Biodiesel

sailquik

Well-known member
Chip D,
Yeah, I stopped at a Love's in MN on my way west 2 years ago.
I was running low on fuel (I watch it very carefully when towing the big 5.14k lb. cargo trailer) so I had to fill it up with
the bio mass ULSD they were selling.
I avoid Love's Travel Stops pretty much since then.
In your area, I usually use Casey's and Cenex.
You are correct, it's hypocritical, and probably smart not to call them out on it!
Roger
 

Ciprian

Spark Plugs not allowed!
You guys are worrying to much about this subject.
I have a friend with a 2014 4 cyl sprinter. He is an expediter and put 130k miles on this van in three quarters of the states. Absolutely zero peoblems with his engine, dpf, scr, etc.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
You guys are worrying to much about this subject.
I have a friend with a 2014 4 cyl sprinter. He is an expediter and put 130k miles on this van in three quarters of the states. Absolutely zero peoblems with his engine, dpf, scr, etc.
That may be true of those of us who are worrying about our engines. But, some of us are worrying about our warranties, which is a different issue.
 

smiller

2008 View J (2007 NCV3 3500)
That may be true of those of us who are worrying about our engines. But, some of us are worrying about our warranties, which is a different issue.
MB is kind of between a rock and a hard place right now (prohibiting biodiesel while selling vehicles in states where biodiesel is mandated) and I would expect that they would be hesitant to actually deny a warranty claim simply because of biodiesel use alone... it seems that the last thing they would want to do is call attention to their two-step and invite a governmental response, class-action lawsuits, etc. Or at least I don't think I've ever heard of MB denying a claim based on B5-B20 biodiesel damage, and for the above reason I don't think that we will.
 

bobojay

New member
Guys the only issue with the bio is that you need to change the oil more often, if you consistently use >B5. Besides, MB is backing off on their "no more than B5" ever requirement. Now I haven't heard MB say this in person, but the second largest Winnebago dealer in the nation that sells LOTS of Sprinters has been told this. Talked to him last week at length about this.
Watch your oil level, if problems it will raise instead of lower or stay the same. Then it's time to change the oil using the new 229.52, 0w-30 or 5w-30 Mobil 1 ESP that's available now....which is also backwards compatible to the 2007's
 

Pat123

New member
Guys the only issue with the bio is that you need to change the oil more often, if you consistently use >B5. Besides, MB is backing off on their "no more than B5" ever requirement. Now I haven't heard MB say this in person, but the second largest Winnebago dealer in the nation that sells LOTS of Sprinters has been told this. Talked to him last week at length about this.
Watch your oil level, if problems it will raise instead of lower or stay the same. Then it's time to change the oil using the new 229.52, 0w-30 or 5w-30 Mobil 1 ESP that's available now....which is also backwards compatible to the 2007's
Biodiesel can seep into the crankcase of a diesel engine, form acids and degrade into "gunky, goopy" sludge, says William Woebkenberg, fuels policy director for Mercedes-Benz USA. The sludge can coat intercoolers, exhaust gas recirculation valves and engine and turbocharger bearings, putting a driver at risk of an engine failure.

"Once you sludge an engine, there's no going back," Woebkenberg says. "There's no magical stuff that you can pour into the top of the engine and flush it all away."

Mercedes, like all the German brands, has certified its engines to handle blends with up to 5 percent biodiesel, which are called B5. Higher blends void the warranty :hmmm:
 

TwoClinks

2016 Unity TB
For the sake of argument, I think you make a good point about MB honoring their warranty. The fuel requirements are spelled out as well as their position on biodiesel damage covered by warranty. That we know and everything else is speculation. There are a lot of MB Sprinters out there. I figure they want to sell Americans more of them. I'd like to think MB engineers are working on this. In time we will see what effects B6+ will have on the very complex 2015 Mercedes Benz OM642 diesels.
 

oregon62

New member
Having just gotten possession of my new 2015 Serenity last week I started paying attention to what was available to me for diesel choices. Here in Gresham,OR what I had available was at a nearby Shell-Bio20,but at a Chevron station near downtown they had Bio5. When I questioned them they said it depended on the franchise what they had. So maybe just checking different stations will help.
 

Kozad

New member
Some of these interactive maps may be of interest to those owners wanting to know where suitable biodiesel locations may be.

This link shows a map with non-bio diesel fuel outlets in the Chicago area:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?msa=0&mid=zRj9I2UppmLg.kQpjE7vTSjOA

This links shows a USA map with reported locations of Bio5 Diesel stations:
http://find.mapmuse.com/map/biodiesel

This according to it's UK home page:http://www.biodieselfillingstations.co.uk

And finally this link shows biodiesel locations, but it would appear these are for B20 and above?:
http://www.biodiesel.org/using-biodiesel/finding-biodiesel/retail-locations/retail-map#map
 

mgladden2

Member
Other states that require a biodiesel blend include Alabama (5%), Colorado (20%), Florida (not specified), Kansas (2%), Kentucky (2%), Maryland (5%), Massachusetts (15%), Minnesota (B20 to B100), Missouri (B20), Nebraska (not specified), New Mexico (5%), New York (not specified), Ohio (not specified), South Carolina (5%), Virginia (2%), and Washington (not specified).
Can anyone verify the claim above? I don't find any clear data on whether states like Colorado require B20 across the board. I only see one site about government vehicles, nothing about what the majority of stations use nor any requirement for statewide fueling stations. Same with Massachusetts and Missouri. I guess if state agencies are required to use it, maybe fueling stations shift to keep up with that requirement?

It's a big concern before buying a Sprinter. If driving around Colorado for a few months is gunking up the engine, that's a huge downside when considering buying the vehicl.e

Mark
 

smiller

2008 View J (2007 NCV3 3500)
Can anyone verify the claim above? I don't find any clear data on whether states like Colorado require B20 across the board. I only see one site about government vehicles, nothing about what the majority of stations use nor any requirement for statewide fueling stations. Same with Massachusetts and Missouri. I guess if state agencies are required to use it, maybe fueling stations shift to keep up with that requirement?

It's a big concern before buying a Sprinter. If driving around Colorado for a few months is gunking up the engine, that's a huge downside when considering buying the vehicle
Before worrying about it too much, consider how many Sprinters there are in the above states. Now consider how many of those are experiencing problems with fuel? I'm personally not aware of any reports, or certainly not any meaningful number. Now consider whether MB would be opening themselves up for a nightmare in terms of warranty claims and lawsuits by actively selling vehicles in a state where vehicles were coming back due to biodiesel problems.

Based on all of the above factors it seems that even up to B20 biodiesel is more of a 'problem if you want it to be' issue rather than anything you really need to worry about in the real world.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Can anyone verify the claim above? I don't find any clear data on whether states like Colorado require B20 across the board. I only see one site about government vehicles, nothing about what the majority of stations use nor any requirement for statewide fueling stations. Same with Massachusetts and Missouri. I guess if state agencies are required to use it, maybe fueling stations shift to keep up with that requirement?
As far as I know, only Minnesota requires B20 during the summer. Other states have various levels of incentive or other encouragement, but I have NEVER failed to find B5 or less anywhere in the US, excepting Minnesota. In a few states it takes a bit of effort, but you can get good at it.
 

SSTraveler

2014 LTV Unity Murphy Bed
Just drive it like you stole it! Hot and long, and you'll have no worries. I run B20, at times every tank or every other tank, and have had no issues in nearly 5 years. At normal interval oil changes I ask the mercedes service tech if my oil shows any signs of concern from B20 use and I am always told "NO, keep doing what you are doing." I rarely idle but if I have to, never for more than a few minutes. I wouldn't let B20 keep me from buying a Sprinter.
 

hotfudge

2015.5 Unity TB
Can anyone verify the claim above? I don't find any clear data on whether states like Colorado require B20 across the board. I only see one site about government vehicles, nothing about what the majority of stations use nor any requirement for statewide fueling stations. Same with Massachusetts and Missouri. I guess if state agencies are required to use it, maybe fueling stations shift to keep up with that requirement?

It's a big concern before buying a Sprinter. If driving around Colorado for a few months is gunking up the engine, that's a huge downside when considering buying the vehicl.e

Mark
Colorado does NOT require B20. I regularly purchase B5 or less most anywhere in the state. Minnesota is the only state requiring B20 all year 'round. (I fill up in WI or ND when passing through)
 

SVidas

2018 Unity CB
I live in Minnesota. It is B20 in the summer and drops to B05 in the winter - which lately seems to be about 11 months!
 

Adventurer23

2018 Unity TB
Our experience in driving 14k miles in the western states last year in our 2018 Unity is that using >B5 up to B20 dropped our mileage up to 3mpg. One time we were low on fuel and reluctantly put in 5-6 gallons of B20. It took three full tanks of good Diesel #2 to get our mph back up to 16.5 to 17+ depending on the terrain.
 

C21bill

2018 Unity TB
We've made 4 round trips to the East coast during the past 12 year and learned to start looking for fuel early. We avoid truck stops, many of which offer B20 Bio. Only on one occasion did I have to use some B20 and I kept it to a minimum and topped off with No 2 diesel at my next opportunity. Another concern I have at gas stations is when attempting to pay at the pump you get a message to pay inside. When that happens I leave and find another station. I never, never hand my credit card to a gas station employee. While you are fueling they have ample time to copy your credit card number, expiration date and security code. Before I learned this, I had a couple occasions where unauthorized charges cropped up on a card that I had handed to a gas station clerk. Each time the charge originated from places we had been.
 

alehorton

New member
Hi Everyone,

From a little research it looks like many engineers designed DPF diesels to have a second injection of fuel into the cylinder to provide the fuel to burn the soot collected. This is opposed to having a separate injection system into the dpf. Biodiesel, having a higher flash point tends to not combust ideally, and remains in the cylinder. When the piston comes down, biodiesel remains uncombusted and begins to seep into the crankcase causing sludge and eventual engine failure.

My preliminary ideas for how to solve this problem involve reflashing the computer to only inject during the combustion stroke.. With this action, there would be no fuel to burn up the DPF soot, so the DPF would have to be removed (dont tell CARB) or your local smog tech, and be sure to put it all back together before hand, otherwise it is an Off Road only Vehicle (from what I have heard)

If anyone knows how to reflash a CPU, feel free to share! MBII Star system?

Let me know what you all think ,and if I sound ridiculous. It does stand to reason that in states where there is ONLY B20, a solution must be found for NCV3s, which ideally can be copied by the rest of us (potentially impacting the world in an oil weening/practical antiwar hack kind of way). So far I have been using HPR diesel from Propel Fuels in the Bay area, which works great and is ASTM certified, BUT is not widely available or easily manufactured most likely.
 

Bobnoxious

Learning about Sprinters to help others
The Almighty Sprinter Gurus on this forum have previously proclaimed not to worry about using Bio-20. Of course, they never offer any evidence to support their claims. It's just opinion.

I agree with everything you mentioned except re-flashing the ECU. To perform a re-flash, or more accurately a re-map, as you suggest, would require sophisticated Developer level software, knowledge, skills, experience and dynamometer to validate your hypothesis. On the other hand it may not? Dunno, above my pay grade.

It's interesting to note Mercedes-Benz first comes out with a brochure saying to avoid Bio 20. However, subsequent brochures say not to worry about it. I have posted these brochures on the forum. Was this change a result of comprehensive testing? If so, MB should publish the results.

IMHO, Bio-20 is another reason, among others, why I change my oil every 5,000 miles or six months, whichever occurs first. Some claim this is obsessive and excessive. I call it preventive maintenance. Oil is certainly less expensive than an engine replacement as a result of premature piston ring wear or oil gallery atherosclerosis as a result of sludge formation.

My vehicle, my money and that's a beautiful thing.

So proclaims Da NOx
 

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