What to do if You Misfuel Your Van
Van Fuel – What to do if you put the wrong stuff in!
Putting the wrong fuel in your van is just one and is a much more common occurrence than you would think.
You may have to fork out a few quid, but it is something that can be rectified and is well worth it to get you back on the road. The main thing to do is not panic and follow our handy guide to what to do if you accidentally misfuel.
Firstly, the most important thing you need to remember is that, once you have realised you have misfueled, do not turn on your engine or even turn the ignition key. If you do, the wrong fuel will start to make its way through your vehicle, which will make the damage much worse.
Putting petrol in a diesel van
If you accidentally put more than five litres of petrol into a diesel van, you will need a certified mechanic to drain the fuel tank and then fill it up with diesel.
You may be able to get your dealer to take care of this if the van is still under warranty, so it’s probably best to contact them first.
Fuel is dangerous, so never try to drain the tank yourself. You could cause an accident and, worse still, injure yourself. Cars and parts can be replaced, but don’t put yourself in harm’s way.
If your warranty has expired or you dealer can’t help, contact your breakdown recovery company. They can arrange to have you towed to the nearest garage or mechanic.
After draining the fuel tank, the mechanic will need to be sure that none of the fuel has made its way into the pipes. This will be done by changing the sealants and filters.
Only after this is done, can you refill with the right fuel. Of course, you’re going to be extra careful second time around!
Accidentally putting less than five litres of the wrong fuel into your tank shouldn’t pose the same problem. If you do manage to pump a drop or two of the wrong juice in before realising your mistake, your tank won’t sustain a great deal of damage as there won’t have been enough fuel to get into the pipes.
Unless the manufacturer’s manual tells you otherwise, the best thing to do is top up the tank with the right fuel and drive on.
Putting diesel in a petrol van
While misfuelling can easily happen, it’s much harder to put diesel into a petrol van. For a start, the colour of the pumps are different and the nozzle on a diesel pump is bigger than petrol nozzle. Therefore, you really have to shove a diesel nozzle in to get the fuel in. You’d like to think that something will have twigged by then.
However, the advice is much the same. The tank will need to be drained and filters and sealants changed by a certified mechanic before you top up with diesel again.
Again, anything less than five litres of diesel shouldn’t cause much damage and if you do notice your mistake in time, just top up with the right fuel and be on your way.
The AA can help you at the roadside or petrol station with their Fuel Assist service which is available to the general public as well as to AA Members. If you’ve already driven the vehicle after putting the wrong fuel in, Halfords offer a specialist Misfuel / Fuel Drain Service which can help you.
So, it won’t be the end of the world if you misfuel, especially if you follow our helpful guide.