Misfuel Cover

Fuel cover, also known as misfuelling insurance, is there to save you from the headache and expense of putting the wrong fuel in your car.

It’s a common blunder to pump the wrong type of fuel into a car, so don’t be embarrased. But here’s the kicker: if you do make this mistake, it can cause serious damage to the engine and then cost a fortune to get it fixed.

What to do if you’ve misfuelled

So, what should you do if you find yourself in this unfortunate predicament?

    1. First things first, if you realise your mistake right at the petrol pump, do not start your car.
    2. If you’ve already driven away, try to stay calm and find a safe spot to pull over as soon as possible.
    3. Switch off the ignition immediately.
  1. Now, take a moment to consult your car insurance policy documents to see if misfuelling is covered. If it is, reach out to your car insurance provider for assistance. Alternatively, if you have breakdown cover, make a call for help.
  2. Your breakdown cover might include the cost of towing, draining, and cleaning to resolve the misfuelling mishap. However, if you don’t have breakdown cover, you can contact a breakdown company, but be prepared: they may require you to become a member or charge a fee for their call-out service.

Understand misfuelling differences

You can either wrongly add petrol to a diesel car, or wrongly add diesel to a petrol car. It’s key to know which one you’ve done, before contacting a breakdown service.

Signs of using petrol in a diesel car:

  • Noticeable knocking sound when accelerating
  • Excessive smoke emitting from the exhaust
  • Slower acceleration compared to normal
  • Engine warning light illuminating
  • Complete engine shutdown
  • Difficulty restarting the vehicle

Signs of using diesel in a petrol car:

  • Engine misfiring or running unevenly
  • Excessive smoke from the exhaust
  • Engine cutting out unexpectedly
  • Inability to restart the engine

Why exactly is misfuelling bad?

Misfuelling can cause significant damage to various engine components, potentially resulting in costly repairs or even total engine failure. The fuel pump, fuel lines, fuel filter, and fuel injectors are among the critical parts that bear the brunt of petrol in a diesel engine.

The fuel pump, which relies on diesel to provide lubrication, suffers from increased friction and the generation of metal fragments when exposed to petrol. This can lead to further damage throughout the fuel system as these fragments travel.

The fuel lines that carry the fuel from the tank to the engine may need flushing or, in worst-case scenarios, replacement. The fuel filter, responsible for keeping contaminants out of the engine, may also require replacement if petrol has reached it. Lastly, the fuel injectors, with their tiny openings, are at risk of blockage and potential damage due to the presence of metal fragments. Repairing such damage can result in a hefty bill that no one wants to face.

I’ve put diesel into a petrol car…

On the flip side, putting diesel in a petrol car is not as dire, but it can still cause issues. Petrol engines rely on spark plugs to ignite the fuel, and when diesel, with its lubricating properties, finds its way into the system, it can clog the spark plugs, preventing the engine from starting. If you’ve accidentally started the car with diesel in a petrol engine, you may notice smoke and the engine stalling.

Which companies can help me?

If you’ve ever found yourself in the unfortunate situation of filling your car with the wrong fuel, the RAC Misfuel Service can help (among others). Priced at £290.99 (with a cool £50 discount for existing RAC members), this service is like having a trusty superhero for your misfuelling mishaps.

What makes the RAC Misfuel Service stand out is their team of fuel patrols who are more than just your average mechanics. These guys are trained pros, equipped with the knowledge and skills to drain that contaminated fuel from your tank and fuel system. Plus, they have the necessary accreditations to confidently work on petrol station forecourts, so you can relax knowing that wherever you’ve ended up, they’ve got your back.

Not only will they get rid of the wrong fuel, but they’ll also make sure you have enough clean fuel to get your wheels moving again. And hey, if the damage caused by your misfuelling adventure is beyond their on-site repair abilities, these specialists can even arrange to tow your car away for further assessment and any necessary repairs.

Can I claim for misfuelling on insurance?

Now, the burning question: can you claim misfuelling on your car insurance?

Well, it depends on your insurance provider and the specifics of your policy.

Some insurance companies may cover misfuelling under the accidental damage section of the policy. It’s worth giving your insurance provider a call to check if they offer misfuelling cover or if you can add it to your current policy for an additional cost.

However, keep in mind that not all car insurance policies include misfuelling coverage, so it’s crucial to review the terms and conditions. Coverage can vary greatly between providers, with some covering repair costs, others covering draining and cleaning expenses, and some offering both.

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