Are Diesel Gas Pumps Different?

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Close up of person filling up their Diesel engine with gas at a gas station.

Diesel trucks have a reputation for being powerful and efficient. However, you have to be careful when filling up your tank. Grabbing a gas pump instead of a diesel can be a nightmare.

The last thing you want to do is put the wrong fuel in your expensive truck. So, are diesel gas pumps different?

Today, we’re looking at diesel pumps and their differences. Let’s get started!

What Are Diesel Pumps?

Diesel gas pumps are the devices you pull up to at the service station. They look and function like standard gas pumps but dispense diesel instead of gas. Many vehicles require diesel, such as cars, trucks, and heavy-duty construction machinery.

These pumps help drivers safely transfer diesel fuel from the station’s storage tanks into their vehicles. In addition to fuel stations, some high-use individuals will have specialized tanks on their property, job site, or farm.

Are Diesel Pumps Different from Gas?

Aesthetically, diesel pumps and gas pumps look the same. However, looks can be deceiving, and you can’t grab whichever is more convenient. Putting the correct type of fuel into your vehicle is essential. Failing to do so can be a costly mistake.

To help distinguish the difference, most fuel stations use green handles for diesel fuel and black handles for gasoline. However, BP stations swap these colors. Because the brand uses green as its primary color, it uses this color for gas and black for diesel pumps.

Additionally, diesel pumps generally have a larger nozzle compared to gasoline. This means that a driver with a gasoline vehicle likely would have difficulty putting diesel into their car since the nozzle probably wouldn’t fit. On the other hand, an inattentive diesel owner could quickly put a gas pump into their diesel tank.

Close up of diesel gas pumps at a gas station.

What Happens If You Put Diesel in a Gas Car?

Filling up a gasoline car’s fuel tank with diesel will likely result in clogs throughout the fuel system. While this can be an expensive repair, it’s generally a manageable mistake. Sure, your car will spend time in the shop, but it’s not the end of the world. 

On the other hand, diesel owners are less fortunate. Putting gasoline into a diesel vehicle can have some serious and expensive consequences. Simply starting the engine and running it for a few miles will be enough to destroy it. You can easily do $10,000 or more in damages to a vehicle if you make this mistake.

To make matters worse, insurance typically doesn’t cover these types of damages. So, you’ll likely be footing the entire repair bill. Trust us, no matter how much you like your mechanic, you won’t enjoy seeing them if you experience this issue.

Read More: If you do accidentally put Diesel in a gas engine, here’s what to do.

Tips for Using Diesel Pumps

When using diesel gas pumps, there are some things you need to keep in mind. Let’s look at some tips you can use when using diesel pumps.

Choose Your Fuel Stops Wisely

If you want your vehicle to last long, you must use quality fuel. Some fuel stations are better than others. If you have a choice, it’s best to stick with a well-established and reputable fuel station. These businesses experience significant traffic, so their fuel supply is likely fresh.

You may save a few bucks by choosing the station with the lowest price. However, you should question why their price is lower. Their supply could be lower quality or not maintained as well as other stations. If they don’t handle or store their diesel fuel properly, it could have severe consequences for your vehicle.

Don’t Leave Unattended

When using a diesel gas pump, you should never leave it unattended. With the price of fuel, you don’t want to waste a single drop or overpay. While most fuel pumps automatically shut off when they detect the tank is full, these devices can fail like most pieces of technology. If they do, the foamy diesel fuel will be shooting out of your vehicle.

Depending on the station and the pump, these can be between five and 10 gallons per minute. If you’re using a high-flow pump, it could be upwards of 30 gallons per minute. Not being within arms reach to shut down the pump quickly can be another costly mistake. While you might not cry over spilled milk, spilled diesel might be worth crying over.

Pay Attention

When fueling up, you must pay attention to what you are doing. Being mindful of your actions can prevent you from selecting the wrong fuel type, grabbing the wrong pump, or putting the fuel in the wrong spot. While you want to keep your Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) tank full, avoid putting gasoline or diesel into it.

While it might be tempting, limit distractions while fueling up. You want to be able to respond as quickly as possible if something doesn’t go as planned while fueling up your vehicle.

Keep in Mind: Diesel vs Gas Truck: Which Is Better? Read on to find out!

Use the Right Pump

As we’ve mentioned, one of the worst mistakes you can make is accidentally putting gasoline into your diesel tank. You’ll catch the mistake before starting your vehicle if you’re lucky. If not, it won’t take long before your entire day and truck get ruined.

While vehicle owners can be to blame, this is also a common mistake when those drivers let others use their diesel vehicles. This is because most drivers reach for a specific color when they pull into a fuel station out of habit. They’re not thinking about what they’re doing. A simple mistake can ruin a vehicle and result in a hefty repair bill.

Close up of diesel gas pumps at a gas station.

Consider Wearing Gloves

Many drivers who drive diesel vehicles will wear gloves when fueling up. This is because diesel is often substantially oilier and thicker than gasoline. The vapors can get on the diesel gas pump handles and transfer to your hand while fueling. Once on your skin, they can be a pain to remove.

As a result, some drivers will wear disposable gloves to avoid direct contact with the pump. If you’ve ever seen professional truck drivers wearing gloves, this is primarily the reason.

However, it’s a good idea, even if you’re not a professional driver. Do you want to spend your entire road trip with oily hands? We didn’t think so.

Fill Your Tank at the Right Diesel Pump

You didn’t spend all that money on a diesel vehicle to ruin it at the fuel station. Make sure you fill your tank at the right diesel gas pump. If not, your vehicle will be out of commission for a considerable time, and your bank account will be much lower.

Seriously, this isn’t a repair bill you want to receive. We wouldn’t wish it on our worst enemy.

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