How To Start A Diesel After Running Out Of Fuel


Starting your diesel engine for the first time is tricky, especially if you’ve never done it before! The trick is figuring out how to get the fuel to ignite. There are different ways to do this, so there isn’t one foolproof way to start your car every time.

Some people say that pouring the gasoline in makes the most sense, but we know that doesn’t always work. Luckily, we have some tips here to help you get started!

We will go over three easy ways to start your car with diesel fuel. These won’t necessarily be the ones that work best depending on what kind of vehicle you have and why it ran out of gas, but they are great general starting tips that can’t hurt anything.

Check the fuel is not low

how to start a diesel after running out of fuel

The first thing you should do if your vehicle has run out of diesel is check that the tank isn’t empty. It’s very common for people to leave some petrol in the car tank when they stop for lunch, but it will eventually run out too!

If you find there’s no longer enough fuel in the tank then it’s time to look next door or around the block for some more. Obviously, you don’t want to pull into a garage or filling station unless there’s nothing else available so what are our alternatives?

The most cost-effective place to get new diesel would be at another cars and motorcycles dealership as this would only set you back about £5 per litre. Or you could try an independent mechanic who doesn’t add too much markup like garages might.

Alternatively, we have plenty of public transport options at our disposal which can take us anywhere.

Make sure the tank is full

how to start a diesel after running out of fuel

In fact, it’s better to be over-informed than under-equipped when it comes to diesel cars! Luckily, most vehicles these days have an indicator in the form of a needle that moves up as the engine gets fuel and drops down when there isn’t enough.

If you notice this happening even though you are still driving fine, then chances are your car has run out of petrol already. It’s always best to check whether the nozzle was accidentally left open or if the hose got tangled, so make sure to do that next time you fill up.

Also, don’t forget to pull off before you refuel – sometimes people leave for a few minutes after they have filled up and then get stuck because the vehicle becomes difficult to start afterwards.

Check the tank is not damaged

how to start a diesel after running out of fuel

If your car does not start, check that there is fuel in the tank. You can do this by looking through the back window or by using a test nozzle to spray some onto the road.

If both these tests are positive then try pulling up closer to home to see if it runs out of gas. Sometimes cars run out of fuel when they hit an object such as curbing or another vehicle!

Never pull off the motorway unless you have checked all the above and tried again at home.

Run the engine for a few minutes to ensure it is not overheating

how to start a diesel after running out of fuel

There are many things that can cause your vehicle to run out of fuel, such as faulty components or kinks in fluid lines. If you notice any of these issues, do not panic!

Instead, take a look around you to see if there are anywhere you can go to get help. Many people know how to fix their own car so they could offer some tips before asking you to give up.

There are also online resources available where you can find information and maybe even steps to help you. It would be helpful to have this prepared since your car may not be accessible when and where you left off trying to start it.

Wait until the engine is not vibrating before attempting to start it

how to start a diesel after running out of fuel

In some cases, even with a full tank of fuel, your car will run out of power and stop working properly. This can be due to many different things- fluid levels that are low, bad batteries or cables, or issues with the vehicle’s electrical system.

When this happens, your best bet is to wait for the vibrations to die down (this usually takes several minutes) and then try to get the motor running again. Once you do get the engine going, make sure to check all of the liquid in the vehicle!

After you have checked those, pull up Google Maps and find a nearby gas station to see if there is any diesel left in their tanks. You may also want to grab a bottle of water so you don’t need to go out to buy one.

Check the battery is not weak

how to start a diesel after running out of fuel

While there are some quick fixes for running out of diesel, checking your vehicle’s battery is by far the best way to start. If you notice that the voltage of the car battery drops when you turn the engine on then it may be time to look at replacing it.

A bad or dead battery will make it impossible to get the fuel needed to run the car so before trying anything else check this first! Never pull the trigger until everything is checked as even something seemingly simple like changing the tyre pressure can cause damage which would negate any chances of getting help.

Connect all battery cables

how to start a diesel after running out of fuel

The next thing you will need to do is connect all of your car’s battery cables together. This includes the positive cable coming off the terminal block, any negative wires that are connected to each other, as well as the red lead for the computer sensor.

Once these are linked up, test the vehicle to see if it starts! If so, great job! You completed this procedure!

If the engine does not start, then make sure none of the above connections look too dirty or rusty. If they do, wash them thoroughly and try again. Also, check to see whether there is enough fuel in the tank.
if there is not, pull out some diesel and add it to the tank! Then restart the car and repeat from step 2!

Reminder: Make sure to always disconnect yourself and the car properly before moving onto the next steps.

Check the battery is not dead

how to start a diesel after running out of fuel

Even if you check that your vehicle has enough fuel, it can still run out of power to start. If this happens when you try to turn the engine over, then there is another thing you can do!

Your car will sometimes enter limp mode where it will no longer start but the bad bit is, the battery will die too. Make sure to check that before trying anything else.

If your car enters limp mode in the middle of nowhere with no way to get help, your best bet is to pull off or into a safe place and wait for help.

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