New Diesel Owner - Obvious Question

peace_of_soul

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Location
Indianapolis, IN
TDI
2000 Jetta, 2012 Passat
I know this should be obvious, but since it hasn't been said yes or no . . . can a TDI with no modifications run on biodiesel? Does anyone have a recommendation on what to start out with?

Many thanks for your patience with my ignorance.
 

dieseldorf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 11, 2000
Location
MA
TDI
ex- 1996 wagon, ex-2000 Jetta
Do you know what model year the car in question is? Warranty?
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Short answer: yes

Long answer: it depends.

According to Volkswagen, the folks that designed and built your car, up to 5% biofuels are acceptable.

The engine will run fine on B100 however. But keep in mind, the term 'biodiesel' often gets confused with 'waste vegetable oil'.

Biodiesel is diesel fuel made from various [renewable] sources, usually plant stocks such as soybean oil. #2 diesel is also diesel fuel but is made from petroleum (the stuff pumped out of the Earth from dead organisms from millions of years ago).

Waste vegetable oil is NOT diesel fuel. Although a diesel engine CAN burn it, there are some risks involved, and you can do a search here as well as the wonderful internet and read all about it.
 

philngrayce

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2004
Location
Connecticut
TDI
'02 Jetta, '06 Jetta, Both Gone '13 Leaf, Gone Liberty CRD, Subaru Forrester and MB300SD
But if your new diesel is new (2009 VW) you may want to hold off on running bniodiesel.

Similarly, if your new diesel is a very old one, you mayl find that the fuel lines and possibly seals will be degraded by the biodiesel.
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
peace_of_soul said:
...can a TDI with no modifications run on biodiesel? Does anyone have a recommendation on what to start out with?
I'd start with a TDI with no modifications.;)

Your percentage of biodiesel will depend on you and your confidence in your fuel supplier. Understand that VW has no control over what you put in your fuel tank and therefore will not cover damages you might inadvertently do, whether with inadequate biodiesel or inadequate petroleum diesel.
My first TDI I started with B33 and within a few months was running B100. I've had 5 with that VE pump engine and have no qualms.
My present one is a PD and I'm still coming to terms with its more complex and sensitive fuel system. That and the fact that I don't have an attic full of spare parts for this model mean I have a greater financial exposure to fuel related damage. I'm probably going to remain at B50 in this one for a while.
 
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