Frequently asked questions

15. What happens if I accidentally refuel with the wrong fuel?

Petrol and diesel fuel: It is technically possible to refuel a diesel vehicle with petrol because the petrol dispenser nozzle fits into the diesel tank opening.

Should this happen by mistake, it is essential not to start up the diesel vehicle’s engine nor drive the vehicle. Even the slightest amount of motor petrol in diesel fuel will alter its flashpoint and may damage the diesel engine. Therefore, it is essential that the diesel vehicle is pushed or towed away from the pump island, whereupon its fuel system must be appropriately emptied.  In this case, and especially if the diesel vehicle involved is new, it is essential to contact the nearest authorised repair shop.

By contrast, it is currently not possible to refuel an unleaded petrol vehicle with diesel fuel as the diesel dispenser nozzle does not fit in its tank opening. Should, however, even a minor amount of diesel fuel have erroneously been added into a petrol car (from a reserve canister, for example), the fuel tank must be emptied and the vehicle properly refuelled in order to avoid risk of engine damage.

E10 petrol: Should a non E10 compatible petrol driven car accidentally be refuelled with E10, there is no need to empty the fuel tank as no immediate danger exists of engine damage. It is recommended, however, that the vehicle is refuelled with the correct fuel as soon as one third or one half of the fuel mixture in the tank has been used up. It is possible that the vehicle’s winter start-up and driveability may be temporarily deteriorated following the erroneous refuel with E10 petrol.

High ethanol blended fuel: Refuelling vehicles other than FFVs with E85 will lead to corrosion, serious engine disorders and increased exhaust emissions, should the start-up of the vehicle succeed. Should this happen, the vehicle must be towed to a repair shop where the fuel tank must be emptied and the vehicle appropriately refuelled. Ethanol may damage materials.

Diesel fuel containing over 7 % FAME: Accidentally refuelling non-compliant vehicles with biodiesel containing over 7% of fatty acid methyl ester type FAME (this fuel is not compliant with the current standards, and therefore all refuelling sites must have specific markings communicating this) does not cause immediate malfunction but will, on the long run, endanger the vehicle’s fuel and emission control systems. Should this happen, the vehicle must be towed to a repair shop where the fuel tank must be emptied and the vehicle appropriately refuelled.

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