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Series Land Rover - Adding the Wrong Fuel

Vehicle breakdown and rescue operators testify that putting the wrong fuel in the fuel tank is a major cause of call-outs for them. We tend to think that it won't happen to us, but to those who have been a victim of wrong fuelling it is quite often a brief distraction or the intervention of someone else that lead to the error. Whatever the reason, the results can put your vehicle off the road and/or cause engine damage. So some steps are provided here for minimising the problem once it has occured.

Added diesel to gasoline?

If you realise the error quickly and the ratio of diesel to gasoline in the fuel tank is very low, then filling the rest of the tank with gasoline to dilute the diesel may be sufficient to keep your vehicle on the road. You will need to avoid idling the engine slowly (adjust the throttle stop on the carburettor accordingly). Try not to add more fuel to the tank until at least half the contents have been consumed. The idea is to return your engine to normal operating behaviour as soon as possible.

If a lot of diesel has been added or the ratio is high, then avoid trying to start the engine. Either push or tow the vehicle out of other people's way. It would probably be possible to start the engine and drive a few yards but then the carburettor will have diesel in it and you will then have to drain that before the engine can be started. Your only course of action is to siphon the fuel tank at a safe and convenient place and dispose of the fuel mixture in an environmentally friendly way. When adding fresh gasoline at least half fill the tank to dilute any trcaes of diesel that may remain.

Added gasoline to diesel?
If the ratio of gasoline to diesel is very low, then follow the same advice given above for having mistakenly added diesel to petrol. If, on the other hand, you added a large amount, then you must not try starting the engine because it can result in serious damage to components. You will need to move the vehicle to a safe place, drain the fuel tank and refill it with diesel. Provided you did not try to start the engine, there should be no need to drain the complete fuel system. Even the fuel filters should be OK. If, however, you had tried to start the engine and it subsequently gives problems with a full tank of new diesel, then you may need to replace all the fuel injectors.


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Fascinating facts
(No.127)

Standard 5-bearing petrol and diesel engines were both painted terra-cotta red.

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