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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > Alternative Diesel Fuels (Biodiesel, WVO, SVO, BTL, GTL etc)

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 May 22nd, 2018, 05:25   #16
oilhammer
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It's always funny how some people think those of us in the auto service industry only see broken cars.
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 08:28   #17
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Thatís probably true. And it may be more true with WVO folks, who are more inclined to be their own mechanics.

Of course, some in the auto industry do little to dispell that notion.
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 08:41   #18
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Got a call this morning from a customer who needed a CV joint. After talking a bit and warning him not to install an inexpensive aftermarket axle, he mentioned he had oil in his coolant. Said the head was replaced a while ago but now he was seeing oil and the coolant system was pressurizing. After talking a bit more he said the car hadn't run in a couple years because it had some other problems and his local guru refused to work on it, wasn't sure why. Then he said the magic words: veggie oil. Now all bets are off. Is it a bad head gasket, or veggie residue gathering in the head and blocking coolant passages? Or dirty injectors washing the cylinder walls? He says it smokes a lot.

I've talked with a lot of folks over the years who had done veggie conversions. By and large the cost of repairing failures incurred with veggie use far exceed the fuel savings. And that doesn't even account for the smell. Or the time invested in filtering fuel.

Of course there will be a few people who have a good experience with alternative fuels. But the large majority don't. These cars run great, and are super durable when owners use the fuel they were designed to use. Otherwise you're just looking for trouble. False economy is what comes to mind. I have many sad stories I could share, but I'll spare you.
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 08:49   #19
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Boy you are not kidding about the smell... LOL..
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 09:24   #20
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These horror stories are good, because nobody should go into WVO uninformed, and the possibility for damage exists. But I do belive that you guys as mechanics see the worst. As I have said, I do not know anybody personally, not a single one, who has had major problems as a result of running WVO. And I know a lot of people with a lot of miles.
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 09:40   #21
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What's a "major problem" in the eyes of running WVO? A friend ran it for years in his ALH but considered replacing the injection pump annually "routine maintenance." Same when the lines from the fuel tank to the injection pump rotted and leaked. I consider those major problems, but he didn't. Another friend and customer has re-ringed his '03 Jetta TDI three times in 6 years. Not routine, but not surprising to him. Would be to me.

IMO it's difficult to make an economic case for running WVO over the service life of a TDI. The kit, time and expense of finding, transporting, filtering, and storing fuel, and, most important, shortened component life will far exceed fuel savings over several hundred thousand miles. You could probably install a kit (a not insignificant expense) and run for 50K without any problems...maybe. So if that's your goal, maybe it's worth a shot. To the OP anyway.
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 12:40   #22
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Replacing an injection pump, or rings, anytime in the life of a vehicle I would consider major. I don’t know anyone running WVO who has needed either of these repairs. I would not consider replacing a fuel line a major repair. But this is not a WVO problem. Are you sure they weren’t running biodiesel; that can degrade fuel lines.

Economic case is another story. I have saved enough to buy a whole new car, not just make a repair. The question of conversion, collecting and fiiltering is more difficult. I enjoyed the whole proccess, learned a lot about diesels, fuel and my vehicle, made a few friends along the way, and enjoyed more than a few meals at my restaurants. If you do not like working on your car, if you dread the thought of collecting and filtering and don’t like fried food, I think WVO would be a poor choice. It’s an interesting hobby, it’s good for the environment and you can save a lot of money. It’s not worth doing for any of these reasons alone, but if you combine them all it can be pretty wonderful.
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