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Discussion Starter #1
:oops: Have any one of you made such an extremely idiotic mistake as I, as to fill your Prius with diesel fuel? And have you info for me as to recovery from the damage? Or maybe I will be the first to have the priviledge of advising you all a cautionary tale of foolishness. I was bleary-eyed and exhausted from a 10-hr drive and through a snow/ice storm, to arrive at a pump where, without realizing it, I was a tad off on picking the right handle for fueling. Then drove maybe 5-10 miles, parked overnight, and in the morning the car drove another block before failing, with all warning/emergency lights aglow.

It's now been at a dealership here in Arizona for a week, towed 50 miles from where I had planned a relaxing vacation, but am now waiting, distressed, chagrinned, hit financially, while the Toyota dealer Service shop waits for a phone call from Toyota for their advice of what to do with the Prius fuel system repair, of course not under warranty.

I don't want to imagine how much more is involved beyond flushing the tank and fuel system with regular petrol, but I'm presently unable to speak with any technician. :cry: Thanks in advance for any kind words of wisdom to the foolish...
 

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Wow :shock: Of course the plugs will have to changed as they're probably fouled and maybe the injectors as well. If it was me, after changing the tank, I'd try and get some hi-test hi-detergent gas for the first tank, just to clean out the fuel pump, the exhaust and intake valves. Hopefully you didn't ruin your catalytic converter.
 

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Check for any known incompatibility between deisel and any rubber or plastic components in the fuel system, replace any with problems.
R&R tank, flush and clean.
Flush lines.
Flush or replace injectors.
Replace plugs.
Replace O2 sensor?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
DanMan32 said:
I didn't think the diesel nozzle would fit.
Neither did I. But this is in Arizona.

For starters, the dealer has ordered a replacement gas tank along with some of the fuel line components. The "Master Service Technician" advises me there should not be contingent problems, but has never till now met up with diesel in a Prius.

I'm leaving the Prius behind returning home to California by other means, hoping for the best, waiting to receive word of recovery and roadworthiness, so I can come back to Arizona to pick it up, hopefully soon.

(The cost of the tank part alone is $400. It must be replaced, cannot be flushed, because of the rubber bladder.)
 

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A really nasty thing has happened to you... I did even mention it to my wife and she said that a friend of hers did the same thing in Finland (but with a normal car).

I will be very careful fro, now one when tanking at a petrol station. Let us know how the story will end. I hope your Prius will be as brand new after they fix it.
 

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ITheFoolThisTime said:
(The cost of the tank part alone is $400. It must be replaced, cannot be flushed, because of the rubber bladder.)
Interesting. We drained an '04 by simply disconnecting the tank feed at the fuel rail, attached a small transfer pump, and drained it nearly dry. Perhaps you should inquire why they can't do this? Or they could simply energize the pump and drain it though the fuel rail feed. The residual diesel after a fill-up would not be a problem.
 

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ITheFoolThisTime said:
DanMan32 said:
I didn't think the diesel nozzle would fit.
Neither did I. But this is in Arizona.
Now that's an interesting comment. It would be illegal for the gas station to have the wrong size nozzle on the Diesel pump. If they do, they could be partly liable for your damages. Go take a photo of it before they have a chance to change it.
 

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In Cali, I believe the diesel nozzles are the smallest, which would only prevent the inverse error. The old leaded nozzles were the largest, preventing poisoning of the catalyst from leaded gas in an unleaded-only car.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Diesel nozzle size, liability etc.

Uh... I did go back to the scene of the crime and found there was a rather huge orange sign with black lettering just above the nozzle I used that said something like "DIESEL" ...hard to miss, I guess unless you really become subconscious.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
mdacmeis said:
ITheFoolThisTime said:
(The cost of the tank part alone is $400. It must be replaced, cannot be flushed, because of the rubber bladder.)
Interesting. We drained an '04 by simply disconnecting the tank feed at the fuel rail, attached a small transfer pump, and drained it nearly dry. Perhaps you should inquire why they can't do this? Or they could simply energize the pump and drain it though the fuel rail feed. The residual diesel after a fill-up would not be a problem.
Could you provide more info about your experience. When you say "we," it causes me to speculate you are a service technician. Does the '04 not have the bladder in the gas-tank, and thus absense of the problem the dealerships are advising me of residual problems from retention of diesel in the bladder or from the bladder material itself absorbing the diesel?

I don't know the effects of diesel on whatever sensors set off all the warning lights across my dash. (or perhaps the warning lights were caused by battery drain after ICE failed from drinking diesel?) Did you have these lights? Did they vanish after draining the tank?

The actual diesel put in the tank was less than 1/2 a tank, or 4.8 gals.

I've spoken with two different dealerships and technicians who say they wouldn't want the liability of potential endless further problems with the fuel system, O2 sensor, charcoal (filter?) etc. And, not wanting to chance that the diesel will cause many further problems, the first thing they'd do is replace the tank.

When you say the residual diesel would not be a problem, can you elaborate? Can you say this by experience or educated expertise about the Prius?

I'm trying to understand and determine whether to halt the pending replacement of the tank and instruct the dealership to simply pump empty the tank as you describe, fill it with gasoline and attempt to get the car operational this route.
 

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The charcoal canister being irrevocably foobared would be more understandable. And I believe it is part of the tank assembly; not available as a separate part. Though the fuel pump might be hosed also.

And the level sensors.
 

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RSnyder said:
DanMan32 said:
I didn't think the diesel nozzle would fit.
Apparently it will, as this Honolulu Star-Bulletin article suggests.
Hmm? Quoting that article, "The inspector also found that the diesel nozzle tips were larger than the gasoline nozzle tips to make it difficult for a consumer to place a diesel nozzle into the fuel tank of a car that uses gasoline, Saneishi said."
 

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I ran out of gas once and a friend came to bail me out with a 1-2 gal can of gas. Turned out he grabbed a can of gas for the weed eater by accident which is an oil/gas mix. We realized it just after we got the gas in. It wouldn’t start at first and therefore I thought it might be the oil/gas mix. I called the Prius help line and a guy told me, ".....well will send out a tow truck, have to pull the fuel lines, tank, injector.....", so on..."sorry guy.....it's going to be big bucks". Then I called desperately around to several friends and then my local dealer where I bought the car. It was late evening, I was stranded in the middle of no where in the foot hills of the Cascade mountains and died half way up a very steep road, pouring down rain, but managed to get it off onto the shoulder before it quit (then it locked up...couldn't be rolled). It was so late that the service dept was closed at my dealer but everyone, including two sales persons stated that they have occasionally put gas/oil mix into their past cars and suffer no consequences. Two of my friends were lumber jacks and apparently did this more then occasionally. I was still very rattled about it but after putting a few more gals of gas in the car it started up and has run fine. I did not have any service work done on the car but the 5k oil change is coming and going to ask/pay for a new fuel line filter. Apparently the angle of the car when it ran out of gas made the little gas/oil mix I put in not reach the intake line and by adding some more clean fuel it did the trick. My car gas mileage continues to improve as the temperature here in the NW is increasing and as the car becomes more broke in. I still shutter to think what future problems I might have as a result of this but so far after 3 full tanks run through along with a gas additive once, the car runs great and getting 48 mpg. I hope I dodged a bullet on this one….time will tell.
 

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richard schumacher said:
RSnyder said:
DanMan32 said:
I didn't think the diesel nozzle would fit.
Apparently it will, as this Honolulu Star-Bulletin article suggests.
Hmm? Quoting that article, "The inspector also found that the diesel nozzle tips were larger than the gasoline nozzle tips to make it difficult for a consumer to place a diesel nozzle into the fuel tank of a car that uses gasoline, Saneishi said."
The key being the use of the word "difficult" as opposed to "impossible".
 

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Not possible at any of the pumps we use here. A two and a half gallon mixture of oil gas in a twelve gallon tank will not hurt a thng. We winterize our classic cars before storing for several months by throwing in a couple quarts of oil and running the engine several minutes to get all valves and parts covered and then just fire them up in the spring. Much better than any gas stabilizer. Nothing has to be changed. Filters , plugs, pumps ect:
 

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RSnyder said:
The key being the use of the word "difficult" as opposed to "impossible".
Fair enough. I wonder whether the unfortunates had to stand there holding the nozzles in place while they cursed them for not fitting into the little hole, or whether they managed to jam the nozzles into the fuel filler pipes.
 
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