Q:

What happens if you put the wrong fuel in cars?

A:

Quick Answer

Putting the incorrect type of fuel in a car potentially causes problems to the engine, fuel pumps and fuel system in general. The amount and type of damage caused by incorrect fuel depends on several factors, such as whether cars and trucks operate on diesel or standard gasoline and whether drivers turn on cars after fueling with the wrong gas.

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Sometimes, drivers accidentally put diesel fuel in cars designed for standard gasoline and vice versa. Upon noticing the error, drivers should not start car or truck engines. Doing so allows the incorrect fuel to circulate throughout the car, which causes damage. Diesel fuel helps cars with diesel engines by lubricating the fuel system, regulating temperature and pressure, and allowing smooth operation of engines. Regular gasoline lacks the same lubrication and contains metal particles large enough to damage diesel engines. The substances comprising gasoline corrode components in diesel systems, while large metal particles in gasoline damage the fuel pump. Contamination of gasoline engines with diesel fuel also occurs, but less frequently.

Using diesel fuel with gasoline also causes damage to the engine and fuel system. Upon fueling improperly, experts advise drivers not to start cars. Doing so allows fuel to circulate, which potentially causes significant damage in short periods of time and necessitates expensive and complex repairs. After misfueling, drivers should call for assistance to have their car systems flushed and thoroughly cleaned.

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