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Gasoline and diesel fuel aren’t interchangeable

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Putting gasoline or diesel fuel into your car is a normal activity; most of the time each pump is labeled with the appropriate grade of gas or it's labeled diesel.

On Monday there was a mix up at a couple of MAPCO gas stations in Madison County. After several calls from viewers and confirmation through MAPCO; we were informed a third-party supplier added diesel fuel to the unleaded tanks by mistake.

Kevin Call, owner of Kevin's Auto Repair, said normally putting diesel in a gasoline vehicle would not tear anything up, but it will cause you problems. He said putting diesel fuel into your gasoline car can cause your vehicle to perform differently than normal. "It just depends on how much diesel fuel to gas ratio you have, if you have a completely empty tank and fuel it up with diesel you might make it a mile; then it will stop," Call explained.

He said if your car has some gasoline in the tank when you add the diesel fuel it will run poorly and start to smoke like crazy. But thankfully there are ways to fix the problem. "If the fuel tank has a drain on it you drain all the diesel fuel and gas mix, and dispose of it properly. You then fill the system up with fresh fuel and run the fuel pump on the vehicle," Call explained.

He said diesel fuel isn't combustible like gasoline fuel, and that's why gas and diesel aren't interchangeable. He said depending on the make of the car; repair cost can vary. "You will be looking at anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to several hundred dollars, again usually diesel fuel will not ruin anything just have to get it flushed out," Call said.

Call is currently working on one car that's been affected by the MAPCO mix up.