petrol in diesel

Fellow BMW owners,
This didn't happen to my 525TDS, but it did happen to my Renault Scenic CDi ( a common rail diesel) so I thought I'd ask the experts anyway.
Two weeks ago, I filled up the Scenic, virtually from "empty" (the orange light had been annoying me), at our local Tesco's. 51 litres of their best diesel oil, or so I thought.
A little later, on the same day, we all went out for a run in the Scenic. Stopped it for a few minutes; then it refused to re-start. In the end, we got a lift home on the back of a breakdown truck.
Hubby drove the car around for a week, and found that it wouldn't start from warm, but it would from cold. Then, 6 days after the first incident, it conked out entirely. Our breakdown service took it to a garage in Kingston, which diagnosed at first (a) burnt-out glow plugs (that didn't fix it) then (b) broken fuel pump (that sort of fixed it; but read on).
So, 400 lighter, he brought it home on Friday. I drove it this morning (Saturday), and found it was kangarooing and spluttering all along the road.
We took it to a Renault dealer, where one of the mechanics sniffed the tank and said: "that's petrol". AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGH!!
Now, IF that's the case (and we have yet to get confirmation of the type of fuel in the tank), do I have any comeback on Tesco's?
I have the following items of proof:
1) A receipt from Tesco's at 10:50 that morning, showing I filled a car up with 51 litres of diesel. 1a) Proof that I'd filled the BMW up some days earlier, at a different Tesco's filling station, with 60 litres of diesel. (NB: 60 won't fit in the Scenic. At least, not if you value your shoes.) 2) Proof that we called out First Direct's breakdown service at 4pm that afternoon; 3) Proof of the mileage of the car at 4pm that day; 4) Proof of the mileage of the car when the place in Kingston returned it; 5) Proof that the above constitutes half a tank of fuel, which is what had been used in the meantime (ie. that the Kingston garage can't have refilled it with petrol accidentally)
I rang Tesco's this morning, and they pointed out - not unreasonably, I suppose - that if their filling station "diesel" tank had been full of petrol, they would have already had hundreds of complaints, and mine was in fact the first query. However, if my Scenic has found a way of converting diesel into unleaded, I suppose I'd better call the chancellor, or Harry Potter, or maybe just pitch up in Dragons' Den.
Any opinions would be welcome.
Jo
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I don't think the Dragons Den is much good...............you would be spending 98p a litre and getting 93p back.
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Jo Ling wrote:

The garage that replaced the fuel pump emptied the tank and replaced with petrol.
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bingo!

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I recon thats the answer. There is no way you are driving around for a week on a tank of unleaded in a diesel, you would get more than a few miles. Looks like Tesco's are innocent here.
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After you left Tesco, did the car emit smoke from the exhaust. A diesel running petrol will and if it was 100% full of petrol then you would surely have had this happen at this stage. Even you hubby running around for 6 days would have noticed this............so would other drivers and the police.
Burnt out glows......... maybe if they did not see any fuel during a period of difficult starting, they just might have burnt out then but otherwise............... cant explain why it should start easier when cold............cant explain. garage replaced the fuel pump...................normally they will clamp rubber pipes, if fitted, when doing this so why does he add fuel.............plus any garage that I know always charge (look at bill or phone them) even if they add a gallon.............I would have thought if he was a puka mechanic, when changing the pump would tell diesel from petrol not only by the smell but when hunting down the spec for the new pump.
Inspector Morse, Frost, Poirot and Dalgalish must be engaged on this one............no, no ITS gotta be Diesel and Pascoe
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IIRC, a diesel won't run on pure petrol. A mixture of up to about 5/1 where the majority is diesel, yes.

My first thought is why didn't the first mechanic smell/feel/notice the petrol when changing the pump? They're very different substances.
Second one is petrol wrecks things like pumps - it doesn't lubricate in the same way as diesel.
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wrote:

True enough. There would have been all sorts of ungodly and very noticible consequences to attempting pure petrol in a compression ignition engine. Pump gas has a problem with 12:1 compression, much more of an issue with say 27 or 30:1.
Matt
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Uh, yeah at that compression it preignites or "diesels". But gas has so little heat value compared to diesel fuel it has almost no power.
You can run up to half gas half disel but it'll be slow as hell. But this is what was recommended by Germany in days of yore before we knew how to keep #2 diesel liquid at (very) cold temperatures.
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wrote:

If will preignite or "pink", although this early would be very rough indeed.

temperature - the compression will not raise the temperature as high if you start as -40C as opposed to +20C.
Fortunately for history this technique did not work very well, so the panzers stayed put while the Siberians outflanked them, the Soviets apparently also developed diesel that did not congeal first.
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The UK didn't have any diesel vehicles in WW2 - tanks were petrol. Mainly to need only the one fuel supply in the field. The Germans were forced to develop diesels for both tanks and some aircraft - as petrol was in shorter supply for them. Wonder what Soviet tanks ran on?
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wrote in message(snip)
Somehow, I don't think Dave will be able to take advantage - unless he neglected to file for his 2002 US federal tax refund!!
Tom K.
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