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What to do if you use the wrong fuel

April 1, 2015 | By | In Buying Guides
What to do if you use the wrong fuel

Maybe you’ve treated yourself to some new wheels, you might have hired a car for holiday or perhaps you just had a lot on your mind; it’s surprisingly easy and common to put the wrong fuel in your car. But at least you’re not alone. According to the British Insurance Brokers' Association, a massive 150,000 motorists each year do exactly that. 

This simple error could cause a big headache and large bill at the garage. However, if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of mis-fuelling, just follow our guide below to help minimise any damage caused. 

If you haven’t started the engine

– Stop fuelling immediately and don’t start the ignition. 

– Inform the petrol station attendant of what’s happened.

– Put your car into neutral and ask for assistance to roll to a safe position away from the centre of the forecourt.

– Call your breakdown company and ask for recovery. It may be that they offer a roadside drainage service.

– Phone your insurers and explain the situation. Mis-fuelling is usually covered under fully comprehensive plans as accidental damage.

– If the fuel hasn’t been drawn into the engine by ignition, or you haven’t put much in, then there’s a chance there won’t be any damage at all.

If you have started the engine

– Turn into a safe road position and turn off the engine as soon as it’s ok to do so. Do not restart the engine.

– Call your breakdown company and ask for recovery. It may be that they offer a roadside drainage service.

– Phone your insurers and explain the situation. Mis-fuelling is usually covered under fully comprehensive plans as accidental damage. 

– As the fuel has been drawn into the engine there might be some damage so it’s likely that the car will need to be towed to a garage, rather than being fixed at the roadside. 

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