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Petrol in a Diesel tank

larryseaman

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I just had a filling station attendant potentially put about half a litre of unleaded fuel into my Prado 95 3.0L diesel. The tank was on red and almost empty.
He explicitly denies it and said he stopped before putting any in, even though the nozzle was in the tank and I'm sure it registered about half a litre on the dial. He then proceeded to put diesel in and I asked him to fill the tank up (it takes 90 litres). I've since driven the car home, a few miles away from the garage, since someone advised it should be fine as it is an older diesel.
Having done a bit of general research on petrol in diesel vehicles I'm a bit petrified of what damage could be done to the car as it's seeming like it could kill the engine.

Anyone else have any experience of this and any advice please? I'm sincerely hoping, with it not being a modern vehicle that it should be able to deal with such a small amount of petrol having filled the tank up and even more so, I'm sincerely hoping the attendant was telling the truth when he said he didn't add ANY petrol.

Many thanks
 

Dave_S

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I posted on this subject a couple of days back Larry... I'll find the link.
 

Dave_S

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Here you go....

 

Mick W

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I’ve done that accidentally on a old diesel Ford but I did put in about two gallons before realising. I finished putting another ten gallons of diesel in and while it took a while for the car to start it did thankfully. Ran like shit for about two hundred miles but did settle back to normal. Id say if it was only half a litre you’ll be fine, these engines are bullet proof.
 

larryseaman

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larryseaman

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I’ve done that accidentally on a old diesel Ford but I did put in about two gallons before realising. I finished putting another ten gallons of diesel in and while it took a while for the car to start it did thankfully. Ran like shit for about two hundred miles but did settle back to normal. Id say if it was only half a litre you’ll be fine, these engines are bullet proof.
Thank you for the reassuring words Mick. Let's hope so.
 

Dave_S

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I'm not qualified to comment, Larry, but if it was me, I'm pretty much with Shayne - if its not smoking or misbehaving now, I'd probably run it a little, top up and continue. Its either that or drain the tank now and refill with fresh diesel, which in itself is an expensive enough business at the moment!
 

larryseaman

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I'm not qualified to comment, Larry, but if it was me, I'm pretty much with Shayne - if its not smoking or misbehaving now, I'd probably run it a little, top up and continue. Its either that or drain the tank now and refill with fresh diesel, which in itself is an expensive enough business at the moment!
Thanks again Dave, I'll do that & hope for the best. I certainly don't want to be draining out a full tank right now!
 

Dave_S

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I guess the only thing to add is watch for the truck throwing up a check engine light or going into limp mode, in which case it would be worth getting a garage to do a diagnostic on it?
 

larryseaman

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I guess the only thing to add is watch for the truck throwing up a check engine light or going into limp mode, in which case it would be worth getting a garage to do a diagnostic on it?
I'll certainly keep a watch out for that Dave and do as you suggest. Thank you!
 

Towpack

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I think you'll be fine. Petrol lowers the cetane of diesel and also it's lubricity which protects the pump and injectors. Generally speaking, newer, high pressure diesels are far less tolerant of such treatment. 1/2 a litre in a 90 litre tank is around 0.5% which is relatively safe IMO. Figures at which problems occur vary but check out this table:

Diesel dilution
 

tim falce

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A bit of a late reply but half a litre wont do anything provided you filled up with derv after even if it's a later d4d engine
 

Tel Boy

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Another late reply, but I'm with Shayne and tim falce on this one. I did exactly the same a few years back, with a similar 3.0l engine to yours. Only I didn't wake up until I had put 5 litres of petrol in, then topped up the tank with diesel. There were no ill effects at all. Theoretically there could have been all sorts of problems. But what actually happened was the truck seemed to like it better than straight diesel - it ran really well. Explain that!

I never did it again but now I've got no worries if a small amount of petrol goes in by mistake.
 
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