Diesel in a Prius! Yikes!

My husband accidentally put 3 gallons of Diesel in our 2007 Prius last night. Today when I went to drive it, it was very jerky and hesitant. Any thoughts on the best way to treat it? It was driven about 6 miles after the diesel was put in.

Continue to fill it with gas to dilute and dilute the diesel. It will continue to run poorly until it’s out. I want to know HOW he did that - diesel nozzles on the pumps are larger bore than gas so they won’t FIT in gas tank fill spouts.

The question is really how much gas was in there when the diesel was added… is it a 50/50 mix diesel to gas or more gas or more diesel?
Your two options are the dilute method above (add more gas every day and try to make ir a low desel to Gas ratio as quickly as possible or bring it tio a garage ASAP and have them drain it… the sooner the better.

I would go with the diluting method… it will probably not have a lasting effect.

Gee, we’ve all been waiting for new ultra-efficient Diesel hybrids, but no reason to go pushing the envelope like this!

I’m a little confused about it being jerky and hesitant-- on a Prius the actual propulsion is done by the electric motor so the whole car shouldn’t be herky-jerky because of a problem with the gas motor. Is it just that the gas engine is making alarming noises?

I think the hybrid drive train is going to mask the problem and make it seem better than it really is, so I vote for draining the tank ASAP.

I think both the electric and gas motors connect to the wheels, so the gas motor’s problems will cause the jerking.

Here’s a diagram:

Tow your car to a shop(non dealer) and have the fuel tank drained out. Replace with fresh proper fuel and motor on. I would not share this with your dealer if under warranty as they may use it as an excuse to void the warranty on not only related items in your vehicle but unrelated problems that should be covered.

Use premium gas during the dilution process as the diesel lowers your octane rating. The diesel shouldn’t do any permanent damage as it has lubricating properties, much like the top oil people used to put in their gas back in the days of carbureted engines.

If it were mine, I would also go the tow it/drain it route. Too many ways to mess up a modern engine, especially one as complex and interconnected as a Prius. I wouldn’t roll those dice.

I too would like to know how he managed to do this. You would think that the diesel nozzle being far too big to fit into the filler neck would be a clue, but I guess not.

You are lucky it will run.  I doubt if you are going to do any damage, The damage is usually the other way around, it does not take too much gas to damage a diesel engine (usually).

In the old days (1960’s) that was generally true. Today many stations have diesel truck pumps and diesel car pumps. Same fuel in both, but it would take all week to fill a big truck with a car pump and most modern diesel cars don’t have fillers larger enough for the diesel truck pumps. Too bad, it was great filling up my old old Rabbit in just a few seconds. Far less foam also.

If your Prius is under warranty, go to your local Shade tree mechanic and DRAIN THE TANK! Then throw away the receipt and never speak of this again! Repairs on Prius are EXPENSIVE due to their popularity (my sister owns 2) If the dealer finds out about the error then WARRENTY REVOKED/CANCELLED.KAPUT!!!

All the stations around here (MD) have only the larger nozzles on their diesel pumps. Never seen a smaller version, but I’m sure they’re out there.