that took leaded gas.

Quote
Maddog
Not really sure why it is necessary to forbid people from pumping gas, .

Jobs.
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Re: Ugh. Dad put Diesel into his Gasoline car. How bad is it?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: August 05, 2022 10:38AM
[www.autoevolution.com]

Quote
AutoEvolution
If you never touch the ignition, the in-tank fuel pump has not started. In this case, the damages are limited to the fuel fill pipe, tank, and fuel pump module. Those three will need to be replaced to avoid more severe problems down the line. As you can see, this is already pretty expensive, so you better watch out when you fill that DEF tank.

Quote
SDGuy
on the plus side, could have been even worse




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