I saw the question about gazole vs diesel in France however I had a slightly different experience pretty recently and was wondering if you could help me.

We rented a car (Lexus RX) and were told that it takes diesel. Everything was fine while we used diesel supreme or something like that. However, we stopped at a tiny gas station which only had two SPs and gazole and were told the same as you're saying here - that gazole and diesel are the same thing.

Five minutes into driving our engine shut itself down and now the rental company is trying to charge us for misfuelling even though at the gas station we were specifically told that gazole works.

Any thoughts what could have been wrong?

I thought that it might have to do with the fact that the car is a hybrid, but would that make any difference if gazole and diesel are the exact same thing?


This question is somewhat borderline for Travel, but you've focused on the wrong distinction.

The Lexus RX450h does not have a gazole/diesel engine.

The RX line has an essence (gasoline/petrol) engine, in all versions manufactured for all markets around the world through at least the 2016 model year.

In recent model years, premium fuel with an octane rating (indice d'octane) of 95 (Europe; equivalent to 91 in North America) is recommended, but putting diesel of any grade into a petrol/gasoline engine will entail time at the repair shop.

In the U.S. and Canada, unleaded nozzles are smaller than diesel nozzles to prevent such accidents from happening, and I would have thought the same would be true in Europe, where diesel cars are much more common. On the other hand, if the gas station was small and old as you say, maybe they swapped parts to try to save money.

You probably didn't experience problems early on if you were filling up with premium diesel. In contrast to octane in gasoline, high cetane makes diesel easier to ignite, and the Lexus engine has a high compression ratio (13:1 in the 2016 US model), making it possible to start. It sounds like once you filled up with regular diesel, the fuel was no longer combustible enough.

Also, diesel hybrids are, at this writing, still uncommon. Diesel engines already get much higher mileage than their gasoline-powered counterparts, and are more expensive to produce, so the relative benefits and demand for such cars is lower than for conventional diesels or for gasoline hybrids.

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    Thank you for your answer. I guess we were misinformed by the associate at the car rental company since we were specifically told that the car takes diesel. Also sorry if the question seems out of place, I didn't realize there was a separate category for issues like that. – Savannah Feb 8 '17 at 0:06
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    In France, all nozzles are the same size. On rental cars, there's often a sitcker in the tank flap indicating which fuel is appropriate. – Jérôme Feb 24 at 18:27

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