VW Biodiesel in USA
January 23, 2005 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Fuel Filter? Has anybody had long-term experience using North American bio-diesel in a TDI? My dealership is dead-set against it, but my European friends swear by it. (I tend to distrust my VW dealer, but I don't want to be cavalier) Since I live in a moderately cold climate, I would only be using it in summer.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk to Science & Nature (9 answers total)
I don't think your dealership is going to endorse it, unless you moved to CA where Biodiesel stations have been cropping up by Yokayo. And I think once you convert, you can't use regular diesel anymore. There was this article in the NYT recently. Have you searched the web for biodiesel resources and testimonials?

How to convert
Biodiesel Now

This is hardly obscure "technology." When I ever get a car, it will absolutely be biodiesel. Truly renewable, no cars as virtual hydrogen bombs.
posted by scazza at 1:13 PM on January 23, 2005

There are loads of TDI geeks on the boards at TDIclub.com. They'll know what to do.
posted by willpie at 3:03 PM on January 23, 2005

It won't void the warranty, it'll be fine in the cold. Just follow willpie's advice, ask the people over at the club.
posted by jmgorman at 3:41 PM on January 23, 2005

Just check the map to find a supplier.
posted by jmgorman at 3:43 PM on January 23, 2005

You might want to see (or contact the folks at) greasecar.com. From their site:
Q: Will the Greasecar system work with TDI vehicles?
A: The Greasecar system has been installed in dozens of new VW TDIs some of which have logged more than 50,000 miles since conversion and no problems have been reported.
posted by plinth at 3:46 PM on January 23, 2005

This is great. Thanks. I'm not very mechanically minded, but all of your answers have been very helpful.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:49 PM on January 23, 2005

gesamtkunstwerk: From my understanding, you have to be careful about the grade of Biodiesel, and the temperature. B100 (100% Biodiesel) starts to congeal below 15degC, but B5 (95% regular diesel) is fine down to -40 iirc.
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:35 AM on January 24, 2005

Popular Ethics - one of the things that the greasecar kits address is how to manage the solidification under cold conditions. Greasecar is local to my area, Massamachusetts, and I routinely see their car around town in the winter...
posted by plinth at 3:01 PM on January 24, 2005

My brother bought a TDI Jetta(?), and he said the dealer was all over him trying to show off how cool the car was BECAUSE you could run it on biodiesel. I think the lesson here might be "Your mileage may vary".

posted by 40 Watt at 9:52 PM on January 24, 2005

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