How do you know if your car is petrol or diesel?

I’m going to rent a car for a trip in Europe, but I’m not sure what type of fuel it will use. I’ve read that Europe uses diesel more often than in the United States. How can I tell whether to put diesel or regular gasoline in a car?

You’re right! Diesel vehicles are much more popular in Europe—for numerous reasons. They’re more efficient, last longer, get better fuel economy, and actually pollute less than gas-powered equivalents.
The easiest way to tell if your car needs petrol or diesel fuel is to simply listen to the engine. Diesel cars and trucks almost have a tractor-like sound that’s louder and raspier than gas-powered vehicles.
A few other ways to tell if your car is diesel or not include:
  • Asking the person at the desk when you pick up the vehicle
  • Looking inside the fuel door; it should say gas only or diesel only
  • Searching for a D (representing diesel) somewhere within the model of your car (for example, BMW 745i vs. BMW 745d)
  • Checking to see if the gas pump nozzle fits; the nozzle for a diesel pump is thicker and usually won’t fit in a gas-powered vehicle
  • Checking the owner’s manual
Hopefully, one of these troubleshooting options yields a solution. If not, ask a gas station attendant. They will likely know the answer.
Determining which fuel a car needs is certainly important. If you put the wrong type of gas in the car, you can clog the fuel injectors and filters, rendering the car inoperable.
If you regularly rent cars in the United States but you don’t own a vehicle, consider picking up a non-owner car insurance policy. It will help you save money while providing the protection you need.
Jerry is the easiest way to compare quotes from top insurers and get the best price for your non-owner policy. Download the app to text a friendly agent or give Jerry a call at 1-833-445-3779.
Eric Schad
Answered on Nov 04, 2021
Eric Schad has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade, as well as an SEO specialist and editor for the past five years. Before getting behind the keyboard, he worked in the finance and music industries (the perfect combo). With a wide array of professional and personal experiences, he’s developed a knack for tone and branding across many different verticals. Away from the computer, Schad is a blues guitar shredder, crazed sports fan, and always down for a spontaneous trip anywhere around the globe.

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