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Fuels & Lubricants Discussion all about Fuels & Lubricants. synthetic oil, conventional oil, brands, change intervals, diesel grades, gelling and such debated items like that. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed. This forum is NOT for the discussion of biodiesel and other alternative fuels.

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Old December 29th, 2005, 18:03   #1
psaboic
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Thumbs up Valero Diesel

Just want to share my experience.

We took the 02 Jetta (TDI of course) from Lemoore CA to Washington State for the holidays. Not wanting to deal with Oregon and the "attendent only" fuleing issue, I decided to fill up before I left Calif. I stopped in Yreka at a Valero station to fill up. Never heard of them or used them before, but at 2.41 a gal I figured I would give it a shot.

Long story short, within 10 minutes, the car ran a LOT smoother and quieter than I have heard in a long time. Running 75 MPH all through Oregon and Washington netted me a solid 57 MPG (my usual at 75 is about 49).

Anyway, I was so impressed, that on the way home, I stopped at the same station again to fill up just to see if it was a fluke. I also asked the owner if he knew the Cetane rating of their Diesel. He pulled out his fuel receipts for the last 6 months and showed me that they sell nothing but 51 Cetane diesel!

I pulled out of the station, got back on the freeway, and at 75 to 80, the motor just purred the rest of the way home. Checking again I got another 56.3 MPG on that fuel!

Anyone else have good luck with Valero? First time I have ever used them, but I'm impressed.

Glenn
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Old December 29th, 2005, 19:20   #2
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All CA diesel is about 50 cetane.

Cetane has nothing to do with fuel economy. Economy and power are related to the fuel's density (BTU content).
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Old December 29th, 2005, 19:25   #3
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We have some Valero stations here in NJ which do sell diesel, but who knows if it's that same good stuff.

A quick Google search for "valero diesel" turned up a press release dated February 11, 2003, stating "Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO) is the first refiner in the U.S. Southwest to introduce Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), a specially refined diesel fuel that has significantly lower sulfur content than regular on-road diesel."
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Old December 29th, 2005, 19:25   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b4black
Cetane has nothing to do with fuel economy. Economy and power are related to the fuel's density (BTU content).
Say what???
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Old December 30th, 2005, 05:23   #5
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Sorry, Old_Navy, but b4black is more or less correct. "Cetane" measures ONLY how easy the stuff is to ignite, specifically the delay between injection and ignition in a specific test motor.

There is some anecdotal evidence that quicker ignition may improve mileage, but this is more likely due to psychological effects.

I'd offer you the evidence of folks experiences with biodiesel: switching from burning pure cetane 40 petro to 50 cetane pure biodiesel, which has about 10% lower energy density, folks generally report a few percent drop in mileage.

So if psaboic saw in increase in mileage, good for him. But the change he cites may or may not be related to the fact the fuel also had a higher cetane rating. The change he saw is certainly well within the variation to be expected based upon a head or tail wind, more or less use of cruise control, varied tire pressures, etc.

The fact that his engine smoothed out, now, is clearly a function of the higher cetane. That is, after all, one of the effects directly attributable to the cetane rating of the fuel.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 05:56   #6
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But if most of the diesel in ca is 50+, why would it have run smoother? Perhaps the place where he filled up was several degrees cooler than his usual fill up spot, making the fuel more cooler and more dense? I can attest to wild variations in mileage between different fuels. This one place I fill up with gives me no less than 44, another place I've routinely used when on the road gave me no better than 43. I had always suspected that it was a high kerosene content in the fuel, being in the east using winterized fuel etc. Like maybe some places make winter fuel by using an additive package, other use kero etc.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 06:30   #7
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Cetane does in any research I had done in years past have an effect on mileage. The reason(s) cited was less power loss (or more power) which inproved or provided more power when needed. Some what akin to the use of too low of octane in a gasser, you have a power loss. I know that kind of comparing apples to oranges, but the effect is sort of the same.

Large diesel OTR semi's have reported increased MPG's from use of Biodiesel, generally it's is considered from moving to 50 cetane fuel from 40 cetane fuel and the effect of the cleaning and lubing of the fuel system. I know when I used 50 cetane AMOCO in my TDI or MB I would see a difference if I had filled with 2 gallons or less in the tank. In my MB it would make about 3 mpg and the car excellerated better (thats a big deal in non turbo diesel), in the wife's Jetta we didn't notice much difference in mpg (hard to since wife's driving was so varied) we did however notice a really big difference of high speed preformance of about 15 mph topend increase over 42 cetane fuel.

What I am getting at is a better fuel burn has to result in better mpg's and power. I seem to remember that with cetane increase there is a BTU increase (talking fossel fuel), more BT more power and mpg's. When using biofuel which has less BTU, but still has a high cetane value, yes in a small high revving auto diesel would result in less power & mpg under normal circumstances. The whole thing here is it's not really karge differences we are talking about, and is easly skewed by conditions of cars and driver efforts or control and conditions.

I would say most of us here are not anal retentive enough to really notice our daily differences in driving or a 2% to 5 % increase or decrease of mileage. I not under normal conditions, because $10 or $20 in the cost of fuel increase or decrease is not something that has any effect on my life. Myself I realize my Magnum can get 28 to 30 mpg if I drive 60 or 65 mph, but I don't like driving that slow as a rule and cruise at 75 to 85 mph and get 22 to 25 mpg when on the road.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 08:01   #8
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If cetane had a positive effect on fuel mileage then there would be significant pressure from the EPA and OEM's for 50+ cetane in all states. Any increase in fuel economy would lower emissions and extend our crude reserves. That hasn't happened because cetane is not related to fuel economy.


If you monitor cetane index vs. fuel density, you will see the most higher cetane fuels have lower density and therefore lower BTU content.

Increasing cetane will result in increased production costs and a fuel economy penalty. Tell a trucker it will cost more, not go as far, but fell smoother and see what he says. They prefer higher density over higher cetane which is why we have the fuel we do.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 08:03   #9
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I stopped purchasing Fasmart Fuel in VA after Valero took over for Amoco. Not sure of the impact on fuel mileage, I do track each tank, do not have my book handy. I started purchasing fuel from Raceway and seem to consistently get better fuel economy. Most trips I average 55 MPG with 15's. Best I can do with the 18's is 50 MPG. In my area Valero just does not sell enough Volume of Diesel to take the chance. I have tried B20 from the Pentagon with no perceived change in Economy. I did notice a distinct change in the aroma between Dino and Bio.

Just my .02.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 08:19   #10
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I just drove passed a Valero station yesterday (Beach blvd in huntington beach,ca) and saw 2.53, and was wondering whether I should give them a try.
I filled at Shell last nite @ 2.79. BTW, I was trying to look up the Shell DIESEL specs on their website, there is not a single page on their website mentioning DIESEL!
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Old December 30th, 2005, 08:35   #11
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I have been running Valero diesel from time to time here, and the quality seems to vary, although overall I can't say I've ever had a bad tank of fuel from a Valero station. I have had better luck with Valero fuel than with Shell in this area, and the Shell usually costs about .10/gallon more than Valero. In this area, whenever I see a stations tanks being refilled, it's usually a semi tanker with some generic trucking company logo on it rather than a tanker with the logo of the oil company itself. In fact, I don't remember ever seeing a tanker with the Valero brand on it. I suspect that many of the stations get their fuel from the same pipeline/storage facility, although they may have different additive packages. Anyway, that was what I saw when I worked in a pipeline/storage facility many years ago. I'm pretty sure there isn't a Valero refinery within several hundred miles of here, but I don't know if they have a pipeline/storage facility nearby. I know there are Conoco/Phillips66 refineries and piplines nearby. I suspect that most of our fuel in this area comes from those refineries.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 09:15   #12
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I'm in Houston and use Valero (used to be Diamond Shamrock) diesel pretty much exclusively. Never had a complaint.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 10:49   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightwave
I have been running Valero diesel from time to time here, and the quality seems to vary, although overall I can't say I've ever had a bad tank of fuel from a Valero station. I have had better luck with Valero fuel than with Shell in this area, and the Shell usually costs about .10/gallon more than Valero. In this area, whenever I see a stations tanks being refilled, it's usually a semi tanker with some generic trucking company logo on it rather than a tanker with the logo of the oil company itself. In fact, I don't remember ever seeing a tanker with the Valero brand on it. I suspect that many of the stations get their fuel from the same pipeline/storage facility, although they may have different additive packages. Anyway, that was what I saw when I worked in a pipeline/storage facility many years ago. I'm pretty sure there isn't a Valero refinery within several hundred miles of here, but I don't know if they have a pipeline/storage facility nearby. I know there are Conoco/Phillips66 refineries and piplines nearby. I suspect that most of our fuel in this area comes from those refineries.
After the Amoco / Valero Switch, I called BP. Spoke with an Engineer about the change. It seems that Valero purchase infrastructure and refineries from BP. How many I am not sure. At the time I was trying to find BP PremiumBlend in Northern VA. He sent me a list (how current unknown) of every BP/Amoco staion in the US and what fuels they sold. Found the fuel but it is not sold in enough quantities to chance a purchase. I continue to say "chance" due to my desire to preclude purchasing "infected" Dino. I have always been told and read that I should purchase from a volume dealer WRT Diesel.

I know of folks with the Ford PowerStroke that regularly get "water" warnings when they purchase fuel from Gas Stations (Valero) in my area. That is not to say every time they purchase bot often enough for me. It happens at other Branded stations as well.

Not trying to dilute this thread. Apologize if I have!
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Old December 30th, 2005, 12:04   #14
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BP used to own this facility in Lima (http://www.valero.com/Visit+Our+Refineries/Lima) years back. Valero, the current owner, purchased it from Premcore.

The refinery processes light sweet & light sour crude (http://www.mcilvainecompany.com/Refi...e3.asp?ref=134), but unfortunately is looking to process heavy sour crude from Western Canada. The fuels will most likely be highly cracked & low in cetane. Typically high cracked fuels have a reduced shelf life also and a higher percentage of areromatics (cetane detractors).
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Old December 30th, 2005, 19:32   #15
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Quote:
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers: "We believe that higher cetane levels, along with other clean fuel parameters -- for example, 5 ppm maximum sulfur, 15% by volume maximum aromatics and good lubricity (lower than 0.400 mm mean wear scar as measured by HFRR) -- will be critical for enabling diesel technology to penetrate the light-duty fleet in this country...
"Light-duty vehicles are more sensitive than heavy-duty vehicles to cetane effects. Indeed, some of our members have provided proprietary information to EPA that shows EGR-equipped light-duty diesel vehicles responding favorably to cetane ... The Alliance recommends that EPA raise the national minimum natural cetane level to 55, or the cetane index to 52."


Intereting reading out there on the www about diesel fuel and next 4 years.
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