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I Accidentally Put The Wrong Gas in My Car

Different types of vehicles are designed to use a specific type of gas. Gas stations use labels and different nozzles to ensure that you don’t put the wrong gas in your vehicle. ‘I accidentally put the wrong gas in my car’ is a common phrase at many gas stations and in this article, we’ll try and see what happens when you put the wrong gas in your vehicle.

I Accidentally Put The Wrong Gas in My Car

Diesel in a Gasoline gas tank

When you put diesel in a gasoline car, the engine will function normally until all the gasoline is used up. The two fuels burn at different levels, which makes it hard for the engine to run on this gas. When all the gasoline is used up the engine will shut off at once making your vehicle to stop functioning abruptly.

Low Octane gas in a High Octane gas tank

If you happen to put a low octane gas in a car that requires high octane levels, the damage to the engine will be almost instant. You will experience the low performance of the engine and overheating.

In case you continue driving with low octane gas, there is a high possibility that your engine will suffer permanent damage leading to an explosion. The minute that you notice that you have used the wrong octane level, it is advisable to refill your tank with the correct gas. The high octane levels will mix with the low octane gas creating a mid-grade gas that is safe for your car.

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Gasoline in a diesel gas tank

However, if you put gasoline in a diesel powered car, the engine will detect this almost immediately and refuse to power up. This can lead to significant damage to the engine components which might require you to get an entirely new engine. The damage is very pronounced because gasoline is more combustible which causes knocking of the engine

When you notice that you have put the wrong gas in your vehicle, it is advisable that you shut it off at once. You should then ask your mechanic to come and help you to drain all the gas from the gas tank and fuel lines. You can do this process on your own but it is better to have a professional help you so to ensure that all the gas has been drained and avoid any further damage. If you continue to use your car after you believe that you have put in the wrong gas, you’ve been warned. We recommend that you don’t do this as you will cause great damage to your beloved machine.

Is it OK to put different gas in your car?

No. It is not okay to put different gas in your car as your engine was not designed to burn all types of gas. Putting gas with high octane in a gas tank that uses low octane gas is, however, not harmful to the engine. Many people believe that this will help to boost the performance of the vehicle and while this is true because of increased burning of fuels, it is not recommended that you do it regularly. Continued use of premium gas on an engine not designed for such fuel leads to the lower transmission of power as well as reduced fuel efficiency.

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Can you put mixed gas in the car?

It is not advisable that you use mixed gas in a car. Commonsense dictates that if you try to run an electronic with the wrong type of gas there will be some damages that you are definitely not ready to pay for.

You can, however, use mixed gas in a vehicle and not experience any engine damage. This applies only if the amount of mixed gas you have used is substantially low and there is some gas in your tank that will dilute the mixed gas creating fuel that can be broken down by your engine to produce power. If you fill up your tank with mixed gas without the presence of the correct gas, chances are very high that you will experience engine failure and permanent damage of critical components.

Knowing the correct way to mix gas is the first step of protecting your engine. Before mixing the gas, ensure that you read the product manual to learn more about the specifics of the gas. Ensure that you use a gas that has high octane levels as low octane gas may lead to engine damage as it leads to overheating.

Before using mix gas on your car, ensure that the container used to mix the gas was of high quality. Storing mix gas in a substandard container may lead to spillage and permeation. It is also recommended that you use 2-cycle oils when creating mix gas. This because 2-cycle oils are specifically developed to give your engine enhanced protection and lubrication ensuring that it serves you for long.

How to know if you put the wrong gas in your car

Although misfiling is a common occurrence, not many people know how to identify the signs that this has happened. Most victims of this innocent mistake usually realize that they misfiled after the damage has occurred. Listed below are some of the common signs that your engine is struggling to burn gas that is not meant for such an engine.

·Abnormal Smoke

If you find that your exhaust pipe is emitting abnormal amounts of smoke, it is an indicator that you have filled up your tank with the wrong gas. The abnormal smoke is caused by un-burnt carbon particles as the engine is not able to burn up the incorrect gas. While some types of gas may not be damaging to your vehicle, it is advisable that you refill it with the correct gas when you notice abnormal smoke to prevent any damage.

·Problem Starting the Engine

Filling your tank with the wrong gas will cause engine knocking in most cases which leads to failure in the starting of the engine. When you experience this problem at the gas station, ask for the help of the staff at the station to help determine if the problem may be due to the use of the wrong gas.

·Engine Failure

Once all the correct gas has been utilized in your gas tank, the engine will automatically cut out. The effect will be more immediate in cases where you fuel a diesel car with petrol. If you try to restart your vehicle with no success, chances are that you fill it with the wrong gas you should drain all the gas to avoid further damage.

A small amount of petrol in a diesel car

Diesel and petrol are different in that petrol are lighter than diesel and therefore tends to burn at lower temperatures. Diesel, on the other hand, is made up of large molecules making it denser and increasing its ignition temperature levels.

Using petrol in a diesel car can very detrimental but you can get away with very small amounts of petrol if fill the tank with diesel once you identify this mistake. The petrol will float on top of the diesel and will not be used up for a while. It will then be dissolved into the diesel and used to fuel the car without causing any permanent damage.

If petrol is more than 1% of the diesel in the gas tank, the contamination will be very high and this leads to immediate engine failure. The presence of petrol will lead to the lowering of the flash point of diesel making it burn at lower temperatures.

Petrol also affects the lubricating nature of diesel making the friction in the engine to increase. The drop in lubrication leads to the damage of the fuel pump as well as the injectors found in the engine and replacing these critical components can prove to be very expensive.

What happens if you mix gas in your car?

The incomplete combustion of gas in your fuel tank will lead to the production of black smoke which might also affect the computers of your machine when they become covered in soot. The vehicle tries to compensate for the lack of enough gas by changing the air and fuel mixture which affects the transmission of power and performance.

If you happen to fill a diesel gas tank with petrol, it is recommended that you switch off your car immediately. Proceed to drain the entire tank to avoid further damage to the engine. A trip to the mechanic to access the status of the engine should be considered after filling up your tank with diesel.


It is a common occurrence in many gas stations to find people who filled up their vehicles with the wrong gas. If you notice that you have made an error, you should fill up your tank with the correct gas to avoid further damages to the internal components of your engine. If you experience engine problem such as knocking, call your mechanic immediately so that they can access the extent of the damage and advice you on what you should do.