Filling diesel cars with petrol does relatively less damage on that engine when compared to filling petrol cars with diesel
A Mahindra XUV700 owner has revealed that on the day of delivery, the dealer filled diesel in his petrol XUV700 SUV. The dealer did realize the mistake and tried to fix the issue.
During damage control, dealer staff drained the diesel fuel and cleaned the fuel tank. Owner took delivery on written condition from the dealer. Next day, the owner went on a drive in his new car, only to be greeted with severe fuel leakage.
Mahindra XUV700 Petrol SUV Filled With Diesel
Twitter user IWorld360Degree tweeted about this. He had booked a petrol XUV700 for himself. During delivery, the dealer wrongly filled up his petrol XUV700 with diesel fuel. Fortunately, there were no fire hazards involving the highly inflammable petrol fuel.
Owner now wants a full replacement. Mahindra Customer Care has gotten involved. Will the customer get a full replacement or not, remains to be seen.
What happens when you fill your car with wrong fuel?
Petrol and diesel have different characteristics. Diesel is less inflammable and has a higher flash point, requiring high compression pressure to combust. Petrol fuel just needs a spark. Diesel is not only a fuel but has lubricating properties too. Also, petrol has a higher 91-95 Octane number and a lower 15-20 Cetane number.
Diesel has around a higher 45-55 Cetane number and a lower 15-25 Octane number. When you accidentally fill a petrol car with diesel, the engine which is programmed to run petrol, will have a tough time fathoming contaminated fuel. If the fuel is a mixture of both petrol and diesel, there will be less damage to the engine than running mostly pure diesel (like in XUV700’s case).
Because diesel has lubricating characteristics, fuel lines, fuel pumps, fuel injectors and even the combustion chamber of a petrol engine will see some accumulation of diesel gunk. This is because petrol engines have low compression pressure to combust diesel in its entirety. Issues are less profound when a diesel car is filled with petrol.
Can the dealer be held accountable?
I have disassembled and reassembled old petrol and diesel engines in my Automobile Engineering workshops. Old engines had larger tolerances and the effects of fuel contaminants can be less evident. With modern powertrains manufactured with tighter tolerances, issues related to fuel contamination are much more disastrous.
In Karnataka, a fuel station staff accidentally unloaded diesel in a petrol storage tank. Many cars and motorcycles that re-fueled there just stopped running sometime later. That fuel station lost its license until it was cleared of criminal charges.