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MarkD

Help, Diesel tank full of petrol

35 posts in this topic

Last night my wife took my 1.9 Golf Diesel to the shops last night and i asked her to put some diesel in as i was rather low and needed to goto Newport this morning.

She put £25 worth of unleaded petrol in instead.

This only became aparant after i had driven it 5 miles or so when it started to splutter and i pulled off the M4 and stalled.

The RAC towed me home but now i need to get the car fixed.

Im guessing i just need to drain the tank and fill up with the good stuff and hope all will be ok.

Question is how do i drain my tank to fix this problem myself?

Thanks

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You need to get the lines re-primed with diesel as well as the injection pressure is higher. I'm afraid it will probably be a visit to the stealer! Although one of the garages (BP?) was offering free tank draining etc in case of this!

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So i need to lines re-primed too. frown.gif

An i able to drain the tank myself somehow?

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I guess you could siphon the tank but you need somewhere safe to put the fuel mixture and be able to dispose of it. I'm surprised the RAC didn't offer to help...?

Diesel oil is a lubricant, while petrol is a solvent. Diesel fuel injection equipment needs to be lubricated by the diesel oil when the engine is running. Not all the fuel delivered to the fuel injection system is used, in fact around 70% of fuel is returned to the fuel tank. As petrol is a solvent it strips the lubricant off the engine’s working parts so causing metal to come into contact with other metal parts which can generate debris inside the engine.

Any debris from the injection system can be returned to the tank and then drawn back up and passed through the system again which will cause problems.

After filling a diesel engine vehicle with petrol a common misconception is that just putting the ignition on will be OK and that no damage will occur to the system. Most systems now use a low pressure electric pump fitted in the tank or sender unit, contaminated fuel is immediately circulated through the pump and fuel rail, once the ignition is turned on. Where the vehicle has a mechanical gear driven pump the same level of contamination will occur if the engine is run.

It is imperative the fuel tank is drained of fuel completely, preferably off the vehicle. DO NOT use the electric pump, the pump is lubricated by a diesel. Running with petrol causes the internal bushes to fail which transfers metal swarf to the rest of the fuel system. As most tanks have baffles in them, the tank must be partially filled with clean fuel and swilled repeatedly until there is no further evidence of debris in the expelled solution.

The fuel lines (feed and return) must be blown through to evacuate any residual fuel. Fresh fuel should be purged through the lines with the injectors disconnected.

Common rail vehicles will not tolerate any petrol, in fact the manufacturers of the fuel injection system state that any petrol contamination should necessitate replacing the low pressure pump, high pressure pump, injectors, rail, lines filters and tanks. This is not really practical and usually costs more than a fully dressed engine. A certain amount of common sense should be used, but after such an event the customer should be warned any consequential damage within a certain time will necessitate a contribution.

See the link for more info - linky!

Hope you get it sorted.

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Thanks for the info...The RAC said they are not allowed to drain the system of petrol on the roadside anymore. Apparently a legal thing...Also he said his pump was damaged and as they werent supposed to do it any more he couldnt get a new one frown.gif

maybe time to make some calls frown.gif

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I'm sure they never made a Non turbo PD engine.

You should be fine with a drain and refill and a change of filter,

BUT: As she drove the car till it stoped it might have also damaged the diesel pump and these are very expensive.

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[ QUOTE ]

I'm sure they never made a Non turbo PD engine.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah, OK. I was in a bit of a hurry, and not reading all the posted info. blush.gif

Under the back seat there's the access to the fuel pickup / sender assembly. Removing this will give you a big hole in the top of the tank, and access right down to the bottom of the tank. A small electric pump would be ideal to pump the petrol mix out, the sort of thing which goes into an electric drill. Pump it out into barrels and dispose of thoughtfully. This doesn't mean having a long thoughtful process which ends in tipping it down the drain, take it to a waste recycling point. Contact your local Council for advice maybe.

Under the bonnet, replace the fuel filter but fill it with fresh diesel first, and while you've got the hoses disconnected, the petrol in the lines should run back to the tank, so make sure the sender is back in the tank. Clean this out again. There's probably a check valve in the flow line so that may stay full. You could maybe suck it out from the bonnet end if you can get hold of a hand vacuum pump of some sort.

Put a couple of gallons of diesel in the tank, and refit the sender assembly.

Fill your new filter with diesel, re fit it, and replace the sender unit in the tank. Charge the tank with a gallon or so of diesel. Then the hard bit. You have to suck clean diesel up from the tank, and if you had a hand vac pump, use it again to pull diesel up to the filter. Clamp the line before you disconnect the vac pump, then you don't lose the stuff again, then reconnect to the filter and unclamp the line.

Loosen the fuel lines to the 2nd and 3rd injectors, and wrap them with cloths to absorb the spillage which is about to happen. Crank the engine until diesel comes out of the fuel lines to the injectors, then stop. Retighten the injector fuel lines, and hope for the best.

If you manage to get it started, run it for a few minutes on tickover to clear the petrol left in the lines, then flush the last of the diesel out of the tank again if you like. The reason I say only put a couple of gallons of diesel in is that if you fail at doing this and it has to go to a garage, they're gonna drain the tank again, and you'll lose it.

Good luck.

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Thanks for the advice. Since my last post i got the Haynes manual out and worked out i could get the petrol out through the hole left by the sender unit.

But thanks for the extra info about filling the fuel filter with fresh diesel and sucking the diesel up from the tank and geting the fuel outta the injectors as i wouldnt have done this.

Ill get back to you after i have done the job on Sunday.

Keep everything crossed for me

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Fatcat did this with his sooty, although i'm pretty sure that he took it to the stealers to sort.

G

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Well it still might come to that Hopsta.

I cant do the job till Sunday but after i have i will come back and let you all know how it went. Im quietly confident though....fingers crossed

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Well ive phoned around and VW want £16 + VAT for a fuel filter frown.gif

But my local Motor factors can do it for 12 (non genuine parts of course)

Damb diesels are expensive frown.gif

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Ask who makes the non genuine fuel filter, If it bosch,mann or ketch (thinks that how you spell it it) They make the filters for VW who are genuine. So your getting the same quality but at a cheaper price.

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OK i was too tired to come onto computer last night....

The short answer to "is the car ok", is.......drum roll....YES.

I followed all the advice on here (especially Rustynuts) and ater several mouthfulls of unleaded and a few trips to a motor factors that were open my father and i managed to get the nasty tasting stuff out (my father borrowed a pump for a drill in the end off my uncle, Thanks dad and Mike)

It started after a few seconds and ran like a pig for about 30 seconds then was purring like a kitten...well as well as a 95 diesel can purr anyway.

I filled up with another £25 worth of the black stuff and all ok.

Thanks alot everyone...My wife is now banned from even looking at my diesel flap let alone putting any fuel in my tractor from now on

Thanks again you guys

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Good job done. Petrol/diesel mix tastes lovely, doesn't it. grin.gif

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You do get used to it after a few gob fulls dont you...Ive got a terrible headache today though UHOH7.GIF

Only cost me £22 if you count the redex and the waggily syphon pipe thingy....unless you add the cost of the dumped petrol and the fresh tank of diesel that is....

But on the plus side the diesel will be used anyway so £22 + £25 = £47. Still alot cheaper than a stealer would charge ECLIPSe.gif

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Agghhhhh! I just done exactly the same thing but with a year old Astra 1.7 diesel.

Been reading through MarkD saga and am trying to work out if I should get the AA to relay the car home or to a stealer. How hard is this to sort out?

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Welcome and bad luck Misfueled.

The dealer will shaft you for a couple of hundred quid, but its best, especially if your car is under warranty.

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hi Snail,

After sitting here trying to work out what the hell to do with all the garages having just closed I called a mate who is handy with these things. Luckily he's offered to drop around tomorrow with a couple of 45 litre drums and all the tools to sort me out. I suspect that it is going to cost me a lot of beer but then I'll have to be there to buy it. Result...but I could have done without it. What a tool!

beerchug.gif

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You sound as though you did this yourself. It's awful when that happens and you can't blame anyone. grin.gif Have fun with the beer, and hope there's no damage caused. 169144-ok.gif If there is, don't tell the dealers what you did, or it'll not be covered by warranty.

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