Mis-fueled a diesel C4 - help!
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Thread: Mis-fueled a diesel C4 - help!

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Mis-fueled a diesel C4 - help!

    Hi guys & girls,

    I was stupid enough to mis-fuel a diesel C4 (1.6 hdi, '08) with premium unleaded this week. I had a funeral the next day and was stressing about my speech, drove it home about 5k's then went to start it again 20 minutes later and it wouldn't even turn over :-(

    I've lodged a claim with insurance in the slight hope this could be covered although I can't find any mention of fuel or misfuelling in the PDS.

    The guys at Lance Dixon in Doncaster are recommending a full high pressure diesel pump, lines and fuel injector replacement which would almost right off the car. So I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place really as I'll have to pay $$$ just to have someone inspect the whole fueling system when it doesn't make sense to replace the injectors. So I guess what I'm asking is, is it worth having the car towed to a mechanic and ask them just to replace the high pressure fuel pump, flush the fuel a few times and try my luck? Can anyone recommend a good mechanic to do this in Melbourne's east?

    Thanks for any help in advance

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  2. #2
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    TBH, you may not need new injectors if they may be dismantled and cleaned perfectly - but it could be an unwillingness to warrant any work unless the lot is done. Plus it's a 1.6 so there may well be issues with one or more injectors at removal time.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    TBH, you may not need new injectors if they may be dismantled and cleaned perfectly - but it could be an unwillingness to warrant any work unless the lot is done. Plus it's a 1.6 so there may well be issues with one or more injectors at removal time.
    Yes but it puts me in a tough situation if the bill for the whole job including injectors is around $5k (I've heard the injectors could be $1,000 each) and the car is only worth 6-7k. So that's why I'm wondering if its worth taking the risk and finding someone who'll replace just the high pressure pump and lines - possibly without a warranty for the work?

    It's definitely a tough and embarrassing situation :-(

  4. #4
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Can you buy OEM from OS? I note there's a NOS pump in Latvia for about $700 plus post (assuming your part code is 1920HT).

    It may well be shared with Ford, check their parts for pricing.

    Seems there are plenty of reco injectors in France, €180-odd outright plus post.
    Last edited by addo; 8th June 2014 at 08:44 PM.

  5. #5
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    It's been done before and you are not the first and will not be the last. The odds are that it will be OK once you've drained off the petrol and flushed it with diesel. It would probably rattle a bit initially, but you'd try that before paying for a swag of new injection parts. Avoid removing and/or dismantling injectors and so on if possible as you are supposed to change the high pressure piping if you remove the injectors and the cost then escalates quickly. A few litres of petrol mixed in a tankful of diesel is really not going to do much to it, so a little residual in the tank is not critical. If it was my car, I'd drain off the petrol from the tank (vacuum at filter connector and jack the left side up - slow, but effective), fuel lines and the filter, maybe the fuel rail, fill it with diesel and try to start it. Even a used engine could be less costly than buying a set of new injectors, pump and associated parts.

    However, are you saying that it will not turn over at all now? Is it full of petrol and therefore locked hydraulically???
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  6. #6
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I was presuming the pump to be damaged sufficiently to no longer generate enough rail pressure to permit starting.

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    When you say it wouldn't turn over do you mean it wouldn't even crank or it wouldn't start? Have seen many psa diesels come in with petrol in diesel. A "whole fuel system" is just to get some work by screwing the insurance company. Take the sender out, drain the tank. Put some diesel in. Almost all the cars I've seen only needed that, most if not all were driven till they actually stopped running.
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    I was presuming the pump to be damaged sufficiently to no longer generate enough rail pressure to permit starting.
    Not impossible, but the car would surely stop running before it got to that point. All I can say is that numerous HDi-engined PSA cars have been incorrectly fuelled, carefully and thoroughly drained off, refilled with diesel and then gone on to lead a happy and healthy life thereafter. If I went to fill it, put several litres of petrol in and then realised my error, I'd fill the tank to the top with diesel and drive it, taking it a little easier than normal until refilling. The anti-syphon design of the neck would likely hold a few litres too.

    I know one mechanic who is quite appreciative of all that free petrol and doesn't mind a bit of diesel thrown in!
    Last edited by David S; 8th June 2014 at 09:28 PM.

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    Typically they run ok for a short trip if there is more diesel than petrol, & the problem when a restart is needed is the vapourised petrol in the fuel lines & rail.
    One of the dual cab diesels at work was topped up [ approx 1/2 / 1/2 ] with petrol recently & driven 200km before it was discovered when it wouldn't restart.
    The tank was drained, fuel lines blown through, & the filters replaced.
    It has run several thousand trouble free kms since.
    So if it wasn't a near full tank of petrol in it, try the simple things first . Suck it & see !!!

    Richard

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    I did the same with my new c5 ( in 2004). Thought I'd blown the motor up. It was taken to a dealer in Brisbane. They drained the tank, flushed the motor, changed the filters and I was back on the road in 2 days. It did 130,000km before I upgraded in 2010.

    Allan.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by citroenut View Post
    So if it wasn't a near full tank of petrol in it, try the simple things first . Suck it & see !!!

    Richard
    Unfortunately it was a near full tank :-(
    Is it still worth me draining the tank and flushing with diesel? Is this as simple as sticking a clean hose down the fuel tank and siphoning out as much petrol as possible (jack the left side of the car up?). I might have to look up a few youtube tutorials on how to change the fuel filter and flush the fresh diesel through (as the engine is not currently turning over on its own).

    Otherwise I could get it towed to a mechanic and ask them to replace the high pressure pump/lines only (not injectors).

    The used engine idea might be a good one - where would I go to look for one?

    P.S. The starter motor cranks (ie battery is 100% OK) but the engine won't turn over.

  12. #12
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    You need to drain it of petrol or find a mechanic prepared to do so. Disposal of the contaminated fuel is another issue if you DIY. Don't even think of replacing anything more than the fuel filter at this stage and even that may not be necessary unless it was nearly due anyway. The tank has an anti-syhon design and you can't reaslistically empty it via the filler neck. You either remove the sender unit and then face the hassle of trying to get it back in undamaged (even dealers can struggle) or you use one of those oil suckers to draw the fuel out via the piping at the filter unit in the engine bay. You need a sucker of some sort and it may be a slow process either way. Jacking on the left is just to get the last of the fuel to the sender/pump/pickup unit, which will be under the right rear passenger seat.

  13. #13
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Why not power up the lift pump and take a hose off that for most of the fuel?
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    Starter motor cranks but engine wont turn over ,should that read wont fire up ,or am i missing something ,if the engine wont rotate the high pressure pump may be seized ,maybe this is what the dealer is thinking , could be just a miss understanding re the wording[ wont turn over ] how can it crank and not turn over ,pugs

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    Sounds to me as though the best option is towing to a good mechanic who is willing to do some exploratory/experimental work (probably NOT the big dealership as they will just want to replace everything - at great expense).

    There are various recommendations for mechanics here on the forum - incl Melbourne Mechanic

    I will PM my suggestion as to a good mechanic. Suggest others may do the same?

    And if you do have to go the path of replacing the engine - David Cavanagh (Forum Sponsor) would be your best starting point.

    Ian.

  16. #16
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    Drain the fuel out and flush the lines. Sometimes you can be lucky. Fill it with diesel, replace fuel filter bleed and start. Well try starting...

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    AAMI cover "misadventure", if you're with them you may be ok.

    mb
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  18. #18
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    For what it's worth, I would simply drain, flush and refill. But a word on the cautionary side, do change the engine oil and filter. Petrol mix leaks past diesel piston rings and contaminates the oil. Seen two occasions over the years where the true meaning of internal combustion engine has come to the fore after misfueling and the sump was blown off from one engine [destroyed block] and took on a balloon shape on another. What ignited it, who knows. Cheers.

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    Superfurry has gone a bit quiet....

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