Misfuelling

New Zealander’s misfuel
every 15 minutes


There are around 30,000 misfuel incidents a year in New Zealand.

What is misfuelling?

Misfuelling is when you pump petrol into the fuel tank of a diesel vehicle. It happens because the pump nozzle on a petrol nozzle is smaller than a diesel nozzle and it can easily fit into the neck of the diesel tank.

It takes only the slightest distraction for someone to make an error and the consequences can be costly depending on how much damage is done to your vehicle.

[Misfuel Stories] are real life examples of the catastrophes and costs of misfueling.

The worst case scenario of course is that the entire fuel system needs replacing because you’ve driven off the forecourt with petrol in your diesel vehicle.

Are incidents increasing?

Yes. With car manufacturers slow to catch up, there are still millions of diesel tanks without a Diesel Head.
With petrol and diesel vehicle sales remaining equal two-car families often have a petrol and a diesel vehicle – which sometimes leads to errors.

Will running petrol through my engine damage it?

Yes. Diesel lubricates the fuel system. But because petrol is a solvent it quickly removes any protection.
Your best protection is to fit a Diesel Head.

What’s the financial cost?

Once you have misfuelled, if you don’t start the engine you may get away with just having the tank flushed. Road side rescue will do this for around $200. Having to replace an engine is rare, but if you start the vehicle, the diesel engine and fuel system will grind to a halt. Renewing this and the injectors may cost around $8000.

There will also be a cost to for having the contaminated fuel properly disposed of.

Can you insure against it?

Yes, but at over $100 a year for premiums plus an insurance excess – fitting a Diesel Head is cheaper. Insurance can cover the funds but it can’t save you the grief, inconvenience and lost time that misfuelling causes.

Does it invalidate your warranty?

Engine and fuel system damage is caused by running the wrong fuel. If you take your car to your dealership with a view to claiming on the warranty for major component failure – you may be in for a shock.