Have you ever thought, as you were filling up your vehicle, about what would happen if you paired your engine with an incompatible fuel? People who drive diesel vehicles must have wondered if they could shave some cash off their bill by filling it up with gasoline. But doing so would mean signing up for a whole lot of trouble. Every diesel driver should know why you should not use gasoline for diesel engines.
How Diesel and Gasoline Are Different
Diesel and gasoline are both made from refining crude oil, but there is not much else they have in common. Once diesel has been refined, it is more stable and energy-dense than gasoline. Because of this density, diesel needs more compression than gasoline to ignite. That is why diesel fuel usually goes into compression engines and gasoline goes into spark-ignition engines.
What Happens If You Fill a Diesel Engine With Gasoline?
In short, a diesel engine will not run on gasoline. But, even worse, gasoline can wreak havoc on a mismatched engine. Putting gasoline in your diesel vehicle might be one of the worst car maintenance mistakes you ever make.
Since diesel and gasoline do not have the same density or stability, if you filled a diesel engine with gasoline, the gasoline either would not combust or it would combust at the wrong time in the process. Combustion at the wrong time can do serious damage to the different parts of the fuel system.
Also, diesel is a lubricant, and gasoline is not. Gasoline does not have the lubricating qualities to successfully move through a diesel engine. If you pumped your diesel engine with gasoline, it could gum up the machine, forcing costly repairs.
Misfuel Protection Devices
Even if you decide to fill up your diesel vehicle with gasoline, you may be turned away at the pump. Since 2009, manufacturers have added misfuel protection devices to diesel vehicles. These devices ensure diesel engines will only accept fuel from diesel pumps.
If You Misfuel
Let’s imagine you did misfuel the vehicle. Either you were misinformed or you ignored all the reasons why you should not use gasoline for diesel engines. Whatever the reason, after you have made this mistake, there are several steps you should take to ensure you do not harm your vehicle. First, do not start the engine. You could damage the vehicle as soon as you turn the ignition. Instead, tell the gas station attendant that you will not be able to move the vehicle right away. Call a tow truck and take it to a dealership or a mechanic. They will refuel the tank.