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Questions and Answers

Diesel In A Gasoline Engine

Q. Hi Vincent: I saw your answer "Gas in a Diesel" in the "Questions and Answers" section, and am wondering about the reverse situation. A member of a motorcycle discussion group related a tale of mistakenly filling her bike's tank with diesel fuel. She performed a "roadside tankectomy," where she drained the tank and carburetors and flushed them with alcohol before refilling with gasoline.

Diesel In A Gasoline Engine

Exactly what damage would diesel fuel cause to a gasoline engine?

Thanks for your help,
Erica

A.

Well Erica, that would depend on how much diesel in how much gas. Diesel fuel is actually an oil, in fact, almost exactly the same as home heating oil. And diesel has a much higher flash point, the point when a fuel ignites, than gasoline which is what makes it perfect for diesels.

So if you put, say one gallon of diesel fuel in a 13 gallon tank, you wouldn't even notice it. If you put one gallon of diesel fuel in a five gallon tank, you will notice a bluish colored smoke coming from the exhaust.

If you put four gallons of diesel in a five gallon tank, at the worst the engine will not run. If it does, it will run very rough, be blowing blue smoke and doing a damn fine job of carbon fouling the spark plugs.

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