The Anatomy of Healthy Cars: A Service and Repair Blog

4 Steps to Take When You Top Your Truck Up With the Wrong Fuel

by Brittany Marshall

So, you've just finished topping up your truck, only to realise that you've put in the wrong type of fuel. Whether you've added diesel to your petrol vehicle or petrol to your diesel, this is a serious problem that can necessitate extensive and costly repairs, but the negative effects can be minimised by taking the steps below.

1. Don't Start It Up

First thing's first: Do not start up your vehicle after you have noticed that you've put in the wrong type of fuel. A diesel truck might be able to travel a mile or two with petrol in the tank, but a petrol vehicle with diesel in isn't going to get very far at all; in either case, starting up the vehicle and driving it around will mean that the incorrect fuel will enter more of your truck's components. If you're lucky, catching the problem before starting the vehicle will mean that it gets no further than the fuel tank.

2. Move It Properly

If you're at a station, it's likely that you'll need to move the truck out of the way. Luckily, you can do this simply by entering neutral, taking off the parking brake, and pushing. The attendants will almost certainly have encountered this problem before, so let them know what's going on; they might just give you a hand pushing the vehicle into a parking space. If you have to move an automatic vehicle that is not currently in neutral, you can turn on the ignition for the second it takes to make that switch.

3. Note How Much Was Used

The amount of incorrect fuel that was added to your vehicle will play a factor in the amount of work that has to go into fixing the problem. A small amount, for example, will be a cause for much less concern. Make sure you check the pump's gauge to see how much you put into the tank before realising what you were doing; if it has reset, ask one of the station attendants to check their system. If you can, try to also make a note of where the fuel gauge indicator in your truck was before you started topping up. This could be valuable information for whoever has to conduct repairs.

4. Contact a Professional

Most importantly, you need to contact a professional breakdown service. It might be best to ask the attendants if there are any reliable mechanics nearby since it's best to remove the offending fuel as soon as possible. However, if you've added a lot of the wrong fuel then it's highly likely that it will need to be transported to a garage, such as Bob Wade Fleet Maintenance.