While Volvo began phasing out their diesel engines several years ago, Volvos are well-known for being reliable, long-lived cars, so there are quite a few diesel Volvos still on the road today. With that in mind, it makes sense that someone might accidentally put the wrong fuel in their car. Whether they’re used to driving a gasoline-powered vehicle and the diesel Volvo isn’t their usual car, or they just happen to pull up to the wrong pump, there’s no denying the instant sense of dread as soon as you realize what you’ve done. If you happened to put the wrong fuel in your Volvo, what might you expect to happen?
What’s the Difference?
There are two main differences in how diesel and gasoline vehicles operate and use their fuel that will determine the symptoms your car experiences. First, diesel engines do not have spark plugs; they rely on compression to create the small explosions that power our engines.
While that is certainly a huge difference, it is surprisingly not the one that will cause the most damage to your engine. Diesel is a more naturally lubricating substance than gasoline, so diesel engines are built with that lubrication in mind. When you put gasoline in a diesel engine, your engine will be running without that lubrication, which can very quickly cause a lot of damage.
What happens when I drive with the wrong fuel?
Put simply, you’re likely not going to get very far. After you drive away from the pump, you may be able to make it a couple of miles before you begin seeing signs of trouble. That is because your Volvo is still running on the fuel left in the engine and fuel lines. Once the wrong fuel makes its way into the engine, you’ll begin seeing symptoms, including:
- Loss of power
- Cutting out
- Failing to restart after being turned off
How severe these symptoms are will be determined by the ratio of diesel to gas in your tank. For example, if you only put a little bit of gasoline in a tank that was otherwise full of diesel fuel, you may not notice many issues. However, that ratio has to be pretty small — less than five percent — in order for that to be the case.
What to Do When You Use the Wrong Fuel
While we covered above the signs you might see if you drive with the wrong fuel in the tank, the most important thing to know is to not drive at all once you realize what you’ve done. When you’re dealing with a misfueling issue, the more you drive it, the more expensive your repairs are going to be.
If you notice that you put the wrong fuel in while you’re still at the pump, don’t even put the keys in the ignition. Even just accidentally turning the keys to the on position without cranking the engine can prime the fuel pump, meaning you just made your repair bill exponentially larger. If you can keep the wrong fuel isolated to the fuel tank, you can limit how much damage is done and how expensive your repairs will be. Call a tow truck right away to bring your vehicle to a trusted & reliable mechanic who knows and understands Volvos.
Trust Royalty Auto Service With Your Volvo
We all make mistakes, and here at Royalty Auto Service we promise not to judge if you accidentally put gasoline in your diesel vehicle (or vice versa). Instead, we are ready and willing to help you take care of the problem quickly and easily.
Conveniently located in St. Mary’s, GA, we also serve the surrounding areas of Amelia Island, Brunswick, Kingsland, King Bay Base, Woodbine, and Yulee. We are