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Old 01-22-2019, 01:39 PM   #1
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Diesel fuel quality

I have read one or two posts around about the Biodiesel quality and how hard it is to find the 5% Bio or less fuel Mercedes recommends. I read in the owners manual that what happens with the lower quality/higher bio % is that is does not burn completely and some ends up in your crank case. It also clogs filters. Any experience/feedback?
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:21 PM   #2
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DariusB,

I can’t answer with any certainty on the bio-diesel aspect. However, I do know that it is much safer to use the diesel pumps that the big rigs use. They go thru so much diesel that it’s pretty much free of any water contamination.

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Old 01-22-2019, 06:15 PM   #3
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- Most major truck stops have switched to B5-B20 bio diesel to improve their margins with the tax breaks/discounts, so I'm avoiding them now. It does vary by location, though, so there may be some that have B5 or less.
- By law (federal?) if the pump has less than 5% bio, it doesn't have to be marked as such. Anything over 5% requires labeling that states the mix range, as in B5 to B20, or more. I'm still suspicious, and really look them over first.
- MB prefers avoid bio first. If you can't avoid, try to use <=B5. If you can't use <=B5, watch your oil levels and be prepared to change your oil more frequently than the maximum distance/time between oil changes.
- Some say bio improves the fuel system by cleaning it out more than dino diesel. Some say it makes fuel economy worse, because there's less potential energy in it. Some say they just fill up and don't worry about it too much.
There's so much pro and con out there on it, it's mind boggling.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:06 AM   #4
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The issue with Biodiesel is that it may not fully burn in the combustion Cylinders and therefore any bio residues could leak past the rings and contaminate to oil reservoir turning the oil into a sludgey consistency which would foul the oil pump and filter. Therefore using Bio when the engines runs hottest, like at highway speeds for hours, goes to addressing the possible hazard of running B20. I've had my Sprinter Chassied RV for going on 5 years and I sometimes have to run B20 every tank or every other tank until I can get to a station that sells non bio or B5 diesel. My philosophy has been run it long and hot, no idling, when using B20. So I only use B20 when I'm driving for many hours at above 60mph, which is mostly what I do from place to place. I have my oil changed on the frequency when I get the alert from my dash message board and I have always asked the mechanics at oil change intervals what the oil is like since I do run B20, sometimes frequently. Their response is always, your oil looks fine you keep doing what your doing! Don't be afraid of B20 just understand the risk and how to mitigate. I've got 40K miles on mine with never an engine issue. The only chassis related issues I've experienced has been wheel speed sensor failures on both sides of my rear wheels. That's it, otherwise I take it to my local Mercedes for the A or B service when I'm told my the message board.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:45 PM   #5
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Agree with you on the freeway speeds being the best way to deal with all the gremlins of the Sprinter. I rarely use mine in town. Faster is better for the little diesel wunderkinder. Drive it like you stole it.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:50 AM   #6
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Drive it like you stole it.
Keep it simple, your are right on, follow this!
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:33 AM   #7
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I'm surprised tha M-B/Winnebago recommend 5% bio as most of the midwest stations I've encountered seldom have anything less then 10% with many at 20% - and my truck will immediately 'lose' at least 2 mpg.

Like another said, drive it like you stole it as there really isn't a good answer to buying 'pure' to 5% dies;e when you want or need it
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:17 AM   #8
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Since we farm & ranch we purposely use bio diesel in all our diesels since it was available

Not one issue and I don't know of one

Better lubricity is certainly a good thing
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:47 PM   #9
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Since we farm & ranch we purposely use bio diesel in all our diesels since it was available

Not one issue and I don't know of one

Better lubricity is certainly a good thing


lwmcguire! Yes, but you probably do not have to accommodate the fancy diesel emission systems on your farm equipment, yet. That is where the problem arises when putting biodiesel into our highway vehicles.
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:00 AM   #10
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lwmcguire! Yes, but you probably do not have to accommodate the fancy diesel emission systems on your farm equipment, yet. That is where the problem arises when putting biodiesel into our highway vehicles.
Well you might be surprised to learn the tractors now have to have DEF and the same emission equipment. Tuscany does as did all the new Fords.

Again no problems as millions of others out there

Just a myth
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DariusB View Post
I have read one or two posts around about the Biodiesel quality and how hard it is to find the 5% Bio or less fuel Mercedes recommends. I read in the owners manual that what happens with the lower quality/higher bio % is that is does not burn completely and some ends up in your crank case. It also clogs filters. Any experience/feedback?
My only feedback to you is to stop obsessing about the diesel you use in your Sprinter. The important thing to do is not idle the engine for more than a couple of minutes before you drive it. This is especially important when using higher percentage biodiesel. The best thing you can do is drive the coach.
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:09 AM   #12
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I wasn't trippin on this issue so much as I just wanted to understand what what the deal really is. Now that I am on the road with my rig I can see that it is pretty unlikely I would find ANY "pure" diesel fuel ANYWHERE! That being the case along with seeing thousands of MH on the road it must not be the end of the world if you have to use bio to some extent. Too many folks post issues here they don't fully understand.....or should I say they post answers that are not necessarily complete facts. I wanted to know what happened when one actually uses bio. I am comfortable with the issue now, thanks for ALL of the input.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:57 PM   #13
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The main issue with bio is if it goes through a particulate filter regeneration cycle while it is not fully up to operating temp such as one would see with delivery or shuttle type vehicles. When it regenerates extra fuel is injected during the exhaust stroke to increase the exhaust temperature high enough to burn the residue. Bio is more likely to not burn completely if the engine is not under a good load and up to temp; that unburned fuel may end up in the crankcase. Most RV are at highway speeds most of the time so all should be well, so says my MB dealer. By the way, Bio content and fuel "quality" are two completely different subjects.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:51 PM   #14
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Just curious. Why do you say that Bio content and "quality" are two completely different subjects? Seems to me that characteristics that effect efficiency, purity, and complications are exactly what quality is all about.
Also, DEF is in my experience (I need it for my auto and my RV) is now available in Diesel service centers in bulk so that they should be able to "top off" your rank instead of having to purchase the pre packaged two and a half gallon containers. Th ET should have given you the residual in that container so that you could have added it later.
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