June 19th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Imagine the following scenario: you drive to a gas station, pay for your fuel, pick up the nozzle at the gas pump, and fill up your car with diesel, not gas. In this scenario, it pays to know the symptoms of putting the wrong fuel in a car. That way, you can take the necessary steps to address the problem and prevent it from causing long-lasting car damage.
What Are the Similarities and Differences Between Gas and Diesel Engines?
Gas and diesel engines function as internal combustion engines. They convert chemical energy in fuel into mechanical energy, then use the mechanical energy to move the engine’s cylinder pistons up and down. This creates a rotary motion, which allows your car’s wheels to turn.
Both gas and diesel engines convert fuel into mechanical energy via a series of combustions, but how each engine does so differs.
With a gas engine, the fuel combines with air. Next, this mixture is compressed by the engine’s pistons and ignited by its spark plugs.
A diesel engine does not have spark plugs like its gas counterpart. It compresses and heats up the air, then injects fuel into a combustion chamber. Finally, the engine ignites the fuel, which powers your car.
Which Fuel Is Better: Gas or Diesel?
Deciding between a car powered by gas or diesel can be difficult, and there are many factors to consider, including:
- Efficiency: Diesel engines tend to be more efficient than gas engines.
- Torque: Diesel engines provide more torque than gas engines.
- Cost: The cost of diesel and gas varies, but gas-powered cars tend to be more affordable than diesel-powered vehicles.
If you are uncertain about whether a gas- or diesel-powered car is right for you, research is critical. By reviewing a wide range of vehicles, you can evaluate different cars and find one that delivers the right combination of fuel economy, affordability, comfort, and style.
What Happens If You Put Diesel in a Gas Engine?
For those who put the wrong gas in a car, try not to stress. Remember, you’re not the only person who has made this mistake. You won’t be the last person to make this mistake as well.
If you put diesel in a gas engine, your car won’t run because gas-powered cars are incapable of combusting diesel. At this point, you’ll need to have your vehicle towed to an auto repair shop or your home. Then, you’ll need to have your car’s fuel system drained.
The process of emptying your gas tank can be time-consuming, and it should be performed by automotive professionals. They can properly remove the diesel from your car’s fuel system, as well as inspect the fuel lines, fuel rail, and fuel injectors for any damage. In addition, gasoline is highly flammable and can be hazardous to breathe, so a fuel drain should be performed safely and in a ventilated area.
What Happens If You Put Gas in a Diesel Engine?
Gas in a diesel engine can cause severe damage to your car. Common issues associated with putting gas in a diesel engine include:
1. No Ignition
Gas requires a spark plug to ignite, but a diesel engine does not have spark plugs to ignite fuel. So, if there is gas in a diesel engine, there is no ignition.
2. No Lubrication
Diesel is both a fuel and lubricant, so adding gas to a diesel engine not only contaminates its engine components, they might not get adequately lubricated, and causing damage by rubbing against one another.
3. Fuel System Issues
Gas impacts the performance of a diesel engine’s fuel pump, fuel injectors, and fuel filter. If one or more of these components is contaminated by gasoline, the affected part won’t function correctly, and the entire fuel system might need to be replaced.
Gas may cause a detonation due to a diesel engine’s inability to handle the fuel. A detonation can lead to shockwaves that damage or destroy the engine’s connecting rod, pistons, wrist pins, and other components.
5. Engine Failure
Too much gas in a diesel engine may result in engine malfunctions or failure. Or, if you try to drive your diesel-powered car on gas, the engine can be damaged beyond repair.
What to Do If You Inadvertently Put Gas in a Diesel Engine
If you notice you inadvertently filled your diesel-powered car with gas, keep your vehicle in its current location and call a tow company to have it towed to an auto repair shop or your home. Also, there is no need to activate your car’s ignition, as this will turn on the fuel pump and fuel injectors and may cause permanent engine damage.
Putting diesel in a gas engine or gas in a diesel engine may seem like a major problem. But, by identifying and correcting the issue right away, you can prevent it from hampering your car’s performance.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Gilroy a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing the eastern Santa Clara County.