The mistake happens more frequently than you’d think, people mistake diesel for gasoline, and this happens…
It a mistake easy to make, confusing the gasoline pump with a diesel pump and ending up filling your car with the wrong kind of fuel. Now one would think that it wouldn’t be a big deal since both are fuel, but it could be a costly mistake.
To understand why the wrong fuel can cause so much damage, you must first understand how a gasoline engine works.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) October 11, 2018
A gasoline engine runs on a combination of liquid gasoline and air, which are mixed inside a cylinder block and are compressed by a piston. With the help of an electric spark, the mixture ignites and creates a small explosion, which produces the energy needed to push back the piston and create motion.
This is possible because gasoline evaporates at room temperature, mixes well with air, and ignites very easily.
A diesel engine however doesn’t work the same way. Diesel doesn’t mix well with air because it doesn’t evaporate as easily as gasoline. Diesel engines spray the fuel into cylinders which already contain compressed, hot air, which make it ignite spontaneously without the need for a spark.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) October 9, 2018
So if you happen to confuse the pumps and reach for the wrong one, your car won’t be running for long. As soon as the diesel hits the engine, it will stop moving and there’s nothing you can do about it.
When this happens, you’ll need to visit a skilled mechanic that can drain the car’s entire fuel system, which can cost as much as $1,000, so be careful.