It can happen to anyone. You have a million different thoughts running through your mind while you are at the gas pump, and you accidentally put the wrong grade of gas in your car. Can this kind of mix-up cause any damage—and if so, will you have to take your car to an auto repair shop in Norwalk, OH? Let’s take a look.
Unleaded and premium gas
If your car manufacturer recommends that you use standard unleaded gas and you mistakenly put premium gas in your tank, there is no need to panic, as you won’t encounter any issues as a result. The engine’s computer will adjust to the timing needed to compensate for the higher grade, and the fuel will eventually burn out without incident.
On the other hand, if you use lower grade unleaded when premium is recommended, there could potentially be both immediate and long-term damage that could affect the operation of your car. Even if you didn’t notice at the pump that you added the wrong gas, your car will let you know right away that something is wrong. You might begin to hear a pinging or knocking noise coming from your engine area, which is commonly referred to as engine knock. Instead of the normal single flame, engine knock occurs when multiple flame fronts gather inside of the combustion chamber as the gas is heated. While the engine’s computer will again adjust in this situation and help negate some of the damage that is done, there is still a chance that spark plugs, head gaskets, pistons and bearings could all be impaired.
If you do realize that you used the wrong gas right away, all is not lost. You can purchase octane booster from a gas station or auto shop and add it to the tank while the lower grade gas is still present. This boost will help normalize the fuel efficiency, as well as minimize any potential risks and damage.
What about diesel?
Unfortunately, accidentally putting diesel fuel in a non-diesel car can be more catastrophic than any other type of gas mix-up. Since normal engines cannot process the diesel gas at all, it is very possible that the entire engine could shut down completely as soon as you turn your car on. The diesel gas should not be allowed to remain in your tank for any length of time, and the tank, fuel lines, fuel rails and injectors will all have to be drained. This can be a complicated procedure, and it’s usually best that you have a professional mechanic handle this. As costly and frustrating as the process might be, it is your best chance to dodge major permanent damage.
Unless you have harmlessly put a higher, non-diesel grade of gas in your car, it is best to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop in Norwalk, OH right away. Visit the trusted staff at HyTek Truck & Auto Center, LTD so that we can remove the gas and diagnose any potential problems you might run into to make sure your car is returned to full strength.