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I Put the Wrong Gas in My Car!

on April 6, 2022
gas pump

I Put the Wrong Gas in My Car!

on April 6, 2022

When you are a new or veteran driver, it becomes standard to visit a gas station at least once every two weeks to fuel up your vehicle on gas.  Most people won’t ever have a problem with fueling up their vehicle, but mistakes happen, and you could potentially put the wrong type of gas in your vehicle.  

Fuel pumps generally offer an array of different fuel options, which typically include three types of gasoline, along with another pump for diesel fuel.  Let’s dive into learning about the different types of gasoline, and how they could potentially affect your vehicle negatively or positively, by using the wrong type of gas in your vehicle.  

The Three Main Types of Gasoline

Gasoline types are based on the rating of octane, which is the general percentage of isooctane contained in gasoline.  Gasoline generally consists of two major compositions which are isooctane and heptane.  At a gas station, you will generally find three main types of gasoline which are classified as Standard (Regular), Mid-Grade (Plus/Special), or Premium (Super).  

These gasoline types generally just mean higher octane levels in the higher grade gasoline.  The standard gasoline type will almost always clock in at 87 octane and works for most vehicles. Most vehicle manufacturers will state if your vehicle requires higher-grade gasoline, but almost all vehicles will operate efficiently with the standard gasoline type. Standard gasoline is always going to be the cheapest option as well!  

The next gasoline type would be the mid-grade gasoline, otherwise known as plus or special.  This gasoline will usually clock in around 88 octane but can go all the way to 90.  This gasoline offers better performance than standard gas and is best used for large engines.  That is why a lot of big SUVs or muscle cars such as a ford mustang will generally run better with this mid-tier gasoline type.  

Finally, the last gasoline variation would be the premium gasoline, which always clocks in at 91 octanes or higher to be classified as premium. This gasoline type is only required for very specific uses, such as high-performance vehicles and cars that sport a turbocharger. You should never purchase premium gasoline for your vehicle unless it is specifically required and recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer, as using this gasoline in a normal vehicle will not make a difference at all. 

Will it be bad If I put Diesel into my Gas Engine?

If you went to a gas station, and accidentally went to a diesel pump and started putting diesel fuel into your system, you will face some serious consequences. If you fill your entire engine with diesel, your vehicle will not work at all.

Even if you put just a few gallons of diesel in your vehicle, it might run, but it will probably operate very poorly compared to gasoline.  The reason behind this is that gas engines do not have the ability to ignite the diesel fuel properly, so the fuel will just stay inside the tank, and cause damage to the fuel pump. 

If you accidentally fill your gas engine with diesel, you need to call for a tow service right away to get it drained correctly.  

What if I Gas into my Diesel Engine?

The same exact thing can occur if you have a diesel engine, and you fill it up with gasoline. A diesel engine is not able to properly burn gasoline, so your vehicle’s engine will break down, and your vehicle’s entire engine could fail and become a major issue.  

If you realize right away that you filled your vehicle with gasoline instead of diesel, you need to get your car towed and serviced right away so they can flush out the entire engine.  

 Does the Gasoline Octane Matter? 

Typically, if you have a gas engine, you won’t have any problems if you put standard, mid-grade, or premium gasoline in your vehicle.  Almost all engines use standard and work perfectly fine, but even if you put premium into your normal car, it will still operate the same.  

The only difference is if you operate a sports vehicle or a vintage car that calls for 91 or higher octane levels.  If you accidentally put in a lower grade fuel, you probably won’t have any major problems, but you could reduce your fuel economy.  

So, in conclusion, the only real major threat at the gas station is accidentally mixing a diesel engine with a gas engine, and vice versa.  In the event that you do make a mistake, fuel your vehicle up at the wrong pump.  Make sure you have a DriveSmart Warranty, so you never have to pay for those expensive engine repairs and fluid flushes.  

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