Biodiesel

Larry B

New member
I live 25 miles from the Minnesota border and would like to do some traveling in the state but their legislators have decided to up the biodiesel requirement to 20%. Mercedes says no more than 5%-I guess I go only as far in Minnesota that I can get back to Iowa on one tank or stay out of Minnesota altogether. Any ideas what I can do?
 

RandyJohnson

2018 Unity TB
I thought at the Vegas factory rally that Mercedes said the main issue with biodiesel would be that you would go through def faster. I may have misunderstood but I thought they said you use what you have to use.


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Larry B

New member
I wasn't at the Vegas rally but their book and warranty says no more then 5%. What they say doesn't cover warranty problems. I read and talked to the owner of Stephens auto center-he has very interesting comments on how to maintain the sprinter. One thing he said very strongly-DO NOT USE BIODEISEL!!!!!!!!
 

mmsprinter

2018 LTV Unity MB
MB allows blended fuels UP to B20 (see attached). Some states (MN) have legislated the use of B20 during summer months. MB written guidance is: "If customers cannot avoid the use of biodiesel fuel between B6 and B20, it’s critical for them to monitor their engine oil
level and engine running performance". At various rallies MB has stated the engine computer monitors for this and will automatically adjust the oil change interval (service warning).
 

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ptheland

2013 144" low top Passgr
I have absolutely no data, just a gut feel and some common sense. Your van is not going to fall apart or explode from a tank or two of B20. If you're driving through MN and need to fill up once, I'd do so and not worry about it.

If you really want to be careful, fill up on B5 before entering MN. Then at about 1/2 tank top it up with the local B20. That should get you an average of B10-B13 in your tank. Once out of MN, fill up at the first opportunity with B5 or better. That keeps the B20 diluted and closer to the preferred fuel.

My thinking would be considerably different if you lived in MN and had to consistently use B20. In that setting, I'd be looking for a diesel vehicle that was OK with a steady diet of B20. Or I'd be looking at a gasoline engine.
 

TW56

2016 UnityCB on a MB '15
I live in Minnesota and avoid getting Diesel in my home state at all cost, I fill up in Wisconsin and South Dakota. If I have to get Diesel in Minnesota I use the 1/2 tank of petroleum Diesel blending scenario with the current B10. B20 starts in the spring of 2018. Winter fuel is B5.
 

Jordan & Val

2016 Unity 24IB
Just finished a drive from Chicago to Tucson today so this is very fresh for me. Four days on the road. Most of the large chain truck stops had the biodiesel stickers B5-B20 on their pumps and we found ourselves driving from station to station looking for B5. I also wonder if the stations that do not have any sticker other than the ultra low sulfur diesel sticker did not have more than B5. I did notice that the prices for the biodiesel B5-B20 stations seemed to run higher than the B5 or no sticker stations. The biodiesel is more expensive and we can help sort out the stations in the same area by comparing price.:hmmm:

I just read the biodiesel Brochure that mmsprinter posted. Please note MB nowhere says they will cover damage from B6-B20 fuel use. Not to scare anyone, I had to put a half tank in a couple times (could not find any B5 in the Chicago suburbs), but we are on our own if there is damage and they can show improper fuel usage.
 
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Peter Tourin

2020 Unity RL, ex 2012 Unity MB
I'm sure we've covered this and I've just forgotten... but if a U.S. pump is simply labeled ULSD and has no biodiesel labeling at all, can we safely assume that it's plain garden variety diesel? This is assuming that the pump is labeled correctly - none of this means much if we start worrying about labeling accuracy, sad to say - nothing we can do about that...
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
I'm sure we've covered this and I've just forgotten... but if a U.S. pump is simply labeled ULSD and has no biodiesel labeling at all, can we safely assume that it's plain garden variety diesel? This is assuming that the pump is labeled correctly - none of this means much if we start worrying about labeling accuracy, sad to say - nothing we can do about that...
It can be up to B5 without any special label, other than ULSD.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
I just read the biodiesel Brochure that mmsprinter posted. Please note MB nowhere says they will cover damage from B6-B20 fuel use. Not to scare anyone, I had to put a half tank in a couple times (could not find any B5 in the Chicago suburbs), but we are on our own if there is damage and they can show improper fuel usage.
I live in Minnesota. MB honors the warranty of 5 years 100,000 miles. I know. I was in the shop yesterday and had a $0.00 bill for diesel pariculate filter issues at 49,000 miles.
 

TW56

2016 UnityCB on a MB '15
I live in Minnesota. MB honors the warranty of 5 years 100,000 miles. I know. I was in the shop yesterday and had a $0.00 bill for diesel pariculate filter issues at 49,000 miles.
Good to know. At which Minnesota Mercedes dealer did you receive your service at?
 

jackfish

Active member
Sears Imported Autos in Minnetonka is the only MB Sprinter dealer in the Twins Cities.
 

rick077

Member
I did notice that the prices for the biodiesel B5-B20 stations seemed to run higher than the B5 or no sticker stations. The biodiesel is more expensive and we can help sort out the stations in the same area by comparing price.:hmmm:
Be careful .... in Oregon & Washington the B20 is usually 20 to 30 cents less in price.
:idunno:
 

Gpaw68

2015 144 4cyl high roof
"Any ideas what I can do?"
I am in MN for about 5 months a year. However I am only 5 miles from Wisconsin so I fill up there. MN is going to 20% bio next year as stated in a previous post. Now they are 10%.
As also stated fill up before you go and if needed put in just enough to get you back to Iowa and fill up once you get there. Or fill up when you get to a half a tank. That way you will have a blend closer to the 5% max MB recommends.
Either way monitor your oil level and change if it goes up. I believe MB says to change oil at 10k instead of 20k if you have to run with anything over b5.
As long as you get b5 or less in there as soon as possible running one tank or partial tank of >b5 should not be an issue. The problem seems to be when the higher bio fuel is sitting in a vehicle for longer periods of time. Running it right thru the van in a trip would be OK. Just dilute any high bio fuel as soon as possible.
 
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Davydd

Well-known member
Sears Imported Autos in Minnetonka is the only MB Sprinter dealer in the Twins Cities.
Sears Imported Autos has only been servicing Sprinters for one year. Before I had to take it to Rochester, MN. Older Sprinters I took to a Dodge dealer in Burnsville and then when Dodge broke off there was only an I-State Service for Freightliners. Rochester is fairly new and Sears didn't handle or service Sprinter for years.
 

kmay

2013 Unity MB
Reviving this thread after reading a number of LTV group facebook posts on increasing B20 diesel suppliers. Reports that Love's only offers B20 in a number of states and drivers are having to find non-truck stop places to source B5 diesel.

Some posters suggested diesel fuel additives and others discuss limiting tank fills until one can find B5.

Is there a android or iphone app that reliably posts B5 diesel locations? IIRC, Gas Buddy is spotty on diesel information.
 

Flexcor

Member
I found the same thing about truck stops . I wanted the good Sam diesel discount but found only b20 at pumps. I now get diesel at major brands in rural areas believing the diesel fuel will be fresh because of all the diesel pickups the farmers and ranchers are driving. My concern is five years down the road as more states change bio percent . MB should recall and make modifications or issue a extended warranty. Wonder how FedEx is dealing with it with all their sprinters.
 

Geriakt

2017 View 24J
I avoid states that only sell B20. It will clog the DPF thus the reason you use more DEF to try to burn it off. The reason why you have to remove oil is because B20 gels the oil and accumulates in the engine and gums it all up. I have pictures of this issue. MB will not warranty a new engine and more than likely the engine will fail after 120,000 miles.
Be very careful of using above B5.
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
I avoid states that only sell B20. It will clog the DPF thus the reason you use more DEF to try to burn it off. The reason why you have to remove oil is because B20 gels the oil and accumulates in the engine and gums it all up. I have pictures of this issue. MB will not warranty a new engine and more than likely the engine will fail after 120,000 miles.
Be very careful of using above B5.
Agree that folks should be careful of more than B5. However, believe that the description above has inadvertantly conflated DPF and DEF problems.

The diesel particulate filter (DPF) traps soot. The soot is reduced to ash through a high temp burn. Eventually the DPF needs to be replaced (when the ash builds up), like any other filter.

DEF is injected to help the SCR reduce NOX.

Perhaps more DEF is injected as the late cycle injection of fuel is used to induce the soot burn in the DPF, but think this would be pretty minor, as the burn (at least in my case) lasts less than 10 mins and happens at least 500 miles apart.
 

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