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2003 Volkswagen Passat - diesel damage

Recently I purchased what I thought was premium gasoline at the local Gas Station/ As it turns out there was a mix up with the fuel in the fuel pumps instead it was DIESEL I drove approx.10 miles total after fueling…, next day start my Passat to warm it up and smoke was billowing out everywhere! from underneath the car, out of the exhaust, fills the inside of car and car chokes up and doesn’t want to run, What possible damages can be the result from this Diesel fuel contamination? I am so scared that this incident will affect the car performance and overall condition. not to mention, MY SAFETY… even after the fuel system is flushed…

Once it is flushed out it should have much if any effect on the engine.
However, with smoke under the car you May have an exhaust leak you were not aware of.
It is also possible the diesel affected you catalytic converters.

If you can prove: “ there was a mix up with the fuel in the fuel pumps instead it was DIESEL” you might consult a lawyer.

Thank you for your timely response.

Could the contamination of running the diesel fuel in my 1.8Turbo VW Passat affect the coolant

System? Because the coolant reserve tank was almost empty when I checked under the hood after the car was smoking out every where and choking up when I tried to starting it up the next day, not knowing that I had fueled with diesel. I ask this because I have never had a problem with the antifreeze level running low. I check my oil level and fluid levels every time I fuel up. In addition, I just had my car serviced for its regular oil change 10 days prior to the incident and there were no problems with coolant level.

With much appreciation,


The diesel fuel won’t affect the cooling system. Diesel fuel can foul the spark plugs so the spark plugs may need to be replaced after the fuel tank is drained and filled with gasoline.

Thank you so much for responding.



If the confusion was on the part of the OP, then the problem is hers alone.
On the other hand, if the station’s pump was dispensing diesel fuel from a pump that was marked as a gas pump, then she has a valid legal case against the station.

We had a local station that had diesel fuel pumped into the big gasoline tank. They or the supplier took responsibility for the mistake. A lawyer may not be needed. So get with the service station before you do repairs.

Several years ago, a few Costco gas stations got a load of gas that was contaminated with… I think… diesel fuel. The company voluntarily assumed the cost of whatever repairs were necessary.

About a year ago at a convenience store in my area got a gas delivery the driver dumped the whole load in the diesel tank my nephew work’s at a port a john company that had an account set up at the store where the driver’s would fill up with diesel and sign the ticket at the time they had 3 brand new truck’s 3 of the older and 2 of the new one’s filled up the same day they did not get too far down the road before they quit the new one’s were towed to the dealer under warrenty when the dealer found the gas mixed with diesel and warrenty was voided when the store tank’s were checked and found the gas and diesel mix it cost the store big time,

Responsibility has been taken by the gas station. However, my concern is after the flushing out the fuel lines and fuel tank and my car appears to be running fine… and after the bill gets paid & case is close… Is there anything else that can go wrong from the diesel contamination on my Passat.?
I travel approximately 500 + miles every couple of weeks. I just don’t want to break down and be stuck with a bill and on the side of the road due to this unfortunate incident, on something that may perhaps have been over looked, something that I can have handled before I put in on the road.

With much appreciation

The things connected to fuel are 1: fuel tank should be good after service. 2: fuel pump will probably be good after service. 3: fuel filter should be replaced at service. 4: injectors should be good after service although you might run some kind of fuel additive for cleaning fuel system after service. 5: Spark plugs should be changed at service. 6: Combustion chamber should be OK. 7: Catalytic converter should be good but some life taken out of it.

I have seen dozens of cars come in to the shop to have diesel fuel removed from the tank and all were fine after, there was only one vehicle that I needed to replace the spark plugs.