Although fuel system cleaners are useful for cleaning out a vehicle’s exhaust pipe, not every additive should go into your fuel filler. It’s important to note that in cases where additives are required, there will be a completely separate tank to pour the product in.

Accidentally putting a cleaning additive into a fuel tank risks terrible damage to the entire fuel system and engine. Repairs can take up to a month and can be incredibly costly. In most cases, you will cause corrosion and other damage to the metal in your vehicle.

While fuel additives are particularly dangerous, it’s estimated that there are around 30,000 misfuellings in New Zealand every year.

If you’ve accidentally put the wrong fuel in your car, try not to start your engine or put the key in the ignition if possible. Simply put your car intro neutral and push it to a safe place then call a recovery vehicle to drain the fuel. If you’ve already started your car however, the damage may have already been done. The safest course of action is to pull over as soon as you notice, remove the keys from the ignition and call a recovery vehicle.

Using the wrong fuel can lead to your car not starting in the best case, and cause extra friction and damage both the pump and engine in the worst.

The best way to avoid these carless mistakes is to stick a reminder sticker on your fuel cap reminding you exactly what NOT to put in your fuel tank, and avoid distractions when you’re filling up at the station.