What to do if you get diesel fuel in your gas vehicle

On our recent road trip to Durham for a Tech-Recipes Summit, we accidently put 4 gallons of diesel in our non-diesel vehicle. Googling the obvious keywords didn’t get us very far, so I thought I’d share our experience in the hopes it would help others. We ended up with no problems, but I’ll just warn you that this information is from a few sources, contains suggestions based on a few experiences, your milage (heh) can and will probably vary. If in doubt, please seek professional help. I’m only writing this in the hopes it can help some folks — I know more about Ghz than MPG, so take the contents of this post with caution. There are many different cars and engines and I bet that their reactions to diesel contamination will be very different. You are responsible for your vehicle and the decision you ultimately make is your own. I recommend towing your car to a mechanic if you have any hesitation. Enough gluteal coverage? Let’s continue.

If you face this situation, your solution will be heavily influenceded by a number of factors. I will describe our condition in detail and that of a friend who also had a similiar problem but with a very different outcome. Our 20 gallon tank was mostly empty (it still had 2-3 gallons of normal gas) and 4 gallons of diesel were added. We did not start the engine at this point, but instead used our phone lifelines.

We called a friend back at a home who completely filled his tank with diesel.. while the car was still running, pretty much the worst case scenario. It stopped running and would no longer start. The only solution at that point was a tow to a mechanic and the removal of the engine and fuel tank and most of the rest of the fuel handling system. Each component had to be cleaned to get the diesel out. My heart sank at the thought of this.

David knew an excellent mechanic and was able to reach him by phone. Given our situation, he told us that if it was his car, he’d fill it up with the highest octane fuel, use gas treatment and fuel injection system cleaner, and drive the diesel out of the system. He warned that the car would not like it, the engine would knock and stutter and generally not want to cooperate. After a few tanks of good gas and gas treatment and engine cleaner, he recommended replacing the fuel filter. If this solution worked, it would be the cheapest.

The only other alternative was towing the car to a mechanic to have the fuel tank drained and possibly cleaned. This was possible because none of the diesel had been pulled toward the engine as a result of starting the engine.

After much contemplation at the gas station, I concluded that there were three potential outcomes:

  1. Fill the car with good fuel and treatments, say a little prayer and drive the diesel out. It works and the expense is $50 in extra gas cost and fuel treatments.
  2. Follow the steps in option 1, but with too much diesel in the tank, the engine becomes inoperable. If the good gas/fuel treat plan doesn’t work, expect $2000-3000 in repairs.
  3. Tow the car immediately to a mechanic and pay $500-1000 in repairs to guarantee no damage to your car.

Option 3 is the safest by far. We opted for #1 and it worked out well in our case. We had 4 gallons of diesel in a 20 gallon tank, a 20% ratio of diesel to gas and about 14 of the 16 gallons of gas were high octane.

If we had topped off the tank with diesel, option 3 would have been our only possibility. Diesel will not run a gas engine. Diesel != gas. With 20% diesel in our tank, it was, as David’s mechanic friend said, like getting a tank full of really bad gas. There are fuel filtration measures in place to protect the engine from some bad fuel, so we lucked out with the ratio we had. 100% diesel certainly will not work. If you have a ratio somewhere between, you have a difficult decision to make. My advice is to consider it carefully and take the safe approach and have your vehicle’s stomach pumped, especially if you are not a gambler at heart and certainly if you have a ratio much higher than 20%. At 20%, our vehicle was reluctant to start and did knock some. It also stopped a few times while driving. David suggested topping off the tank after a few gallons were burned and when we did this, the engine behaved much better.

After returning a thousand miles home and driving around here for a week, we took the vehicle to a dealership for an oil change and asked for their advice regarding the fuel filter. They suggested that if the car was behaving properly not to worry about the fuel filter as this is not a quick replacement.

Long story short, if you are in this situation, take a deep breath and stay calm. If the diesel isn’t in your engine yet, there are solutions. Even if you drive off with diesel, your car can be repaired.

  • http://blogs.tech-recipes.com/davak Davak

    My excellent mechanic is the man who deserves all the props. Other than he only officially works on American cars, he is the most amazing mechanic I have ever known.

    If you need an honest mechanic in Raleigh:

    Robbie’s Truck and Auto Service
    502 S West St
    Raleigh, NC 27601
    (919) 833-2966

    We need to fix him up an official tech-recipes swag packet…

  • qmchenry

    Oh, yeah, he’s the man! I’ll definitely send him some swag.

  • dale mc nulty

    Why didnt you get a cheap siphon and drain the tank?

  • qmchenry

    We considered siphoning. The main reason I rejected that idea was that we would have ended up with 6 gallons of diesel+gas. I didn’t feel comfortable letting that drain away into the sewage system and we were still at the pump — I don’t think the station owner would have appreciated that anyway. Starting the engine with a high ratio of diesel would have been catastrophic, so we couldn’t move far. The other option was to get several large fuel cans and siphon the carpalm into them, but I couldn’t think of a reasonable way to dispose of those. Being far from home, I couldn’t think of a legitimate use or means of disposal for a 66% diesel, 33% mixture.

    Also, David’s mechanic buddy told us that, because of the shape of gas tanks, etc, it would probably be impossible to get much of the diesel out. If we had topped off the tank, siphoning would be a great solution as it would have gotten a lot of the diesel out, probably down to where we were in this situation or a little less. David, how’d he put it? “Have you heard of dilution?” I remember laughing at that.

    In the end, diluting the diesel as much as possible worked for us. If siphoning is an option, it would definitely help dilute the bad stuff.

  • http://ngf-bg.com Martin

    “the fuel filter as this is not a quick replacement”

    You never said what was your car? I have a ’82 BMW e28 518 carburator and changing fuel filters takes less than a minute, as well as air ones.

  • qmchenry

    Seriously, not kidding about me and cars. I’d be more comfortable (and probably more successful) at making a computer out of stuff in our kitchen drawers than replacing a fuel filter. Even if the fuel filter came with the same kind of cartoon-style, word-free, pictograph assembly instructions that come with computers.

    I tend to believe our dealer service department. They estimated 2-3h of labor to replace the filter in our Toyota Highlander. That estimate may be high, but they also recommended against it at all. I worked in as a pre-sales engineer for a computer reseller for a spell — if a customer actually needed service and I suggested that they not get it, I’d get more than a wrist slap for sure.

  • http://blogs.tech-recipes.com/davak Davak

    Yeah, that’s what Robbie said.

    The first time I learned the magic of dilution was in my surgery rotation.

    This guy was shot in his abdomen and had stool in places that stool shouldn’t be. We were washing out his belly when one of the other medical students said, “Why not just give him antibotics?”

    And the surgeon said, “The solution to pollution is dilution.”


  • kftgr

    “Why not jsut give him antibiotics?”

    Now THAT is scary, to think that a potential medical professional would have that kind of mindset. Just hope that if that med. student is now practicing, that he/she learned a lesson from that. Still not as scary as the 7th year med students that I know of…

    Back to the tip, does the same recourse apply to putting gasoline in a diesel car?

  • qmchenry

    Edit: check out Todd’s response below this one for a good description of gas in a diesel engine…

    I got to hang out with medical students a lot back when, as David can attest. As a result, I see doctors as a lot more human than I did growing up. I also really, really don’t want to be sick.

    Good question about the inverse problem, gasoline in a diesel car. I don’t know, although I suspect it is a similar problem/solution. Low concentrations of gas probably wouldn’t be a big deal (and if a diesel engine ran louder, who could tell?). I doubt that a diesel engine would run on 100% gasoline, so there is probably some magic concentration beyond which bad things would happen. It seems like diesels are a little more tolerant of contaminations in fuels (I know I can’t put used cooking oil in my gas car).

    If anyone has had the fun of experiencing gas in diesel, let us know how it turned out.

  • todd

    Gasoline engines simply quit running on diesel, diesel engines explode when run on gas. Diesel fuel is not very flammable, nearly anything can be used as fuel for a diesel engine including cooking oil. Diesel engines compress crappy fuel to the point where it will burn. Gasoline engines dont compress fuel nearly as much because the fuel is so flammable. When gasoine is run in a diesel, the very high compression ratio will cause an explotion resulting in catostrophic engine failure. Diluting the gas is possible but removing all gasoline possible present in the fuel system is very important. If any gasoline made it into the fuel line (you tried to run the engine), I wouldnt risk it, the engine will explode.

  • qmchenry

    Good to know, Todd. Thanks for sharing. Makes sense, now that I think about it.

  • Jerry

    Hi all you tekeeys lol , well it’s getting close to thanksgiving so the spelling is appropiate. Well gasoilne in a diesel? hmmm. In the old days 1979-1984 diesel fuel was not as refined and the additives were not as good as they are today (sorta like a comadore 64)and used to jell up in the winter months,18 degrees f and below. We used to put one gallon of gas to 19 gallons of diesel to keep it from jelling( haveing jello pudding pops in your fuel tank just didnt work).Now in the warmer weather putting gasoline in a diesel motor could cause much more damage then diesel in a gasoilne motor. if you put gasoline in a diesel and drove the diesel it would ping like spark nock but much more violent. and when starting the diesel motor with gas it would try to start then feel like it is locking up with a sound like sombody threw nuts and bolts in your motor, and if you were lucky enough well unlucky enough to be able to drive it you very well would crack a piston or bend a connecting rod ( sorta like so much spyware running on your pc and and you keep using it that the cpu gets so hot and burns up.New motor anyone? lol. I dont know how I got to this site but it was good reading. thanks.

  • http://blogs.tech-recipes.com/shamanstears/2006/10/20/taking-on-q-apple-vs-microsoft/ Taking on Q: Apple vs. Microsoft — Digital Streets

    [...] Disguised itself as IE7 and put diesel fuel in Quinn’s gasoline vehicle. [...]

  • Amar

    I had a similar situation exactly 4 days ago. My tank(12 gallon capacity) had 3 gallons of regular gas and at a gas station i pumped 3 gallons of diesel into it. Fortunately, i did not start the ignition. When i took my car to the service guys, they said i am OK as long as i havenot started my ignition. So they drained my gas tank and refuelled entire tank with grade 91 gas. This is required to dilute all remaning diesel to the extent possible.
    My car did not complain so far and will be keeping a watch on the mileage. This cost me $100 and will accept this, if my car doesnot complain.

  • heidi

    So, we just found out one of our employees, who is 2 hours away, just filled our diesel van with gas. A mechanic we talked with said up to 10% gas would not be horrible, but he put in about 20 gallons. We’re still working on it . . . .

  • qmchenry

    Heidi, we were definitely fortunate to get only a few gallons into our tank and that diesel into our gas car sounds better than your gas into diesel. Thanks to everyone who has contributed their experiences here. I didn’t find much when I Googled for it during our experience, so I hope all of this information helps other folks. Good luck, Heidi!

  • heidi

    So, we just found out one of our employees, who is 2 hours away, just filled our diesel van with gas. A mechanic we talked with said up to 10% gas would not be horrible, but he put in about 20 gallons. We’re still working on it . . . .

    no luck with siphoning. We are going to tow to a mechanic in the morning.

  • Amy

    I found this site the other day when my husband called to tell me he had just put about 5 gal of gas in our F250 diesel pick up. he was in a hurry and had about a 1/4 of fuel so he just put $10.00 in it
    (also we have not been driving much latly)anyway he had driven about 20 miles and the truck started acting up he thought that it was a fuel promblem that we had had once before as we were talking I asked is it doing the same thing? at that point he said “maybe I put gas in it” it took me a moment to recall that he was in the truck and gas was not okay :) he stoped and pulled the reciept out of his pocket and sure enough that is what he did. He called his stepdad who has always driven a diesel and was told that with that small of an amount he could fill it with diesel and just refuel every few gallans and it should be fine.

    that is what we did, he put 16 gal of diesel (topped it off) in it and we have driven it everyday for the last 4 days everyday putting more diesel in it and it seems to be fine. We were warned that it would be possible for the truck to do funny things like try and keep running after you turn it off etc. we had none of that.
    Also, we were told that if you had more than 20% gas in the diesel you would not want to try and run it out.

    The truck is running fine, and it has since he filled it with diesel. Thanks for having this site it was the only thing I could find.

    BTW the truck did not explode :)

  • Heather

    I just bought a 2 year old car this weekend… and it drove like a dream all during the test drive. On the way home, i started noticing a lag in acceleration, and then in the morning my car didn’t start. So much for an almost brand new car off the lot! Turns out some guy AT THE DEALER filled up my tank with diesel after my test drive. Go figure… now I am fighting with them to replace all the parts, rather than just cleaning them. I don’t want to worry the entire time I have this car that the engine will not work as efficiently as it should. Do you guys think I am overreacting here?

  • qmchenry

    Oh, no.. that’s terrible. Heather, it depends on how much diesel fuel ended up in the tank. If it was just a little (2 gallons or less), it probably isn’t a big deal. However, since your car wouldn’t start the next morning, I suspect it was more than just a little diesel. Since they were at fault, it seems like they need to make it right. Since I can’t tell you what is right, you might feel better if you found a 3rd party, a mechanic you could trust to tell you what they would do if they were in your situation. Good luck!

  • marie

    Well here’s a good one. My husband bought me a new 2007 X Unlimited Jeep. I had it exactly 7 days and 30 minutes before I had to be at a Christmas party, it stopped dead in the middle of an intersection. It would not do anything. I called my husband, he called a toll truck and took it to the dealership. They tried for 3 days to figure out what was wrong. Today, they called and said, “someone put diesel in your gas tank!”. Needless to say I was upset. They said, they will drain the gas tank and flush the engine and that it will be just fine. Cost $500 We think , my husband must have put diesel in it by mistake or we got ahold of a station that mistakenly put diesel in the wrong holding tank. Who knows. Considering diesel pumps are marked in green and have a spring around the spout.

  • Joe

    I thought the Nozzle on a Diesel Pump was larger so it could not fit into a Gas burning Auto Mobile. Did they stop this practice? If so, that was a bad Idea.

  • Kathy

    I found all the comments both helpful and interesting. We just gave our 27 yr old daughter our 2002 Honda Civic in excellent shape with 20,000 miles on it. She just called hysterically because it died after she had just filled it with gas. She went to a gas station she had never been to and thinks she put diesel in the tank instead of regular gasoline. She is awaiting AAA and the police as she is stuck on a major thoroughfare. She works in Burbank California and was heading home to Santa Clarita. After reading all of the above, I asked her how much Diesel and she said that the gauge was on “E”, so it looks like the whole tank. It looks like this will cost a bundle. Anyone out there know good mechanics in the area? We have no clue as we live on the East coast. Thanks!

  • Mark (South Africa)

    I have done a few insurance assessments on diesel vehicles that were filled with petrol (you guys call it gas). The damage is caused because petrol does not have any lubricant in it, which quickly causes damage (within 5 or 6 km the engine will act up)to the moving parts in the injectors and high pressure pumps etc.

    While the vehicles are under warranty it is very expensive to repair them, as understandably the vehicle agents will only use new original parts, so that their warranty can be honoured. However they do automatically assume that the parts in the fuel system are damaged beyond further use and replace all of them.

    The cost to repair a BMW and Mercedes is around R40,000 i.e. about $5,700 and a jeep cherokee is R60,000 i.e. about $8,500. No discounts!!!! (We’re robbed badly here in South Af.)

    In older cars it might be possible to re-use the parts after inspection, or else to use alternative parts, at a fraction of the cost.

  • Mark (South Africa)

    Oh yes, I forgot to add, It’s an insurance issue here because we are not allowed to fill our own vehicles and have to rely on pump attendants employed by the filling station. (job preservation and all that). Also makes fuel much more expensive.

  • Jim shik

    I found these discussion very useful. It saved my vehicle today. My wife accidentaly filled Diesel in 2004 Sienna. We have only 25K miles on the minivan. There were about 3 gallons of regular gas in the tank when she filled in about 4.5 gallon of Diesel. She drove about 1.5 Km smoothly before vehicle started choking. She pulled over and parked the car in nearby parking lot. Later we drained about 1 gallon diesel out of the van and filled up almost 14 gallons of 91 octane gas. The van did not started or started but stopped in two seconds. After trying for about 10 times and giving the race all of the diesel in the engine area got burnned out and new mixed (diesel + gas) getting in the engine. Finally the engine started , I left the engine running for about 1/2 hours before driving. It drove almost same as before.

  • From Bea

    We were on vacation in Carlsbad,CA. We pulled up to a Chevron station in Carlsbad and filled up our tank, with we thought was unleaded gas. I STARTED THE ENGINE, drove away and immediately my car (Nissan) seemed to be “choking”. We went back to Chevron. The cashier told us we pumped diesel and that it happens all the time at that station. I had my car towed and the tow company said they get plenty of business from people due to this problem. We had to get home but had to an extra day. We went to a Nissan dealer paid $400 to get the diesel gas out and lines cleaned. I have called, written, emailed, sent certified mail to Chevron to help us with this expense. We get the runaround!! Their diesel pump is right next to the unleaded gas on the same line!!! BEWARE OF THE CHEVRON IN CARLSBAD. A driver happened to pull up while we were speaking to the attendant and told us that it had just happened to his mother. He told us to add a “cleaner” but we had filled up…we had to have it repaired correctly. This occurred in August ’06 and I did not find anything on the website about this problem until I came across your webite. Has anyone else written about this gas station? (And yes, the diesel pump fits!)

  • Colleen

    My daughter who is 16 and just got her car, filled her car with diesel accidently… I forgot to give her the 411 about gas I guess… Her car had about 1/4 tank in it and she filled it up with Diesel. Luckily that was only minutes from our house, but she did drive it for about 5 min before it pooped out, around the corner from our house. It didn’t want to go for sure… I moved it from where she parked it to our house around the block before I knew that she put diesel in it… she just thought the car crapped out or something… so, tomorrow I am going to call the towing company and have them take the car in to be drained and cleaned… She’s only had the car for 2 weeks…

  • Gen

    Yep, just put diesel in the car. Boy do I feel obtuse. I ran back to the service station just behind the gas station. Fortunately the service attendants near the gas station where I fueled checked the car and said it had a flush tap (luckily I live walking distance). All they will need to do is flush the fuel, change the filters and pump a bit of gas to get the cars started, about a $150-200 dollars for repairs…I cried like a baby, not about the money, last job on the car has cost $800; $150 was nothing compared to that. I cried because felt so lost and mortified. My friend said I feel bad now…but that we’ll look back at the incident and make fun of it (or rather make fun of me) in the future. I found this website doing a search on the damages the car could sustain. I’m happy I’m not the only one out there that has made the same mistake. Reading all your comments has helped me come down a bit and stop the weeping. I guess being a new driver is a scary thing. Your website has been really helpful to me. I’m in my early twenties, have live alone for many years, and I’m currently overseas. For parents out there be good to your kids when they make this kind of mistakes. I’m suffering right now and have no one to cry and hold on to. Make your kids feel comfortable, I really wish my mom was here. ;)

  • Jeff Korinko

    I have a case where my client was driving his 2003 Chevy Silverado 3500 Diesel truck and pulling a large RV trailer. He stopped at a gas station and put in about 26 gallons of diesel fuel [per the receipt]. He got back on the highway and traveled about 46 miles before his engine died. His truck was towed to a Chevrolet dealership where he was told that his pistons and cylinders were burned up, likely due to gasoline in his diesel fuel. The gas station vehemently denies that its diesel fuel was tainted with gasoline. My client had traveled at least 1800 miles up until this incident without any mechanical problems. Does anyone have any insight into this issue? It is the reverse of the original problem.

  • Teresa Beverley

    thanks first and foremost to qmchenry and then of course all of your comments.

    i will let you know what happens in my case: early this morning because i found my tank out of gas (i thought i had 1/4 of a tank and was leaving for work early to fill up the tank), i did some quick thinking and realized i had gas in my shed for my lawn mower. the plastc fuel container i found, i was told, had gas in it: i put approx 1 gal in it and drove to the nearest station to place more gas in it(approx 1 mile). it sputtered as i entered the station. i only put 2.5 gal of additional gas in it and began leaving the station. but it wasnt having it and quickly stopped (i learned later that afternoon that there were 2 plastic containers of fuel in my shed; i only saw the one that, yep you guessed it, had diesel in it). i had it towed to the dealership. thus far, no work has been done on it; and since i do not have $500.00, i am going to take option #1 and continue to pray. i will also consult a few more mechanics prior to making this grueling decision. but thanks for all of your input. hopefully the following suggestions will help as well:
    1. take the time to smell: gasoline is much more potent smelling.
    2. label your gas cans in your shed.
    3. keep your tank at 1/4 tank so you dont run into the “out of gas” dilema and make crazy mistakes like this.
    4. last, i did NOT learn today that i have cancer or receive some other tragic news. today, i learned that we need to slow down, think, be willing to arrive to our destination late… and call someone we know who truly is having a tragic day and need a shoulder.

    yes, i am upset with myself but i have all of you to thanks for this input – Teresa

  • shane

    well i feel like a idiot i filled my work truck brand new.first fill ever i was not famiarly with the the pumps was told by other driver that the digital pump system would only let me put diesel in but they gave me wrong chip and i did not even look at the label on the pump because where i fill up is all diesel for the last ten years and just was use to it this truck 220000 dollars. i started pumping the gas in it 12 gallons and realized it was gas and not diesel fuel this is a cement mixer truck and i felt sick all day and night and couldnt wait to talk to my boss who just dropped me off to pick up my new truck luckyfor me i did not start the engine and no gas got in the fuel line it was about 12 gallons gas and 30 gallons diesel we drained it and changed the fuel filter and it runs perfect still can not belive how stupid i was

  • Benjamin

    I was tuning my engine (302 GT-40 stroked to a 347) in my 2000 F-150, popping a bit over 210 psi per cylinder. I ran to the gas station and filled up a 5 gallon gas can with super premium unleaded, added octane booster and lead addative to the tank and then added the gas(diesel!!!!! The funny thing is that the gas station doesn’t even sell diesel. But sure enough, there was a bit left in the can and it was a blueish greenish color. Man, my truck didn’t like it as I drove it to a gas station to fill up the rest of the way. 20 gallons of premium, three bottles of octane booster and lead addative, and the thing is still pinging at anything over 1/3 throtle. I am down to less than a quarter tank left so hopefully when I fill back up, the problem will be solved. Glad to know there are other people out there with simular issues!! Keep your heads high and your feet out of the pedal to mimimize pre-detonation as it will all come out in the wash/refil!

  • Rick


    Having both diesel and gasoline equipment at my farm, I have worried about getting the two fuels confused. I quickly learned from a neighbor that gasoline should always be in red or orange containers and diesel fuel in yellow containers. You can find the yellow in most places that sell fuel containers. I have never had a problem after using the different colors. My daughter had a slight problem when she ran out of gas and her mother came to the rescue with a can of my chain saw gas and oil mixture. The car smoked a bit, but I guess nothing bad ever came of that. I actually had the chain saw gas in a red container and the mower gas with no oil in it in an orange container, but I guess my wife didn’t realize that. The gas with oil in it has a much darker appearance, by the way.


  • jim

    My brother put in about six gallons of gasoline in my turbo passat diesel. I drained it out and filled up the tank with kerosine (more refined diesel). Started up rough but ran and after five minutes was fine.

  • Stan

    Can someone explain why it would be neccessary to clean/replace fuel lines and filters if diesel were put into a gasoline car? I would think simply draining it as much as possible and diluting it with gasoline would be good enough.
    How would diesel harm the fuel lines or clog the fuel filter of a gasoline engine?

  • Rose

    I madevery stupid mistake today to put half tank of diesel in to my just brought second hand Toyota05I started the engineer and only run about 5 min , the car was terriably choking and then stopped. Good thing is I was lucky enough to pull over in the sideway not at the dead end intersection. I was told by my friend , the cost to repair is at least $1000. so I just treat them as a lose from stock market otherwise I will go crazy…

    Thanks a lot for all yr guys input and make me feel not that stupid and learn a lot of infomtion and experience.

  • burbank

    its a nice experience…
    ..if im you,i will help those people which realy need a help…i mean those people that in the in dangerouse…
    cause of accident…

  • Mallory

    Well, after reading these comments I feel alot better about my situation. I am boring my moms explorer for the weekend. My friend and I decided this morning we would drive 2 hours to go shopping. I run out of gas, go to the gas station and put 7 gallons of diesel in it! I am freaking out calling dealerships and they are saying tow it. Finally, I talk to this sweet old man and he said fill the rest with gas and I made it home. Is everything gonna be okay from here on out?

  • Our car now runs on diesel… kind of < Scott Van Den Plas : Philosopher

    [...] So our car runs on diesel, but only if you put in mostly gasoline. Post a comment | Trackback URI [...]

  • shawn

    am really glad i came across this thread. last evening, i put 6 gallons of seemingly bad gas in my suburban. the vehicle was on empty when i put the gas in and i drove about 15 miles on it when all of the problems (sputtering,dying,etc..) began, so i’m down to about 5 gallons left in it. rather than taking it to my mechanic, i believe i will buy the fuel cleaner and fill it up with the high octane stuff. really hoping that does the trick, since i have a 42 gallon tank, i’m only looking at about 12% bad fuel in the system. it should be pretty easy to get it diluted.

  • Lisa

    I’m so glad to find this website. On mothers day I put diesel into my friends truck. It was on empty and I put approximately 9 gallons in it. We were over a hundred miles from home!!!!! We tried siphoning it but could not get a hose into the tank!! Truck would not start so I had it towed to her house and 2 days later to the dealership. Still waiting to hear the verdict on $cost and repairs but they seem to think emptying tank and flushing the fuel lines would work. I’m paying for my mistake and was prepared to essentially buy her a new truck. So glad it doesn’t look that way now. Guess I cannot be trusted to pump any kind of gas.
    I learned that if the pump handle is green it is not gasoline! Also, if it is too big, it’s not gasoline! I’m not blonde, I swear. I don’t normally do stupid stuff, but this was definately not smart!!

  • Kerrie

    I am thrilled to find this website, but my problem is on a tad smaller scale than an automobile. Nevertheless, I’m hoping that all you savvy engine techs can help me out! I have a chainsaw that was relatively new that my brother-in-law borrowed….unaware that a chain saw has to have a gas/oil fuel. He filled it with regular gas. Is there hope, or is this chainsaw pretty much history? I appreciate any and all input!

  • Shaun

    I was hard at work when my wife continually tried reaching me on the cell. Finally got time to answer and received the bad news that she had put diesel into our Rav4. She did want to start because her friend told her not to run the car and to call the dealership. I asked how much she pumped – are you ready for this? – it was only $0.20 or $0.30 worth! (She’s not blonde either but…) So I told her since she was nearly on empty (I had drove the Rav4 the night before and knew it was near empty) that she should just fill it up with Regular and be on her way. She said she would just let me fill it up and I told her she had better do it while she was there and BEFORE she drove it with diesel in the tank – even though at today’s prices that was maybe about 5-6 drops of gas! She even told me that she was wondering why the nozzel didn’t fit into the tank – HINT HINT HINT! I’ll have to drive it to see if there is any lingering effect, but I doubt enough got in there to make any difference (Rav4 has about 14 gallon tank and she only got 20 to 30 CENTS worth). Guess we were lucky she caught it before any true damage was done. Came across this site while being interested in what would have happened if…..

  • Samantha

    I am so happy to have found this site and see I am not alone in this easy mistake. I did the same thing a few nights ago, but I drove it not knowing that I shouldnt have for about 5 mins before my car stopped in the intersection. Luckily someone helped me to move my car to the side of the road and my roadside asstistance came and towed it to the dealer. I almost passed out when I was told it was going to cost over almost $1000!!!I guess I will have to suck this up to a learning experience.

  • Garry

    My wife drives an 04 Jag XK8. She only use premium gas and only buys at Costco and Safeway in California. Neither Safeway nor Costco sell Diesel in our area and yet, when her car quit the dealor says that there is diesel fuel contamination. The car would run for a while and then die. It would restart and go alittle longer(several miles). The dealor put many miles on the car road testing and it would be OK for awhile and then quit. Does anyone have an asnswer for us. Thanks.

  • eliz

    I drive a vw diesel jetta. Never did this before, but filled it with gasoline this AM, car is at mechanic for weekend, will find out later…I drove it for awhile not realizing the problem, then if felt like a fuel problem, had it towed. Gas station I went to is not one of my regulars, the pump had mutiple selections including diesel. This time Diesel was:YELLOW, I usually get diesel at two or three stations, all self pump and all are GREEN. Bad mistake!

  • Alex

    First I would like to know how you get the diesel pump into your gas car the diesel pumps “ends” are larger than the gas pumps that is what baffels me the most.

  • jasmine

    I put 3 gallons diesel into my new jeep! drove for a mile. engine started to go rough so I pulled over and just realized what I did! my question is should i take it to a mechanic or the dealership??

  • Vince

    My wife mistakenly added about 4 gallons of diesel to the 5 gallons of gas remaining in the tank of our Honda Element. She wondered why the nozzle wouldn’t go into the filler hole, so she didn’t fill up all the way. She made it home OK, but she couldn’t get it started the next day. It didn’t take long to figure out what happened, and we decided to remedy the situation ourselves instead of following any of the $600-$1000 estimates we got to flush the tank and lines, replace the iridium plugs and fuel filter (part of the in-tank fuel pump), and inspect the injectors. I uncoupled a quick disconnect in the fuel line just before the fuel rail at the front of the engine, stuck on a 6 foot plastic hose leading to a large container on the floor, and turned the key to the “run” position until the fuel pump stopped (about 3 seconds.) After the initial surge, gravity took over, and the tank was drained as dry as possible after about 5 hours. While this was going on, I cleaned the carbon off of the spark plugs and filled gas cans with 14 gallons of premium gas, and bought a bottle of Techron fuel system treatment. When the tank was empty, we poured in the Techron and premium gas, got the fuel pump going again to flush the last of the gas/diesel mix out of the fuel line, and reconnected the fuel line. After 4 tries to start the engine and 10-15 seconds of rough idling, the car ran fine. I’ll check the plugs again after a couple more tanks of gas.

  • Joan

    Our local Turkey Hill had diesel fuel put into the unleaded regular underground tank. Up to 50 cars filled up at the pump before the mistake was discovered. My daughter’s van started jerking a couple of miles away and the engine began to smoke. The tank was almost completely empty when she fueled up. Turkey Hill will pay to have the van towed and repaired, but what a nightmare!

  • d.j. aguirre

    I loaned my ’87 bmw 320I to a friend. he said that he put 20 euros worth of diesel in my almost empty gas tank. a local mechanic claims that it’ll cost 1300. euros to fix. i am relieved after reading all these reports. looks like this misinformed mechanic is trying to make an extra euro. maybe, he is under the impression that i have a diesel engine. especially since he has said that my car in a ticking time bomb. i’ll know more when i return to italia next week. grazie mille for all your experinces. CIAO

  • adelaida sochor

    i put 2 gallons of diesel in my 2005 ion saturn and i need help please give some kind of guidence after i put the wrong gas in i put regular gas in it and it still did not turn over

  • GWiz

    Recently I went to a Kangaroo station, put the hose in my new Sienna and pushed 87octane and filled up to the tune of $55. Drove about 1/8 mile and the car died. To make a long story short it was diesel and cost over $700 to fix. I mistakenly used the diesel hose but did not push the diesel button which was on the same pump. Should the station be held responsible. I’ve heard from friends that the hose should not have fit in my car and if I pushed 87 diesel fuel should not have come out.

  • qmchenry

    @GWiz, it was at a Kangaroo station that this happened to us, too. My understanding is that the nozzle for a diesel pump should not fit into a gasoline car’s tank port. I’ve never tested this in the real world. It does seem that if you push a gasoline octane solution and try to start pumping diesel, a well-made system would not pump and provide some feedback that something has gone amok. Whether or not the gas station can be held accountable, I don’t know. It certainly wouldn’t take much time to contact them with a complaint through their website (Google for “Kangaroo gas”). However, the effort expended to follow through in small claims court might be more than you are willing to pursue. If the Kangaroo stations in particular have incorrect diesel nozzles, it would definitely be in their best interest to change them, so providing feedback to them at the corporate level may help prevent others from going through the same experience.

  • Thierry

    I accidentally put 10L of gas into a rented Passat diesel engine in Paris. We were in a hurry and the tank was nearly empty . I started knocking at idle after 2 blocks of driving in the traffic. I immediatelly pulled the car on the side. I went back to the gas station to realise the green nozzle is preminum unleaded gas (green is diesel in Canada). I was recommended to put fuel cleaner and add diesel and should be fine. Added 10L of diesel with cleaner with 2 trip of jerrycan (now about 60% diesel, 40% gas mixture in the tank): took a while to restart, but engine ran suffissently with less power so I can drive back to the station. Then topped it with another 50L of diesel. Drove another 300km with no problem. Have been lucky not to top off with gas the first time!! Moral: Always be carefull when changing contries, not same color and nozzle sizes!!!.

  • Lee

    I accidentally filled a three fourths empty gas tank with diesel in Atlanta Ga. and within ten miles or so the car overheated so badly I thought I had perhaps blown a head gasket or something. The car was a ford fiesta which at the time was only a few years old. It would drive five or ten miles and then slowly stall out. I had no idea what the problem was and since it was late on a Friday evening I had little hope of finding a garage open, so I would let the engine cool for half an hour or so and it would restart and go another ten miles or so. It never did spark knock or rattle, if it had I might have figured the problem out. After spending about five hours moving maybe a hundred miles or less I noticed it was using far more fuel than it should have so I stopped to refuel because I was about to go onto a long stretch of isolated highway. When I raised the hood to check the oil I smelled diesel fuel pretty strong, so I opened the fuel tank and smelled it, and sure enough, it was clearly diesel fuel I was smelling. I knew immediately what I had done. So I refilled the tank, which was then about three fourths empty, with gasoline, and got back on the interstate. Within five miles or so it began running a little better, but it was smoking heavily and even blowing a few sparks out the tailpipe. I just kept going and by the time I reached home (about 150 miles) it had pretty much cleared up and was running more or less normal. I kept that little car for another two years and it never gave me any other problems. At one point I got on a stretch of highway just south of Chattanooga that had almost NO shoulder, and when the thing decided to stop I put the passenger side of the car against the guardrail and the drivers side was still slightly over the white line marking the edge of the highway. You haven’t lived until you sit trapped in a situation like that with rush hour tractor trailer trucks thundering past at 70 miles an hour almost bumper to bumper less than a foot away from your door! Too close to the wall to even climb out the window. My wife was with me, we’re very lucky to be alive.

  • don

    i filled up my pontiac grand prix with 6 gallons of diesel fuel…it already had a half tank of gasoline. I drove about 20 miles and then it started acting up. I continued on home about another 5 more miles and read this site (it was really helpful by the way). I siphoned the gas/diesel mixture and filled it up with a half tank of gasoline. It started right up and has been running fine since.

  • http://myspace.com/changuan Mario Changuan

    Happy New year to my girl’s brother LOL. So my girlfriend calls today and tells me that her little brother was going downtown/Chicago on Sunday morning to exchange gifts from Christmas when he notice that his 2006 Toyota Corolla’s gasoline gage was on empty. He stopped in a gas station, got some gas and left with out realizing that he had just pumped 14 gallons of DIESEL in to his little car. Oh man oh man you guess it right, after 2.2 miles the vehicle started choking living him, friends and x-mas gifts in the emergency shoulder of I290.
    He’s dad will take his car to the mechanic today, my guess is that his GRAND TOTAL will come out to $750.00.
    PS: If the nozzle does not fit into the the gas tank of your car, GUESS WHAT???? IS DIESEL!!! HINT HINT!!

  • Chris Frangicetto

    So In the state of NEW Jersey, by law, you aren’t allowed to pump your own gas. I have a 2002 Toyota Corolla, and although I am from Pennsylvania, was driving in jersey, and realized i was on E, so i pulled into a smaller gas station, but the only one on the road. I asked the gas attendent for 20$ on regular and than drove to my destination about 2 miles down the road to watch the NFL playoff game. When I got out and started my car, I started shaking and barely got out of the parking spot, and than stalled out completely….and than wouldn;t start again….

    I spent 70 bucks to tow the car to my mechanic in PA, and I cannot find the receipt for the gas….so I can’t tell if he filled it with diesel, or if it could just be bad gas….

    I dont understand why a person working at a gas station would fill my car with diesel, especially if it doesn’t nozzle wouldnt fit.

    not sure if theres anyway to make them pay for it.

  • kraig

    It’s not recommended to burn off more than 1/4 of 1% of disel in a gasoline engine which is 1:400 ratio. Sounds like you got lucky. I want to know how people are getting the diesel nozzles to fit in to the fill pipe on unleaded cars, the nozzle is supposed to be larger on diesel pumps so people don’t do this.

  • kraig

    It’s not recommended to burn off more than 1/4 of 1% of disel in a gasoline engine which is 1:400 ratio. Sounds like you got lucky. I want to know how people are getting the diesel nozzles to fit in to the fill pipe on unleaded cars, the nozzle is supposed to be larger on diesel pumps so people don’t do this. Gasoline burns between 100-437°F and diesel burns between 330-650°F, so you got those heavier components in there that won’t want to ignite in a gas engine. One thing you could do in this situation is to siphon off the gas and return it to the underground tank. You would be getting most of the gas out of your car that way, then fill it up with fresh gas and the treatment the mechanic recommended. The 4 gallons of diesel with the 2-3 gallons of reg gas could be dumped in the diesel storage tank if there is over 1200 gallons (by the 1:400 ratio), it should not be noticed or affect any other vehicles. It could also be dumped into a tank with 1600 or more gallons of gas. Most stations get 4000 gallon or more shipments of gas at at time.

  • clemm

    Intersting story. You said you did this at a gas station. I was wondering how you managed this, as no automobile powered by gas since the early 1970′s, has a fill hole large enough, to put diesle in? The diesle pump is about 3 times the diameter of an unleaded gas pump nozzel, and without a funnel or pouring out of a can it aint going to happen by accident.

  • qmchenry

    Two cases mentioned here happened at Kangaroo gas stations and several others swear that the nozzle fit in their gas tank. I realize that the nozzles on diesel pumps are supposed to be larger to prevent this problem, but I believe that many of the occurrences described here in the comments were cases where the diesel nozzle was the incorrect, narrow size. The diesel nozzles around here are only 50% larger, give or take, than their gasoline cousins. Ultimately, it’s not enough to trust the gas station to have the correct nozzle at the pump. It’s always worth a few seconds to double check that you’re getting the right juice.

  • rick

    Hey guys i recently put about 40 bucks in my ml 320 benz. Once i got around the coner its started to act up. I had like a quater tank when i put the 40 deisel fuel in. I was wondering should i take it to the dealer or just add 91 octain to it and let it burn out.Which one would you do.

  • qmchenry


    That sounds like a lot of diesel (well, not as much as it would have been a few years ago, but..). I believe that our luck in working this out ourselves was that we had a relatively small amount of diesel in our tank, about 4 gallons. This gave us a ratio of about 20% diesel in our tank. If you have a much higher ratio (75% if you filled your tank, although if you can add gas to it, it must not be full). It worked out well for us with 25% diesel. I don’t think it would have gone as well at 50%, probably costing more in repairs than going in right away. Short answer, if I had as much diesel in my car as it sounds like you do, I’d go to a mechanic. Good luck!


  • Leah

    I’ve seen both the large and small nozzles on diesel pumps (the smaller ones are more appropriate for some construction and landscaping equipment). The small ones DEFINITELY fit into a car/truck gas tank. Be careful!

  • Elias

    This frikkin’ thread is amazing! It goes on … and on … and on … and on … and on. To the owner of this blog, Thanks! I’m sooooo glad I’m not the ONLY one who makes this kind of mistake. :-) Mine is a GAS INTO DIESEL STORY so read on if that’s your problem. First, To those who say, “How could this have happened when the nozzle is so much bigger/smaller that you’d have to be an idiot to make this mistake” … I say … “Have some compassion”. It *IS* possible to make this mistake and even *YOU* could make the mistake, given a any set of possible circumstances where you are distracted enough, ie: rushing, work stress, rental car, new car, friends car, whatever…) pumping gas is one of those duties we all partake in …most often in autopilot mode. I would surmise most of us are thinking of other things while we pump. The Chevron’s and GMs of the world COULD HAVE made it IMPOSSIBLE long ago, and if not them, a trade standards body or government process could have. With the amount of software/hardware put into vehicles today, why wasn’t this preventative included (referencing a previous poster’s comment). If the pump nozzle was square and the hole was round …. OK … but (metaphorically speaking), you can fit a PORTION of the male nozzle into the female receptacle today. In the real world, “she” can still get pregnant! Anyway … My Story: I’ve been in France since last summer. I’ve been “leasing” a car from Hertz, in other words, I’ve been renting long term, but at a very reduced rate because of my long term stay. Since they don’t have “terms” longer than 30 days, I have to re-up the contract every 30 days, which in some cases, lets me keep the car I have … and in other cases … I have to swap it out for another, usually because the car I have has reached the end of Hertz’ lease with the manufacturer. Long story short, I went from a gas rental to a diesel rental. They were CLEAR with me about that. I said, “yeah, yeah … got it” … and drove off. First gas stop: While enjoying a fine spring day in France … le birds chirping …and le bees buzzing … I headed out for a drive and thought I should top off. Whoda known I wasn’t FOCUSED on the putting the right nozzle into the receptacle! In Europe, there isn’t “stupid-proofing” at the pump because of there are so many diesel cars in operation. So … WTF … I put gasoline into a diesel. DOHHHHHH! Some might say, “It’s a rental” …. and … I certainly could play dumb tourist saying, “Ohhhh, I didn’t know why the car blew up, Mr. Hertz … it just blew up while I was driving down the highway”. Well, that’s not me. So, I had 3/4 tank and topped off with with 17 liters of gasoline. I don’t know what the ratio is but I was out in the middle of nowhere, so I decided to drive the 15 kilometers home. The car ran fine. When I got home, I called Hertz’ toll-free assistance. The operator said he needed to send a mechanic to pick up the car and it would cost me 300 Euro. Cheap, given previous accounts. But, given the Euro/Dollar difference right now, I asked if I could get the problem fixed myself. That’s where I’m at right now … I will get back to you to let you know what happened, so those of you traveling abroad, know what to do if it happens to you.

  • Lisa

    Happened to me last night at a chevron in Glendale, CA. That’s about 1 hour away from home. I put about 3.5 gallons of diesel in my unleaded fuel tank. My vehicle is a new Toyota Sequia which I absolutely love, best car I’ve ever had. Anyway I realized it and stopped pumping any more diesel & I had a tow truck take it to the nearest Toyota dealership. I had to walk to a hotel with my 3 kids and I hardly got any sleep, still in disbelief of what an idiotic thing I had done! My husband went to pick us up this morning and I’m so tired, my car is so far away. I feel stranded without my wheels. I have to have somebody drive me there tomorrow so I can be there when the service station opens at 7 am. I still don’t know what will happen to my car. I feel like for the first time in my life I actually have a terrific car and did something so stupid to possibly mess it up. I am banking on the fact that I did not drive the car after the mishap. We’ll see. Feel like such a bonehead. I was really tired last night when it happened but there was something screwy about the pump. I’m sure I pushed the unleaded fuel panel put grabbed the wrong nozzle. Obviously it wasnt dummy proof enough. Good thing I can vent here.

  • Bo

    Well, here’s yet another story of diesel in an unleaded regular gas car. I don’t normally like to comment of stories but I read about 75% of the comments and didn’t really find anyone that mentioned what fixed my car. My situation pretty much runs the same as the rest; in a hurry and distracted = 4.75 gallons of diesel in my ’06 Rav4. My lovely wife made sure run the tank pretty much empty before letting me borrow it and I only had $20 to fill up and yes, I noticed the nozzle didn’t completely fit but I had some trouble with the regular nozzles that fuel up quickly the first 20,000 miles (long story) so I assumed, in my hurried and distracted state, that this had something to do with that. Anyway, I started her up and noticed the A/C controls freaking out, blinking on and off. I’m not sure if that had anything to do with the diesel or not since it had never happened before. I pulled out of the gas station and drove about 1,000 feet before I noticed the RPM meter wasn’t rising when hitting the gas. I could feel the car starting to lose power so I started to mash the gas harder which probably wasn’t the best idea but it got me enough speed to coast to a parking lot and park the car. I tried starting the car 3 or 4 times before I starting putting the puzzle pieces together. I Had the car towed, using my road-side assistance that I purchased with the car, to the closest Toyota dealership. I explained every detail and told them not to do any work without contacting me first with the total. As I figured they called with a total of $470 worth of fixes. They said that I probably didn’t break anything but they would need to drop the tank, empty and clean it and the same with the fuel lines. They also mentioned that the fuel filter would have to be replaced. This was a lot of money for my wife and I so I called a Russian car mechanic friend of the family’s and he said he’d do it all for $250. Still, a lot of money so I started searching on the Internet and found this article. Reading through the comments I realized I couldn’t really trust the mechanics in regards to the situation and that this kind of thing may not have catastrophic results. I asked the mechanics at the dealership to push the car back into their lot and that I needed to do some more research. I told my dad about the whole situation and that I wanted to try the cheap route of fixing this before I paid that much money. Growing up and working around machinery, my dad agreed that was probably a safe route to take. Instead of siphoning from the gas fill-up nozzle, which was located a lot higher than the actual gas tank, we unhooked the pipe that leads to the gas fill-up nozzle, at the gas tank. It was just using a simple clamp that we unscrewed and there was a kind of stop valve that you had to push in order to get the gas to start flowing out. We also jacked the car up in the opposite corner to maximize the removal. After only getting a gallon or so of gas we realized that the gas tank was wider than it was taller and the nozzle sat more on the side of the gas tank than on the bottom. Luckily we brought with us one of those plastic hand pumps that usually come with kerosene heaters (http://www.redhillgeneralstore.com/A46435.htm). We hooked up a rubber pipe to the end of the pump to get it farther into the gas tank. Using that we were able to get the rest of the gas out. By the way, we were emptying the diesel into a drain pan and then into a 5 gallon paint bucket. (http://www.nextag.com/Blitz-USA-BTZ11838-15-82332465/prices-html). Once all the diesel was out we filled the tank with high octane gas and tried starting it unsuccessfully about 15 to 20 times. At this point I was afraid of frying the starter and/or the battery. My dad suggested buying some starter fluid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starting_fluid) at the nearest gas station. I’ve seen him use it to start a troubled mower and it works miracles which it did in our situation. We got some and sprayed directly into one of the fuel intake lines that we unplugged at the engine. After popping the fuel line back in place my wife tried starting the car and it worked but it only ran for about 5 seconds. She said she actually switched the car off right after trying to start it and it ran in the off position. We also noticed a lot of smoke coming from the muffler. At this point I’m really getting nervous but at least the engine was turning and my dad reassured me that this was getting better. So we did this several more times (including spraying the starter fluid) and the car starting running on its own. We let it idle for a few minutes while we cleaned up and then drove it around the parking lot and restarted it to make sure we didn’t get stranded. We’ve driven another 100 miles or so since and it’s still running fine. While working on all this we found the fuel filter next to the engine. I plan on replacing that and the spark plugs and getting some fuel injection cleaner to make sure there isn’t any dirt left over from the diesel. The car has 42,000 miles on it already so I guess it wouldn’t hurt to do those things anyways. Sorry for so much detail but I figured someone in the same situation may need it. Hope this helps!

  • James Davis

    I put a 1/3 gallons of Diesel, at Chevron. I would have completly filled the tank except I noticed the nozzle seemed short, and then looked at the pump, and it was Diesel. I will just keep topping off my tank. I think diesel floats above gas, so it would be very had to drain or suction that amount out. 200 miles and still going strong. They used to make the diesel nozzle wider, so it would not fit a gas vehicle.

  • James Davis

    This is a correction to my last post. I looked up the specific gravity for the two fuels at simetric.co.uk.htm. Diesel is much more dense, so gasoline floats above diesel. My engine ran sort of crappy, for a couple of minutes, the other day upon start up, and I bet this is why; until the fuels get mixed when driving.

  • Jody

    So I guess I join the diesel in the gas tank club today. I was distracted, had absolutely no idea that the diesel pumps were larger and just thought it was a shoddy pump and only realized when the price was so… high, well higher than usual. 8 gallons and $40 later (for my Honda Civic, this is a huge amount of money!), I was pretty panicked. Called my dad (ok, I know I’m 29 but I know nothing about cars) and had him come out to help. Had it towed to a service station using roadside assistance…so right now I’m only out the $40 — we’ll see what the mechanics say tomorrow. Now that I know that no real damage was done (I never started the engine) — I won’t let them overcharge me to just drain the tank.


  • Rose

    My husband added 7 gallons deisal to gas tank ( about 8 gallons unleaded gas was there) by accident and he didn’t realize. He drove 200 miles after it. Second morning, Car won’t start and we checked his receipt and found he added diesal and run 200 miles.
    We have the car towed to dealer and they drained and clean whole feul system and said, everything is fine except starter needed to be replaced. We paid $550 for it. after about 900 miles drive since then, we found the gas leaking and get the to the same dealer. They said the fuel pump is broken and spend another $680 for this. I don’t not if the diesal adding accident would cause anything further problems. I don’t want to put any further Money on it if there is any potential damage caused by diesal.
    Please tell me if you know the potential damage. I am not sure if I can keep this car for further drive.

  • david

    first off, thanks for posting this. glad i’m not the only one to screw up. just got done draining all 8 gallons of gas (half and half). put in super and am hoping for the best. is trying to start but not turning over yet. giving it some time so i don’t flood it. hopefully it will work. if not i’m getting some octane booster and cleaner. thanks very much again. this was a big help, hopefully. don’t exactly have $500 to $1,000.

  • david

    p.s.: 900 miles after sounds a little farfetched. not to mention they checked it last time you took it to the dealer. go to a different dealer is my advice. they have to prove it is from the prior incident in order to charge you if it is under warranty. furthermore, you can get them to drop labor fees for time it takes to tear it all apart again because it was their fault for not properly checking it before (if they do prove it is from the diesel). hope this helps rose. good luck.

  • Rose

    I will take David’s advice to argue with car dealer about the labor fee. It’s a terrible lesson for adding Diesel to a car. I am wondering if my car engine system will be affected by this mistake.

  • veronica

    i belive i accidently put diesel in my crysler sebring. but i just put 10 dollars and right now the diese is about 4 something a gallon so if it all i just put about 2 gallons. well i drove it for a while made it home and then it wouldn’t start. i don’t have alot of money what can i do. the gas says that i only have a 1/4 tank should i go put a cleaner and buy reg gas and pour it. do you think it would work.

  • gas buddy diesel fuel

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  • Madeleine

    As I proceeded, I got worse and worse acceleration….sometimes none for 50 yards at a time. I might press the pedal down, and not get any reaction for 10 seconds. I just made it to work.
    I was towed to Mechanic #1. I told Mechanic #1 each step of what had happened, including “trying to get this weird nozzle into my car to get the gas”. (Now I get that part!) My car was there for 4 days. He said he had absolutely no idea what was wrong with the car. I asked him if he had tested the gas, drained it, etc. He said that he had tested the gas, and there was no problem. In any case, he told me right off that I needed a fuel pump, to the tune of $600. After he put the fuel pump in, he called to say he still couldn’t get it started. Then he said he put in some spark plugs, but the car still did not run at all. He said what he meant by that was that it still could not be driven. At that point, I asked him to put the old spark plugs back in, I paid him $600 for the fuel pump, and four days later after he encouraged me to leave it there so he could further diagnose it (!?), I had it towed to Mechanic #2.
    It took only two hours in the new mechanic’s bay, when he called me to tell me that the fuel smelled like diesel fuel, and would I be willing to let him “drop the tank”, and possibly drain the present gas. I agreed. Three hours after that, he called to say that my car was ready for pick-up, and it was running fine. Mechanic #2, as well as friends, said that I never had needed a new fuel pump, because of all the steps which indicated so.

    I picked it up, after a fair repair bill, and it has run beautifully for another 800 miles so far. If anyone has any comments, I would truly appreciate them.

    (Other than for me to learn the difference between regular fuel and diesel fuel! (LOL- costly mistake!)

  • madeleine

    I would love some input on this. Inadvertently, I put about 4 gallons of diesel fuel into my 2007 Ford Focus..it already had about 2 gallons regular fuel in it. Up to that point it has always run wonderfully…no different on this day. My gas light had just come on, I stopped on my way to work, put the diesel fuel in by mistake, and continued the remaining 6 miles to work. I “pinged” a bit…at first it was so light that I wasn’t even sure it was my car. More and more, I got worse and worse acceleration….sometimes none for 50 yards at a time. I might press the pedal down, and not get any reaction for 10 seconds. I just made it to work. I was towed to mechanic #1. I told mechanic #1 each step of what had happened, including “trying to get this weird nozzle into my car to get the gas”. (Now I get that part!) My car was there for 4 days. He said he had absolutely no idea what was wrong with the car. I asked him if he had tested the gas, drained it, etc. He said that he had tested the gas, and there was no problem. In any case, he told me right off that I needed a fuel pump, to the tune of $600. After he put the fuel pump in, he called to say he still couldn’t get it started. Then he said he put in some spark plugs, but the car still did not run at all. He said what he meant by that was that it still could not be driven. At that point, I asked him to put the old spark plugs back in, I paid him $600 for the fuel pump, and four days later after he encouraged me to leave it there so he could further diagnose it (!?), I had it towed to Mechanic #2. It took only two hours in the new mechanic’s bay, when he called me to tell me that the fuel smelled like diesel fuel, and would I be willing to let him “drop the tank”, and possibly drain the present gas. I agreed. Three hours after that, he called to say that my car was ready for pick-up, and it was running fine. Mechanic #2, as well as friends, said that I never had needed a new fuel pump, because of all the steps which indicated so.

    I picked it up, after a fair repair bill, and it has run beautifully for another 800 miles so far. If anyone has any comments, I would truly appreciate them.

    (Other than for me to learn the difference between regular fuel and diesel fuel! (LOL- costly mistake!)

  • rahul

    i cant believe i pulled a retard move and put diesel in my 325i bmw i put 8 gallons of diesel then realized it the nozzle fit rite in too it wasnt big but neverthe less it was a dumb move im glad i didnt start it coz that would be the worst thing to do my friend came over and we tried to siphon it out but it would come out in a stream after getting sick of all the diesel in my mouth we tried to take a fuel line out that went to the engine and hooked up a hose to that line and turned the key on the ignition but didnt turn it all the way to start it just turned it half but no feul was coming out after that we figured we’d get under the car and take that hose that went to the gas tank off but because it was at night and we didnt have the car jacked up we decided to get it towed to the mechanics in the morning and get them to drain out the gas tank hopefully all they will charge me is a 100 dollars or 150 anything more would suck but lesson learned

  • Anne

    This is a little different angle. I put the unleaded gas into my F250 Diesel truck- didn’t start it and Ford took care of it for me (replaced filters, cleaned lines and drained tank, put in clean diesel fuel for me) but I couldn’t stand throwing out the contaminated gasoline at today’s prices. I asked to save it because my brother said I could dilute it enough to run in my pontiac grand am. After reading this i am paranoid, but the original mixture was 8 gals diesel to 22 gals unleaded . I propose to fill my unleaded tank up with 10 gals premium unleaded and add 2 gals of the mixture – which should be .6 gal of diesel to 12 gals unleaded. Anyone handy with math? Will this work? What if I run clean for a tank between?

  • Anne

    Here’s a different angle: I filled my diesel truck tank with 22 gallons of unleaded gas- so 8 gals were diesel. I did not turn on the engine before I realized what I did, so I had it towed, drained, lines cleaned and new fuel filters put in ($350). Now, because of the cost of gas, I asked the Ford dealer I would bring in gas containers to put the gas in so I could take it home. My brother said I could dilute the contaminated gas in my Grand Am- such as put 3/4 tank unleaded and then add 5 gal of the mixed. The unleaded tank is 13 gal- so I decided to put in 10 gal unleaded and add only 2 mixed with diesel to be safe. That would be about 1/3 -1/2 gal diesel to 12 gallons of gas. Any mathmaticians? Does this look right? Does anyone know if fuel injectors on the Grand Am would cause a problem with this? And finally, is this low enough of a concentration?

  • Amber

    My boss’s husband’s deisel was on empty for sometime. So he stopped and filled it with unleaded, (for some unknown reason) and it died on him about 5 minutes later. So he siphoned it out and figured that, not to waste it, he would put it in my unleaded chevy trailblazer tank, without asking me may i add, as i was pretty close to being empty. Doing me a favor. Well, i am no expert, however i do know that deisel and unleaded are extremely different and thought that it might be possible for this to harm my car. So, I called my dad and he asked me if there was any room left in the tank, there was. He told me to top of the tank with premium and that he thought that it would probly be ok, i did this, however i am wandering if there was anything else that i should do. I mean i dont know how much gas is left in the tank after it says empty, so i dont even know how much deisel made it into my tank. And he mentioned this “pinging noise” to listen for , havent heard that yet, so… Any input on this would be ever so helpful thanks!!!!

  • Robert

    Anne (83/84),

    Should be fine. Stick to your plan. I’ve run into this problem more times than I care to remember (like today.) Use fuel-treatment.

  • mariam

    okay im a idiot i put deisel into a 2002 honda civic, MY FREINDS , not realizing i never really knew the diffrence to be honest we drove out of the station seh asked me what gas i put i said deisel and she freaked, we quickly pulled over and turned off the car, i put about 20 dollars, worth and the car had 3/4 of gas in it after, and there was already some regualr gas, well after that her dad came and told us to start it, and he messedw ith it, after that we drove it for a little and it competly died on us, we should have never drove it in the first place but oh well, then after draining it, and trying to get the gas out using a hose, it stopped even turnign on, then it started a bit making some terrlbe engine sounds and while gas and smoke was all around, a mechanic is coming tomrrow to look it, im praying it works because im the dumb frined that did it =/ i feel terrible about it, and just wondering some options to try anything i read everything and told her to try everything u guys have posted which helpd ALOT thanks, just wondering if theyrs anythin else possible to do .thanks
    or have i lost all hope?

  • chris

    Similar to many posts….22 gal unleaded gas were accidently added to about 16 gal diesel in a 2003 F-250 Powerstroke. Caught the mistake before starting engine. Got towed over the pass back home and boyfriend was able to drain what appears to be most all of the mix from the tank. What now, though? Was advised to pick up 16oz of DieselKleen Cetane Boost and add appropriate amount to 5 or 10 gallons of fresh diesel in tank, then run it through. Anything else that I need to be concerned with? Will this be sufficient or should the whole tank be filled right off to dilute what ever may still be remaining? Sure appreciate any thoughts. What to do with the buckets full of fuel mix, too?

  • Georges

    Why haven’t you wiphoned out and topped the tank after ? … Wouldn’t that be the best cheap choice instead of overcloacking well decreasing performance and using a cheap “Power Supply Unit” in that case … It damages the motherboard..

    I explained the things with a computer related field because you seem to know more about it.

  • Meagan

    I just recently put about 6-7 gallons of diesel into my 2007 chevy trailblazer..I realized the mistake, but I lived close to the gas station so I drove the car home. I added about 2-3 gallons on unleaded once I got home from gas cans in my garage. I was hoping to dillute the diesel, but this did not work. My car would not start. I didn’t want to risk any damage so I had AAA tow it the next morning to my mechanic. Luckily, my mechanic is also a family friend. He spent 3-4 hours draining the tank, which had to be completely removed from the truck in order to drain. Then, he cleaned all the fuel lines, changed the filter, and let the car run awhile to burn off any diesel that could be left. Thank goodness, my car is completely fine. It is running as if there was no problem at all. I didn’t want to try the dilluting thing and driving off the excess diesel because I didn’t want to risk causing permanent damage. My mechanic friend only charged me $10.00 bucks for the unleaded gas he put in. He didn’t charge at all for the labor, which was very nice of him. However, I checked around and I found out it normally would have been 200-300 bucks to do what my mechanic did. By the way, I did try siphoning the diesel out, however I quickly learned that in new cars there is a stopper to prevent siphoning. Long story short, if you want to ensure there is no damage to your car, I recommend having a mechanic drain your tank and clean the fuel lines. That is the safest and best option to ensure your car won’t have any problems. My car is now running great and I am very relieved! Good Luck to all of you!

  • Razzy

    I just put about 4 gallons in my tank… Trying to figure out what to do.

  • Don Hopkins

    Wow, I had no idea. My wife put 10 gal od diesel on her Hond had maybe 3 gal of gas in the tank. She drove 10 miles knew something was wrong leaving the station. Thought diesel pumps were always sepreate. Tow truck operater smelled the tank filler tube said yep diesel. It would start if you reved it. Dealer said remove tank blow out lines clean stuff in engine; $1050.00 plus tow.
    When we picked up car stopped at a BP station I’d never been in one before, and guess what? THE REGULAR NOZZLE WAS GREEN-JUST LIKE DEISEL MOST PLACES. How could anyone get confussed? If it had been home I would have pumped the mixture out of the tank, filled with gas and went for it. I think gas will wash out all the diesel. I like the high test gas idea and injector cleaner
    I was hithhiking 60 years ago and an ole boy picked me up in an ole Chevy pickup. Said “I burn Kerosene in it, runs pretty good”
    After getting most of the mixture out I would put in 2 or 3 gal of gas, rock car back and forth to slosh it around then ermove that and fill with gas.
    Heather, you need an attorney take the car back.
    Do some states require that the diesel nozzle is too large to fit a gas powered car? Florida does not. Got to go to bed may write more later something has to be done about this. They get to sell more gas/diesel and repair shops are making a killing

  • jonathan koia

    had same problem with my 07 Chevy cobalt n just put half diesel n half gas into the car ran out gas ran a little messed loud n a lot of push backs from engine replaced my fuel filter n since then after couple tanks she runs just fine would of took to dealership but they buckle warranty on that do at your own risk thou all cars wont act same as mine did n there was a lot of white smoke but in end she still runs fine still to this day

  • Sam

    Helpful information. Thanks to all. It happened to my wife yesterday and we are in the process emptying and cleaning the tank.

  • margaret

    Is gasoline another name for petrol or deisel?

  • margaret

    is gasoline another name for petrol or diesel?

  • David

    1980 corvette hot rod built motor pumped 93 octane 10 gallons drove 3 miles car started smoking really bad. had it towed home checked it out finally figured out it was bad fuel called the valero where i bought it (corp customer service, they shut the pumps down sent some one to inspect and within an hour called us back and told us there was diesel in the wrong tank. they said to take the car to the shop to fix, they are paying. problem is i have 100 miles on it and it is still smoking a little. think it is in my flowmasters and not sure if they will ever get hot enough to burn it all out. anybody know how long it will be in the mufflers.

  • Joe

    It may be true that the diesel pump nozzle is larger and too large for most gasoline vehicles. But really this is backwards from the way it should be. Diesel doesn’t run in gasoline engines, and they’ll die. But gasoline in diesel engines causes them to EXPLODE. Therefore shouldn’t the nozzle on the gasoline pumps be larger? Or maybe we start shaping them differently: Circles for gasoline, larger Triangles for diesel. Hmmm… somebody wasn’t thinking.

  • Mark

    In all my years of working around engines, both gasoline and diesel, I’ve never heard of a diesel exploding due to having gasoline in it. If you have a diesel engine with one gallon of diesel left in the tank and fill up with gasoline, it will run until the gas has filled the fuel lines and reached the engine. The engine simply won’t run after that. Diesel engines rely on the fuel to self-ignite under sufficient pressure. There are no spark plugs in a diesel engine. Gasoline simply won’t ignite. Diesel engines run a much higher compression than gasoline engines, but not sufficiently high to cause gasoline to self-ignite. You DO have to drain it out, of course, which isn’t exactly a free service. It’s the middle ratios that you have to be careful of. At 30% gas to 70% diesel, for instance, the diesel component may still self-ignite and then the gasoline component follows causing more of an explosion than the engine is designed to handle. Diesel engines are much beefier than gasoline engines, but they still have their limits. In this case, components can break. Adding to that, diesel engines need the lubricative properties of the fuel to protect it. The gasoline component contributes to the breakdown of these properties. I’ve seen plenty of older diesels run okay, at reduced power, with up to around 20% gasoline but the sensors on newer vehicles have a fit and the computer shuts the engine down. In fact, in the old days, mechanics would often purposefully put in a gallon of gasoline to help “clean” the engine. It doesn’t work and they don’t do that anymore (that I know of–still some old-schoolers out there I’m sure).

    Bottom line: If you accidentally put gas in a diesel tank, just drain it (siphon). Don’t worry about getting every last drop but get as much as possible, and then top it off with diesel and forget it ever happened. Take the drained fuel to a mechanic to dispose of.

    Joe: a diesel engine is much more tolerant of a gallon of gas than a gasoline engine is of diesel, though they both will fare just fine if the mistake is caught and the ratio is kept low. To say someone wasn’t thinking regarding nozzle design is correct. Someone thought people would actually take responsibility for themselves and pay attention to what they are doing. I’m kind of surprised the government doesn’t have a fund to reimburse people for doing this, along with an commission to administrate it. However, being a realist, I agree with the concept of an idiot-resistant design.

  • adam k

    hi, my girlfriend accidentally put 50 liters of gas into our 55 liter diesel jetta tank, and we were able to get it home (2-3 miles) and in our garage we pumped out all the gas into buckets, from the hose on the fuel filter, and fluched the lines with diesel. when we started it, it ran crappy for about 5 min, then it was fine!! it can handle a bit of gas, but not for long, and if you catch it quick enough, your good to go!

  • knucklehead

    Well I just read most of the blogs and of course I just had the problem. I just put 27 gal of gas into my diesel pickup.I dont know how I managed to get the pumps switched but I did.I was so sure I didnt make the mistake I went back to the station to see if gas was being pumped in the diesel hose.When I got to the station I remembered i used the green color pump handel so I had no one but me to blame.My tank holds about 32 gallons so I had a very high ratio of gas to deisel.I noticed the engine started running rough and I stopped as soon as possible. I dont think I have done any real damage to the motor but it will still be an expensive lesson.About the pump handles,some deisel pump handles are larger than the gas type but not all of them.The larger ones are usually at the truck stops.I guess I would be for the idea of making the deisel pump handles more idiot proof.I would have benifitted by it today.Thanks for the info.KH

  • Susan

    I bought car that had diesel put in it prior to buying. They covered cost of cleaning everything. It has been to shop every month for six months with the sputtering. Now they want to repl injectors…how do i know this will fix it,,

  • http://gishatech.com/?p=249 gishatech.com » Blog Archive » Diesel in a gas tank

    [...] came across an interesting conversation the other day, What to do if you get diesel fuel in your gas tank and vice versa? Every one makes mistakes and putting the wrong fuel in the right tank can be one of [...]

  • Shawn

    I filled up a e350 van with diesel fuel by accident. I got a little down the rod and it acted as if it did not want to go. Then all of a sudden a heard rattling sounds. I had to tell my boss and she notified a mechanic. He came and towed the van? Was there any major damage done here? Please help!!:(

  • Wendy

    A few days ago, I added about 9 gallons of regular fuel to my car. I somehow made it to my destination of about 20 miles but the car was driving really bad and had no force to speak of. I had my mechanic check it the next day and he noted that the gas was diesel. I immediately went back to the gas station where I was notified that the gas distribution company had added the wrong fuel to the pump. Needless to say they reimbursed me for everything after I had to pay to get it fix out of pocket. I ended up having to drain the fuel tank, change the fuel pump and spark plugs as well. It came out to about $1000.

  • http://blogs.tech-recipes.com/qmchenry/2006/10/13/what-to-do-if-you-get-diesel-fuel-in-your-gas-vehicle/ Renee

    Thank you for making this site!!!
    Night before last, my son took some gas from a gas can & put it in our 1998 Toyota 4Runner with over 200k miles, that still runs incredible.
    He poured the gas into a glass to be sure not diesel, but it was so old, it had lost its distinct color, so he added it into the 4Runner that had the gas light on….
    When he drove it, after a short time, it sputtered & lunged, trying to run. He got it a few miles from home, & parked at grocery store lot.
    When he told me the next day, he was very worried about the vehicle. He backtracked in his mind, and we discovered it was DIESEL put in GAS tank. (ugh)
    Yesterday, he got a ride to work, & I got online & found this site. It gave me hope. Worst part though, was the diesel in our tank, that ran through was at 100% diesel. Everyone else I read on this site, had much lower % ratio of gas to diesel, than us, and it had fully run through our tank, for maybe 10 miles before dying.
    This is what I did:
    1. I bought 1 gas treatment,
    2. 1 Fuel cleaner,
    3. Heet to remove moisture;
    all for under 10.00 at Advance Auto.
    Then I poured all 3 containers into the almost empty tank. I poured in 5 gallons of 93 octane gasoline.
    I tried to start it. Smoke poured everywhere, and it would not fire.
    I went & bought 5 more gallons of 93 octane gas & poured it in.
    Then, it began to fire at times, and oh my goodness!!!
    This is where, if I had not read these wonderful posts, I would have given up… smoke covered the parking lot…the 4runner thought it was dying… tried to make me believe it too… but FINALLY, it kept running for 30 seconds at a time… then a minute…. finally, it would move some, but the SMOKE…. but then!!!!
    I could drive it to the gas station to top off the tank with 93 octane… ALL black, grey covering smoke QUIT coming out at all….
    (lots of prayer went into this vehicle too).
    Well, as of last night and this morning, it is running….
    If there are ANY changes, other than it appears to be healed, I will come back to this site.. 5-21-10
    Thank you for this site!!! If not, at all the smoke, I would have given up & cost us tons of money….

  • P Spontelli

    Ok I just put 7.2 gal of diesel in my
    boat. It’s a 100 gal tank that had
    about 26 gal in it. Talked to 3 diff
    marinas and all said to have tank
    pumped and motor fuel system
    flushed and not to run the boat.
    But I’ve taken the advise of my
    fatherinlaw which is to add 25 gal
    gas giving me about a half tank
    and get it back to my slip where
    I need to top off the tank with a
    premium gas and fuel line cleaner.
    Well I made it back to the slip about
    30 min running time with no problem.
    The 454 magnum rpm ran a little low
    at idle but no smokeing

  • Maggie

    Well, like many I never thought they would put a diesel pump in with gas pumps. I pumped 11 gals in my Saab while it was running. Didn’t realize that the gas was diesel until I finished.
    My question is I have it sitting at PepBoys waiting to be drained. They are considering the mixture hazardous waste and changing me $350 for disposal of the gas, in addition to the draining and whatever other repairs are needed. I don’t see anyone else mentioning that. Is this a rip off?

  • ACC

    i felt relieved when i started reading people’s comments from above..
    at least i wasn’t alone with this kind of experience.
    So I went down the street like half a mile away from my house to fill my car w/ fuel. I told the lady i wanted gas fuel but she accidentally put diesel. when I was driving back home it started to run like hell and it smoked a lot, so i pulled over to the side and checked my tiers as i thought it could’ve been the problem. I manage to drive home then i realize i may have put diesel instead of regular unleaded gas. i dont know what to do, my brother in law said that it could be possibly broken though he did not check the car yet.. im so confused.. my car is not repaired at this time as it just happened today.

  • Fuel Tank

    Had the same experience with our van a few years back. My dad and I were driving from a private dinner with our brods when we pulled back to have a gas refill on the corner block of our subdivision. I think it was already 1 am during that day, and the gasoling boy who assisted us looked a bit sleepy or what. Anyways, we said the amount of liters and gave him the keys for our gas tank. We didn’t notice that he is filling us with diesel fuel. When we noticed it, our tank is already half full. Dad was so angry that went straight to the manager of the gas station. Anyways, they sucked all the fuel in our tank and replaced it with gas fuel. Good thing we haven’t started the engine yet, but I think the gasoline boy got fired. Though sometimes I pity him

  • gladys

    my car still smelling diesel gas I spend more than 6 grants to fix it it is good idea to steam cleaner the car? thanks

  • Sophie

    I just got my toyota gasoline car filled with diesel,almost 8 gallons. when I found out the car cant moved I walked down the car, see if there is any problems and what cause the car not working. The car looked nothing wrong, normal, but it just not working. well, I drove appro 4 minutes before I realized something is wrong and pulled to one side. so I tried to call someone who might know what has happened to the car—some saids the car is dead, and some saids the car may come back to live by getting all the diesel out of the tank. I had no idea what to do, that’s how I found this web, and surprisely found I am not the only one who made such stupid& expensive experience. If anyone knows how fix the car please send me an e-mail, since the car is still parking over there…worst day of the years..

  • Sophie

    and how much it would costs me if I send to the car to fix.. please..

  • lefty

    i have a 50 gal diesel fuel cell on a trailer and want to use gas. how do I CLEAN THE TANK?

  • Johnatha Welch

    My wife put about 8 gals into a 12 gal tank last night. I got a couple of 5gal gas cans and siphoned as much out as I could. Then we pushed the car to the pump and put high octane gas in and mixed it with a fuel cleaner. Unfortunately, I did not make it out of the station. We left the car there and went to Wal-Mart to get two more cans and some heavy duty fuel cleaner. We siphoned the diluted diesel/gas mix, about 12gals, and pushed the car back to the pump. Again I filled the tank and mixed in the heavy duty fuel cleaner. When I tried to turn the car over it puttered and shuttered and died a few times. Although, I noticed that after about the third time of turning the car it run a little longer. This gave me the hope that it might be working. Soon enough I got the car running and had no problems with it yet. I plan to let the tank run a little low and refilling it with the high octane fuel and mixing in the heavy duty fuel cleaner.

    Although we 20 gallons of trash gas to find a home for, I feel better about not burning that junk in my car.

    Thank you for posting this. My wife and I cannot afford to take our car to the shop and this was perfect.

  • watk

    Sophie…I would just drain your tank, fill it up with gasoline and put some fuel cleaner in it and then start it up and see what happens

    Lefty…simply draining the tank as best as you can and letting it dry would do. However, if you are worried about it, scrubbing it with soap and water would be an inexpensive fix. Another idea is to drain it out, let it dry, and then fill it up with gas and add some fuel cleaner in with it. Anyone of those ideas should work…

  • http://www.homelinks.co.uk kate

    I put about 68ml of gas into my diesel tank. I topped it up with full tank (14 gallons) diesel following the advice of RAC. I drove for 2.4 miles so far so good.
    Anyone had a similar experience? I AM STILL WORRIED!


    Hello i too just put disel fuel into my ford focus, $20.00
    worth. It was dark and i accidently put disel fuel in. I drove about a mile and the car died in the middle of the second lane freeway. I slowly got off the highway and tried to start it about four times. Had to have it towed. Now am waiting for the bill. I feel really stupid, but reading this site makes it a little less painful. My car has 54,000 miles on it. Does anyone know how much it will cost to fix this .

  • Sheryl

    I just put 1.45 gallon of diesel in my 2008 tahoe. I felt like an idiot. Called my husband, and he called his mechanic. Was told to fill up the 25 gallon tank and it should diluted the diesel. I dont know how much damage it will be since it only at 6% ratio. Now, i dont feel bad since im not the only one did it.

  • Jersiedevil

    I have a 21 year old ford and just put about a gallon of diesel into a tank with about 8 gallons of gas, i immediately added heet injector cleaner. and have not Started it, i am going to add a few more gallons and see what it does, the motor is an inline 6 and one of the last motors of this kind which gives it a very high value, wish me luck

  • Rjd3165

    i had bad gas in a truck i bought, it would sit and run but when ni drove it didnt have any power. ive cleaned the tank, hopefully putting good gas in will help.

  • Frendanbrazier

    If this happens to anyone out there and they have not turned the key yet, here’s the solution. Caution: involves math…

    ((Amount of diesel / Size of your tank) x 15) + ((Size of your tank-amount of diesel) / Size of your tank x 114) = >87

    It is unlikely that your car will be ok if you put in more than 0.7% diesel and top it off with 93. 93 usually won’t cut it, so you need to use toluene from the hardware store. Even with toluene, you can only fix up to a 27% addition of diesel.

    In the tale above, the car was basically running on 77 octane gas. It’s conceivable that you could do something like that once in some cars, but I would go as far as to say… Not a safe bet. So up to 27%, can be fixed with toluene. And up to .7% can be fixed with 93 alone.

  • Aslice

    No, it is hazardous waste. What would you do with that, put it on your flowers? Anyway, on a helpful note, if you can find someone with a license to burn used oil in a furnace (usually independently owned auto repair shops) they’d be happy to burn it for heat in winter.

  • Slippey

    This helps, my husband and I went to a small town gas station last night that had diesel in their gas and I drove home from there and now my car won’t start at all, but I was on E and my husband just added 5 gal. to top his tank off, and his truck is knocking really bad. We are both without a vehicle now, but the mechanic told us what had probably happened since he had 2 other vehicles with the same problem brought to him that day. Looks like mine may be a more serious issue, but this comment was beneficial. thanks

  • Yzhao60

    I added half tank of diesel without knowing it, at a highway service station, as it is together with regular gas and use the same nozle (in my home town the diesel nozzle cannot enter the car, and the diesel pump is in a different corner.

    My car was towed 200 kilometers to my destination by CAA (AAA), and dropped at the Toyota dealer and fixed with a cost of $500.

  • Rain

    margaret gasoline=petrol

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AD3OC6NOZFMBTVF24BABTVDGSM Master

    I ran out of gas coming home on a Friday night at Midnight. My gf picked me up and brought me to the gas station. I filled up the gallon with what I thought was regualr unleaded. Green usually means this in ever gas station I have gone to. She dropped me off back at my car and went on her way. I started driving back to her place when the engine start knocking and then I had to pull over and it would not start again. Also started smoking from the engine.  I called her back and we went again to the station to get another gallon of gas. Different gas station. I got another gallon of gas and put it in my car. This time it started, still smelled funny. Kind of like a laudromat. I then went an put in 10 gallons of regular gas. My car ran fine, from then on. It did smell like the laundromat for a few days however. I went back some weeks later, and it turns out at this gas station, the green pump was diesel. Live and learn

  • Jack

    I think the guy who first commented about running on diesel instead of gas and taking the engine out and cleaning is all wet! I just took a 2007 chev 6.0 gas engine pickup into the shop. It was stalled on the road after the pure diesel fuel hit the injectors.
     We activated the fuel pump via the regulator under hood, ran out all the diesel, filled her with gasoline , cranked the thing over about six 15 second intervals, allowing 10 min to cool the starter, and it started, slow at first, maybee three of 8 cyls running, then, let it run for about 10 minutes, check engine lite went off, it ran perfectly. , Fuel filter not damaged, no apparent component damage, think it is fine. so lets not get carried away about pulling tank, fuel pump,ect, not neccesary as far as I am concerned.

  • Geoffreyinthehishouse

     no we cant because everything flows best out of a round area (CIRCLE) and the diesel people would have to line up the triangle corners (some people cant do that)

  • Geoffreyinthehishouse

    ever seen a diesel truck start moving after a stop? it pours smoke. its un burnt diesel. in a gas car itll be worse because the way the engine burns the fuel is way different from a diesel. so the black smoke wasnt good for your car but it WASNT the engine starting on fire

  • guest

     it wont exploded unless the ratio gas to diesel is proper.  straight gas in a diesel just wont ignight so itll rattle then shut off

  • guest

    the pinging is your pistons. if you dont hear it, thats good. and premium gas is all you need then use regular but let ur tank hit E before adding regular.

  • bigmarcusx

    yester day i went to the lake i have this motorized bike it runs on gas well my dad had a container of gas one day and switch with out me knowing well its was pure diesel. my bike is an high compression motor. it was reving really high i could not shut motor off. i started it i couldn’t kill the motor nither. since my motor was two stroke it smoked like crazy. like i stoped 4 two mins and thair was so much smoke i couldn’t see the only way to stop my bike is to disengade the clutch then stop the wheel from truning then pop the clutch again to stop motor. cause the motor was reving like crazy like it was screaming loud. i got home though my motor ran 20 mile but its only a 3 horse so idk.
    the motor was super hard to start but i have to pedle then pop clutch to start it so i can peddle till it would start . but my point is runing motors are diesel is bad.
    like i had no throatal response like my bike was moving with out me pressing gas.
    it ran like crazy. i was going and i almost killed my self yesterday cause i couldn’t stop my bike i came 1 1/2 feet from hiting a tree and i almost did. but after i fliped on my bike i was flying trough the air and at the last moment i just barely got my foot on ground for a sec or two and pushed me just barely enough to miss the tree if it wasnt for that i would of hit it . and i don;t think i would be typeing this message cause i was proble going 35-40 mph before crash. depending on motor you will have diffrent results but after crash i poped my tire and rode it for 12 miles on a flat. my motor i have to use premium gas any way cause its a really high compression motor and if i dont use super my motor will diesel any way. but my motor did run on pure diesel for 20 miles at least if not 19 or so no less than 18 miles. i wouldnt sujest runing a car on diesel cause one the motor gets hot you might not beable to turn it off. on a diesel truck to turn them off the truck either shuts of the gas or the air one or the other. other than that a diesel truck would not shut off. like i put a platic bag on the carbrator of my bike to shut it off cause other than that thair was no way to turn off my motor. mean you could hold the kill switch for 20-30 mins an hour it didnt phase it. my motor would still run.

  • Foxmtx82465

    oh yhea like on a car to kill it it stops electricity from going to spark plugs. same on my bike

  • deebee

    Thanks for posting this info, it was very helpful and made me feel better about this foolish mistake.  I recently put 4 gallons of diesel in my honda civic (11.88 gallon tank) and wasn’t sure what to do.  After reading your article and also going on the advice of a mechanic friend I filled my car with high grade fuel and had a little sputtering but after a trial lap my car was running again.  My question is should I wait till I run out the current contaminated fuel and pour in fuel treatment or do this immediately?  Also at what point should I change the fuel filter?

    Thanks and any help is greatly appreciated.

  • Tfbguard-join

    i’m googling this topic bc my niece just put diesel in her car, but I have to say, every gas station I’ve ever been to has had the set up of green=diesel.  weird.

  • around

    i put Diesel fuel in my tank by accident,the engine would not run,i put a small hose down into the tank got most out,cleaned the diesel fuel off the spark plugs and a little gas or  or aether  into the carburetor,started it up,if you have fuel injection i’m sure you could get most of the Diesel fuel out with the small hose and,just  turning the key on and off,to get the eclectic fuel pump going,to get it out of your fuel rails

  • Gorge09

    today i noticed i was really running out off fuel so before returning home i stopped to refuel(if i didn’t i wold not make it home cause may tank was almost empty) i putted approximately 3 gallons in it and made the 7 miles back home when i arrived i looked to the receipt to se the exact amount of gas i putted and i noticed it said it was diesel  now I,m really worried because Ive started the engine in drove for a while.

    But since Ive not noticed anything wrong (till now) with the car no more smoke and the car is running good I’m thinking that i might have paid the wrong bill.

    Is it possible that I’ve rely mistaken myself and managed to get home whit almost only Diesel?

  • Swallowandtwig

    Day 1:
    I had virtually the same exact problem happen to me. I had been a first-time car owner in Canada (before, I was living in the Western States, and out where I was living it was the same as you mentioned in your home town; the diesel pump was always in a different desginated area of the gas station and had a different gauge size for the fuel pump). Anyway, to keep a long story short, I had not been paying attention to the fact that green always means diesel (at least in this part of Canada), and so I filled half of the small gas tank of my 2007 Honda Fit with diesel accidently. Having no clue, of course, of what I had just done, I drove off with no issues, and thankfully, I live about 3 km from the gas staion, so I got home, parked the car and than 30 mins later went back into the car to head out again and it wouldn’t start. I called my mechanic friend and he, (not knowing of course what I had done), diagnosed it with some timing issue with the components of the car’s computer because the car was abviously starving for gas. He did manage to get it started and we drove it up around the block and it was making a pinging noise all the time I was driving it. The next day, it wouldn’t start up at all and I called my dealer/auto shop and they towed it, examined it and , to no avail, couldn’t find what the issue was. 

    Day 4:
    Basically, in a nutshell, anybody who has this problem may find it helpful to know that when this happens, don’t assume there is something automatically wrong with the car. After days of the car sitting in the autoshop, the only thing the mechanics sould come up with was that there was some kind of key issue (security issue). They took it to the Honda dealer and they found that nothing, of course, was wrong with the key. Finally, later that day, I received a call from them asking if I had filled the tank up with diesel and when I called the gas station to ask what the pump number was, they said the inevitable and horrid answer my ears didn’t want to hear; DIESEL!    :(
    I can’t stress enough after my experience how important it is to NOT assume that something is wrong with the engine or car itself when your car works fine, and then..without any warning, suddenly won’t run at all (black smoke, funny smell, everything mentioned in the above posts). Immediately look at your gas receipt or if you can remeber which pump you used, call the gas station and verify before doing anything else.
    Unfortunately for me, not only am I going to have to deal with the charges involved to fix the problem, (especially where I didn’t know what I had initially done and drove it afterwards), but also all the time spent in the shop to diagnose it beforehand.
    It is a HARD lesson to learn, but I am thankful that it was diesel in a gas tank instead of the other way around; (an even more ‘grande catastrophe’)..

    I feel so relieved after reading these posts and knowing that I am not the only person who has pulled off such a stupid mistake. I had pumped gas the whole time I owned a car in the US and had never done anything like this before. It is a humbling experience, to say the least.

  • Barbara

    I put in 6 gallon of diesel in error. The dealer is charging 2000 or 1200 dollars to repair. They informed me to put  in an insurance cIaim. It is 2011 Honda CRV with 4000 miles. My insurance will increase double if I put in a claim. The only consolation right now is I thought I was the only one to do such a thing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

  • http://twitter.com/Smileleigh Smileleigh :)

    Just put 1.5 gals of diesel in a 20-25 gallon tank on work pickup. I had been driving nothing but diesel and this was a giant Ram 4×4 but the gas cap was yellow not green, I had no idea it was some weird gas.
    I stopped when I realized the nozzle should fit better. It was pretty empty when I started so I filled it up with gasoline. then I had to drive home. About 150 miles. It ran fine didn’t hesitate going up grades or passing.
    Probably wont get to keep the job, but do you think the pickup will be okay?

  • Garyifs

    Diesel fuel is like an oil…..don’t panic…….it wont hurt your engine…….if you filled it to the top after being empty on Gasoline. Well, get underneath and disconnect at the filter and use a hose and use the power of the fuel pump and pump it out into some empty containers, at least down half ways or so. Then fill up with gasoline……..and turn over till ignition happens. Yes I agree, having to remove the engine and tank is pure nonsense …… no need for this crazy idea…… Pure money grab for the innocent. A little diesel in your tank will be fine…..just don’t put gas in a diesel tank……!!!!!

  • Mastec1970

     You still left the codes in the PCM? Just because the CEL went off does not mean that the codes are gone they have to be cleared with a scan tool!
    28 Year Master Technician

  • Syl128

    Need help! I am not sure if I put diesel fuel or if the gas was from bottom of the barrel, at gas station,anyhow during recent hurricane, my local gas stations ran out of grade 87 gas , of which my 93″ Nissan Altima with only74,000 takes. Gas station only had grade 93 . I put this in my car and it ran like a baby and the gas lasted much longer, however when this ran out, I decided to put in a half tank of 89 from the same gas station. Needless to say the car ran horrnble , sputting , knocking, when I come to a stop,  must put car in nuetral , so it do not cut off . Drove car on the parkway to burn off old gas, then while car was on E,  filled tank half full with grade 87 gas and  put in fuel injection cleaner and topped off , Car is runing a tad bit better still some knocking , shaking. Strange throttle noise under neath.  Car is now half full of gas, should I put in more injection cleaner and maybe high octane 93 , I really need an inexpensive fix ,  cannot afford car repairs right now. Greatly appreciate any advice anyone can give, good or bad.     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_673HZ5SWZ23ZMXSGTH2EYEYV2Y lelectra

    Type your comment here.”pay attention to what they’re doing” you are an ass. Peple have a lot on their minds sometimes, or are exhausted because they have to work so hard and don’t get enough sleep because Ihe economy stinks so bad thanks to the crporate hacks and their paid for politicians that have hijacked the country. Human beings make mistakes and it doesn’t help when engineers/designers business owners can’t take responsibility to make clear instructions, products and signs. That is THEIR job.

    Of course there is always some self rightous flunky brown nosed jerk with a stick up their ass who would rather blame tired regular people than the businesses that fleece and deceive them.

  • Mrwoodguy

    I noticed on a past post someone said that Toluene can be used to disolve small amount of diesel fuel and raise the octane of the gas back up. I have about 20 gallons of gas/ diesel mix I am going to try turning 5 gallons into low octane fuel for my weedeater and chain saw figure the smaller high compression engines can run with a little extra lube since tehy can burn oil anyway. Just have to be carefull that they will still shut off. I Think I can use the choke to do that. I will let you know how it works out.

  • Mr_golfer_2

    ha my car was empty probably only a gallon left in it I put % gollons of deisel in it on accident. So after this i tryed to start the car. this was my only option since i was ou to town and already on the side of the road since car was stpretty much empty it wa already studdering and cutting out. any ways i put deisel in the car from a 5 gallon gas can. started it it amd i could already feel it it ran like shit and started smoking really bad, leading to it dieing. so i went to town got 5 gallons of clean gas and poured about 4 gallons in the tank on top of the deisel. tryed starting it again and nothing! so with the other gallon i poured it on a rag and put in in front of the throttle body  or watever its called the thing that the aif filter conects to. lol then had my freind try to start it it started a couple times but wouldnt stay running unless the rag was there. btw watch out for flames lol. so im like what the heck im tirerd and ready to be home so i hooked the hair filter hose back up and proceeded to puriong the rest of the on the air filter itself. this helped got me running long enough top make it to a stop sign about 6 miles away. at thuis point i can see the gas station. so i got out and did it all over again took the filter out and drenched it with the little gas we still had. finally got it started again and was able to make it to the gas station. filled the car up twith gas and did a lttle prayer. Ran like crap for a couple of days well ateast until i ran all the deisel out.  now with a new tank of GAS it is runnning much better :) i was so scared and pissed as soon as i realized my freind hasd brought bme deisel instead of gas but in the long run it all worked out :) o and about 3/4 i put sea foam in it just thinkin it might help. dont’ know if it really did anything but  made me feel better lol. now she runs like a champ. :)

  • Thommes06

    Since we got our ML 350 Bluetec I’ve been the one filling up the diesel. My wife was driving it around and the low fuel light came on. She wanted to fill it up and went to a nearby gas station (which I’ve been to many times). The diesel pump had both gasoline and diesel on each far side of the pump. Strangely enough she didn’t see the word “Diesel” anywhere on the handle, she then looked up at the sign and it read “Diesel” with the pump numbers 7 and 8. So she didn’t think anything more and proceeded to fill up $75 worth of gasoline into our diesel SUV. After the last drop of this lovely gasoline went into the tank she realized it wasn’t diesel. At that moment she called me and explained what had happened. I then called our dealership to let them know of the situation and with our 24-hour roadside assistance we got it towed there. So now we’re waiting until tomorrow to see if the dealer can pump out the gasoline. I wonder how much her “learning experience” will cost me. At least for tonight I have plenty of beer t keep me occupied. I’ll keep you posed on what happens tomorrow.

  • Luke

    Just happend to me…living in Korea! At a self-serve station I inadvertently added about 5 litres of diesel in a 25-30 litre fuel tank. I thought about it for awhile. Since the ratio of diesel compared to the amount of leftover space in the tank…just filled-it-up with gas and added a “one-shot” engine-type cleaner. At first it sputtered, smoked and stalled a few times. It picked-up a bit as the mixture was taking affect. Now if there was too much diesel in the line, it may have stalled and not start at all, which meant more hassle and payment. It was at night on a Sunday…imagine that, in S.Korea of all places. I comfirmed what I thought to be true, when I pulled-out a calculator and checked the Internet at the gas station…before proceeding. Thanks for posting this article, it did help me decide; even when all the Koreans that I talked to, suggested I don’t proceed. A bit of science, math and chemistry saved the day.

  • Joshhogan22

    I just put 13 gallons of diesel in my gas triton v8. What do I do?

  • Jennie

    Thank you so much for this blog, you’ve no idea how much it means to me. I put diesel in my mom’s car this morning after a serious lack of judgement. Granted, I was only out early because I had to take some of my friends home, and on the home, I decieded to fill her up since she was getting empty. I stopped in by the gas station and just picked up a pump- I didn’t know there was a difference. I did find it odd when it wouldn’t let me pick my normal unleaded, but in my fogged state of mind and eagerness to get out of the cold, I came to the conclusion that ‘gas is gas’. I didn’t even realize the smell was different. My ignorance is my fault in this case. $25 worth (6-7 Gal?) of diesel in an almost empty Toyata Corolla. I made it home just fine. But a few hours later when I tried to start the car in order to get to my college class, it wouldn’t start. My step-dad couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it until he asked me if I put gas in it this morning, and then, the story came out. I’ve not felt this mortified in a long time. We’ve had it towed to a mech with strict instructions that it is just to be drained and then refuled with the right gas. Hopefully things will turn out ok. But this blog helps me feel so much better about my incompetance, and that honest mistakes are not just my doing. I’m glad there’s a group of us out here.

  • Mcarthur2839

    Thank you so much Sad to say My Hubbys truck and our four wheeler both are slam full of diesel and in our case both were run till dead.    :(

  • A tightwad 2

    You did the correct thing. The “dry” gasoline itself can do harm. When running, the tolerances inside most diesel injection pumps are so tight that they REQUIRE the lubricant of the diesel to cool and lubricate the internal fuel components. With the higher diesel compression, gasoline will ignite and burn way too “early” (All at once) and violently and could do damage to the internal engine.

    If you put diesel in gasoline engines you will get a bad running engine and if it is knocking “DON’T RUN IT”. Diesel fuel itself will not harm your vehicle. For lack of a better way to say it, diesel is a lower grade of fuel. It’s an oil. Mixing a little diesel in most gasoline vehicles won’t harm it. It will smoke, stink, run sluggish and spark knock. If too much diesel is added the engine simple can’t ignite the low grade fuel and the engine will just quit running or won’t start when cold. Severe spark knocking is what will do damage if any. If you can just add more gasoline to the tank and get a 25% of diesel in gasoline mix, everything will probably be fine.

    In fact I have acquired 10 gallons of good diesel and instead of disposing of it I rationed it into my 2002 Ford Crown Victoria until I used it up. No need of wasting it!

    Side Note; 1980′s push mower experiment when I was flat broke. I had an old push mower; it required a full tank of fuel to mow my entire yard. I only had a half of a tank of gas in it. With every pass around the yard I added some 10w-40 engine oil that I did have, to the fuel. It smoked badly, was very low on power and would knock when I placed too much load on the engine. I mowed half the yard and took a break. I cleaned the spark plug and sprayed a combination of carburetor cleaner and starting fluid into the mower’s carburetor until the combustion chamber was hot enough for the engine could run once more on its own. I finished the yard and allowed the engine to run another 20 minutes at wide open throttle to empty what was left in the tank. My neighbors thought I was nuts, but my yard mowed, the bugs were gone and now I could set back and enjoy the rest of my weekend.

  • Ryanklos1987

    Not true son. After a diagnostic is ran and passes 40 times 70 if its a fuel trim or a missfire, the code will clear itself. And even if you dont clear the code who cares? Assclown

  • Asd

    How are we supposed to know the handle with “Diesel” written all over it doesn’t produce gas. The corporate evildoers are tricking us with their “one color per fuel type” system that is far too complex for the overworked middle class to decode. I PAY MY TAXES!! DON’T TREAD ON ME!!

  • Meeshi

    DON’T PANIC!! Just to reconfirm what many have said…. adding diesel to a gas engine is not as big of a deal as some want you to believe….the other way around is a different story. Anyway, my husband in a state of stress and not paying attention added just under 8 gallons of diesel to our 22.5 gallon tank that still had roughly 5-6 gallons of gas still in it. He was able to actually drive about 30 minutes home, drove rough of course, but he made it and actually while driving still wasn’t aware why it started acting up. For the record I have a 2003 explorer which I just put a used engine in a couple months ago so I only have about 45k miles on it. So… of course once it was home and shut off it wouldn’t start again (diesel won’t ignite the spark plugs because it is oily). First, I bought a cheap siphon but that was a no-go because most vehicles after 2000 have a screen to block siphoning. A little research and a call to a family member mechanic and there was a much better and easier way to go anyway. If you or anyone in your household is even semi-mechanically inclined save the hundreds or thousand plus your mechanic will try and tell you to invest and follow this method!! First, you need to find out two things about your vehicle: 1.) where your fuel pressure test valve is and 2.) which relay is for your fuel pump. Next, go to auto zone or harbor freight, etc and purchase a fuel pressure tester (if you have a FORD buy the more expensive kit with the adapter for ford vehicles). I also stopped by Ace hardware and bought about 4 foot of tubing and 2 clamps. We cut the hose to the pressure tester kit about 3 inches under the pressure gauge, inserted the cut end into the additional tubing and clamped it. Then we placed the end of the tubing into the first gas can that was to collect the draining diesel and attached the adapter and hose on the other end (from the kit) to the test valve. Last, take a piece of wire and jump the fuel relay. Then just sit back and watch/wait while the diesel pumps out. It took us less than 2 hours to pump all 13 gallons out. One of the good things about doing it this way besides the ease over siphoning is your getting it out of the fuel line as well. Then put ten gallons of premium via gas cans and a bottle of fuel treatment and literally rocked the truck back and forth to make sure to mix it well incase there was any diesel remaining in the tank (you can actually probably still drive so long as the diesel is less than 20% of the total fuel, but I wanted to get as close to all out as possible to avoid the day or two of smoking and crappy driving). It took us about 20 minutes to get it started by taking five minute intervals in between each 6-10 cycles of attempting to start it. Each cycle got better. Finally, it started up… ran rough and smoked a little for maybe five minutes, then was purring like a kitten as if nothing ever happened. I went up to the corner and completely filled the tank the rest of the way with premium gas. FYI, had it not started when it did we were going to pull out the spark plugs and wipe them down and if that didn’t work we would have replaced them, but it wasn’t necessary for us. Thought it may have been since he drove a half hour with such a high diesel:gas ratio…. So its been two days and a little over a hunderd miles and its still the sweet ride it was before the diesel crisis lol. Soooo, no need to panic, its a semi-major inconvenience, but its not the end of the world and whatever you do don’t get suckered in to a $1000 mechanic’s bill!! Oh also…on my explorer the fuel relay is #48 and the test valve is off the front of the engine about three inches from where you put the oil in. Good luck to the next one….my turn is over LOL!

  • Meeshi

    Oh yeah, forgot to add while you’re trying to get it started your check engline light will surely come on due to a misfire, etc…. once you are running smooth just have it cleared…. as long as it doesn’t come back on you’re fine :)

  • Knmlaro

    We put desil in our gas and idled it and tried to get most of it out also got new filter and new battery and it still wont start any ideas

  • Knmlaro

    We put desil in our gas and idled it and tried to get most of it out also got new filter and new battery and it still wont start any ideas

  • CrazyCowboy

    If the gasoline engine does not run hot enough, the diesel will not burn, and it can dilute the engine oil. Always check to see if oil level starts increasing, an indication that the diesel has diluted the engine’s oil and probably reduced its lubrication. Too high a level of engine oil will also splash around on the top-end and can gum-up the valves.

  • Cpt487msc

    Well, the reverse of that is putting 3-4 gallons of gas into a diesel engine.  No problem, these engines usually will run fine on about 25% gasoline in with the diesel mixture.  However, it is always best to check out your particular diesel engine with a mechanic and be for warned and knowledgeable prior to having to dealing with it.

  • Anonymous

     As a result, Japanese market Accords had a Honda Verno styling feature, but were sold at newly established Japanese dealerships Honda Clio with the brand new Honda Legend,
    and international Accords were now visually aligned with the Prelude,
    the CR-X, and the new Integra. Honda Accords of this generation were
    manufactured without the concealled headlights and sold in Europe.

  • Wdmullican

    This has some encourging information about adding gas if you only have a small amount of diesel in your tank by mistake,I did the same thing to my sons 2005 Chevy Colorado today. So far so good. I have my fingers crossed that it keeps running ok.

  • Abdullah

    Hi Everyone ,
    I have a Ford focus 2005, I had the same problem yesterday in Anaheim California, I had 3 Gallons of Gas in the tank when I put 5 gallon of Diesel, the pump was really confusing , I did not recognize my mistake until the car died 4 miles away from the gas station, fortunately enough I was close to a Honda Car dealer, they offered me to do the service for my car! but it was Sunday so I had to wait til the next day and I got it fixed for around 500 $. They have flushed the tank and did some cleaning for the motor and kept the engine runing for sometime. however the guy told me that it might have some few problems in the first 100s miles.
    Since this mistek happend several times the owner of the pumps should make it more clear which is which, because it was really strange and confusing for me, the Diesel button says : “start here ” while for the gas it has numbers so i tought I should click the start then the numbers!!

  • Wolflvr9653

    My daughter had about a gallon of gas and
    then put 3 gal of diesel in. She got home and then
    it died. We got some gas cans, added 10 gallons of premium,
    108 octane boost and fuel injecter cleaner. It took about 2 hours
    of trying to start it (also had to slave it to my truck
    for as the battery died) but it finally started. Smoked for about
    10 minutes and now it’s fine. It was a fuel injected V6 1998 van.
    If you cant afford the alternatives I would try that.

  • Lauraj

    My son put some diesel in his gas truck… I don’t think it would be more than 8-10 oz… he realized what he was doing. He hasn’t started it since he did it, can you tell me what to do

  • Lauraj

    it was almost empt

  • Twyn_b

    I have a similar situation. I just purchased a 2011 Buick Regal and I really like the car but after having it several days it kept cutting off. I took it back to the dealer and they changed a oxygen sensor and oil pump because they observed the car pushing oil?? They have sensed advised me that there is diesel gas in the car and I know I didn’t put diesel gas in the car. I put unleaded, I even went back to the gas station where I got the gas to double check. I am wondering what the problem could be.

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  • Statistics04

    Don’t throw away any gas/diesel mix or give someone money to dispose of “hazardous material”!!!!!!! Keep it.  You can still burn it a gallon at a time. Fill your tank with gasoline but leave enough room for that contaminated fuel.  You won”t notice the difference in most cars or pick-ups.  That BS about cleaning the tank and lines and changing the fuel filter and cleaning the injectors is just that, “BS” !!!  You don’t need fuel treatment either.  Just in case you think you do:  just remember you must not use METHYL ALCOHOL IN DIESEL ENGINES [CAS#67-56-1] destroys rubber parts in injector pumps!!! Use ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL…IT CAN BE USED IN BOTH GASOLINE AND DIESEL ENGINES…In case you are really disadvantaged, you can use 91% Isopropyl rubbing alcohol—-same thing is in ISO-HEET [CAS#67-63-0]  91% Isopropyl alcohol does contain some WATER but it also absorbs water when used in fuel tanks..Those guys trying to get big money out of unlucky people are just screwing you with out any vasoline. Diesel fuel won’t hurt gasoline engines—they just won’t fire the diesel fuel.  Gasoline WILL destroy diesel engines if ran at high concentrations…Truck drivers routinely put a few gallons of gasoline in their tanks in extremely cold weather.  Those guys wanting to CLEAN your fuel system will not tell you what they are going to do.  They will just drain your tank and take the fuel line off at the engine and turn the key on and FLUSH the gas line out with the new gasoline they put in your tank. Still some diesel left in the injectors and that will be flushed out when they start the auto.The car will smoke some but you will be home or sitting in the waiting room and not see it because you will not be allowed in the repair area. They will take the auto out for a test drive and any remaining diesel will be burned out and the auto will be running fine when they bring it back to you…Fuel burned out and so is your purse!!!!! Wonder how long this will be on here before some crook has it removed. Hope I saved some of you some of your hard earned cash.

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  • Billie

    My son has a 2004 Chevy Silverado, was on Empty and used diesel in our shed thinking it was gas… I’m surprised he made it to school, 15 miles away. My husband drove it to gas station and filled it with premium gas (20 gal). Added fuel treatment, and injector cleaner additive. Truck is running fine so far, but Check Engine light is still on. We’ll run it for a few days keeping truck filled with premium. If check engine light is still on, we’ll take it in to get code read. Mechanic said it will gum up the fuel injector, and it’s not good on the catylatic converter either. So hopefully we’re not in for a huge bill to fix it!! After reading these comments, I think it will turn out just fine.

  • kathy

    At least I now know what the mechanics should do…I only got 0.29 gallon in before I figured out why the nozzle did not seem to be fitting well…in fact I wonder if all that is actually still in the hose and not in my tank-but I was afraid, and no one at the mini mart could tell me what to do, no one at AAA either so I had it towed home (it was late at night) and will call mechanics in AM. I had maybe a couple gallons gas left in my tank when I added the 0.29 gallons diesal so probably could have filled it with gas and gone-should have googled this on my phone-but better safe than sorry:-)

  • Damian

    I just ran my petrol motorbike on diesel for 30km. After 10km, Started smoking and knocking and lost all power. Kept driving it like that for 20 km because it was 3am in the middle of nowhere. Next day,the mechanic cleaned it all out and it seems to be running normal now. I don’t know what kind of damage was done inside, but it SEEMS to be running fine. This was a simple one cylinder 100cc motorbike, so likely not the same, but I don’t think it’s as drastic a situation to spend $1500 on. Especially since you hadn’t driven it yet. That mechanic was probably laughing his way to the bank.

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    me and my husband..contact on his email SUCCESSSPELLCAST@GMAIL.COM is the best spell caster in the whole wild world.

  • joanna

    my husband claims he pump diesel gas in a non diesel engine car. how can that happen we live in las vegas

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  • Richard

    Thanks. My situation is a little different. This is what happened. I have a 2002 Ford Ranger truck and it’s non-diesel. There was barely any gas left to the point that the check engine light came on. I went to the gas station and filled it with $5.00 worth of gas, which is about close to a gallon. I drove it to a friends house about five miles and took a 5 gallon of diesel gas from the storage. I drove back home, which is about another 6 miles. All in all, I drove maybe about a gallon worth of gas. Anyway, When I got home, I poured maybe a quarter of a gallon of that diesel in a container and put in the gas tank. I drove it to a store and back home with no problem. Thinking it’s gas and not diesel, I decided to put the rest of the diesel gas into the gas tank. All 5 gallons. When I finally drove her again, that’s when the engine started acting up. I drove it about 4 miles and stopped. When I started her up again, she now won’t start. Long story, I know. So, I’m guessing (but it will still crank when you start the engine).

    Anyway, I was actually thinking of diluting that 5 gallons of diesel with unleaded. I’m not sure how big my gas tank is, but I’m pretty sure it’s a 20 gal tank. I wonder if that would work? since I’ve already drove it and it’s literally ALL diesel since the truck won’t start anymore. Filling her up with unleaded, I wonder if that would work?

  • Richard

    Yes, please. None of that.

  • Richard

    Actually, if I fill her up with gas. Say, I have a 20 gal gas tank. The ratio of diesel to gas would be 33% shit. is that bad?????? Oh dear Lord. I need to get my truck started.

  • James

    Um where does gas come from rotflmao……… if u want to run that fuel in a car u need to refine it by adding more gas than diesel if done rite no smoke n runs fine if running thru diesel truck add more diesel fuel runs fine. Diesel is a biproduct of gas…. refined with other chemicals ethynol such on then filtered to make gas. But if u dont know what ur doing then dont do it… ur choice. “Do ur home work”

  • James

    why don’t we read anymore problem solved

  • James

    why don’t we read anymore problem solved. Green don’t always mean regular gas…

  • WAS

    Diesel has little problems on the 50s model Chevys. It’s only the nicer newer cars that get damaged by diesel fuel.

  • ramon

    I went through the same situation and it wasn’t as bad as some people made it seen. I put 9 gallons of diesel in my Hyundai tiburon because my girlfriend told me that diesel last longer and I didn’t know better (stupid me) . I went like 20 miles when the car started giving me problems and then another 10 miles to get to the mechanic. My car was there for two days and after those two days went by my mechanic called with good news . He clean the whole fuel system of the car and installed two new spark plugs out of 5 . It cost me 200$ dollars unlike the 500-1000 dollars or the whole new engine/transmission situation that was said before. I just want to share my experience because I know how frustrating it is to do a stupid mistake like that and I thought it would be good to share . Btw, the car hasn’t given me any problems at all ever since .

  • jared

    i had a 2005 ford f-150 i always put diesel fuel in it.helps lubricate. i also used to put 2 cycle in it. no problems. ran out of gas in a gmc 2004 one time and had 5 gallons of diesel fuel and 2 gallons of 2 cycle. guess what 2 gallons and 1 gallon of diesel got me 10 miles up the road to the filling station.

  • jared

    not saying everyone should follow example but it isnt always a bad thing

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    the moron who drives my tow truck knows its a gas engine .theidiot let the attendent fill it up with diesel it was 3/4 low..to be continued

  • Herb Huff

    I am a diabetic and went to the gas station having a reaction to my medication. I could not read the sign, which told me that they had put diesel fuel in the low grade gas dispenser. We were low on gas so I filled it up. Two or three blocks later the car stalled and we were stuck. We took it to an area garage and told them that it might be the fuel pump. They changed it, but it was not the fuel pump. They added something to start the fuel pump….still wouldn’t start the car so sent the parts back. I was out of the insulin reaction by then and, thanks to my wife, we found out about the diesel fuel online. I figure the tank was nearly all the way full of diesel. I also remember that it was hard to get the diesel in the gas tank. We took it to the garage 3 days ago. Can we get it fixed without buying a new one or paying for a new one in repairs?

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  • Trl

    What if it’s only 2gallons of diesel could u put unleaded triple that like 6 gallons if unleaded will it possibly start

  • Sara Kay

    “Diesel fuel won’t hurt gasoline engines—they just won’t fire the diesel fuel.”
    I know you posted this years ago but thank you SO much! I’ve been here being a complete mess because I thought I had ruined the engine of my brand new car but reading this helped so much. Thank you!

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  • Melwyn

    Thanks for posting this info.

    it was very helpful and made me feel better about this foolish mistake. I was on a trip with the family to Quebec and put 8 liters of diesel in my Dodge Caravan (80 liters tank) and wasn’t sure what to do. As soon as I realized my mistake I filled my car with high grade fuel (93 and 91 Octane) 65 liters gas and started my car, it was running smooth.

    It was late in night about 10pm in an isolated place about 850 kms away from home, after filling gas I called my mechanic to check what do I do for this mistake and explained to him my situation. He advised me to drain the fuel tank but since it was late was not possible to find anyone to drain the fuel. I drove for about 50 kms to my hotel and start doing research to correct my mistake.

    I found your article online and after reading I was much relieved to know that I was not the only fool. In your article you have mentioned to use fuel treatments but have not mentioned anything in a particular treatment.

    In the morning visited a Auto parts shop to pick fuel treatments and the parts guy check with a visiting mechanic. He said it’s advisable to drain the tank but since you have filled the tank put fuel treatments and gave me (Octane booster, Injector cleaner and Gas Anti-freeze ),filled the Fuel treatments in my van. Refilled Petrol refilling as the fuel gauge showed quarter tank with high grade fuel (93 and 91 Octane) and drove for almost 1600 kms till I reached home without any issue. Have no issues with my vehicle now and its smooth as ever.

    Thanks you very much for this post as it helped to overcome my fear of getting stuck and travel back home safely without any issue.

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  • Geomack

    Unfortunately, some gas stations like Wawa have gas & diesel hoses next to each other. Some of the pumps have only gas or diesel. I was in a hurry & did not notice that I was putting diesel into the car at first. I put in about .7 of a gallon, which is about 3.9% in an 18 gallon tank. Then filled the tank with gas. The car was running fine & when I got home I read your post and want to thank you. It was very helpful. The opinion on the internet is split between have the car towed
    & drain the tank (and that is what the mechanics I talked to said to do) & other posts like yours that take a less involved approach. After reading your post I drove the car around for over 20 miles & put in 92 octane to boost the octane a little. I read another post that said that 2% of diesel lowers the octane by 1 point. And going below an octane of 87 is where problems can occur with the piston. So, adding the higher octane compensated for the lowering of the octane by 2 points with diesel & the car is running fine. Thanks.

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    Thanks a lot for the great tips on what to do during fueled. Great insights and perspective.

  • Lynda Perry


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