Diesel in Gasoline Car

First I’d like to say I know very little about cars, so please help me. I’m a college student on a budget and after about 40 hours of no sleep I accidentally pumped diesel in my gasoline car. Now to keep this story short I didn’t turn on the car and the next day I had the diesel pumped out. But now the mechanics are telling me that the diesel since it sat in my engine overnight damaged my fuel pump and so my fuel gauge is permanently on empty and also my engine light is on. Now my question is are the mechanics trying to steal my money or do I really have a problem?

Did they try filling it up with gas and starting it or is this just their professional opinion?

Generally, putting diesel in a gasoline car is a lot better than the other way around and usually it is just a matter of pumping out the diesel and topping it off with gasoline. Diesel is actually much better for mechanical parts than gasoline and I don’t really see how it would damage anything if it just sat there. It may take a bit of cranking to work the diesel out of the injectors and it may run rough for a while and the engine light is perhaps to be expected, but generally those problems should work out with time.

The damage they describe is not impossible (the fuel pump may just be clogged, but with the labor to clean it out it’d be safer to go ahead and replace it). But there are simpler solutions they should try first, including simply cranking it over longer, adding more gasoline to further dilute the diesel and/or changing the fuel filter (and flushing the fuel lines while they’re at it).

Was an external pump used to pump out the tank? If so where was it connected? Has anything been removed or disconnected from the car?

AS A RULE… If diesel is mistakenly pumped into a gasoline tank, even if it is started and run until poor performance and smoking occurs, no permanenet damage occurs. Pumping out the majority of the errant fuel and topping off with premium (to counter the high cetane rating of diesel) will allow the engine to be started and run and operated normally if no detonation(see cetane above) is detected. Power loss, detonation and smoke indicate that there is too much diesel left in the tank.

The diesel should NOT have hurt anything…Especially the fuel gauge and fuel pump. Remove the diesel, purge the lines at the fuel rail on the engine and drive on…A small amount of leftover diesel will not hurt anything…

Oh, A diesel fuel nozzle will not fit in the filler neck of your Focus, 40 hours of no sleep or whatever…

“Oh, A diesel fuel nozzle will not fit in the filler neck of your Focus, 40 hours of no sleep or whatever…”

Yeah…How did you do this?

One of two things happened. You started your car with the diesel in the tank or you did not. Second, no diesel will not hurt the internal parts of your pump or the fuel lines or your bearings or anything else they said. The engine light is on because you tried to burn diesel. It does not work in your car. Find a trusted mechanic to reset the check engine light for a few bucks. It may take 30 min to run the fuel clean and then you should be ok.

Fred the Focus has yet to explain how he managed to get the diesel fuel in the car in the first place…

Yes. How did he get it in and what possible damage could a little diesel do???

caddyman you go to speedway, wall mart ,or any convenence mart + they all have small nozzles