Wife put gas in my diesel truck....

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Jul 14, 2014
And of course, she is 3 hours away from home.

Fun Saturday for me, drop the kids off at our friends house. Her husband goes with me for a road trip to drain the tank on my 2005 Dodge Cummins.

My wife works a block of shifts at a hospital 3 hrs away every few weeks or so in a mid sized city. She pulls into a gas station, that happens to have a heavy police presence across the street at a kind of crummy looking motel.

So she's watching at whats going on across the street and just grabs the fuel pump handle and starts fueling. Truck was almost out of diesel, fuel light had been on for 30 miles. At around 20 gallons, she realizes that she's pumping gas instead of diesel.

She calls me immediately, and of course she's crying. I ask her if she started it, and she says no. Ok good. I tell her don't start it, and it will have to get towed and drained. She said theres an auto shop next door to the gas station. Awesome. She goes over there and talks to them. They can't do it until Monday, which is understandable its Saturday, and its going to cost a minimum of $300. I think $300 is pretty reasonable, but I don't like the "minimum" part. I have her start the truck and as quickly as possible, park it away from the pumps. She does this while Im on phone with her, it takes no longer than 15 seconds.

Screw it, Im going go up there and do it myself. My bud goes with me. We take a bunch of tools, a bunch of empty gas cans, and set off. We stop at a store on the way and grab some cheap 1/2" diameter clear vinyl hose, 2 quarts of cheap 2 stroke oil, and a new fuel filter.

We get up there, remove fuel filter from canister, which smelled like gas btw, and replaced lid. I remove the factory drain line from the fuel filter canister, and put the 6ft vinyl hose on the drain. Luckily, the 1/2" house fit perfectly, so that was a good guess.

Ran that hose to a gas can, opened drain valve, and turned the key on. Fuel pump kicked on and started sending the gas into the gas can. We make a half way attempt to run power directly to the fuel pump via the fusebox under hood. It didn't work easily, and switching the key on and off was working very well. So we just forgot that idea. Although, switching the key on and off was also kicking on the grid heater as well. So I was draining the batteries very quickly. But we did bring jumper cables, so we hooked up to the other truck and continued. I did find out, if you leave the key on, and just click the starter, the fuel pump will cycle on again, but the grid heater stays off. So I started doing that way.

Anyway, about an hour to drain the tank. Put new fuel filter in. We brought a couple diesel cans along. Put 10 gallons of diesel back into the truck, along with the 2 quarts of 2 stroke oil and started it up and drove it back to the pumps and filled it as full as I could get it. Went for a 10 mile ride and all was good. Dropped it off at her work, and drove another 3 hours back home.

Temp was 25* F, so it wasn't too cold out.

Oh BTW, the reason for the heavy police presence was because somebody did an armed robbery at that gas station and ran across the street where a officer shot and killed that person. The TV channels were setting up shop in the same parking lot that we were draining the gas. Maybe they got some video of us....haha

Sorry for the book, but I thought somebody on here might find it interesting.
This seems to happen quite often. Its always the wife that ends up filling up with the wrong fuel.
Wow, what a great story. Plus you saved hundreds by diy. At least the wife felt bad about it and actually cried. So I wouldn't have any hard feelings about it.
I wasn't mad. It was an adventure.

But I might use it to my advantage for some "special favors".....lol
My sons wife did the same. He was out of town. Had his truck towed to a shop where they drained the tank, blew out the fuel lines, installed new fuel filter, primed the system and all was well....$300 later.
Originally Posted By: Srt20
But I might use it to my advantage for some "special favors".....lol

Yeah maybe a steak dinner with some desert involving whip cream and a cherry on top!
Well DEF in the diesel fuel tank happens also. I think that's worse than gas. I don't think you could get diesel fuel in the DEF tank as it's a small diameter fill.
Originally Posted By: Srt20
I wasn't mad. It was an adventure.

Yah, that is how I regarded catching breast cancer.
When I first started reading your post I almost laughed, Sorry that this happened to you but glad there was no real damage except for a tank of fuel and fuel filter or two. Boy did you dodge the bullet.
Take your wife out to dinner and thank her for being level headed enough to call you after she realized the mistake. our wife is a "keeper".

I guess I am lucky. The so called service stations around here, (basically a 7/11 Store or Circle K) That sell diesel have the diesel pumps separate from the gasoline pumps. Some on the same island but not combined . .
If you ever rent a car in Italy, be aware that diesel is called "gasolio".
Gasoline is called "benzina".

You might also want to be aware that gas station attendants will round your charge up to the next multiple of ten euros...I realized I was being ripped off and decided that it was probably best to just not make a scene. The first self serve I went to was impossible for me to decipher and I was glad to find a place with an attendant, after that I had no trouble with self serve. I think the problem at the first place was that some of them don't take credit cards after normal business hours, guess they will take cash...the pumps were lit up and other people were getting gas (and were very clearly not interested in trying to help me).
Yeah, its all good.

We've had this truck for about 10 years, put 130k miles on it so far, and this is the first oops with gas. Granted Im usually the one putting fuel in it, and she only drives it occasionally, but when we bought it, it was her first experience with a diesel. Ive had diesels before. So for it to take 10 years for it to happen is cool. Its in good shape, but its not shiny and new anymore.

And if it ended up still having a gallon of gas or so in the tank, Im fine with that. It is plenty diluted with 34 gallons of diesel in it. Its a pre emissions engine, so no worrying about that stuff.
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Originally Posted By: WobblyElvis
You would think they would do something to the nozzle so that this couldn't happen. A square nozzle for diesel?

OR just do not put the gas nozzles right next to the diesel nozzles at the gas stations. Ive never understood why they are not separated all the time.

Great story and job by the way!
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Originally Posted By: gman2304
....$300 later.

I'll have up my charges. We do this quite often, as we have 3 hoses on our pumps - 91, 95 and diesel. Last one I did about 3 weeks ago was 20 minutes labour, nowhere near $300.
I saved an old gent from doing the same thing a few weeks back.
Did he thank me? No! He grumbled mind your own business under his breath....

Glad it all worked out.
Great resourceful move, to get out of a jam.I don't know what I would have done.If I was alone with no back up,i may consider adding a lot of motor oil,if it wasn't to much gas.Im comfortable using 40wt. non detergent or 90wt all mineral gear oil,in my old diesels, to add lubricacy.
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