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Avoid using the wrong fuel

O2 Drive

How to avoid putting the wrong fuel in your car

Petrol, diesel, hybrid – whatever you drive, it's important to make sure you use the right fuel. Draining and flushing after misfuelling can cost anywhere from £500 to £3000. And it's not something your insurance policy is likely to cover.

Keep a visible note of the fuel type

Car rental companies sometimes stick a label inside the fuel door to remind their customers what kind of fuel to use. It's an easy idea to copy, giving you a reminder every time you fill up.

Pay attention to nozzle size

If you've got a petrol car, you can relax. Diesel nozzles are wider than petrol nozzles, so they won't fit into a petrol tank. If you find that the nozzle's not going in easily, it's likely you've picked up the wrong one.

Install a misfuelling device

You can get a clip-in gadget that stops petrol nozzles accidentally making their way into your diesel tank. It clips into the hole, and its opening mechanism only works with diesel nozzles.

What to do if you do put the wrong fuel in

Don't turn on your engine. Diesel works as a lubricant too, so if petrol gets into your system it can cause friction and mess up your motor. If you've put diesel in a petrol car it's less serious, but your car isn't likely to start.

The first thing to do is run inside and tell the staff what's happened. They'll probably come and help you to push your car to a safe place, so you can call breakdown assistance.

If you're careful with your car, an O2 Drive Box on Board policy could help to save you money. Our clever gadget tracks your driving to help us improve our next quote – which could mean a cheaper price when you renew.