How to avoid filling your car's tank with the wrong type of fuel

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(Image: Supplied)
(Image: Supplied)

Misfuelling is a common occurrence.

Black and green handles at petrol stations indicate diesel and petrol, respectively.

Components like the fuel pump, injector, filters, and fuel tank can be affected when the wrong fuel is added to a vehicle.

For more motoring stories, visit Wheels24.


It seems like an unfathomable concept, but the possibility exists for someone to have the incorrect type of fuel thrown into their diesel or petrol-powered vehicle.

According to the AA, putting petrol into a diesel tank causes more damage than the other way round, where components like the fuel pump, injector, filters, fuel tank, and even the engine can be critically affected.

Most petrol stations have three pump handles next to each other that depicts 93 diesel (black), 93 leaded (green) and 95 unleaded (also green), while others have diesel pumps in a different place.

petrol pumps in sa
petrol pumps in sa

Watch the pump

If the wrong fuel was thrown in and if the error was spotted before the driver started the engine, it could be drained using a reverse pump.


Have you been in a situation where you threw the wrong type of fuel in your vehicle? Email us, or share your thoughts in the comments section below.

99.9% of drivers know if their vehicle is diesel or petrol, and while that might be the case, sometimes petrol attendants might go according to the engine's sound, which can be detrimental.

READ | Death of the diesel hatchback? The only three new oil-burning hatches left in SA

A sticker inside the petrol cap will almost always have the type of fuel grade suitable for the vehicle.

There have been instances where petrol has been thrown in diesel engines and vice versa, and to prevent it from happening to you, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Don't rely on the colour of the hose or nozzle before filling up - look for other clues.

2. Properly read the pump's trigger label and the fuel grade indicator.

3. Put reminders in the car, like a sticker inside the fuel cap, or mirror visor.

4. Distractions aren't worth it, so pop your phone down and give the pumps your full attention. It will also help when a petrol attendant is about to go over the requested amount.

5. Don't get fuel if you're in a hurry, hungry or stressed - you're more likely to make a mistake.

6. Own a diesel? Buy a stopper to go in the filler neck so the narrower petrol nozzle can't fit.

7. Bonus tip: If you always forget which side your fuel tank is, look at the fuel gauge on your instrument cluster and check which side the little arrow points to next to the fuel pump - this indicates which side your tank flap is.


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