Diesel fuel in our gasoline vehicle

What should be done to correct the problem of diesel fuel in our '07 FJ Cruiser’s gas tank?

We gas up at a station in Moab, Utah last weekend filling our FJ with about 10.5 gallons of premium gasoline, or so we thought. We found out that the gas station had a delivery of fuel, by a contract trucking company, and diesel fuel was put in the wrong underground tank, contaminating the unleaded gasoline.

Now our FJ runs poorly, gets bad gas mileage, smells like diesel and emits blue smoke from the tail pipe. How bad is this? We drove back to Denver, but it wasn’t running well.

You didn’t try to run the engine with the diesel still in the tank did you? The chances that you ruined some expensive parts is very high. And any warranty you had went out the window as well.

There was a Tom & Ray question on this last year. In this case, the driver had picked up the wrong nozzle. Their advice was: syphon out as much diesel as you can, then fill up with premium gasoline and just keep topping up the tank. What little remains will be diluted and work its way through the system.

In OP’s case, some damage may have been done to the engine. The warranty specifically excludes this type of thing. However, the gas station/supplier are on the hook if their supplier filled up the wrong tank.

It bears repeating her; my wife is not car savvy, but if the vehicle misbehaves, or a warning light comes on she IMMEDIATELY pulls off the road and calls me or the AAA if I’m out of town.

First, contact the station in question and find out how they intend to pay for the required inspection, draining of fuel tank, and potential repairs to your car.

It can be fairly easy going if the station admits to the issue and can tell you how to file a claim for repairs and inspection.

This situation happened a few months ago in Kansas City, when five transport trucks of BP fuel was contaminated. BP set up a hot line and, so far as I know, took care of all the repair issues associated with the fuel contamination to every victim’s satisfaction.

The least bit of denial on the part of the station owner’s part, may require a different course of action, as far as reimbursement is concerned. I would go ahead and get the fuel tank drained at this point, and the car fully operational, due to the performance problems you have cited.

I doubt if there is any serious damage, but there could be. However since it was the dealer’s error, you need to start with them and let them get the whole thing taken care of. I would expect FlyingJ to be fair with you.

In the old cars, the chance of damage was very low, but modern cars have a number of sensors and converters that can be damaged.