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Thread: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

  1. #1
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    Default The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Had to get my ute towed yesterday and since then I’ve been thinking that I’m finally losing my marbles, calling myself all sorts of names resembling Richard and head with all sorts of prefixes before it........

    Yesterday I filled my diesel VW Amarok up with fuel at the local service station and, with the tank having read empty for at least 40 km’s I put in a full 75 litres or so.

    I use a fuel log on my mobile fine, so after jumping back in the vehicle and starting it up I was entering the fuel amount and price into the log when I realised the dollars on the receipt didn’t add up to the price per litre on the bowser.

    The price per litre on the receipt showed the unleaded fuel price of $1.389 per litre, being 6 cents a litre higher than diesel at $1.329 per litre.

    I shut the engine down straight away and went cold, realising that the only reason could be that I’ve put in unleaded fuel instead of diesel.

    It had run for about a minute only so would still be using filter and line fuel before I shut down anyway.

    I thought “there’s no way I could have stuffed that up like that” so went back into the shop and queried it and he was adamant that I’d pumped in what he’d charged me for, unleaded fuel.

    So I contacted VW assist and had to get the ute towed to the VW workshop - that took about 2 hours to get a tow truck and then another hour to get a taxi so needless to say I was less than impressed with myself by the time I got home......it was a bad day yesterday.

    VW were closed yesterday so the towing company delivered it there this morning and the yard have only just called to say that they have been on to it and have drained the tank, dropped it out and cleaned it and changed the filter and bled through new diesel.

    BUT:

    They have said that they believe they drained a full tank of diesel, not unleaded fuel.

    Thank goodness for that, I’m not the complete D-head that I was thinking I am (though that may still be debatable by many ).

    VW will detail on my receipt that it was diesel drained so that I can take it up with the service station (BP) and they reckon it’s not the first time they’ve had clients bring in receipts showing that they’d filled with unleaded fuel only to find that it was diesel.
    Larks

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    “It’s risky”, said experience.
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    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Bet you're relieved.

    A colleague put diesel into a petrol car last week, it took a week of flushing/sorting, and £500 to put right, and thats the better mistake to make.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Bugger. Seems a bit weird that VW would drain the lot, if you told them it was a full tank of petrol - and it wasn't. It isn't like they are hard to tell apart, or it was half and half.
    Every time I fill the Hyundai, I am just about doing a diesel mantra. Om manee Diesel. Diesel. Diesel

    Pete
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    I am relieved indeed - I just now need to recover the costs from BP, which I’m expecting will end up around the $AUD800.00 mark:

    Wasted tank of diesel: $107.00
    Towing: @$250.00 ??
    Taxi home: $46.00
    VW’s work: I’m guessing something like $400.00
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    Bugger. Seems a bit weird that VW would drain the lot, if you told them it was a full tank of petrol - and it wasn't. It isn't like they are hard to tell apart, or it was half and half.
    Every time I fill the Hyundai, I am just about doing a diesel mantra. Om manee Diesel. Diesel. Diesel

    Pete

    It was a bit odd - when the yard manager rang the first time he said that his mechanics “thought” it was diesel but couldn’t be certain.....??? What the??

    It took 76.9 litres at the bowser, so if it was petrol there’d have been maybe 3 or 8 litres of diesel left (I’m not sure if it’s an 80 or 85 litre tank). You’d kinda think a mechanic would be able to smell petrol coming out if it was there.

    So they said that they decided to err on the side of caution and do it properly because, although they believe it was all diesel they couldn’t be 100% certain. Really??

    It all seems a bit whacky to me...

    And now, to top it off, as I was just about to get a lift into town to pick it up, they’ve called to say that the fuel sender unit has died and they need to replace that but won’t get one in until tomorrow (we are flying out to Hawaii in a few hours so now I’m busy trying to get alternative transport to the airport....).

    He couldn’t explain why the fuel sender unit has died, said that perhaps if there was a bit of petrol sent through it may have caused it....."Petrol??? You told me that it was all diesel that you drained”........

    “Yes, we’re pretty sure it was but......sorry we don't know why it died, it may be a wiring issue of some sort”.....

    So I’m guessing the reality is that they’ve ripped a wire out when dropping the tank so I will have to keep an eye out as to whether they charge me for it or not.

    As much as I love the Amarok, I can’t say that I’ve been all that impressed with the VW service centre here. The vehicle is new and still under warranty so I’ve been sticking with them but each time I get a service or work done there seems to be a problem beyond what they are supposed to be dealing with.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Just about every vehicle I'm involved with at present uses a different damn fuel. I did use some extra boost fuel in the M5 recently... a mate had to drain his race car's special brew. High octane. It won't have hurt it.

    Hope it all works out, Greg. If it was Shell... I have experience in extracting serious money (and I do mean serious) from them... although none of it hit my pocket, it was a freebie for a cousin - after they dumped 20,000 litres of fuel on his property
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    It was a bit odd - when the yard manager rang the first time he said that his mechanics “thought” it was diesel but couldn’t be certain.....??? What the??

    It took 76.9 litres at the bowser, so if it was petrol there’d have been maybe 3 or 8 litres of diesel left (I’m not sure if it’s an 80 or 85 litre tank). You’d kinda think a mechanic would be able to smell petrol coming out if it was there.

    So they said that they decided to err on the side of caution and do it properly because, although they believe it was all diesel they couldn’t be 100% certain. Really??

    It all seems a bit whacky to me...

    And now, to top it off, as I was just about to get a lift into town to pick it up, they’ve called to say that the fuel sender unit has died and they need to replace that but won’t get one in until tomorrow (we are flying out to Hawaii in a few hours so now I’m busy trying to get alternative transport to the airport....).

    He couldn’t explain why the fuel sender unit has died, said that perhaps if there was a bit of petrol sent through it may have caused it....."Petrol??? You told me that it was all diesel that you drained”........

    “Yes, we’re pretty sure it was but......sorry we don't know why it died, it may be a wiring issue of some sort”.....

    So I’m guessing the reality is that they’ve ripped a wire out when dropping the tank so I will have to keep an eye out as to whether they charge me for it or not.

    As much as I love the Amarok, I can’t say that I’ve been all that impressed with the VW service centre here. The vehicle is new and still under warranty so I’ve been sticking with them but each time I get a service or work done there seems to be a problem beyond what they are supposed to be dealing with.
    Perhaps they didn't realise how much "petrol" you had added Greg, if it was just 20 litres into say an existing 60 litres , a top up. Perhaps they couldn't tell for sure ?
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    I did the DH today too.
    I have a boat tank, 80l, in the back of the ute which I access by a jiggle syphon. Thought to top the ute ready to head to the big smoke on Friday night after work. No worries. 1/2 an hour later while working on the bench on the other side of the ute I realised that there was a soft splashing sound coming from the car.
    I think I dumped about 10 litres.
    Bloody diesel doesn't half cover a big area quickly.....
    Bald, ugly, not too bright but incredibly sexy in an unattractive sort of way....

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    I once did that to a Mercedes Diesel....... At least 3/4 of the tank gas, and drove it for about 50 miles highway until I noticed it running hot and valves rattling. Got off the interstate, discovered what I had done, and brought several gas cans. Drained the tank right here...... Filled up with diesel and away I went.
    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    G'day Chris, hope you and yours are well.

    Getting spilt diesel out of concrete is a deal more difficult than getting it in!

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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    I did something along the lines of this, in a very different way. I changed the engine on my boat from petrol to diesel. I totally cleaned the 'Copper fuel tank' out before putting any diesel in it. after laying the boat up for the winter, I tried to restart the diesel engine, and nothing happened, it wouldn't fire at all. The reason being that diesel doesn't react well with copper, it removes the cetane from the fuel, but doesn't affect petrol. Whilst the engine was in use, it wasn't an issue, as the diesel wasn't in the tank for long enough for the effect to occur, but after 6 months of sitting; bollox! All OK now, with S/S tank replacement, albeit at £180.
    We live and learn!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    I've heard of guys running up to about 10% petrol in their diesel engines to "give 'em a clean out". Not sure I'd ever want to do it.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    When I was driving an old Kenworth with a 8v92 Detroit which was the whore of the waterfront, to get her going i had to put in about 15/20% petrol in to get her to crack. She made "Rolling Coal" look clean. Put too much petrol in and you would run the risk of burning the tips off your injectors or melting a hole in the centre of your pistons. sometimes you just have to shove the owners manual under the mattress in the sleeper an go for it

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    A skipper mate who used to run a trawler with a large Kelvin diesel, would, in his words, "pour a gallon of petrol down the air intake while it was running, to give her a clean out", in his opinion it must work due to "all the black s**t that came out the exhaust"........

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    On both the BMW and Land Rover diesels sold here there is a device in the fuel filler neck that prevents the insertion of a gas (petrol) nozzle, even though the gas nozzle is smaller. Pretty ingenious little device.
    The auto diesel nozzles here are slightly larger.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Well, I'm glad you came out OK, Greg.

    On both the BMW and Land Rover diesels sold here there is a device in the fuel filler neck that prevents the insertion of a gas (petrol) nozzle, even though the gas nozzle is smaller.

    There are aftermarket fill pipe fittings that prevent a gasoline nozzle from working in a diesel tank.
    Example from a quick Google:

    https://www.misfuellingprevention.co.uk/


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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not


    .
    .

    “What use is a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”


    ~~~ Henry David Thoreau

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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Quote Originally Posted by sharpiefan View Post
    Might void our warranty.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    I want an Amarok! Damn the Chicken Tax! It looks like a fine little truck.
    I wonder what would happen when a shot of petrol hit the famous VW emissions software.
    “What, Me Worry?". -. A. E. Newman

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Quote Originally Posted by AussieBarney View Post
    When I was driving an old Kenworth with a 8v92 Detroit which was the whore of the waterfront, to get her going i had to put in about 15/20% petrol in to get her to crack. She made "Rolling Coal" look clean. Put too much petrol in and you would run the risk of burning the tips off your injectors or melting a hole in the centre of your pistons. sometimes you just have to shove the owners manual under the mattress in the sleeper an go for it
    The new common rail diesels dont do well with petrol ( gas) in the system, typically need a new pump, lines, injectors and sometimes pistons! Larks, you did well to get it stopped in time. If that had been petrol your Amarok would have been out for quite a while, and so would your wallet.
    I've put a "Diesel" sticker on the bodywork of my Triton just above the fill cap, not so much for me as for anyone else who might drive it.

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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    When I bought my Jetta TDi Sportwagen, the seller had prior maintenance history from his dealer that I reviewed, and it turned out that 6 months before they had inadvertently pumped gas into it. The car stalled out a mile or so down the road. The dealer flushed it all out and noted there didn't appear to be lasting damage. Since the car was six months and several thousands of miles older by the time I bought it, I figured it was all OK, and in the time I owned it, it never faltered.
    Gerard>
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    The new common rail diesels dont do well with petrol ( gas) in the system, typically need a new pump, lines, injectors and sometimes pistons! Larks, you did well to get it stopped in time. If that had been petrol your Amarok would have been out for quite a while, and so would your wallet.
    I've put a "Diesel" sticker on the bodywork of my Triton just above the fill cap, not so much for me as for anyone else who might drive it.

    John Welsford
    Talking to a mate last night about it and he said that only a few days before his neighbour was hit with a bit over $10,000 bill after his wife put petrol in their brand new diesel Range Rover. Apparently she drove it home OK but when she went to restart it an hour later it was completely cactus.

    He’s trying to put a claim in on his insurance however when I checked on that myself to see if I had a case (when I still thought it was petrol) - one of the specific exclusions was using wrong fuel, on the basis of not covering negligent acts.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Perhaps they didn't realise how much "petrol" you had added Greg, if it was just 20 litres into say an existing 60 litres , a top up. Perhaps they couldn't tell for sure ?
    Nah, they knew from my first conversation with them that it was pretty much the full tank.

    Regardless, I’ll deal with BP in a week or so - I’ve just plonked myself in a chair on Waikiki beach to find some wifi and send a few last minute emails before finding something cool and coconut flavoured to drink, so the Amarok is now firmly back of mind
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    Talking to a mate last night about it and he said that only a few days before his neighbour was hit with a bit over $10,000 bill after his wife put petrol in their brand new diesel Range Rover. Apparently she drove it home OK but when she went to restart it an hour later it was completely cactus.

    He’s trying to put a claim in on his insurance however when I checked on that myself to see if I had a case (when I still thought it was petrol) - one of the specific exclusions was using wrong fuel, on the basis of not covering negligent acts.
    WTF is insurance for if not to cover negligent acts? I have a low regard for insurance companies.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    G'day Chris, hope you and yours are well.

    Getting spilt diesel out of concrete is a deal more difficult than getting it in!

    And the Ad banner below...
    Hi Jeff,
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    Nah, they knew from my first conversation with them that it was pretty much the full tank.

    Regardless, I’ll deal with BP in a week or so - I’ve just plonked myself in a chair on Waikiki beach to find some wifi and send a few last minute emails before finding something cool and coconut flavoured to drink, so the Amarok is now firmly back of mind
    Cool, enjoy your vacation....... Oh and maybe post a pic or two in the I Want Thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
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    Default Re: The woes of putting Petrol in a diesel tank.....or not

    Quote Originally Posted by jack grebe View Post
    Cool, enjoy your vacation....... Oh and maybe post a pic or two in the I Want Thread.
    thanks Jack - and will do
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
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    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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