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Got that call last night. Thankfully, my son did not do the pumping and it was not his vehicle. He was with his friend who put about 4 gallons of diesel into his sisters Explorer. The explorer was almost empty, so they put about 14 gallons of unleaded to thin out the diesel. It didn't start. The girl's father is not offering any help (long story). The most I can offer, is to assist in pumping out the bad fuel and trying to start it with fresh fuel. I have 3 small kids at home and don't have time to pull her plugs and flush the fuel lines.
any advice would be helpful. (and what does someone do with 18 gallons of contaminated fuel?)
The tank was damn near empty (so they say) and i thought 14 gallons of unleaded and 4 gallons of Diesel shouldn't be that bad; but the darn thing would not start. I told her to stop cranking the engine when I heard the starter turning slower. No need to add a new battery to her expense.
How did they manage that? The nozzle on diesel pump is larger so it wont fit in the filler hole on an unleaded vehicle. Did the truck stop running and they assumed they made the mistake?
When I got to the station, the first think I did was pop the fuel cap off. Guess what was missing? Yep, the restrictor plate. I asked the girl what happened to it. "Oh, that broke off a long time ago". At least we wont have any trouble getting a hose/tube down there to siphon it out.
The boys realized the mistake after pumping in 10 bucks. (at 2.79 gallon=3.58 gallons) They talked her into starting it after I told them it should run, but it'll run rough and loud. It never kept running.
Gotta tell this story... Dad back in mid 70's was running empty on gas and zoomed into the farm supply business and he put diesel in his new xtra cab Ford and off he went to a near by town. Nozzles were the same at the co. pumps. 1/2 way there he said he glanced in rearview and the exhaust was running black as coal. Pulled into where he was to visit customer .. turned the key off. The engine kept on running. Went and topped it off with gas. Kept that truck a long time. Hope all is ok with your car.
My dads truck has been running bad for so long. Actually its running so bad it sounds kinda like a diesel. Anyways. He and i wanted to try and see if 1 gallon of diesel mixed with the rest gas in the gas tank. to see if it would run better. It actually did run alot better for about 3 weeks.But it did run funny for that tank. (8 hours)
My daughter did same thing in 1996 with an '86' Tempo. She got about 2 blocks before it quit. I drove from Indianapolis to north of Ft.Wayne In., in my junk 79 Ranchero (+120 miles) ---4 degrees above 0 and a lot of snow- 1 a.m. Drained the tank (she was near an on ramp for the interstate), put in 5 gallons of gas but never got it to start. Cop came by and gave me an hour to get it out of there or get it towed. Towed it all the way back to Indy to a Ford dealer who fixed it for $150. Daughter said it was the coldest night of her life steering that non-running car while being towed for 3 hours. I said "Serves you right" Flash back to 1970--had a 57 Ford and it quit on a road trip on the way back from Michigan. Dad came the next weekend in his 68 F100 and took me to pick it up and tow it home. Yep---4 degrees above zero and a bunch of snow. Froze my *** off steering that non-runner, and Dad said "Serves you right". Guess what goes around comes around.
there actually were gas stations that sold gasoline that had a 3% mix of diesel in the gas. this was back in the late 70's. the problem with putting diesel in a gas engine is that on a cold day or night, the diesel will gell and clog things up causing a no-start problem.
well--some of you may flame me--but if it was mine--with that low a concentration--id mist a little ether to it to get it to start--the dsl may be setting on the bottom--and needs just a little help to get started--after starts--id go down the road bouncing the steering wheel back and forth a few times to get it to mix--then run it till at least fully warm--would think it should start after that as the concentration is so low--
I don't know what the deal is....
I've run 8 gallons of diesel to 5.5 gallons of gasoline in my 91 Cutlass. Runs ok, but doesn't like to start when it's cold. Smokes on deceleration and stinks a bit but big deal, the fuel was free.
Story behind the story:
These guys who buy Duramaxes (must be a Chevy buyer thing) will inadvertantly start filling their tanks with gasoline then realize that they messed up 10-15 gallons into the fill. Oops. Here comes the tow truck. We drain the tanks and fill our own cars with the mixed fuel. Depending on the amount of fill, the mixture has been as high as 65% diesel, 35% gas. My commuter car still runs just fine on it and it doesn't cost me anything.
My guess on the dielmma at hand (Explorer) is that the initial concentration of diesel fuel was too high to start the engine. I'd bypass the fuel pump relay, hook a battery charger to it and let the fuel pump run for an hour or two to mix the fuel up (fuel return will do it).
I got good news! I saved a ton on my automobile insurance by outrunning the cops!
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