What Should I Do If I Accidentally Put E85 In My Car

So, you’ve accidentally put E85 into your car’s gas tank. Don’t panic, but don’t start your car either. This mistake is more common than you might think, and it can cause significant damage to your engine if you don’t take immediate action.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps you need to take if you’ve accidentally put E85 in your car, so you can take control of the situation and avoid costly repairs.

First, it’s important to assess the level of E85 in your tank. If you’ve only put a small amount in, it may not cause much damage, but if you’ve filled up your tank with E85, you need to act quickly.

Whatever the case may be, do not start your car. The E85 can cause serious damage to your engine, and starting your car could make the problem worse. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road, or worse, have to replace your entire engine.

So, take a deep breath, and let’s get to work.

Assess the level of E85 in your tank

It’s important to quickly assess the level of E85 in your tank, so you can take appropriate action to prevent damage to your car’s engine.

You’ll want to check your owner’s manual for the fuel mixture ratios recommended for your car. Most cars are designed to run on gasoline with a maximum of 10% ethanol content.

If you accidentally put too much E85 in the tank, you risk damaging the engine and other components.

To assess the level of E85 in your tank, you’ll need to check the fuel gauge and compare it to your typical fuel consumption. If you notice that you’re using more fuel than usual, or if the fuel gauge shows a significantly higher level than expected, it’s likely that you’ve accidentally put E85 in your tank.

In this case, it’s important to take action quickly to avoid further damage to your engine.

Do not start your car

Hey, you! Stop! Don’t turn on your engine if you’ve mistakenly filled up with E85! Doing so can cause serious damage to your car.

E85, which is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, is not compatible with most vehicles. It can cause corrosion and damage to fuel system components, such as the fuel injectors, fuel pump, and fuel lines. Starting the engine can also cause the ethanol to mix with the gasoline, resulting in a less efficient fuel mixture and decreased performance.

Assessing the damage caused by E85 is crucial before you drive your car. If you have mistakenly filled up with E85, the first step is to drain the tank completely. This will prevent further damage to the fuel system components.

Next, you should inspect the fuel filter and replace it if necessary. It’s also a good idea to have a mechanic check the fuel pump and fuel lines to ensure they haven’t been damaged.

Prevention is always the best strategy, so make sure to double-check the fuel label before filling up. If you do accidentally fill up with E85, don’t panic. Follow these steps to minimize the damage and get your car back on the road as soon as possible.

Drain the fuel tank

To minimize any potential damage, the first step is to drain the fuel tank if you fill up with E85 by mistake. Fuel contamination can cause serious damage to your car’s engine and fuel system.

E85, also known as ethanol fuel, is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. This fuel is not compatible with all vehicles and can cause problems if used in the wrong type of engine.

If you accidentally fill up with E85, it’s important to act fast and drain the tank as soon as possible. There are alternative solutions, such as diluting the E85 with regular gasoline, but this method is not recommended as it can still cause damage to your engine.

It’s best to have the contaminated fuel removed completely and replaced with the correct fuel. This may require professional assistance, but it’s worth the cost to avoid further damage to your car.

Remember, prevention is key, so always double-check the fuel grade before filling up your tank to avoid any mishaps.

Refill with the correct gasoline

Now that you’ve drained the contaminated fuel, it’s time to refill with the correct gasoline that your car requires to run smoothly and avoid any potential damage to your engine.

Before refilling your tank, you need to make sure that the new gasoline is compatible with your vehicle’s fuel system. Check your owner’s manual or contact your car manufacturer to determine the right type of gasoline for your car. It’s important to note that using the wrong gasoline can cause engine damage and decrease fuel efficiency.

Once you’ve determined the right type of gasoline, fill your tank with the appropriate amount of fuel. It’s important to avoid overfilling your tank, which can cause spillage and increase the risk of fire.

After refilling, start your car and let it run for a few minutes to ensure that the new fuel has reached the engine. By checking fuel compatibility and preventing fuel system damage, you can ensure that your car runs smoothly and efficiently.

Monitor your car’s performance

As you continue to drive your car after filling it up with gasoline, it’s important to monitor its performance for any signs of damage to the engine or fuel system.

Keep an eye out for warning signs such as decreased fuel efficiency, unusual engine noises, or difficulty starting the car.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to seek professional help immediately to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of your vehicle.

Signs of damage to your car’s engine or fuel system

If you accidentally put E85 in your car, you may notice signs of damage to your engine or fuel system. Symptoms of using the wrong fuel include reduced engine performance and decreased fuel efficiency. Your car may also have difficulty starting or may stall during operation. In severe cases, using E85 in a non-flex fuel vehicle can cause damage to the fuel pump, fuel lines, and injectors.

Preventing fuel mix-ups is the best way to avoid the hassle and expense of repairing damage caused by using the wrong fuel. Be sure to read the fuel type specified in your car’s owner’s manual and on the fuel filler door before filling up. If you’re unsure, double-check with the gas station attendant or call your dealership for guidance.

Additionally, some gas stations may have labeling or color-coded handles to indicate the type of fuel, so pay attention to these markers. By taking these precautions, you can avoid the headache of accidentally using the wrong fuel and having to deal with the costly consequences.

When to seek professional help

To ensure the proper functioning of your vehicle, it’s crucial to seek professional help if you suspect any damage to the engine or fuel system after fueling up with E85. Possible causes of damage include misfires, stalling, reduced acceleration, and decreased fuel efficiency.

Prevention strategies for accidentally filling up with E85 include checking the fuel pump’s label before fueling up and filling up at stations that don’t offer E85.

It’s important to note that the environmental impact of E85 in gasoline-powered vehicles is significant. E85 is made up of 85% ethanol, which is derived from corn, and is touted as a renewable fuel source with lower emissions than gasoline. However, the production of ethanol requires large amounts of water, energy, and fertilizer, which can contribute to environmental degradation.

Furthermore, E85 is less energy-dense than gasoline, meaning that it offers lower fuel economy and reduced driving range. Seeking professional help can not only ensure the health of your vehicle but also contribute to a more sustainable use of fuel.


So, you’ve accidentally put E85 in your car. Don’t panic, but you do need to act quickly.

First, assess the level of E85 in your tank. If it’s a small amount, you may be able to dilute it with regular gasoline. However, if it’s a significant amount, do not start your car.

Starting your car with E85 in the tank can cause serious damage to your engine. It’s best to have your car towed to a mechanic or gas station where they can safely drain the fuel tank.

Once the tank is drained, refill it with the correct gasoline for your vehicle. Keep an eye on your car’s performance for a few days to ensure there are no lingering issues from the E85 mishap.

Remember, putting the wrong fuel in your car can be a costly mistake. It’s important to act quickly and seek professional help if needed. By following these steps, you can avoid potential damage to your vehicle and get back on the road with peace of mind.