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What should I do if I put the wrong fuel in my car?


FILLING up your car with the wrong fuel can be an embarrassing and costly mistake for many drivers.

And it could even invalidate your insurance and leave you forking out for expensive repairs.

 Filling up your car with the wrong petrol can cause serious damage to the motor and invalidate your insurance

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Filling up your car with the wrong petrol can cause serious damage to the motor and invalidate your insuranceCredit: Alamy

What should I do if I put the wrong fuel in my car?

Around 150,000 people accidentally put the wrong fuel in their motor every year, according to the RAC, with it causing vital car parts to seize up.

If you do make the common mistake, it’s important to act quickly before the fuel passes into the car.

The most important thing to remember is not to switch on your vehicle, as turning on the ignition will pump the incorrect fuel through the engine.

You must then get the car towed to a garage, where mechanics will empty the tank and likely fill it with enough fuel to get to the petrol station.

Does this invalidate my insurance?

Many insurance companies will often refuse to pay out for any damage caused by filling your motor with the wrong fuel.

Figures from Defaqto revealed almost 60 per cent of car insurance policies exclude repairs for putting the incorrect petrol in your tank.

Other insurers may cover the mistake under accidental damage, but you will need to carefully read over the clause to find out the finer details.

Drivers can also be hit with a £5,000 fine for letting their car run out of fuel.

See also  Mazda endurance racers on their secrets for surviving Sebring

Can I drive my car after putting in the wrong fuel?

Michael Powell consumer motor expert at Defaqto said: “It is easy to put the wrong fuel in your car by mistake, particularly if you are driving one that you’re not used to.

“If you realise that you’ve put the wrong fuel in, do not start your car’s engine but do try and move the car to a safe place.

“If the engine is started, the incorrect fuel will enter the fuel system and potentially cause serious damage.

“This mistake can cost you dearly if you’re not covered for the damage caused.”

Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco accused of ‘cheating’ drivers out of cheaper fuel prices





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