What happens if I fill up my petrol car with diesel?

Imagine that the next time you take your car to the fuel station to fill your tank, you get distracted and the attendant assumes your petrol car should be filled with diesel…

According to the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), about 15 per cent of petrol car owners in South Africa are suspected to have had their car misfueled before.

If your car gets filled with the wrong fuel, it could cause irreversible damage. If your insurance company does not cover you for this mistake, you may have to buy a new car or pay for the damages yourself as many petrol stations do not compensate customers for their slip-up.

Two things can happen after misfuelling – your car will either start before you realise the mistake or it will not start. If your car does starts, it will stall a few kilometres into your journey.

Here are a few useful prevention tips to bear in mind:

  • Do not get distracted. Keep a close eye on the proceedings. When requesting fuel for your car, keep an eye on the attendant to make sure they take the correct pump from the fuel dispenser.
  • If you happen to be a victim of misfuelling, do not start your car. Let the attendant or fuel station manager know. If all else fails, your car insurance company, who may be able to advise.
  • Try to learn the difference in smell between petrol and diesel. If you suspect the wrong fuel is being poured in your car, it probably is.

Be sure to check out the “Your Car”section on the MiWay blog for up-to-date news, tips and hints on car maintenance and insurance for your vehicle.

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