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Alternative Diesel Fuels (Biodiesel, WVO, SVO, BTL, GTL etc) Discussions about alternative fuels for use in our TDI's. This includes biodiesel WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil), SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil), BTL (Biomass to Liquid), GTL (Gas to Liquids) etc. Please note the Fuel Disclaimer.

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Old December 12th, 2017, 01:11   #1
nosmoketoday
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Default Alternative fuels on new cars

Hi fellow TDI owners!

I'm currently driving my 3rd TDI which is a Golf GTD MK6 and my previous ones has both been Sharans, one MK1 and one MK2. I had the MK1 as my first car when I got my drivers lisence back in the days so I ran it on many different fuels. It was a crappy car to begin with so it did not help when I poured WVO into the tank together with kerosene, diesel and even 96% ethanol. All of them worked surprisingly well, even in the cold but now I want to focus on my new car. After all, it has a DPF to take into account and several catalytic converters, so have any of you guys any experience with alternative fuels on new TDI powered cars?

Since I am living in Norway, I have easy access to regular diesel, SVO, kerosene and heating oil. Taking price into account, all of the fuels mentioned here are potential ingredients for making great fuel.

SVO: Takes longer to turn into biofuel because of the "lye and methanol" method. But, it is a proven fuel for both new and old cars. It emitts less CO2, less NOx and even less diesel particulates. All the fuel companies in Norway have 5 to 15% biofuel added to their regular diesel depending on the season.

Kerosene: Slighty more dry than diesel and needs some kind of lubricant added to it to work as regular diesel. In the winter the fuel companies add upp to 40% to their diesel fuel depending on where you live. I guess this practise is the same in Sweden, Finland, Canada, US and other cold places on earth as well?

Heating oil: Has better lubricant properties than kerosene and is very similar to diesel. However I have not seen many people run their cars on this, so any suggestions why ?

I think the best outcome is some kind of mixture between regular diesel and some of the fuels mentioned above. SVO = better for the planet, Kerosene = better for cold days, and Heating oil = cheaper than the others

All opinions, experiences, tips and suggestions are welcome in this post, both negative and positive! Thanks!
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Old December 12th, 2017, 06:57   #2
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No, No and No. Just use pump fuel from a reputable source. All the others are just a bad idea waiting to ruin your car. The old cars were tolerant of alternative fuels. The newer ones not so much.
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Old December 12th, 2017, 09:15   #3
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Pretty much what Lightflyer says. It seems that new diesels are far less tolerant of other fuels than the older ones.

I might add that, back in the day, many experts told us the same thing about our older (1990s to 2006) diesels. They would not run on the other fuels or they would not run long. As it turns out, the experts were mostly wrong. But I think they are probably right this time.

The two possible exceptions in your list are kerosene and heating oil. In many cases heating oil is just diesel with dye added to it. The main reason it is less expensive here in the US is that it is not taxed. I suspect the situation is similar in Norway? It is illegal here to use heating oil in your car, and the fines are pretty large.

It is true that some heating oil has much more sulpher than diesel. This might affect your engine; I don’t know.

Kerosene, I suspect, would work fine if you add a lubricant (like diesel or VO, perhaps). Here it is generally more expensive than diesel, so there isn’t really any point in taking the risk.

Last edited by philngrayce; December 12th, 2017 at 19:34.
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Old December 12th, 2017, 19:23   #4
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Very High Pressure very sensitive and Very Very Expensive fuel injection system Not a good idea to put anything but Diesei Fuel In it....
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Old December 12th, 2017, 23:57   #5
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Originally Posted by philngrayce View Post
Pretty much what Lightflyer says. It seems that new diesels are far less tolerant of other fuels than the older ones.

I might add that, back in the day, many experts told us the same thing about our older (1990s to 2006) diesels. They would not run on the other fuels or they would not run long. As it turns out, the experts were mostly wrong. But I think they are probably right this time.

The two possible exceptions in your list are kerosene and heating oil. In many cases heating oil is just diesel with dye added to it. The main reason it is less expensive here in the US is that it is not taxed. I suspect the situation is similar in Norway? It is illegal here to use heating oil in your car, and the fines are pretty large.

It is true that some heating oil has much more sulpher than diesel. This might affect your engine; I donít know.

Kerosene, I suspect, would work fine if you add a lubricant (like diesel or VO, perhaps). Here it is generally more expensive than diesel, so there isnít really any point in taking the risk.
Both kerosene and heating oil contains dye in Norway. Earlier it was red like in Russia and now it has a blue/green color to it. However, kerosene is primarily sold on the same basis as heating oil but as a more refined and less polluting product. Still cheaper than diesel but I guess you might have heard about our extreme fuel prices here at the moment?

When I first started this thread I was hoping for some really crazy stories about engine failures and carbon build-ups etc. I completely agree with both you and Lightflyer1 that the best alternative is regular diesel from the gas station and you rarely know what other chemicals that are in other fuels. If for instance heating oil contains more sulfur than regular diesel then the H2S catalytic converter on my car will have a real struggle to keep up.

Today however I noticed something strange when I opened my filler cap to fill my tank. Inside the lid it said "no biodiesel" and as I mentioned in my first post, fuel companies like Statoil and Shell here in Norway are adding bio fuel to their regular diesel in percentages that varies between 5 to 15% depending on location. Should people with the latest TDI's invest in high quality diesel which is pure diesel made from petroleum or should we call VW to ask if the warning is applicable to 5 - 15% biodiesel added?
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Old December 13th, 2017, 00:07   #6
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Very High Pressure very sensitive and Very Very Expensive fuel injection system Not a good idea to put anything but Diesei Fuel In it....
Agreed! I have heard horror stories about carbon build up and other less positive outcomes than cheaper fuel bills. It would still be interesting to hear from TDI owners that still use some kind of alternative fuel and their experience with it. I noticed that companies like plantdrive, fattywagons and ATG still offers the well known "WVO/SVO conversion kits". Does anyone about any new TDI engine that has this set up?
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Old December 13th, 2017, 04:39   #7
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Last I heard, VW recommended pure diesel here too. But in states where a certain percentage of biodiesel is mandated, VW allows it and will warranty the car if there are any problems. I suspect the same would be true in Norway. So all else being equal (which it isn’t) it’s probably better to run the pure diesel. How much more expensie is it?

Perhaps you’d like to find a nice older diesel and run it on WVO. Do the restaurants give it away free over there?

Do those companies sell conversion kits for the newst cars? I’ve heard peoplpe talking about converting a new car, but nobody has done it and reported back. Which makes me think they either decided it couldn’t be done, or they did it and the results were bad.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 08:12   #8
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Originally Posted by philngrayce View Post
Last I heard, VW recommended pure diesel here too. But in states where a certain percentage of biodiesel is mandated, VW allows it and will warranty the car if there are any problems. I suspect the same would be true in Norway. So all else being equal (which it isnít) itís probably better to run the pure diesel. How much more expensie is it?

Perhaps youíd like to find a nice older diesel and run it on WVO. Do the restaurants give it away free over there?

Do those companies sell conversion kits for the newst cars? Iíve heard peoplpe talking about converting a new car, but nobody has done it and reported back. Which makes me think they either decided it couldnít be done, or they did it and the results were bad.
I think some of the companies do custom setups for newer diesel cars but I haven't heard about anyone who has done it yet either. May be the reason for no reports yet on conversion kit installs on newer cars is due to owners being afraid of losing their warranty? I guess you got nothing to say if the car breakes down and you turn up at your VW dealer and they see a bunch of heating tubes, external fuel pumps and trunk mounted tank etc.

Like all countries we have fuel prices going up and down. Lately the price has been fairly cheap, being around 12 Norwegian Kroner/litre which equals 1.43 USD/litre. I guess prices in the US is about 2.9 USD/gallon which is about 0.76 USD/litre. The price for both kerosene, heating oil and SVO is about 1.18 USD/litre so a lot cheaper in our eyes

Like I mentioned in the first post, I did WVO on my first car when I got my drivers license. Back then I drove to a fast food shop and got the WVO and filtered it through a fine mesh filter. I also added about 20 to 30% kerosene so that start up would go smoothly. Nothing I would consider at the moment but still interesting.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 11:44   #9
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Intresting Nosmoke. So fuel is about twice the price in Norway that we pay here. I’m guessin it is mostly taxes, since you folks have plenty of oil up there?

On another note, is Norway the paradise many tell us it is? Have you been to the states? I was in Sweden once, and it was very nice, but I’m not sure I would move there. Norway is similar to Sweden in many ways?
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Old December 13th, 2017, 12:34   #10
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Intresting Nosmoke. So fuel is about twice the price in Norway that we pay here. Iím guessin it is mostly taxes, since you folks have plenty of oil up there?

On another note, is Norway the paradise many tell us it is? Have you been to the states? I was in Sweden once, and it was very nice, but Iím not sure I would move there. Norway is similar to Sweden in many ways?
Norwegian and Swedish people are very similar. In fact all of Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden Denmark) is very similar when it comes to the people living there. We all understand each other's language and have a relationship that can be compared to you guys and Canadians. Friends but also competetive If you want a driving experience then choose Norway. We have a long coastline, steep mountains, fjords and even beaches. Something for everybody I guess (Paradise if you want).

I have been to the US, but only to California, Arizona and Nevada. Beautifull country and friendly people.....and REALLY cheap fuel It is mostly taxes that makes our fuel expensive but on that note, gasoline is even more expensive! A litre of gasoline will cost about 1.8 USD. The price difference has also affected what cars we drive. I'm not sure how many diesel cars there are vs. gasoline cars in the US but here we have about twice as many diesel powered cars as gasoline powered. Combined with the cold climate we have up here it is not very surprising that DPF's and EGR valves are failing like flies.....

Another thing worth mentioning is that one of our main exports in addition to oil, wood and salmon we have hydropower. In fact 98% of the energy in Norway comes from hydropower which can explain the high rate of electric cars here. We have the highest number of Nissan Leaf's in the
world, and in December 2017 there were sold over 2000 brand new Tesla model S' here. All this thanks to our attitude towards electric cars and that they save the environment. The government here removed the majority of the taxes on electric cars and some of the taxes on hybrids to get people to buy them. But wait, there is more: free parking in public places, low insurance, low road tax, permision to drive legally in the buss lane and even free passing at toll-plazas.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 15:00   #11
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Scandinavia is a great place and I have visited (on business) a few times. But you folks have to like winter!
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Old December 13th, 2017, 17:19   #12
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I do know about your hydropower, and I think it’s great. That does make your electric cars quite clean. Often an electric car here is actually running on coal. Is your electricity cheap, at least?

I had a Nissan Leaf for 3 years, and it was a good car. No Vw, but adequate and interesting. It works well, but the range is a lot worse in the winter with the heater on. You must have the same issue there. We also have free parking for electric cars, and often free charging as well. It’s kind of fun to drive into town, park for free, go to dinner or a show and come home with a free “full tank of gas”.

I’m pretty fond of salmon too. And the Northern Lights. I’m glad we have Alaska. I will get to Norway one day.
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