BioDiesel

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hpykmpr

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Feb 15, 2009
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We stopped at a Flying J near St Augustine FL. to fuel up yesterday on the last leg of our return home and discovered that they only had Bio Diesel in their pumps at both the RV lanes as well as the truck lanes. Having remembered that the manual for our engine stated to not use fuels with more than 5% and these pumps having a stamp saying they were not more than 10 % we left without fueling up. We went 20 or so miles down the road and fueled up at a Loves truck stop. My question, is this going to be the new norm for Flying J's or is this an isolated station ?. We just came across the whole eastern end or the US and bough all of our fuel from Flying J 's with the exception for one fill up in western New Jersey where were were lucky to get any fuel as it was just a couple days after Sandy's landfall . This was the only place where we ran into the Bio Diesel signs. Thanks ...... Alan
 

Hfx_Cdn

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Sep 22, 2006
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Nova Scotia
    I certainly hope not, and I guess we will all have to keep up our vigilance.  It is my understanding that the bio-diesel will run ok, and shouldn't hurt the engine, but the problem is that its does not mix well with any additives, sludge, seals, etc in the fuel system.  So, by disturbing anything in the lines or tanks, it has the potential to cause all kinds of damage to your coach.

Ed
 

kenz

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Jan 1, 2012
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Michigan
Hard to tell, may be just a 'test site' to see how it goes over. Don't know what kind of rig you run, and different years/brands have differing limits. My '05 Ram is supposed to be good to B20 (20%). And this rating is mainly because the manufacturers have no control over the quality of biofuel. Yes the industry has standards, and they are being revised all the time, but it doesn't prevent someone making there own home brew and dumping it in the tank causing all sorts of problems. Thus the B5 to B20 ratings, as theory suggests that even at a bad mix it will still run. A local station near me offered B20 for the first 3 years I owned the truck, which I burned all the time. They would discontinue during the cold months then bring it back in the spring. Finally one fall it went away and never came back. The only way for me to get it now is to purchase B100 in bulk and mix my own...not feeling that option at all.

Made a trip last spring from Michigan to the Florida Keys using Flying J quite a bit and never ran into biofuel. And with the prices and experiences I had with Flying J I can pretty much say I won't be back anytime soon.
 

GIB

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Sep 4, 2012
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144
I travelled from Buffalo to California and back and unless my mind is failing me every place I fueled had a Bio Blend.
While I was still working and calling on truck shops I recall truckers talking about this 3 years ago and the concern was the cold north west states and they apparently had no choice take it or leave it. I wouldn't think of home brew at any price but I think if the refineries can produce Diesel to start with they should be knowlegable enough to handle the blend. I run Howes Diesel additive which has been around for close to 100 yrs. and it's purpose was to stop fuel jelling in sub zero weather. It pays for itself by the slight increase in mileage as well.
PS. if you don't like the price of fuel from Fying J you sure won't like the price of Howes at Flying J but it is readily available at most truck stops.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
I have seen numerous reports of bio-diesel only at Pilot/FJ locations, so my guess this is probably the new norm.

The EPA has mandated that refineries increase the percentage of bio-diesel produced every year.  For 2013 the mandate is for 1.28 BILLION gallons, up 28% from 2012. You can expect to see a lot more bio-diesel at pumps everywhere.

Cummins say B20 is perfectly acceptable in their 2002 and later ISB,  ISL, ISM and ISX engines.  Not sure where that leaves the many, many folks who have the ISC! Or those with older engines.
 

99WinAdventurer37G

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Saginaw, TX (north fort worth area)
All the Loves in TX that I've seen have the BioDiesel Blend.  So I no longer fuel there.  Some of the TA's have it as well.  Some of the larger stops have some tanks with it, some without.  They tell me the reason it gives me such problems is that it is "cleaning out my system" so that is why it always plugs up my fuel filters.  I always carry spare fuel filters anyway, but it has a tendency to agitate me when my motor starts losing power because it "cleaned my system".  It also clouds in cold weather more so than petroleum based diesel fuel.  So as a general rule, I avoid BioDiesel. 

I'd avoid putting corn in my gas motors as well if I could find straight gas. I found some out west, (AZ or NM I think) and got better mileage and better performance.
 

Lou Schneider

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Mar 14, 2005
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Yeah, biodiesel is an excellent solvent.  The amount of gunk it will clean out of your tank and lines is proportional to the age of the system - a new rig shouldn't have any gunk to clean out, one that's been around for a while is another story.

Just be glad your filters are catching the loosened gunk before it gets to the injectors and other expensive parts.
 

Rancher Will

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Mountains of Colorado
In addition to the Tech report from Cummins, part of which is noted above, there is also a Tech Report from Detroit Diesel along similar lines.

I am the owner of a number of vehicles, Semi Trucks, Lite trucks, etc. that have Cummins and Detroit Diesel engines. The engine manufacturers have issued directives over the past few years recommending specific fuel filters that are different than standard when BioDiesel is used.

Both Cummins and Detroit Diesel Engine Tech Reports also note that BioDiesel is corrosive on certain metal and some plastic parts, such as copper, brass, etc., in and with fuel tanks, fuel lines, etc., and corrosion on these parts from BioDiesel is not covered under the engine waranty.

Our records from both our Semi Trucks and our Dodge pickup trucks shows us that BioDiesel decreases the MPG of our trucks compared to normal Diesel. We know this since we keep very accurate records on our complete fleet of trucks, tractors, etc. We also know from our experience that it is very important to add anti-gel additives to the fuel in cold weather, even more than non BioDiesel fuel. I buy anti gel additive by the barrel for our fleet every year.

I have my drivers buy fuel without Biodiesel when they can. But, sometimes it is necessary to buy fuel where they have to. This is why we equip our trucks with the special fuel filters recommended for BioDiesel. We also have learned to regulary drain the water separators on our trucks more often when refueling with BioDiesel. I do not have data to prove it but my drivers tell me that when they refuel with BioDiesel there tends to be more water in the separators. If this is universal then those trucks without separators may experience injector damage over time from water affect.
 

judway

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Mar 9, 2005
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West Melbourne, FL
When I went to the SE Rally a couple of weeks ago I filled at the same FJ in St. Augustine. I did not notice any signs about any biodiesel. When I returned to the house I noticed that my CAT 3126 was running rough. I then changed the fuel filter. The fuel that came from the filter had a lot of black stuff and some water. I had not noticed the black stuff before. I went over to Ocala this past weekend for our club campout and when coming back the engine ran rough. About 30 miles from the house my speed dropped to 45 MPH maximum and the check engine light came on. I drove the 30 miles at 45 MPH fearing that any change and I might be stranded. When I got to the turn off I had to stop. Starting again worked OK so I made it to the house. After I was parked I stopped the engine and restarted it. The check engine light did not come on. I will have to go to the Caterpillar place to get it fixed. $$$ :( :(. I do not know if the biodiesel was present or part of the problem.
 

Foto-n-T

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Cody, Wyoming - Sometimes
I've spent years in the retail/wholesale fuel distribution business and I can tell you that bio-diesel will eventually be everywhere.  Currently though running into bio-diesel is basically a function of what ever refinery that particular station is "racked" out of (where their fuel comes from and the rack that their price is based on).

This last year I was given a very real education on what bio-diesel can do to your fuel system on an older vehicle.  We were and currently are back on the Gulf Coast of Texas where bio is common.  When we left this last spring and headed for AZ then back up north to WY I went through multiple primary fuel filters.  I cut one of them apart and was greeted by black crud plugging the pleats of the filter element.  If I can get away with it I will forever avoid bio.
 

Peanutman

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Jul 30, 2010
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402
My 2010 Durmax manual says i can run low % of bio diesel. Most pumps i see are 5-20%. Manual clearly says no pure bio diesel due to the filter. Believe it says if you have to run it like stuck somewhere and that's all you can get, then flush fuel system and change the filter.
Been a while since i read the manual, may need to brush up if pure diesel is getting harder to find.
 

hpykmpr

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Feb 15, 2009
Posts
418
Gary RV Roamer said:
I have seen numerous reports of bio-diesel only at Pilot/FJ locations, so my guess this is probably the new norm.

The EPA has mandated that refineries increase the percentage of bio-diesel produced every year.  For 2013 the mandate is for 1.28 BILLION gallons, up 28% from 2012. You can expect to see a lot more bio-diesel at pumps everywhere.

Cummins say B20 is perfectly acceptable in their 2002 and later ISB,  ISL, ISM and ISX engines.  Not sure where that leaves the many, many folks who have the ISC! Or those with older engines.


Our MaxxForce 10 manual says that up to B5 is acceptable and if higher amounts are used if anything happens as a result of using the higher % Bio-Diesel the engine warranty will not cover the repairs. It is sad to hear that this will be the norm with the Flying J stations as for the most part they are an easy place for a fill up. Thanks ....Alan
 

jim and di

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Aug 9, 2009
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Sun Citu, Hilton Head, SC
Marine engines have been having a problem with Bio for a few years. After cleaning the fuel tanks, then changing all the fuel hoses to a material that can take 50/50 mix and draining the water separator daily we for the most part are at sea and underway. Fuel will collect moisture just sitting in the tank so additives are required. Guess its the new future.
Jim
 

GIB

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Sep 4, 2012
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144
I just went and looked up Bio Diesel in my 2011 Duramax book . It states OK to use up to 20% Bio. Another interesting piece of info in the GM book was that the retailer doesn't have to advertise up tp 5%. The point being because it isn't on the pump doesn't mean it isn't in the fuel. We got it like it or not.
 
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