The affects of Waste Vegetable oil on TDI's


Veteran Member
Oct 18, 2004
'02 Jetta, '06 Jetta, Both Gone '13 Leaf, Gone Liberty CRD, Subaru Forrester and MB300SD
I am generally pretty comfortable with WVO, as long as you are willing to accept the risks. I don't completely agree with your statement "nearly all the problems...stem from careless users". That is often the cae, but nt always. A poor system can also cause problems. And there seem to be a few people who did pretty much everything right, but still had troubles. Yet there are people who do not do it very well, yet run WVO for a very long time. So there seems to be some still unidentified factor that sometimes leads to failure.

I think your chances of success are pretty good, and with a 1998 your risks are pretty small, but you still have to be willing to accept those risks. Of course, with a 20 year old car, you may not even know for sure if any future problms are caused by WVO or just old age.


Well-known member
Sep 15, 2013
1998 Jetta Elsbett single-tank, 230K WVO miles
Elsbett Info

I'm a former Elsbett installer, and did a couple IDI M-B's.
You need the owners manual. PM me and I can dig something up.

The problems you list were common reasons for failures but there are more.
Cold temperatures can be problems. Poorly designed conversions.
Injection pump weaknesses. You can find out more at SVO forum. Don't bother looking here.

The two I did died after a couple years. One was in an accident, and the other was in an minor accident and then got left out in the rain with the hood up. Both ran well before that, except fuel quality problems.

But one thing I noted was that for both owners, they lacked automotive skills and depended on M-B dealership for service. One purchased a bad batch of fuel and had to spend $250 to get it drained. Also both could not collect and filter their own oil. The '85 M-B was hard to find parts for, or living mechanics.

Check here for spare parts for your M-B:


Vendor , w/Business number
Jan 11, 2006
Sunny California :)
'98 Jetta
Great responses, thank you!

I do agree, proper design, good choice of vehicles, etc., are going to be factors in success and longevity.

I do understand about pumps, but unless I buy a different vehicle, the pumps I have are the pumps I have. Knowing what I know now, my next vehicle will likely be either a Cummins or an International motor, or perhaps an Isuzu. I am still researching and learning about what vehicles have what motors, which years have which pumps, etc.

My primary reason for posting here, in the this forum, on this thread, is that this thread comes up first in Google for anyone who searches for WVO and TDI. For that reason, resurrecting this thread may be beneficial to others. Also, I am curious to know how things turned out for the OP and those who responded. Perhaps I will send out some PMs track down some emails, etc.

Yes, I would love a manual, that would be very helpful.

I am fortunate in that I have a very good source for extremely clean, high quality oil, a bit of mechanical knowledge, several inexpensive vehicles I can experiment with, and best of all, I live in one of the most temperate climates on the planet, by choice.

Again, thank you both for the informative and encouraging responses.

Anyone else? Are you running WVO in your TDI?

If so, for how long have you done this?