HELP PLEASE just put some petrol in my Diesel car, 159 1.9 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Old 25-06-12
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HELP PLEASE just put some petrol in my Diesel car, 159 1.9

Could anyone please give me a definitive answer on this?. I have just put 1.4 litres of unleaded fuel in my tank beforeI realised it wasnt diesel. I confused the Super BP unleaded with the Super Diesel, usually I just use standard diesel.

I phoned the AA who put me on to their fuel service and they wanted £220.00 to come out and drain the tank. I therefore phoned a mechanic I know who said it will be ok if I fill the tank, I hadnt yet started the engine the car was parked at the pump.

I therefore added 54 litres of diesel brimming the tank and carefully drove home 40 miles. Should I now leave it as the car seems to be ok but a bit noisier (could be imagining this as I had the stereo off on the drive home -PEACE OF MIND COMPLETELY GONE!!). Or should I get the tank drained tomorrow after driving 40 miles back to work (the garage I use is near my workplace)

There is so much conflictin advice if there is anyone who knows what is best to do I would be really grateful.
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  #2 (Post Link)  
Old 25-06-12
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That amount is minimal. Best thing you can do is keep going to the garage every day and topping up with diesel.
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Old 25-06-12
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Originally Posted by Peter S View Post
Could anyone please give me a definitive answer on this?. I have just put 1.4 litres of unleaded fuel in my tank beforeI realised it wasnt diesel. I confused the Super BP unleaded with the Super Diesel, usually I just use standard diesel.

I phoned the AA who put me on to their fuel service and they wanted £220.00 to come out and drain the tank. I therefore phoned a mechanic I know who said it will be ok if I fill the tank, I hadnt yet started the engine the car was parked at the pump.

I therefore added 54 litres of diesel brimming the tank and carefully drove home 40 miles. Should I now leave it as the car seems to be ok but a bit noisier (could be imagining this as I had the stereo off on the drive home -PEACE OF MIND COMPLETELY GONE!!). Or should I get the tank drained tomorrow after driving 40 miles back to work (the garage I use is near my workplace)

There is so much conflictin advice if there is anyone who knows what is best to do I would be really grateful.
You'll be fine. We used to put a gallon of petrol in over winter to stop it freezing.
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Old 25-06-12
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Thanks, I will do that. Needed some confirmation before I hit the sack. Early start tomorrow.

Peter
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Old 26-06-12
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Put approx 40 litres in a Vectra at Reading services. Car got onto motorway before coming to a halt. Fuel drained and no damage done.

Put about the same in a 1.6 Focus. Drove 160 miles Okehampton (Devon) to Swindon. I still don't believe that car went that far without stopping though there was a slight hesitation on light throttle opening. Got to J15 M4 and as I stopped at the lights so did the engine. Fuel drained and no damage done.

You will be fine but not all cars injection systems would survive what I did to the Focus!

Last edited by kandlbarrett; 26-06-12 at 21:49.
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Old 26-06-12
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No need to drain fuel for such a small amount of petrol. Just keep it as diluted as possible. Fill up daily for a week and then run as normal should be ok 👍
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Old 26-06-12
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Originally Posted by alfaholik View Post
No need to drain fuel for such a small amount of petrol. Just keep it as diluted as possible. Fill up daily for a week and then run as normal should be ok 👍
Yep. Dilution is the solution to pollution. Adding a small amount of petrol to a diesel car is much less of a crisis than adding diesel to a petrol car.
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Old 26-06-12
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Or adding diesel to a petrol motorbike!!!!!
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Old 27-06-12
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No probs, you can add upto 5% petrol, to stop freezing in the winter.
You're well bellow that.

Excessive Diesel in petrol engine will do less damage than the reverse, especially with the common rail sytem.
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Old 27-06-12
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Fred, I think you got petrol and diesel round the wrong way in your last sentence? I.e. I believe you're saying that Common rail diesels can tolerate a bit of petrol.
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Old 27-06-12
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That's what I meant, you can put up to 5% of Ptrol in Diesel
But I was also replying to Redmatt who implied that Diesel in a Petrol car was worse, which is wrong.
To recap:
Too much Petrol in Diesel NOT GOOD risk of damage (especially in CR)
Too much Diesel in Petrol NO PROBLEM just smoke till too much Diesel then does not run, but no damage.

Hope I've been clearer.
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Old 27-06-12
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Originally Posted by fredvr View Post
That's what I meant, you can put up to 5% of Ptrol in Diesel
But I was also replying to Redmatt who implied that Diesel in a Petrol car was worse, which is wrong.
To recap:
Too much Petrol in Diesel NOT GOOD risk of damage (especially in CR)
Too much Diesel in Petrol NO PROBLEM just smoke till too much Diesel then does not run, but no damage.

Hope I've been clearer.
Hmmmm. You wrong there. Diesel in a petrol car is really bad news. As the viscosity of diesel is a lot thicker / waxyer than petrol it really cloggs up all the injection system. It can burn out the fuel pump, block the filter and really knacker the injectors. Plus the fuel pressure reg just throw a right wobberly and goes on holiday never to return.
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Old 27-06-12
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I had a Toyota hi lux petrol.went to fill up with petrol put around 20 liters of diesel then nearly cryed.i then brimmed it with petrol as a friend said that's all you can do.it ran perfect apart from a bit of smoke when I changed gear.
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Old 28-06-12
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I think I read somewhere that its actually recommended to add the odd litre of petrol to your diesel every year or so ,...to give the engine a clean out or something ...or maybe I am remembering wrong...I will have a look it up and let you know ! But Wife did the same ...about 5-6litres petrol in a focus diesel ...didnt bother the car at all
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Old 28-06-12
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Originally Posted by coxy1 View Post
You'll be fine. We used to put a gallon of petrol in over winter to stop it freezing.
This is true. It was, and maybe still is, a common practise for haulage contractors to put a small percentage of petrol into the diesel to reduce the risk of freezing.
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Old 29-06-12
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after a major fuel contamination of unknown fluids in my fathers car i cleaned the system and ran a 30% mix of petrol and 70% Diesel to help clean out the piping etc of his Diesel VW passat. the bloody thing ran better than 100% Diesel ! u'll be fine bud like the others have said just keep topping it up and let the petrol dilute down.
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Old 03-07-12
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Thanks Vromm and everyone else who replied. The first fill was 2.89% petrol, 1.54 litres of petrol and then brimmed with 53.21 of diesel, after that I ran it down and put another 20 litres in, I reckoned that was then 1.82% petrol left in the tank.

Today I added 31.93 litres of diesel and I reckon that only 0.7% petrol is now left (0.38 litres in 53 litres of diesel). I was feeling ok that I had got away with it but there are some real horror stories on the internet if you Google it, all about the pump and injectors not working due to the solvent effects of the petrol. However further research found that up to 5% should be ok.

Then tonight it didnt start first time and started cutting out at the lights, its too late to drain it so I wonder if this is connected. Could be petrol vapour in the common rail?
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Old 04-07-12
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Originally Posted by coxy1 View Post
Hmmmm. You wrong there. Diesel in a petrol car is really bad news. As the viscosity of diesel is a lot thicker / waxyer than petrol it really cloggs up all the injection system. It can burn out the fuel pump, block the filter and really knacker the injectors. Plus the fuel pressure reg just throw a right wobberly and goes on holiday never to return.
Don't think so Coxy.
- How does viscosity block the fuel system? the internal pipe diameters are not pinholes.
- Burn the pump, tell me how, a gear pump will get more damaged by running Diesel than petrol, a gear pump will pump anything, (may be not honey) it is a positive displacement pump, with safety valve built in, so if pressure gets too high it will release the excess.
- Block the filter!!! a filter blocks solid particules down to 5 micron on a diesel filter, how are you going to glogg a petrol filter.
- the CR injector are working 1600bar or more, tolerance 5-10micron, a petrol injector is not built with such tolerances, so diesel will pass through.
- A pressure regulator will regulate on pressure, nothing to do with viscosity. So if the pressure increases a little bit due to the increase in viscosity (small remember it is a mixture Petrol / Diesel we are talking about) the reg. will open a bit more to let the extra pressure out.

I will camp on my position.
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Old 05-07-12
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Originally Posted by fredvr View Post
Don't think so Coxy.
- How does viscosity block the fuel system? the internal pipe diameters are not pinholes.
- Burn the pump, tell me how, a gear pump will get more damaged by running Diesel than petrol, a gear pump will pump anything, (may be not honey) it is a positive displacement pump, with safety valve built in, so if pressure gets too high it will release the excess.
- Block the filter!!! a filter blocks solid particules down to 5 micron on a diesel filter, how are you going to glogg a petrol filter.
- the CR injector are working 1600bar or more, tolerance 5-10micron, a petrol injector is not built with such tolerances, so diesel will pass through.
- A pressure regulator will regulate on pressure, nothing to do with viscosity. So if the pressure increases a little bit due to the increase in viscosity (small remember it is a mixture Petrol / Diesel we are talking about) the reg. will open a bit more to let the extra pressure out.

I will camp on my position.
Re read my comment before you jump in. Diesel in a petrol is not good. When was the last time you saw a geared fuel pump on a petrol 159 ? Re check you info on petrol injectors contaminated with diesel.
I reiterate my comment diesel in a petrol car is much worse than petrol in diesel car. So put your tent away.
I was second to respond tell the OP that a small amount of petrol in his diesel was fine, before you came in to echo my comment that is was used in the past to stop it freezing.
Chill your beans.

Last edited by coxy1; 05-07-12 at 03:01.
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  #20 (Post Link)  
Old 05-07-12
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Getting back to the actual problem Peter S is having.

I would see if you can get it running and take it for a good drive at consistant fast speeds to fully clear the system out. If you have a nice motorway you can waste some diesel on probably worth it. Then if you still having issues it may be that that nice petrol has done what has been mentioned here and started clearing out all the muck in the system and your EGR valve is now playing up as the crud is coming off/through the system. Whip it off and have a thorough clean?
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  #21 (Post Link)  
Old 05-07-12
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If the petrol has acted as a solvent and started to clean the tank/fuel lines etc your fuel filter might be blocked as well (with the crud coming out of the tank)

I'd change that as well as check the EGR valve.

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Old 05-07-12
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Old 05-07-12
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Cant agree more. Those who do and so forth
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  #24 (Post Link)  
Old 06-07-12
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Originally Posted by coxy1 View Post
When was the last time you saw a geared fuel pump on a petrol 159 ? Re check you info on petrol injectors contaminated with diesel.
I reiterate my comment diesel in a petrol car is much worse than petrol in diesel car.
The petrol pump is either internal gear of palette pump (I haven't opened a 159 yet but many others, rather rare in petrol version ), both positive displacement and either will run with Diesel in Petrol mixture. Even engine oil for that matter.

Diesel in Petrol will be like running 2 stroke, depending on the mixture, it might be to high for it to ignite even with spark plugs. But if low enough it will run.
For example my parents in-law did it a few years ago, to what I could gather the mix was not far of 50-50 leaning more towards 60-40 in favour of petrol, the car ran, not well though with a lot of smoke (the smell behind must have been horrible), at the next stop they refilled with petrol and the car never had to go to the garage for repair.

But at no time time will create physical (mechanical) damage, if the proportion of Diesel was to high, a good ultrasonic clean, will put the engine back on the road.
Not like if you put the same percentage of Petrol in Diesel, then the wallet will suffer and go on a mega diet... HP pump and injectors are not cheap, labour neither.

Anyway, I leave you with your ideas, and whoever thinks like you.
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