Premium Diesel Map

pogopop77

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Location
Waldorf, MD
TDI
2009 BMW 335d
Hi all, I am a newbie here. I just bought my first diesel (BMW 335d) and so far, I absolutely love it. However, I've found it's hard to locate premium diesel (high cetane number) fuel. I've found some useful information here on the forums, particularly this thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?p=1987974#post1987974

But even that is sort of a general guide, and doesn't appear to be definitive. For example, it lists Shell as carrying 46 cetane fuel, but all the Shell stations I've visited in my area (Maryland) are either labeled 40 or 42 cetane (or unlabeled -- maybe that means it's 46?)

What I'd like to do is put together a comprehensive map, which could assist folks in a finding premium diesel (>= 45 cetane) in the U.S. It's annoying when you are on the highway or in a new town trying to figure out which station has the "good stuff". I've started on a such a map here (with the paltry two stations I've confirmed carry premium diesel):

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=113258081937625407456.0004685113021c64471c7&ll=38.550313,-76.783447&spn=0.526258,1.235962&z=10

I welcome your comments or inputs via email, private message, or reply on this thread.

Thanks!
 

Joe_Meehan

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 3, 2005
Location
Ohio USA
TDI
NB TDI, 2002.5, Silver
Things change. A station that had higher cetane may have lower cetane when the seasons change. Keeping such a list current could be difficult. It also appears that often the rating posted on the pump does not match what the pump is pumping (higher or lower).

There are additives to raise the cetane rating.

Does your BMW specify high cetane? While higher cetane is generally better, the advantage past a certain point can be little or nothing.
 

pogopop77

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Location
Waldorf, MD
TDI
2009 BMW 335d
I agree that things do change, but there are definitely stations that are carrying high cetane diesel year-round. These are the ones I'd like to map out. BMW recommends 51 cetane or better, which is near impossible to find the in U.S. I find the best quality stuff I can and then use a cetane booster.
 
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andreigbs

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Location
Walworth Co., Wisconsin
TDI
N/A
Use gray bottle Power Service every fillup and you shouldn't have to worry about cetane numbers.

BTW, love that 335d, just hate that it doesn't come in a 6 spd. manual or AWD version or wagon version... Maybe next year.
 

Sip'n Diesel

Veteran Newbie
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Location
San Joaquin Valley, I have VCDS (KII-USB)
TDI
2003 ALH: 254,000 miles
335d

holy cow! 51 cetane:eek:!!1! IIRC our TDIs were designed to run on 49:cool:

hint: small amounts of bio-diesel increase cetane index (or rating?) IIRC "cetane rating" and "cetane index" are two different things, but I can't remember which is which. if you buy some B100, you can pour small amounts into your tank before topping off with ULSD. if you do the math right, you can end up with whatever blend you want. I would recommend something like B2 for increased cetane, lubricity, etc

if you don't want to use any bio-diesel I recommend going to BP or Shell, or try to dig up any local info regarding premium diesel in your region

BTW love the 335d!
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=240351

regarding the premium map: great idea I love it! however, it will be very hard to get definitive information. good luck! this is what we're struggling with in the Chicagoland area: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=237849
 
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tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
pogopop-
congrats on your purchase!!!! the current benchmark for diesel technology! see if you can get the name of the fuel distributor that provides the premium diesel and find out where else they deliver too (that is where the additives are put in and where the cetane would be determined)

my diesel fuel station of choice is >50 cetane. the last cetane number I got from them in the winter was 55!

You are allowed up to 5% ASTM biodiesel. This is an excellent lubricity additive and boosts cetane, too.
 

pogopop77

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Location
Waldorf, MD
TDI
2009 BMW 335d
Thanks guys!

andreigbs: If this model sells, maybe they'll bring more.

Sip'n Diesel: I checked out the Chicago area thread -- looks like you guys are dealing with the same issues I am. If you confirm any stations in your area are selling premium diesel, let me know the address/info and I'll add them to the map.

tditom: Unfortunately biodiesel is not available in my area (to my knowledge), so I'll stick with the 47 cetane fuel I've found + cetane booster. Where is your station of choice? I'd like to add it to the list, in case I am ever in Michigan :)
 

pogopop77

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Location
Waldorf, MD
TDI
2009 BMW 335d
Another random question. If the pump is labeled as something higher than 40 cetane, is the station still allowed to sell lower grade fuel out of that pump? That would seem pretty fraudulent to me....
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
Wacker Petroleum at the corner of M-52 and Pleasant Lake Rd in Manchester, MI. It's about 7 miles from I-94 and well worth the detour.

re. cetane labels: I'm not sure how much policing is done on diesel fuel labeling. From the track record of the ULSD labeling fiasco, it appears not much...:(
 

pogopop77

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Location
Waldorf, MD
TDI
2009 BMW 335d
tditom: How do you know it's > 50 cetane, BTW? Did you talk to the owner? I've added it to the map.
 
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CsTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2004
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
TDI
'10 TouaregTDI, '15 JettaTDI
Pogopop, congrats on your purchase. The map is a great idea. True premium diesel is not widely available and can fluctuate. The stations that I see that advertise "premium diesel" unfortunately often mean ULSD rather than LSD except for one station down in Georgia who recently, when I inquired about their "premium diesel" sign said that "premium diesel means that our diesel is better than the diesel that they are pumping across the street."

I read in another post that Sinclair Oil at their truck stops (stations all west of the Mississippi) all carry premium diesel
 
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pogopop77

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Location
Waldorf, MD
TDI
2009 BMW 335d
CsTDI: The definition of "premium" diesel varies, but I'm going with ULSD that's 45 cetane or more. That's in-line with information in the TDI FAQ. As for Sinclair Oil, if you are referring to this thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?p=2534693, there still some debate about whether or not every Sinclair location has premium grade diesel. I've decided to avoid generalizations (i.e. every Shell station has 46 cetane or better), and concentrate on stations that members of this forum frequent personally, and have verified (somehow) are selling premium diesel. Please send me more information about stations you use (Sinclair or otherwise), my map is looking pretty barren :)
 

lkchris

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Location
Albuquerque, NM, USA
TDI
2003 New Beetle
pogopop77 said:
Another random question. If the pump is labeled as something higher than 40 cetane, is the station still allowed to sell lower grade fuel out of that pump? That would seem pretty fraudulent to me....
Until somone tests it and sues them. The government is NOT in this business.
 

Mrrogers1

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2006
Location
Omaha NEEEBRASKA
TDI
2011 Golf TDI 6MT, 2015 Golf Sportwagen S TDI DSG
I use Howells Meaner Kleener and 2oz treats 14.7 gal, great stuff and not all that expensive for the amount of product you have to use.
 

pogopop77

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Location
Waldorf, MD
TDI
2009 BMW 335d
I know they periodically test and verify octane ratings for gasoline pumps. Not so with diesel, I guess?
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
i believe each state has its own regs and enforcement. try to contact yours and see if you can get a straight answer.
 

boutmuet

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Location
Long Beach, CA
TDI
2015 BMW 328d
I am not a huge believer of government coercion in the commercial sector but it would be nice to know what quality diesel I am buying. That being said 90% of people are not going to give a rats @$$ about what cetane diesel they are buying to be quite frank we are lucky some regular fueling stations even carry diesel fuel. Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't some truck stops sell different grades of diesel fuel?
 
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Sip'n Diesel

Veteran Newbie
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Location
San Joaquin Valley, I have VCDS (KII-USB)
TDI
2003 ALH: 254,000 miles
boutmuet said:
I am not a huge believer of government coercion in the commercial sector but I would like to know what quality diesel I am buying. That being said 90% of people are not going to give a rats @$$ about what cetane diesel they are buying.
100% agreed. probably because their company/boss etc is the one who ends up paying for their purchase;)
 

wolfskin

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2008
Location
Timisoara/Romania
TDI
Skoda Fabia Combi TDI
On a tangent: are there different standards for the definition of 'cetane nr' between US and EU?
Regular diesel sold here is 51 or 53 cetane, I just switched to "premium" diesel to try it out. They say it's 55 cetane.

What gives? The difference can't be that much (you talk about 40-45 cetane..)?
 

boutmuet

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Location
Long Beach, CA
TDI
2015 BMW 328d
wolfskin said:
What gives? The difference can't be that much (you talk about 40-45 cetane..)?
Your right the difference isn't very much. I emailed about 5 or 6 different major diesel providers here in the states and the max cetane level that I had seen mentioned was 47 from Exxon/Mobil. Most diesel providers said their diesel usually ranged from 40-45 cetane. Naturally each batch of diesel is different though, so you really don't know what you are getting.

For the record I have never seen any form of "premium diesel" being sold at my local stations.
 

CsTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2004
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
TDI
'10 TouaregTDI, '15 JettaTDI
pogopop77 said:
CsTDI: The definition of "premium" diesel varies, but I'm going with ULSD that's 45 cetane or more. That's in-line with information in the TDI FAQ. As for Sinclair Oil, if you are referring to this thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?p=2534693, there still some debate about whether or not every Sinclair location has premium grade diesel. I've decided to avoid generalizations (i.e. every Shell station has 46 cetane or better), and concentrate on stations that members of this forum frequent personally, and have verified (somehow) are selling premium diesel. Please send me more information about stations you use (Sinclair or otherwise), my map is looking pretty barren :)
No "premium" or Sinclair near me. Albeit unclear, just wanted to throw out a caution- for inquirers coming to you from Goggle.

FWIW, regarding Sinclair, a statement on their website says their truckstops feature true premium diesel. A confirmation telephone call to Sinclair HQ or folks reporting on the list at the bottom of the page here: http://www.sinclairoil.com/truck_stops.htm should help to add several West of the Mississippi markers. Regards!
 

JettaTDI09

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Location
McKinney, TX
TDI
VW Jetta 2009
Cetane

Great thread, as I'm somewhat confused about the cetane levels. This post was good http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=200694, but I've done some digging and Chevron which is listed as 47 cetane in the post is listed as 40 on the Chevron site for both eastern and western states:

http://www.chevron.com/products/ourfuels/prodserv/fuels/diesel_east_region.aspx

http://www.chevron.com/products/ourfuels/prodserv/fuels/diesel_west_region.aspx

Just don't want to pay extra if I'm not going to see true benefit in either mileage or a cleaner running engine. Should I buy the racetrak or equivalent cheapo diesel which is always cheaper than Chevron and add in cetane as an additive?

This is my first diesel, 2009 Jetta TDI, and I love my car already, just want her to last forever.

If your bored this PDF on Diesel from Chevron references cetane more times than I can count. Parts of it are interesting though.

http://www.chevron.com/products/ourfuels/prodserv/fuels/documents/Diesel_Fuel_Tech_Review.pdf
 

pogopop77

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Location
Waldorf, MD
TDI
2009 BMW 335d
CsTDI said:
No "premium" or Sinclair near me. Albeit unclear, just wanted to throw out a caution- for inquirers coming to you from Goggle.

FWIW, regarding Sinclair, a statement on their website says their truckstops feature true premium diesel. A confirmation telephone call to Sinclair HQ or folks reporting on the list at the bottom of the page here: http://www.sinclairoil.com/truck_stops.htm should help to add several West of the Mississippi markers. Regards!
Hm, I'll have to look into contacting a few of those to try and fill out the map a little. Anyone who's been to a Sinclair location feel free to chime in :)

BTW, I noticed you're in Baltimore -- do you know any good places to fill up near there (or in the surrounding suburbs)? I filled up at a BP near White Marsh Mall last week -- it was Amoco branded diesel (supposedly 51 cetane), but based on its performance (noisy), I am guessing it was the standard 40 cetane junk.
 
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CsTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2004
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
TDI
'10 TouaregTDI, '15 JettaTDI
I wish I did. there was a Hess in Westminster that used to carry premium diesel until they switched to ULSD. When I inquired about the cetane, she said that they would not offer the higher cetane any longer and that I should have my timing adusted if I require premium diesel.

I bit my tongue and refrained from telling her what she could adjust ;)
 
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