Tuesday 23 January 2018

Ask Eddie: Tea and cake as a future president paid heavily for puttting petrol in a diesel

Eddie Cunnigham

What a response to our Talking Point on putting petrol in a diesel car. Thank you. And remember you really should not turn on the ignition or start the car until you call a mechanic or garage to see what you should do. Here's a small sample of your many emails.


Two gentlemen called to my brother's house between Oranmore and Galway about 20 years ago asking if they could use his phone.

They had filled their diesel to the gills with petrol.

They had tea and cake. One of them was Michael D Higgins, our president. I sent an email to the Aras earlier this year asking if the President had any recollection of the incident. I got a reply saying he well remembered and it cost a packet to fix it. We got an invite to the Aras during the summer and had a lovely day/evening.

I also had two experiences of putting petrol in a diesel. First was a Nissan Sunny, eight years ago. Nearly filled the tank from about a quarter with petrol in Tullamore. It started 'chugging' so bad I had to stop. With help, we drained the tank. I reloaded with diesel and started with difficulty. Never had any problem, after driving a lot of miles.

Last week, in a new Nissan Qashqai, I put in €30 worth of petrol. I shoved the car without starting, siphoned out all I could, put €50 of diesel in and drove away. Luckily I was near home. I don't think any harm is done.



Yep! done it, only once-so far; 2007 Ford Focus 1.6 TDI estate; 100,000km at the time; 20,000 added since.

The pump showed 11 litres of petrol had gone in. Just under 25pc of the full tank. The attendant suggested it should be okay at a ratio of 3:1 diesel. So away I went. No obvious problems, plus NCT'd and twice serviced since then. I did think I occasionally heard rumble noises from around the front but I put that down t Donegal roads.


(Name with Eddie)


On a snowy night in March, I was passing through Gort, in Galway. I wrongfully presumed the unleaded was for unleaded diesel, so I filled up. After several miles the car stopped. Through the generosity of people I got back to the filling station and explained my problem.

Staff there managed to find a garage willing to help me. I bought a can of diesel, and travelled with the two mechanics to the car.

They removed the toxic fuel; the new diesel was poured in and the engine started purring. I handed €100 to my rescuers.

Ever since I have managed to use proper diesel and not petrol/diesel. The engine suffered no damage. I seriously check the pumps now.


'Disabled in the snow'.

Irish Independent

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