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Discussion Starter #1
What would happen if gasoline is pumped into 06CDI.

Family member in a emergency pumped about 1/4 tank of gasoline into a tank that had about 3 gallons of diesel in it. Instead of pushing the car to a location to have it towed, he started it and drove about 100 ft. Car is sitting at the dealership at this point after having it towed.

So question is
1. What kind of damage is he looking at.
2. What does he need to have done to avoid any issue.
3. Does this void the warranty
4. Is this a big repair?
 

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If he/she did not drive more than 100 ft, I would assume gas did not enter the common rail or injectors at all. Perhaps not even the high pressure pump. A good flush should then be all that is needed.

1/4 tank of gas on top of 4 gallons of diesel is too much for a modern CDI. Don't know how quickly it would get hurt but injectors and the pump should be likely to fail. I hope it turns out OK.

An accident like this isn't uncommon, when I visited my dealer, the service guy was on phone discussing with an owner who had the same problem. It should be possible to build some protection at the pumps, at the car or combined to make this not happen. Like in our case, all diesel is ULSD, then we could have a mechanism that prevents a small pistol put in, and make all pistols as big as the ones for trucks, instead of the current opposite. A gas pistol is small anyway, one would need a small mechanism in the car to block the small pistol. Some electronic RF ID stuff could perform even more complicated tasks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
With the CDI most probably used only the diesel that was in the line to move 100ft.

Is Diesel of Gasoline heavier?

Hopefully it is just a flush. If not, does anyone know the labor involved to do more. Do injectors etc need to be replaced. Will the dealer do it regardless for an inflated cost. Will this incident void the warranty
 

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1979 280CE
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what the difference inbetween diesel and gas?
 

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2006 E320 CDI, 2009 ML320 Bluetec, 2009 GL320 Bluetec
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More than likely no damage occured.

Heavier lighter is meaningless when comparing diesel to gasoline.

What happened and why the engine died was cetane suppression. Gasoline is formulated to resist autoignition under heat and pressure hence the rating "octane".

Diesel on the other hand is formulated to increase the ease at which the fuel will autoignite under heat and pressure (remember diesels don't use any ignition source only compression, glow plugs are only used to reduce emissions and aid cold starts then they shut off).

Adding gasoline to a diesel fuel system will lower the diesels cetane rating low enough that combustion will cease to occur and the engine will shut off. Typically this is what saves the fuel system since the engine never makes it very far or at least run long enough for severe damage to occur.

Adding diesel to a gasoline fuel system is the worst thing that can happen. Your fuel will begin to autoignite, detonate and more than likely burn the pistons up due to the intense pressures and resulting heat.

In this case, once the tank is drained and topped off with diesel fuel I would suggest adding Power Service or 2-5% Biodiesel (more than 5% does not improve the fuel any further) to maximize lubricity.

By the way, gasoline and diesel will mix perfectly resulting in an unkown entity. NEVER add gasoline to ANY diesel engine! For emergencies in cold weather 30% #1 and Kerosene are approved in europe, however for the US they don't permit blending by the consumer, more than likely because of the poor HFRR wear scare ratings of our fuel due to loose regulation of ULSD (15PPM Sulfur).

DB
 

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Thanks DB for the engine expert's notes. DallasE_500, I thought the owner switched the car off, it was not absolutely clear from your post. Did the engine actually stall?

I did not check my current car manual but I don't think the option to add kerosine or anything else exists in the Euro manual any more, it sure did for the W123/4 time.

DB, I understand that pure gas could not ignite but here we had a mixture of gas and diesel, specifically the injection system being first filled with diesel, wouldn't it be dangerous for the injectors when the stuff gradually changes from pure diesel to diesel/gas mixture towards pure gas?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Diesel Benz said:
DallasE_500, I thought the owner switched the car off, it was not absolutely clear from your post. Did the engine actually stall?
Thank DB - just hope the dealer does not charge an exorbitant amount to resolve the issue. Will there be any long term issue. Will the gasoline pass into the exhaust system un-burnt and is there a possibility it will ignite there. Will there be an issue with the fuel pump. Diesel is a lubricant - so will there be any other issues to the pump and any other components?

Diesel Benz - After he pumped the gas - he realized it. He panicked, and he drove the car to the parking area of the gas station - ~100ft. Car never stalled. He then called the tow truck.
 

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In my opinion, no chance of damage or longterm issues. Shutting the car off ~100ft from where the misfueling occured was the smart thing to do.

All the dealer will do is suction out the tank and fill it with diesel, replace the fuel filter, purge the fuel system using the purge function (outlined in the owners manual) and sign it off to go home.

After he gets it back have him put 16oz of Power Service just to offset any residual gasoline (increases the cetane and the lubricity) again the CDI fuel system is more tolerant to lower lubricity than the older style plunger roller systems.

Diesel benz, keep in mind that regardless of what is flowing thru the injectors if that fluid's cetane drops below the minimum level to support autoignition...engine flame out! :D

Truth be told (without taking into account the damage that can occur) a diesel engine will continue to run on anything that will autoignite in the cylinder, diesel, kerosene, COAL DUST...you get my point.

Any excess ratio of fuel that lacks sufficent autoignition characteristics will cause the motor to shut down.
Depending on the grade of gasoline and ratio best guess is that 30-40% would be required to depress the cetane enough to stop the car in it's tracks.

One thing that people forget is that diesel fuel systems circulate between 30-40 liters per minute from tank to engine and back just to regulate the fuel system temperatures. The fuel is mixed very rapidly in the case of a mis-fueling.

DB
 

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This time I'm lucky I'm not talking from experience but,
- The exhaust cannot have any problems because the engine was running and was switched off.
- The diesel fuel line system has significant circulation thought the filter, the low pressure side does not only pump the amount required for the engine to run but some more than that. The gas may have reached the fuel filter but the CDI high pressure rail has a significant amount of fuel (did not find figues), The stored volume acts as dampener for pressure waves which improves injection accuracy. At 100 ft drive, none of the gas could haver reached injectors.
- A small amount of gas for a short period of time could not hurt the high pressure pump, if gas ever reached it.

It is pretty sure that the car survived without any issues (I hope wife was at least equally well). MB may want to use this to avoid engine warranty but even there, if anything happens in the future, they should show that it could somehow be related to this accident. The good luck part in the (double) emergency case was that the driver realized so quickly the wrong fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Diesel Benz said:
It is pretty sure that the car survived without any issues (I hope wife was at least equally well). MB may want to use this to avoid engine warranty but even there, if anything happens in the future, they should show that it could somehow be related to this accident. The good luck part in the (double) emergency case was that the driver realized so quickly the wrong fuel.
Hope so too. Will find the damage tomorrow's. Just trying to provide him with any info and ensure the dealer won't mislead him.

His wife is doing better - was in China on vacation and got sick. Dr's there told them to get back and seek immediate attention. So he arrived back in the afternoon, went to fill up "Diesel" so he could take wife to hospital and messed up with all the jet lag and the rush.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
drivbiwire said:
After he gets it back have him put 16oz of Power Service just to offset any residual gasoline (increases the cetane and the lubricity) again the CDI fuel system is more tolerant to lower lubricity than the older style plunger roller systems.

DB
DB - is Power Service available at any parts store? Also which product of Power Service should he use?

All the dealer is going to do is flush the tank and replace the filter. No major damage supposedly. No impact to the warranty either.

Thank you for all your input.

Regards,
TS
 

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Walmart, Fuel stations that service large trucks, auto parts stores.

I prefer the silver bottle "Diesel Kleen" for year round use. If you are taking a road trip and are unsure of the gel point or are going from the south north bound then use their white bottle "Power Service".

Difference:

Silver = No anti-Gel, more cetane additive for 6 points of increase, lubricity enhancer and emulsifier to prevent "free water" and increase the reserve of the fuel filter to stop any water than could get to the high pressure components.

White = Anti Gel - off the top of my head it decreases the blended gel point by about 20-30F with standard dosing, increases cetane by 4 points (less than the silver), Lubricity enhancer and an emulsifier to prevent water formation in cold conditions when the fuel cools down after shut down (free water, same stuff as the silver bottle).

In my opinion our engines REQUIRE a fuel additive with an emulsifier because of the temperatures the fuel can get up to. In cold weather this really prevents water formation as the fuel cools down to sub-freezing temps and reduces the likelihood of ice crystal formation which can clog a cold engines fuel filter before it can get up to operating temperature.

Great to hear about the car, I agree you guys will be fine and there should not be any damage. Kudos to the driver for shutting it off when they realized the error.

DB
 

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Pumped gasoline into 2006 E320 CDI

So I’ve been lurking here for awhile doing research on an ’06 E320 CDI.

I searched for this thread, and was hoping to get an update, because, I just pulled the exact same mistake.

I’m feeling sick over this whole thing.

The car was low on gas, my usual stations were closed, went to a new one, for whatever reason put 11 gallons on it.

It started fine, but 50 ft later, started puttering. Wasn’t sure what to do, and since I was 3 blocks from the house, I figured I’d try and get there. (Stupid!!)

It felt fine for about 2 blocks, and then when I stopped, the thing sputtered and died.

I tried to start it a few times (I now know this was also stupid)

Anyway, called roadside, they towed it, and it’s currently being worked on.

The cost is ~$1,000 to change the seals, drain the tank, and refill. I asked if this was the extent of my damage, and the reply was we’d have to get it started before we can tell.

Ok, I buy that answer, but I wanted to get a feel from the board about the following:

a) Can I expect any long term damage? I would rather sell the car than worry for the next 50k miles about it underperforming or breaking down
b) Can I expect anything else wrong with the engine given the circumstances?
c) I have a 7yr/100k warranty from MBUSA on this vehicle, could this be a point of contention with honoring this contract going fwd?

Thanks in advance.

/Feeling sick and like the world’s biggest idiot
 

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I think I read somewhere that you need to inspect the filters on the injectors for any metal fragments. Metal would indicate damage to the hi-presure pump for the common rail system. If found, the repair would be pretty costly. I haven't researched this in awhile, so I may not have the details quite right.

Mike
 

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Can I expect any long term damage?
Damage to engine, fuel and exhaust system of course is not be covered by warranty. Disconnect the Y-distributor unit (return line high-pressure pump/rail) at the output with ignition on collect the fuel in a clean container. Check fuel for shavings. Proper long-term repair:

No shavings in the injection system and high pressure pump is not damaged, emptying the fuel tank, cleaning the low pressure lines and changing the fuel filter should resolve the condition.

If metal shavings found in the injection system and/or the high-pressure pump is damaged, replace the following components: fuel tank, low-pressure fuel pump, fuel filter, high-pressure pump, rail (including pressure regulating valve and rail pressure sensor), high-pressure lines and the leak lines, and injectors. The low-pressure lines need to be thoroughly cleaned.
 

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Avoided major damage

Thanks for the insight guys.

Update: The dealer drained the tank, changed out the filter and some seals, and fortunately, things are back up and running. No damage to the injector heads.

Crossing fingers for no long-term damage, but car is covered for 7/100.

Now I can get back to enjoying this amazing ride
 
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