Drivers could face ‘huge repair bill’ and may need new engines after fuel shortage mistake

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Experts at LeaseLoco warn the damage to petrol and diesel cars “could be severe” in some cases which could set drivers back with expensive repairs. John Wilmot, CEO of car leasing website LeaseLoco warned misfuelling was already a “common error” even before the current shortages.

However, he has confirmed it was more dangerous for diesel drivers to make the mistake with petrol than vice versa in a major warning.

He said: “Even under normal circumstances, 400 motorists accidentally put the wrong fuel in their vehicles every day.

“But these aren’t normal circumstances, and with stress levels rising and tempers flaring at petrol pumps across the country, there’s a very high chance that we could see a record level of misfuelling incidents.

“If you do put the wrong fuel in your car, what you do next can determine whether you’re going to face a huge repair bill, or not.

“Unfortunately, putting petrol in a diesel car is the common error, because petrol nozzles can fit into most diesel filter necks, and it’s the mistake that can cause the most damage to the engine.

“Petrol damages diesel engines because it increases friction between parts in the engine.

“Diesel on the other hand, acts as a lubricant helping the fuel pump do its job.

“The more petrol that’s pumped through the engine the more damage it will do. And the damage to fuel pumps, injectors, fuel-tank could be severe.

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“The worst-case scenario, you may even need a new engine.

“If you put diesel into a petrol car, the diesel will clog up the spark plugs and fuel system and will probably result in the car not starting.

“However, there shouldn’t be any lasting damage once the fuel has been drained out.”

The warning comes after the AA said they had seen a “dramatic rise” in misfuelling compared to last weekend.

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