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Old 06-21-2019, 03:51 PM   #1
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help with a diesel question

somehow got distracted by a beautiful lady on the next pump and put on the tank of a rental VW transporter (diesel..) 19 liters of 95 octane gasoline..
Of course it was not on purpose and stopped the pump immediately as soon as I realized my mistake, then I added another 22 liters of diesel fuel.

To my defense, the gasoline nozzles were green color (same color as the ones on the USA) and the diesel nozzles were black, this happen this afternoon right before returning the van at the Copenhagen airport.

I drove the car back to the rental place driving it very smooth (no load on the engine), and now I am concerned what would be damaged by putting gasoline on a diesel engine..

Just read that the fuel tank capacity is around 75 litters, therefore I may have added about 20% of gasoline, and somehow I am pretty concerned what would happen to the poor VW, hopefully someone here knows what kind of damage I could have caused to this vehicle.

Thank you for your comments

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Old 06-21-2019, 04:30 PM   #2
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IMO ,you should call them immediately and fall on your sword. You may find an expensive back charge on your account, when this goes bad. If it was only a couple of liters, it might survive. The gasoline will water down the lubricity of the diesel. That will be bad for the injectors, cylinders, etc. Not to mention that the flash point of the two are significantly different.

A quick Google search turned this up; https://www.bellperformance.com/blog/accidentally-mixing-gasoline-and-diesel-fuel
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:37 PM   #3
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Iíd say donít fret, only a 20% dilution... and it wasnít your car.

I once returned a rental van filthy dirty and gladly paid the cleaning charge.
All the mud covered the scratches I left on one side backing it into an underground garage parking spot.
Vehicle had a whopping 47 miles on it.
Oops.
Guy at the rental place signed off with it dirty.
Instantly the damage was pre-existing.
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:09 PM   #4
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[B]somehow got distracted by a beautiful lady on the next pump and put on the tank of a rental VW transporter (diesel..) 19 liters of 95 octane gasoline
Where in OC are you buying 95 octane? Thanks.
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Old 06-21-2019, 07:38 PM   #5
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He is in Denmark.

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Where in OC are you buying 95 octane? Thanks.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:30 PM   #6
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IMO ,you should call them immediately and fall on your sword. You may find an expensive back charge on your account, when this goes bad. If it was only a couple of liters, it might survive. The gasoline will water down the lubricity of the diesel. That will be bad for the injectors, cylinders, etc. Not to mention that the flash point of the two are significantly different.

A quick Google search turned this up; https://www.bellperformance.com/blog/accidentally-mixing-gasoline-and-diesel-fuel
Rex, unfortunately is too late as I returned the car last night and didn't say anything..
and as soon as I wrote the question here I fell asleep, and just read your link.

Being about 20%, dilution may cause damage to the engine :-(
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:27 AM   #7
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In Europe the octane rating is generally known as RON. It's not a straight comparison.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:24 AM   #8
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In Europe the octane rating is generally known as RON. It's not a straight comparison.
I am just hopping that my company will not get a mega bill from the rental car company for power train damages (engine, fuel pump, catalytic converter) etc., otherwise I will get in trouble :-(

and feeling really bad that I let down the poor VW, after it took good care of us
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:11 AM   #9
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OK I will be " that guy " . Did your parents raise you to be deceitful ? Do you have children and consider this a teachable moment to lie and hope you are not caught ? In this world of " I don't take responsibility " this is yet just another example . You are 100 % responsible for this screw up . You got distracted I get that , but it is no excuse for what you did and no excuse for what you are doing . If you were taught right from wrong by your parents deep down you know what the right thing to do is . Whether you choose to do it or not is again 100 % on you . I'm sure I'm going to get blasted for my views so blast away .
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Old 06-22-2019, 05:45 AM   #10
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What rfuerst911sc said. Do the right thing.
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Old 06-22-2019, 05:55 AM   #11
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If you were taught right from wrong by your parents deep down you know what the right thing to do is . Whether you choose to do it or not is again 100 % on you . I'm sure I'm going to get blasted for my views so blast away .
Very few things in this world are as impressive, or as humbling, as ownership of one's own mistakes. I guess that may be because it's become so rare.... unfortunately.

Gilles, there's really only once right answer here. Call them. Tell them. They can get the tank pumped out before they rent it again and it leaves someone else stranded.

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Old 06-22-2019, 06:10 AM   #12
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The same thing happen to a coworker of mine. The mechanic at the lease company said to put automatic transmission in the tank. The truck ran fine but the fuel pump went out a few weeks later.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:54 AM   #13
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There will be no problem. that percentage of gas will not damage anything.
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:01 PM   #14
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I work in a diesel shop, we see this more often then one would think. And about 50% of the vehicles we see with gasoline in a diesel tank are rentals.

The best thing to do, when you see that "Oh S***" I put the wrong fuel in moment, is call a tow truck. Do not start it, do not go past go, tow it. This will result in minimal out of pocket.

Worst case we saw, was customer filled diesel F550 with gas. Realized he filled it with gas, and then drove it to us. It made it about half way, then the truck died. That set him back $16k as we had to replace the engine, and clean the fuel lines, etc.

As for the rental company.... yeah they can come after you. Unless you bought the rental insurance. That is a real life saver there.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:33 AM   #15
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I've owned VW diesels (loved them) and I was always obsessive-compulsive about making sure I'm using Diesel when I'm at the pump. I'd check 3 times before squeezing the nozzle. Never had a problem. About 6 months ago, I bought my son (college student) a VW Jetta Diesel and made 100% sure that he 100% understood that you CAN'T make a mistake with this. He hasn't.

What Qckslvr said is absolutely correct. DON'T start the engine, have it towed, have the fuel tank drained and flushed. If you start the engine and then realize it, turn it off IMMEDIATELY. If you run it, even for a short time, you'll destroy your fuel system, and eventually your entire engine. It won't take long.

Given all this, it makes me wonder why any rental company would rent diesels.

And btw, +1 on what rfuerst911sc said.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:14 PM   #16
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A little more explanation.

The issue is that diesel acts as a lubricant for the fuel injection system. Pure gasoline will wash the lubricant away and cause extreme wear.

As long as there is enough diesel oil in the gas/diesel mixture to act as a lubricant you won't damage the car.

Of course, its better to be safe than sorry.

I doubt there was any damage to the rental car that started this discussion. 20% gas should have enough lubrication left.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:48 PM   #17
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Given all this, it makes me wonder why any rental company would rent a diesel.
He was in Denmark. Many European cars are diesel.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:58 PM   #18
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I owned a diesel years ago. In the manual was a 'recipe' for emergency use when diesel fuel was not available - it said to add engine oil to the gasoline - I do not remember the ratio.
Diesel fuel is an oil - gasoline 'eats' oil, has no lubricating quality.
The engine may have survived, but gasoline in it certainly did it no good.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:05 AM   #19
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Now you get to live with the fear of the rental company calling you. How exciting!
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:05 AM   #20
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I am just hopping that my company will not get a mega bill from the rental car company for power train damages (engine, fuel pump, catalytic converter) etc., otherwise I will get in trouble :-(

and feeling really bad that I let down the poor VW, after it took good care of us
Your company's general liability insurance policy may well have coverage for damage to rental cars rented on company business, if there is a bill in excess of the deductible then a claim could be filed (if you're going to wait and see if anything happens).

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