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I’ve filled my common rail diesel with petrol.  What should i do?

Filling your common rail diesel with petrol is an all too common mistake.  You can minimise any potential damage by driving as little as possible.  If you’re still at the service station stay there and don’t start the car.  Or, if you’ve already left, pull over as soon as it’s safe.  Have the car towed to your mechanic where they can flush the system and check for any apparent damage.

What does ‘flushing the system’ involve?

Flushing the fuel system involves draining the fuel tank, running diesel through the fuel lines and changing the fuel filter.

Why does petrol potentially cause damage?

Common rail diesel engines run on very fine tolerances so the lower oil content of petrol reduces the lubrication in the system potentially causing damage.  Also, damage can occur due to uncontrolled detonation of the petrol as common rail diesel engines operate under much higher compression.

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