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1985 300SD, 1984 500SEL Euro (for sale), 1977 450SL (adopted)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:banghead:please spare me the "your an idiot", or it says "diesel only" on the filler cap comments.

Yes I made the mistake of putting gas in my diesel. My mind was not all there at the time(no I was not drunk or on drugs) when I was at the station. I estimate that I ran it on 65% gasoline.

I didn't realize it at the time and I ran about 10 miles on freeway. I had the sunroof down and noticed some noise. It quickly began to get worse and I was losing power. As I was pulling over to a safe area the engine started sputtering and clacking really bad and eventually died. I tried restarting and it just shakes and clacks really bad. I realized later what I did and had the car towed home.

I fear that the engine is toast but I'm going to try and purge the injector pump with clean diesel, change the filters and run it off a small bottle filled with diesel under the hood (ala diesel purge) to see if it will smoot out and run better.

So can anyone tell me from my description if my engine is toast?

I've searched the forum and couldn't find any info. With as many older diesel MBs out there I'm sure I'm not the only one that's made this mistake.
 

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R.I.P. Never Forgotten
1983-2007 MB's
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8,023 Posts
65%? Not so good.... the maximum that a diesel can sustain w/ gasoline is around 10%. On top of that you ran 10 miles before realizing.

My opinion? Time to move the "For Sale" sign from the SEL to the SD.
 

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2005 SLK350, 91 300SL with Pano Top, 04 S500, 2015 Tesla Model S
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2,136 Posts
Does not sound good from your description. I did the same thing many years ago to my Volvo Diesel. Luckily no ill effects. I kept topping off with Diesel as frequent as I could to get the dilution down. Volvo used a VW Transporter straight six engine.
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe - RIP
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Are not Diesels are hardy lot? In the Military we did horrid things to them and they ran fine. I do not know enough to give you an accurate estimate, but I think if you purge everything really well and exchange all of the gas with known good diesel, you should be okay... I hope.....
 

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R.I.P. Never Forgotten
1983-2007 MB's
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8,023 Posts
From WikiAnswers:

Since gasoline is designed to be resistant to self-ignition, gasoline in a diesel engine either won't ignite or will ignite at the wrong time. Some diesel engines run leaner than gasoline engines (meaning that the air-fuel mix has a higher proportion of air than a gasoline engine). That increases the chances that the gasoline won't ignite and that unburnt fuel will be sent into the hot exhaust system--where, ironically, it could ignite, leading to possible exhaust damage. Even if you avoid that disaster, you can expect to pay $$ to drain the fuel tank, clean out the fuel lines, and refill the tank with diesel. Some types of diesel engine use the diesel fuel as a lubricant for the fuel pump (remember, it's a fuel oil). Running gasoline through such a pump could lead to serious damage or failure, leading to a very expensive repair.
 

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83 500SEC, 87 300D, 92 190E 2.6, 02 C32, 02 C32T, 03 C320T4, 03 E55, 05 CDI, 06 CDI
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Not the first time this has happened, won't be the last.

Drain the tank, blow out the lines from the tank to the engine, refill with diesel, prime it and fire away. enjoy.
 

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85 500sel grey market
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23 Posts
I second johnhef answer... wiki sucks.

Drain the tank, purge the lines as far into to engine as you can, change filters (they hold fuel), refill and start.

Probably spurt and sputter a bit but should come out of it.

Once you get it running right and all seems ok, change the oil and filter within a day or so. Just a cheap precaution.

Been there done that - both ways - both where fine after a few hours of work, that's what you get for owning a diesel and gasser at the same time. I had a diesel and gas rabbit, same colors and all...:surrender:
 

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1985 300SD, 1984 500SEL Euro (for sale), 1977 450SL (adopted)
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340 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks guys for your compassionate answers. I really love this car and felt like I destroyed a good thing by one small brain fart. I know I still may have, I hardly slept last night thinking about it. My car is a survivor, 220K miles, all original. I planned on handing it down to my kids when they got old enough to drive. I'm thinking, is this how it ends?

I'm self employed, work hard, and rarely get time off. I decided to take the wife to Vegas this week for four days. We had airline troubles both going and returning, lost luggage the whole lot. It almost ruined our entire trip - to make up for the lost time we didn't sleep much while in Vegas. I had a gas rental car for our stay in Vegas. When we finally got back to our car to drive home I decided to "gas" up, I had enough sense to go to the diesel pump but I must have grabbed the wrong handle. :mad: At that point my mind was on auto-pilot.

Yes the fact that this is only the second time I drove my diesel in over a month after having driven my gasser the whole time didn't help either.

I'll be heading over to my parents house shortly where I had the car towed to see what I can do.

Thanks again for all your comments.
 

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85 500sel grey market
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LOL - the diesel pump is the green one.:thumbsup:

Vegas is supposed to be fun. You had checked bags? HUH, I'll have to try that next time.

I hate airlines, when I travel, if it doesn't come on the plane with me, I don't need it. The last time I checked bags was my trip to Alaska for 5 months - they wouldn't let me carry the duffle on the plane - seems a 3 x 4 duffle is too big for overhead storage:D
 

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1982 380SE AMG euro(parted out),1983 300SD "Good Girl", 1984 500SEL AMG euro "Bad Girl"
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3,256 Posts
LOL - the diesel pump is the green one.:thumbsup:

Vegas is supposed to be fun. You had checked bags? HUH, I'll have to try that next time.

I hate airlines, when I travel, if it doesn't come on the plane with me, I don't need it. The last time I checked bags was my trip to Alaska for 5 months - they wouldn't let me carry the duffle on the plane - seems a 3 x 4 duffle is too big for overhead storage:D
I've got to laugh. I've seen where pilots and flight attendants put their bags in with the cargo (with huge DO NOT REMOVE tags) and got to the hotel without their clothes. Our ramp people even screw up our stuff if it's any comfort. Yep, that bag with the crew tag in your overhead is mine :)
 

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1982 380SE AMG euro(parted out),1983 300SD "Good Girl", 1984 500SEL AMG euro "Bad Girl"
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3,256 Posts
Thanks guys for your compassionate answers. I really love this car and felt like I destroyed a good thing by one small brain fart. I know I still may have, I hardly slept last night thinking about it. My car is a survivor, 220K miles, all original. I planned on handing it down to my kids when they got old enough to drive. I'm thinking, is this how it ends?

I'm self employed, work hard, and rarely get time off. I decided to take the wife to Vegas this week for four days. We had airline troubles both going and returning, lost luggage the whole lot. It almost ruined our entire trip - to make up for the lost time we didn't sleep much while in Vegas. I had a gas rental car for our stay in Vegas. When we finally got back to our car to drive home I decided to "gas" up, I had enough sense to go to the diesel pump but I must have grabbed the wrong handle. :mad: At that point my mind was on auto-pilot.

Yes the fact that this is only the second time I drove my diesel in over a month after having driven my gasser the whole time didn't help either.

I'll be heading over to my parents house shortly where I had the car towed to see what I can do.

Thanks again for all your comments.
You'll be fine. I recall a guy buying a car that didn't run and when he went to troubleshoot it finally smelled the gas in the fuel. Drain it out, replace with diesel, and laugh about your moment of glory :)
 

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85 500sel grey market
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I've got to laugh. I've seen where pilots and flight attendants put their bags in with the cargo (with huge DO NOT REMOVE tags) and got to the hotel without their clothes. Our ramp people even screw up our stuff if it's any comfort. Yep, that bag with the crew tag in your overhead is mine :)

LOL - happy to know it's not just us lowly passengers that get picked on.
 

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Does not sound good from your description. I did the same thing many years ago to my Volvo Diesel. Luckily no ill effects. I kept topping off with Diesel as frequent as I could to get the dilution down. Volvo used a VW Transporter straight six engine.
LOL 240/260 diesel or were you lucky to have the d24t in the 760? The n/a diesels are SLOWWWW! Slower than the b230f I have.

Sucks about the benz dude. Best of luck! I have always wondered what would happen if I had a brain fart and did that.
 

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86 560SEL
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Now you know how important a good night rest is. You'd always have to look at the bright sides. It's not your life or your loved one being threatened. Lost luggages is a pain but it's just being inconvenienced. So, next time, even without clean clothes, enjoy yourself in Vegas. Now you see being tired made you grabbed the wrong handle at the pump. But it's stupid for them to put both in the same pump too.
 

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1985 300SD, 1984 500SEL Euro (for sale), 1977 450SL (adopted)
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm ready to pronounce her dead. I purged as much of the old fuel out, it will start but with a loud knock.

I'm literally ready to break down and cry...

+1 that it wasn't an accident or the loss of a loved one.

I hate airlines - they are only in it for the money as far as I'm concerned. They could care less about us and our inconviniences. When I called the airline and explained my situation to the person on the phone, all I got was silence and then "are you finished?" Then a hollow apology and good bye!

I would have been fine with carry on but you do remember that I brought my wife? My wife was the one most concerned about the luggage. Not worrying about the lost luggage is easier said that done. Try flying on a plane and spending two days in the same clothes and underwear. Tell me how fun that would be.
 

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R.I.P. Never Forgotten
1983-2007 MB's
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8,023 Posts
Very sorry to hear. My condolences go out to you.

As for airlines, I do have utmost respect for the pilots and steward/resses, though. Without them, there'd be nothing.


I purged as much of the old fuel out, it will start but with a loud knock.

I hate airlines - they are only in it for the money as far as I'm concerned.
 

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1985 300SD, 1984 500SEL Euro (for sale), 1977 450SL (adopted)
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340 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes I agree about the pilots and crew. I simply mean the corporate customer service aspects of an airline. To them you are just a number and $$$.

My father and I theorize that the run on the highway with the thin gas got past the rings and got in the oil. This thinned the oil out and caused a bearing to spin. Just a theory based on the fact that the oil is now slightly overfull and the pressure is acting wacky. Also the oil smells wierd and appears very thin.

Either way I'm almost positive there is no saving her. Our last ditch effort will be to change the oil and see if she quiets down some. If I rev her to about 1000 RPMs it appears to quiet down some. Dunno if this is just where the rod/crank bearing is happiest given that it's blown?
 

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83 500SEC, 87 300D, 92 190E 2.6, 02 C32, 02 C32T, 03 C320T4, 03 E55, 05 CDI, 06 CDI
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how long have you run it after refilling with diesel?
 
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