Fuel in Mexico


2006 SHC & DAD owner
I hope you find your Oysters Richard. Maybe if you close your eyes and......

On with the topic now;

I'd like to hear from some NCV3 owner/driver, Baja cruisers that can dispel the fuel myths that abound here.


Not Suitable w/220v Gen
My scangauge is happy to provide that info ... where can i find a 20% grade?
(my *guess* is that i hit a peak of about 48 liters per hour in "stressed" situations)
But that's for a T1N. I'm sure NCV3s are thirstier...

The most I can consume is somewhere shy of 34 liters per hour and only for a very, very brief number of seconds (like maybe 3).

I forget where the 20% grade is now, but 20% is what one of the control modules reported to StarMOBILE during these tests, which I ran to determine the minimum additional fuel filter capacity. I ended up with a 57 liter per hour, 100 psi rated Racor 110A with the 2 micron 11s filter medium. I bought enough 2 micron filters for about 200,000 miles.



I looked under a mexican NCV3 last April and it did not have a DPF.


New member
I'll be heading to Bahia de Concepción in Baja next month, and since I've run into the same brick wall of definite information, will bring first hand info on my experience with an NCV3 Sprinter down there.


Here since 2006
I looked at a Pemex diesel pump yesterday at a station about 1200 miles down the west coast of the mainland. There was nothing posted on it, or anywhere nearby to indicate ULSD (ultra low sulfur diesel). This was on the main west coast highway in the area.



Custom Spooling USA
We (Custom Spooling) have several customers with NCV3 Sprinters who frequently visit Mexico. They installed our DPF Delete Tune as a precaution to prevent fouling their DPF on Pemex diesel fuel. I've received positive feedback from these customers with regard to the performance and reliability of our tunes. Installing our tune involves removing the filter element from the DPF canister. This is not reversible and is not legal for public road use in the USA. Our tuning kit for 2007-2009 NCV3 Sprinter is $1125, not including DPF canister modification. The kit includes a flash tool and a performance tune as well as an economy tune. Contact me, peter@customspooling.com for more info.


Many gas station don't have diesel, but the quality of the fuel should be ok, DHL, FedEx and many smaller bus companies use Sprinters of all ages without any problems.
I looked under a late model Mexican registered NCV3 style VW Crafter in Puerto Vallarta about a year ago and I could not see a DPF. I think it's likely that's why late model Sprinters can drive around Mexico without any problems...


As far as I can see, and drive, there is no problem with the diesel fuel for the Sprinters. I got my 2011 model sprinter late last year in Cancun.
FeDex, DHL and UPS drive Sprinters all over the country.
I would guess you should be ok with our Mexican fuel.

Confirm you bought the sprinter new in Cancun. Did it come with a DPF?? Thanks, Ross
Try again because while composing this reply I somehow got disconnected, Bummer. Anyway try the Baja Nomad site for all things Baja related. From what I have learned there ULSD is only available along the border and close in Baja Norte. Otherwise you can count on LSD. Before I bought my 06 almost three years ago the fleet manager at Balboa dodge in San Diego said the 07up would have problems down there and some have had to be towed back. That convinced me to buy the 06. Some have added an aux. tank to avoid buying any diesel there but what a shame to not take advantage of $3 diesel. Also only buy from the 24 hour larger truck stops to assure fresh diesel. Years ago I didn't and got a bad tank that had to be drained out and cleaned in my old ford van 4by4. The Nomad site has up to date info on road conditions, stations to buy from and not, restaurants to not miss and to miss, hotels to consider and not, places to see and not to miss. When you go go slow, relatively, enjoy the view and la pura vida, and try not to drive at night. Those black cows are dumber than a rock and will turn in whatever direction you are trying to go to avoid them. I once hit one slightly, luckily, but even at 5mph that piece of meat somehow knew which way to turn to so I would not miss him. Go figure. Plus why miss the beautiful scenery anywhere along the way. Happy and safe travels.


New member
would it be possible to convert a usa market 2007 & later to mirror the emission set up on a made for mexico sprinter so one could burn LSD without problems? i spend most of the year in an area with ULSD but need a usa registered truck. any knowledge on this? thanks, kris


New member
Just got back from 3 weeks in Baja. I put around 5 tanks of Mexican diesel into my 2008 Sprinter without any noticeable impact on the MPG, performance, or the malfunction notices. I used a ULS diesel additive to keep the injectors clean, but forgot to use it a couple of times, no problem. I went past Mulegé and never found a Pemex station that was marked any different than any other, so I couldn't verify some reports that ULS diesel is available as far as Ensenada. None of the attendants had a clue of the diesel that they were selling. The only issue a couple of times was the unavailability of car-sized nozzles, not a major deal. The price went up while I was down there and it now is at $3.40/gal. Average MPG on a fully loaded Sprinter 2500 DIY conversion was 19.2.
Pemex is now making their own ULSD at their refineries all over the country. Looks good for the future for 07up sprinters when it appears everywhere down there away from the border regions. This was on the Baja Nomad site but I bet Pemex would have current info too with where and when it will be in all the stations. Thanks to all here.


New member
OK this is my story: 2 round trips from SanFrisco, Ca. to Puerto Vallarta 2,000 miles one way in a 2008/144WB/2500 camper, both times returning to the border, my DPF farted cleaned itself, stinky and hot.
Next I started looking for a solution, found some one in Arizona that makes a straight pipe replacement for the Sprinter DPF, this replacement has all the fittings for the sensors etc. cost is: $500, plus a Programer/Analyzer that you can use to tell the computer to ignore the change but also allows you to change it to factory settings if you install the DPF back, Programer and software is: $700 a total of $1200.
If want info on the replacement, contact me. There is no Ultra Low diesel in Mexico and PEMEX annouced that they will not do it.
I have being in Mexico since July, driving with this change, van runs great. In a few months I will return to California change to DPF and sell this beautiful custom made RV, has 58K miles. I bought a house in Sayulita, 30 min. north of Vallarta, I plan to buy a Mexican Ford Transit van (I can not import the Sprinter cause it is German made) The Mex. Tansit is very different from the USA Transits, it is Diesel 2.2litters, front wheel drive, the interior room is smaller but acceptable for a camper and it is 30MPG, with 6 speeds manual.


New member
Pemex is now making their own ULSD at their refineries all over the country. Looks good for the future for 07up sprinters when it appears everywhere down there away from the border regions. This was on the Baja Nomad site but I bet Pemex would have current info too with where and when it will be in all the stations. Thanks to all here.
PEMEX IS NOT MAKING ULTRA LOW DIESEL AND THEY ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WILL NOT MAKE IT DUE TO COST CUTS. Anyone with a 2007 or later is risking to blow the DPF, please read my post and experiences in Mexico. Mexican Sprinter do not have DPF and also lack half of the smog requirements, are a lot simpler most are long passenger vans used for tourism.


New member
We just returned home after 2+ months of driving in southern Baja without ANY issues on a 2013 sprinter conversion... will post here again if I have DPF/emission related issues.
I drove down this year after seeing lots of 2008+ sprinters around La Ventana.

For me it's worth the risk to drive my camper down and back.
That was best road trip of my life, can't wait til next year!



New member
I am now on my 3rd trip down from Gorge to BCS. I have a 2014 144 high top. We drive down in fall come back in the spring. Documented the first trip in this Forum in "Just back from Baja" in 2014. Same trip, same experience in 2015. No ULSD south of Jesus Maria, DEF light and eventually CEL come on. Van runs great, never been shut down, but have entered countdown mode. When I return to USA dealer, they replace sensors for free, apologize and mutter about engineering issues w sensors. So far no warning lights yet this trip. Will let all know details when I return.


Just returned from our first trip down Baja with the Sprinter. Researched on the forums and read some didn't have any issues with Pemex diesel. I headed down for the weekend to Gonzaga bay and only needed to fill up in San Felipe headed back home. (Topped off before crossing in Calexico) I had about a 1/4 tank left of US Diesel and filled up a full tank in San Felipe.

Right off the bat my van started acting funky. Mainly the transmission shifting. There was a lag in between shifts (shifting at 2500-3000 rpm) and the van did not want to stay in 7th gear unless I manually shifted it, even then it would drop down to 6th gear when it should'nt be in 6th gear. Pulled up to the border and had a good hour and half wait..ugh

I burned about another 1/4 tank from the idling at the border and poor performance from San Felipe to Calexico. As soon as I crossed the border I topped off the van at 7/11 with US diesel. Almost instantly the van drove normal again and didnt have any more issues the remaining 3 hour drive home.

No CEL and no issues idling by the border with the Pemex diesel but the transmission issues were definitely unnerving.

I have a 2016 Sprinter I4 btw.
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