OK so I'm a plonker.........

................... and have just put unleaded in my diesel Citroen C5. Great timing a couple of days before Christmas. In my defence it was late and I've been driving a petrol Alfa recently. Anyway now have 26 litres of
petrol in a 68 litre tank, about 38%. Realised when I arrived home, 1.4 miles from the petrol station.
Have Googled and opinions seem divided over whether to siphon as much out as possible and top up with derv or whether to drain the whole system and just how much damage it could cause and how quickly. Any constructive suggestions gratefully received. If I do have to drain it all out how do I bleed the system afterwards? Please don't just tell me I'm an idiot - I've worked that out for myself.
JC
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in my opinion ( and i'm sure others will have theirs ) get as much out the tank as possible, tube down the filler neck or similar, do they still use the litle rubber hand pump near the engine ? any way, once you have as much out the tank without going to extremes such as removing the tank, then brim to the top with fresh derv and let it tick over for 20 mins, by which time the limited amount of petrol still in there will be nicely mixed and all will be well.
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Bald eagle wrote:

Well, you won't have to worry about your diesel freezing up this winter :-)
Seriously, though, it's unlikely to do any permanent damage to the engine. Farmers in this area put up to 25% petrol mixture into their diesel Land Rovers at this time of year. The most notable result is that the engine will be a bit smokey.
If you keep topping off the tank every time it gets down to 3/4 full then you'll soon dilute the petrol enough to forget all about it. You surely aren't the first person to do this ... and won't be the last either :-)
--
Regards

Steve G
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Syphon as much as you can out, or at least a reasonable amount. Then top up with diesel. A percentage of petrol in the fuel will not be too much of a problem. PSA used to advise putting some petrol in the tank in very cold conditions to prevent waxing, though they did say up to 5%. The problem is that the fuel pump relies on the higher viscosity of the diesel for lubrication, which petrol does not provide. It should be possible to add a few litres of vegetable oil to thicken the mixture. (Or even lubrication oil in small amounts). It might also be worth draining the fuel filter and refilling. Do you have a handbook with the car. That will tell you how to prime the system. Unfortunately, you don't say which engine, so I can't say how you should proced in detail.
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Brian ( snipped-for-privacy@tesco.net) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

As long as you're happy to take a gamble on a very expensive new fuel pump.

Before the days of common-rail diesels, such as the HDi.

*ding*
It ain't going to be a petrol, that's for sure. Which means it's an HDi. 2.0/2.2/1.6 makes no difference. It's a common rail, running around 20,000psi or more of fuel pressure. That Pump Likes Lubrication. Diesel fuel provides it. Petrol washes it off. Quickly.
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So do ALL the engines have exactly the same method for draining the fuel from the filter etc? And I think I have already said that the pump needs lubrication which petrol will not give.
You will not be able to get all the petrol out, but I suggest you do add some additional lubricant such as vegetable oil, which has a far higher lubrication level than ordinary diesel. Yes I know it would be avoiding the fuel duty. Of course you could just take it to the dealer, as a purist would, give them a blank cheque made out to them, and let them change the fuel lift pump, the filter and high pressure pump, plus the injectors for good measure. After all, it's not them who is paying.
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<snip>

Are you just thick or do you have to practice?
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Brian wrote:

psa used to recomend parrafin not petrol in cold wether , however in the british ilses it is ilegal unless additional tax is paid upon it
--


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They used to say up to 10% paraffin, ot 5% petrol.
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Bald eagle wrote:

1st and only time I did it I put one gallon in an empty tank before I realised. I didn't start the engine and topped off to the brim with diesel. I didn't have any problems but you've put a lot more fuel in then I did. you really will have to syphon as much petrol out as possible and fill up with diesel and hope for the best. top time of year for that sort of fuckup, nice one :-)
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Just to give you another opinion....
I'd drain out as much as I could from every point on the system that I could then add fresh diesel as much as I could. Each time the tank gets down a little, say 3/4 or so, then top back up again diluting the mixture down even further.
As this is an electronic injection engine then it will need something doing. The control on them is so much more finnicky than the mechanical injection engines. ( as I have in my car ;-) I had a passat once and in the handbook for that it stated that the diesel engines can be run on anything up to 33% petrol mixture, but this would have been the old mechanical injection models too.
On another point, where are you? If you dont want the contaminated fuel anymore then I'll gladly take it off your hands, I have a multi-fuel truck which WILL run on any combustible fuel going - except jet fuel. If you are anywhere near Aldershot I'll come & take it off your hands !
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