Author Topic: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...  (Read 3228 times)

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Offline Bob C

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How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« on: March 30, 2009, 10:37:52 AM »
Hey guys, my granddad died recently, and I'm currently using his car, but it now needs a refill, and I'm not sure whether it's diesel or petrol. I can't find the manual, so is there a way to tell what it is?!  :-\

Offline DK

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2009, 10:40:07 AM »
Does it have spark plugs? Petrol engines need them don't they, while diesel don't? I think. I know absolutely nothing about cars.

Offline MisterMarc

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2009, 10:43:01 AM »
What's the make and model?

Offline Gareth

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2009, 10:43:09 AM »
When you start it does it go "CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG"? That's a diesel. Or, failing that, if you set the car on fire petrol should explode where as diesel should burn more slowly.

Seriously though, have a look on the "petrol" cap, sometimes there's a sticker/logo on there. Sometimes on the dash too.

Offline Hanes

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2009, 10:45:15 AM »
Ya, see if there's any text that says "use unledded gasoline only."  We tend to have those on our "petrol" cars over here in the states.

Failing that, post the make and model.

Offline Bob C

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2009, 10:48:03 AM »
It's a 2003 Vauxhall Corsa 1.2L, and it's an automatic.

No, it doesn't sound any different from any of the petrol cars I've driven before, but I wouldn't recognise a diesel if it nibbled on my genitals. I'll try the fire thing though, just in case.

@Hanes: see... I think it's the other way around here in the UK. Most of our cars are petrol (so there are more unleaded pumps at gas stations than diesel).

I'll go and take another look for any useful signs...

Offline Bob C

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2009, 10:51:23 AM »
Ok, it's unleaded! I spoke to my aunt who apparently knew what it was.

Thanks for the help!

Offline Hanes

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2009, 10:53:16 AM »
"Petrol" always cracks me up, I don't know why ;D

Offline Gareth

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2009, 10:54:51 AM »
Er.. yeah it's funny stuff... You drinking it or something?  :D

Offline Bob C

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2009, 10:56:28 AM »
"Petrol" always cracks me up, I don't know why ;D


...go on  :P

Offline sketchy

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2009, 10:59:05 AM »
Does it have spark plugs? Petrol engines need them don't they, while diesel don't? I think. I know absolutely nothing about cars.
this is spot on.  diesel uses compression to get the controlled explosion, where 'petrol' uses set of spark plugs.
Another test is - does it start when it is cold, and is there a glow plug to warm the fuel line.

Offline Bob C

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2009, 11:03:40 AM »
For the record... I know this stuff is probably all accurate... but if somebody comes on a forum asking whether a car is petrol or diesel, answers like "Is there a sign somewhere that says which one it is?" is probably more on the level of the asker.

Like if somebody just says "My computer won't work.", you're probably best just starting at the beginning, "Is it plugged in?".

 :P But I'll try and remember that other stuff, too.

Offline Roman736

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2009, 12:14:02 PM »
Diesel cars sound like trucks. I can tell if a car is diesel from a mile away... it sounds like a really old "petrol" car.

Offline MisterMarc

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2009, 01:51:25 PM »
It's a 2003 Vauxhall Corsa 1.2L, and it's an automatic.

According to several internet sites, the diesel was only made in a 1.5L model. The 1.0, 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4L were all petroleum models.

Offline Iconoclast

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Re: How to tell if a car is diesel or petrol...
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2009, 03:13:51 PM »
Here in the US, a diesel pump nozzle will not fit into the filler tube of a gasoline vehicle. So even if you inadvertently try to put the green diesel pump into a gas car, it ain't gonna fit.
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