Petrol in diesel again!

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I have read the entire recent thread on putting petrol into a diesel engine. However that scenario was about 10% or less added.
Today my wife filled an empty tank in a diesel car completely with unleaded petrol in error. The tank must be at least 90% petrol! Less than one mile down the road the engine started juddering. She realised her mistake and stopped and called the AA. They advised not driving any further to avoid damage. The car was towed to a garage. They have said that they will provide a complete report by friday - but that it will involve a great deal of work - and the bill is liable to be thousands!
The car is a one year old mercedes cdi estate. Does anyone think they could be right - or are they likely to be greatly exaggerating?
--
Matthew Barnard

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Matthew Barnard wrote:

Yes.
Not likely.
--
Grunff


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It never ceases to amaze me how people can do this - there is usually a big sticker stating "DIESEL" inside the filler flap, the filler hole is a different size (larger) than for petrol, and surely you can tell it's a diesel by the rattling noise it makes?
Sheesh.
Hellraiser...........>
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no there isn't (not in mine)

how does this stop someone putting the smaller nozzle in exactly?

I'm sure at the point of driving it you can tell the difference, but if you drive one of two cars, it must be all too easy to absentmindedly fill up from the wrong pump. (Just like occasionally, I still drive out of a drive onto the wrong side of the road!)
tim

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any
big
There is on my diesel 307.

You notice the nozzle seems to rattle around a lot more than it usually does, that and the usually-black hose has now turned bright green is usually a dead giveaway.

No, because something as vital as that you would check and double check before filling. I regularly drive my wife's car which is petrol, but whenever I fill up either car I always check which one I'm driving and select the fuel accordingly, as do most people. Just shows, those with more money don't necessarily have more common sense :)
Hellraiser...........>
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In a Land Rover Defender, yes. In a one year old Mercedes, no.
Colin Bignell
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nightjar

Hmm. I take exception to that.

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Even a diesel Merc doesn't sound like a petrol one, it still has a slight rattle to it.
Hellraiser.........>
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Hellraiser wrote:

So do petrol ones :)

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Any particular reason, or just on general principles? I have driven both BTW, although I concede that, with the Mercedes, I was not driving one of the cheap models.
Colin Bignell
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nightjar

Well I drive one. The land rover. But all cars rattle to an extent. Its goes with theterritory of valves, tappets etc etc, and modern lean burn petrolengines are run to the point of detonation too.
Modsern diesle by the way, that use advanced multi-pulse injection, don't detonate at low throttle the way traditional ones do.

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Most modern petrol engines will have knock sensors - the purpose of which is to avoid detonation.

A neighbour has the same car as me only diesel. It wakes up the street when he starts up. ;-) It's fine on the move though.
--
*Acupuncture is a jab well done.*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Hello Hellraiser

My step father put 40 quids worth of unleaded in a 7.5tonne lorry once. Even he can't understand how he did it.
Show how well trained the forecourt monkeys are, that they can blindly punch a button without looking to see whether the guy actually has a vehicle and isn't about to immolate himself for kicks. (Almost happened at a Jet station recently)
--
Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
uk.d-i-y FAQ: http://www.diyfaq.org.uk /
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On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 21:02:35 +0100, Matthew Barnard

So what is this huge bill for ?
What are they alleging that you've bust ?
A tankload of petrol is going to run badly, it might even stop it (but usually doesn't) and it only injures stuff if you either make a habit of it regularly (injection pumps need proper lubrication) or you thrash the engine while it's in this mis-firing state.
A mile of gentle driving just isn't going to hurt anything terminal. Even if you have to pull the injectors out to clean them, that's not rocket-science, even on a Merc.

Well that's your trouble isn't it. Putting petrol in it (or anything that's clearly driver error) plays havoc with the star-shaped badges on it, especially the new ones. You wouldn't believe the price of fixing them, but you don't have much choice - especially not on a new car.

Of course they're right.
"To repair one-year-old Merc and maintain Full Service History - mongo moolah"

On my motor (whichever old shed you pick) I'd pump the tank as best I could, top it off with Jet A-1 or whatever the appropriate fuel was, replace the fuel filters and then bleed the fuel system from up-front as best I could. Run it with my fingers in my ears until the nasty noises went away, then probably replace the filters again.
The tank drainage goes in the tractor, because that's Romanian and doesn't care what it drinks.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

I dunno - I've seen holes in pistons after only a few minutes running a diesel on petrol.
--
Grunff


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That's not gentle driving though. That's some serious detonation going on, and driving on despite it.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Possibly - all I saw was the end result, and a driver who was adamant it was only a few minutes before she realised what had happened.
--
Grunff


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Trust, Garage.... Oxymoron alert...

--

We were always told that a million monkeys typing for a million years
would eventually produce the works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the
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Matthew Barnard wrote:

It requires a fairly compreghensive replacement of all teh fuel filters, possibly teh fuel pump(s) and a good flush through of all the pipes and injectors *to be safe*. She may have damaged something as well.
I just paid 75 quid an hour for labour on my last service, so thats not that many hours work - ten hours say - plus a few parts - to get to a thousand.
Needless to say, draining teh tank, and ripping the injector out, and cranking teh engine untill what comes out smles of diesel, is the simple way out, and probably would not result in any problems...However, if they DID get a problem, guess who you would be suing?
Naturally even that is beyond a mercedes grease monkey as well, so they will simply replce all the most expensive easy to remove bits, flush the pipework through, and let your insurance pay.
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Would this be covered by insurance?
--
*The beatings will continue until morale improves *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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