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Diesel in Gas engine

h1vch1vc Posts: 295
edited March 2014 in Ford
my supercrew ran outa gas, someone game me a tank of fuel, said it was gas, but was diesel, I put it in, definitely put in less than 2.5 galon, probably around 1.5gal. Should I let ford fix it or can I put in high grade gas and start it, people told me i could do that. If putting in gas is ok, how much damage will that make to any components? Thanks.


  • vwracervwracer Posts: 90
    I wouldn't take a chance. Drain the fuel tank and start all over
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    Diesel is NASTY stuff, I am not sure about what it will do to your engine but it will clog up your fuel filter in a heartbeat. Best thing to do is drain the tank and start over like vwracer said. It is easy enough to do these days, you just disconnect the fuel line from the filter, stick it in a DIESEL can, or oil drain pan, and jump the fuel pump relay until its dry. Then fill up with high grade gas with a bottle of dry gas in it, sometimes diesel has moisture in it, so the residue that is left behind might have some too it's just a precaution.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    I agree, empty out the tank and refill with some gas,,,,it could be worse, I've seen people put gas in a diesel!
  • fowvayfowvay Posts: 29
    Well, this will go against the other peoples responses but I don't believe that you will have much trouble with the amount of diesel that you are talking about. I am unfamiliar with the vehicle that it is in but I will make the assumption that it will hold well over 25 gallons of fuel. With a dilution ratio of 16.5 to 1 you should have no trouble burning the diesel fuel up.
    You will experience some sooting that will disappear after a few tanks of gasoline are burned through the engine. The diesel fuel will drop the octane of the gasoline quite a bit so be certain to use the absolute highest grade you can find. Fill with as much high octane gasoline as you can get into the vehicle and then run this tank as empty as you feel safe doing without running out on the motorway. As for clogging a fuel filter, this is not a issue in the least. If your machine uses paper for the gasoline filter then the diesel will cause absolutely zero problems and will pass through the filter unnoticed.

    Good luck with whichever method you decide.
  • what would gasoline do to a diesel engine?
  • fowvayfowvay Posts: 29
    Since cetane (diesel) is the opposite of octane (gasoline) then having too high of a gasoline-to-diesel ratio in diesel engine will simply prevent it from running at all. Diesel ignites from cylinder pressure and gasoline needs a ignition source. If you put gasoline in a diesel engine with no ignition source then it simply will not ignite. However, using gasoline to dilute waxed diesel fuel in extremely cold weather was once a common practice before the direct-injection and common-rail injection systems. So, having a gallon of gasoline in a 20 gallon mixture of diesel fuel will simply cause rough running yet will prevent the diesel from gelling. DO NOT put gasoline in a modern TDI or CDI diesel engine deliberately.
  • I'd put 5 gal of gas in it to thin it out and try and pump some of it out. I'd worry more about running the pump dry. Then I would put another 5 gal in and drive it to a station and put some premium in. Not a full tank. Just to prevent some knocking. Don't drive it hard. It should drive OK. A friend in college used to run his car on 50/50 back when diesel was cheap. Smoked a little. Another has an army surplus engine that you start on gasoline and then switch over to diesel
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    Putting gas in a diesel engine causes HEAVY pre-ignition...gas wants to burn much faster than diesel. Gasoline is a solvent to diesel fuel in cold weather, that is true, but under normal running conditions it will do alot of knocking in that diesel engine..
    If you don't pump/siphon the diesel out it would probably just smoke a bunch and carbon up the cylinders and the EGR valve, that is true, but if you put gasoline in a diesel you get the same as a very low octane condition and get alot of knocking, eventually you get piston damage if it is bad enough..
    High octane is like HEAVY fuel, it needs LOTS of air to burn and does not ignite quickly, but does burn hotter..
    Low octane is like LIGHT fuel, needs less air but does not generate as much heat either....
    Kerosene and diesel is a heavy fuel compared to gasoline, and they both act like a high octane fuel compared to gasoline, they need more air and more UUMPH to go bang, and in a normal gas engine they will cause a RICH condition (soot-unburned fuel) if there is enough of it in the gas.
    Either way if it is diluted the engine will handle it, but generally you want the lightest gas you can get that does not knock too much..
    too much knocking is damaging, and too heavy fuel is just causing more soot, because the air mix can only burn so much fuel...
    High compression engines (diesels..) need higher octane grade fuels to prevent pre-ignition, and usually that higher octane grade fuel is considered lower grade fuel (less refined)
    see ya
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes, the Army uses multi-fuel engines, but of course they are specially designed to do this.

    You should be able to get most of the diesel out by a simple siphon. Then fill the tank and you should be fine.

    I'm a bit surprised the diesel pump actually fit into your truck's filler neck. The guy must have tried pretty hard to get it in there.
  • fowvayfowvay Posts: 29
    I don't mean to be impolite by disagreeing with you but your information is slightly wrong. Diesel fuel is known as a heavy fuel because it carries 16 carbon atoms per chain as opposed to a higher refined gasoline that carries 8 carbon atoms (hence the name OCTane).
    This is the reason gasoline is so much more volatile and has such higher aromatics.

    The part that I disagree with you on is this:

    "High compression engines (diesels..) need higher octane grade fuels to prevent pre-ignition, and usually that higher octane grade fuel is considered lower grade fuel (less refined)"

    Octane pertains to gasoline and not to diesel fuel. Octane is the gasolines resistance to burning - the higher the octane, the slower and more complete the burn and the less likely the fuel is to "pre-ignite" before you would want it to.

    Cetane pertains to diesel fuel. A higher cetane will provide a more precise timing of the fuel combustion especially at start-up on cold engines. The diesel engine works on the principle of "pre-ignition" on a system that has no "post-ignition". Diesel fuel has absolutely nothing to do with octane and the high compression of a diesel engine should not be compared to a high compression gasoline engine.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    gasoline in a diesel tank will do the same thing that blowing half a can of starting ether into the air cleaner will do... blow the heads into the next county, and possible break the block. the difference between gasoline and diesel is not only that diesel has more energy in complex chemical bonds, but that this energy releases more slowly. gasoline is a very much more volatile fuel, as soon as the injector starts spraying it into the hot cylinder, it can cook off.

    used to be that some garages would actually recommend putting a pint or so of diesel into a full tank of gas as an upper lube. since the fuel filter changes were done every ten thousand miles, a disposeable element inside or just in front of the carb, it was a no-brainer cheap change. so nobody ever noticed the candle wicks and sludge in the fuel filters from diesel. of course, that was back when Dinah Shore was still on the air.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    Gasoline is made of several different weight hydrocarbons, "oct"ane is only one of them, and there are several ARRANGEMENTS of those octanes.
    The octane rating of gasoline only refers to 2 compounds, normal heptane and " iso-octane " or 2,2,4-trimethyl pentane...
    I was saying that the higher compression engines need the slower burning fuel in order to start burning at the right point in compression cycle, the lighter componants in the gasoline will start burning earlier under those conditions and cause the knocking which would damage the engine. I should have said that the diesel needs the higher WEIGHT fuel rather than higher OCTANE...

    As far as the Diesel fuel in the Gas tank, I agree with MR_Shiftright about the Diesel nozzle should not fit in the gas tank, but if it was just pumped out of a drum with a barrel pump...
    see y'all
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    I had to get my old Chemical Engineering books out to remember which particular "oct"ane that the octane rating was referring to, but then I looked around on the web.

    If anyone wants to read some cool pages on gas grades, here's a couple:

    It was interesting reading back on some of that material, kinda made me think back to some of those classes....hmmm....what else can we talk about

    see ya!


    note: that 2nd one you have to copy/paste the whole thing, it wierded out on me
  • arjay1arjay1 Posts: 172
    Putting diesel fuel into a gasoline based vehicle is not difficult, as is referenced above. The nozzle on the diesel pump is actually very slim, it will easily fit into the opening for a gasoline tank on your truck. The opposite is what is difficult.
    The opening in for the filler on the diesel vehicle is made very small so that you cannot accidentally put gasoline into a diesel tank. As Swschrad referenced above, that is a very explosive mistake. Gasoline in a diesel engine can blow up real nice.
    Since the diesel opening and nozzle are very slim, the nozzle will easily fit into a gasoline filler tube.
    I am also of the thought that the diesel in the gasoline tank will not hurt. It will lubricate the upper end of the engine for a change.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    I don't know where you are getting your diesel, but every time I rent a truck and have to fill it up, the nozzle for the diesel pump is an easy twice the size of a standard un-leaded gasoline nozzle. I have never seen a diesel nozzle that would come anywhere near fitting into the filler opening on a gasoline powered car.

    Best Regards,
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yeah, me neither, but I'm in California where people get flowers in their salads.
  • arjay1arjay1 Posts: 172
    Here in Missouri the diesel nozzle is very slim. Everytime I would fill-up I would think about the big rigs having to fill-up a few hundred gallons through that little nozzle.
  • h1vch1vc Posts: 295

    My tank is 25gal.

    It wasn't at the pump. The truck was on the highway, we got a ride to the station, wanted to buy a gas tank, lady said they didn't have any but for $20 we could use theirs, so she gives us their can, it had fuel in it, we asked if it was unleaded, she said yes and we dumped it in.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Ah, well, then, you can charge HER for this mess.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    Same goes for around here. The diesel nozzles for trucks wouldn't begin to fit in an "unleaded only" filler neck. The nozzles for the semi's won't even fit in my truck either.
  • h1vch1vc Posts: 295
    But she won't admit it though.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    That's okay. There's a witness and there might be a receipt. Good enough for small claims.
  • h1vch1vc Posts: 295
    WHitnesses say they don't want to get involved, so we didn't bother to get their info. No receipt.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Ah, well, still your word against theirs, and you could have a mechanic certify that they extracted diesel fuel from your tank. Sometimes just the supeona for small Claims is enough to get them to cough up something.

    They should pay you. It was their fault, 100% slam-dunk their responsibility unless the can had DIESEL written all over it (doubt it, huh?)
  • h1vch1vc Posts: 295
    Ford did a diagnosis and found diesel in the tank. It was a regular gas, red, can. The problem is that there is no way to prove that she gave us diesel. She could say that we put the diesel in the can then into the truck.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Maybe she'll step up and do the right thing. You could tell her what happened. Not everyone is a weasel in the world or an Enron CEO. Many people take responsibility, and really, this isn't going to cost too much, right?
  • h1vch1vc Posts: 295
    She said we could of put the diesel in the can then in the gas tank. The diagnosis cost $160. They told us that there was diesel in the tank, the diesel didn't harm anything, they then put in 24 gallons gas and gave us the truck back. Didn't do much for $160, I feel like I got screwed by them, $160 for them to tell me what everyone else told me for free? Thanks guys. What do you think?
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    Let it go and chalk it up to experience. It's not a pleasant thing to do, but next time I bet you'll sniff of it before you put it in the tank. If you do try to get the woman to step up and pay for the "damage" you'll most likely have much more than $160 in attorneys fees.
  • h1vch1vc Posts: 295
    I've already talked to the lawyer, so its whatever he wants to do. Only reason I'm using a lawyer for $160 is that the lawyer is free, local university provides free lawyers to students. Thanks
  • First, you don't pay attention and you run out of gas. Second, someone hands you an can of something, they say they think its gas, and you put it in your truck with out looking. Third you pay someone $160 to fill up your tank. And this is all someone else's fault. Get a good job, I think this comedy is going to be running another 50 years or more.
This discussion has been closed.