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What might be the damage....


AndyCrews
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Just had to have my Spitfire recovered. Refuelled and 2 miles down the road starts spluttering and clouds of blue smoke. Then the penny dropped...I'd filled with Diesel. AA are coming to pump the tank tomorrow. The car will start and run.

 

Any ideas about what damage might have been done. The AA man thought it would be OK once the tank had been cleaned. Its not making any strange noises.

 

Going to be an expensive lesson.

 

Andy

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No damage at all. Except to the wallet.

Just fully drain the tank and fill with petrol.

The difficult bit is disposing of the mixture after, nobody wants it for anything. I helped a friend out by sorting his car after just such an incident, and used the mix as a degreaser. Not brilliant, but gets a lot of crud out of stuff. Then finish off with a better solvent. Otherwise to the tip.......

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I think I recall a Top Gear episode where they filled a petrol engine car with diesel and a diesel with petrol to see what would happen. The diesel engine was wrecked but the petrol tried to run and was OK afterwards.

 

Diesel fuel pumps are lubricated by the fuel and anything other than diesel will wreck it. I once got compensation out of Tesco who sold me, and several dozen others, a tank full of water contaminated diesel. 

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Hi Andy,

 

You must be kicking yourself! I think, like the other contributors, that this will not have done any lasting damage.  If it were my car, I would run it with a bit of Redex in the first few tankfulls.

 

Let us know how you get on once the tank's bee drained.

 

Tom

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I think the AA have special vehicles to deal with such occurrences, which are very common.

 

I have been told that the petrol/diesel mixture is sold or given to the army to be used in tanks, which will run on whatever fuel is available. Not sure if this is true but it's a good story.

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Confession time.  I did this to SofS, halfway back from Le Mans and very, very  early in the morning (that's my excuse)

Nine litres of  diesel in a 40 litre tank, top up with petrol and soldier on.

Binman riding shotgun in the support barge said that I was putting out seven shades of blue.

It  went on running, then and for a long, long time thereafter.

 

But even after two more fill ups with high octane petrol, it was still missing, so I had to stop and clean out the plugs.   No soot, just oily diesel between the insulators and the body of the plug.    It was roadside, so no facility to wash them out with a solvent and blow them dry, which would be best, but just wiping inside with tissues did the job.

 

John

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Many thanks for the replies.

 

Cost if wasted fuel included over £300. Ouch! :(

 

Tank and fuel lines have now been cleared. It did start this morning, very reluctantly, and poured out smoke until the carbs cleared. Having run it on the drive for a bit, its still smoking a little, but seems to be OK. Will take for a proper run later.

 

The pumped out fuel is taken to a central processing plant in Sheffield and turned into an industrial degreasing product. AA man said he had done six incidents on Saturday. While he was here one of my neighbours owned up to doing the same thing recently, fortunately he realised before he started his car.

 

 

ADDED. Have now refuelled with correct diet of Vpower Unleaded and done a few miles. Car going well and smoking has now stopped. Fingers crossed no damage other than to my wallet.

 

Andy

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