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Old 08-27-2017, 09:19 PM   #41
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Nebraska, I've only seen two....Red...(Red fuel / Red handle) Agricultural and Green for non-Ag consumption.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:16 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by grumpyoldman View Post
All road diesel is ULSD. It is an EPA mandate.
Thought I read somewhere, if the pump is labeled ULSD and has no other bio labels, the bio content is 5% or less. Is this true?

This is the case for the Flying J in northwest Davenport, IA.
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Old 08-28-2017, 05:41 AM   #43
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So we purchased our 2017 Forester MBS model 2401W and headed across country to visit parks in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. Mercedes warns against using more than 5% bio-diesel to avoid catastrophic damage and voiding your warranty. I am sure this is also the guidance provided by many other manufacturers.

Well guess what? Seems like it is virtually impossible to avoid biodiesel at or above 5% in many states - especially the mid-west. Believe me it was no fun having to drive in and out of stations in search of Non-biodiesel fuel. It really takes a lot of joy out of the trip and replaces it with considerable anxiety on what damage you are doing to your vehicle. This unregulated state of affairs regarding diesel fuel doesn't seem to be discussed and, of course, never mentioned when purchasing diesel RV vehicles. We actually pulled into a station that didn't display the bio-diesel warning sign, and just before starting to fill, I asked if the station dispensed non-biodiesel. The manager smiled and said "no" it is bio-diesel but they had not put up the signs yet.

Is the risk of using bio-diesel exaggerated? Is there an easy solution other than selling the RV and buying a gas one instead? I am thinking I must be missing something since there are so many diesel vehicles on the road and virtually nobody talks about this. Any suggestions would be welcome. We are new RV'ers and spent a fair amount on our new motor home.
Not sure how useful comments like "buy a Cummins" or "my Duramax doesn't care about biodiesel" are to you since you already own an MBS like I do.

There is another brochure produced by MB (similar to the Illinois one already posted), but it does provide a little more detail and insight for owners of MB Bluetec diesels. I think the big takeaway from it is (1) minimize use of anything over 5% (2) 5%-20% biodiesel can be used if absolutely necessary and (3) monitor oil levels (for dilution from the biodiesel).

Hope this helps somewhat. It is still concerning, though, given the sophistication and sensitivity of the Bluetec emissions system.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:18 AM   #44
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Because of its unstable nature I would attempt to fill with non biodiesel if the RV will be out of service for a while.

WE are stuck with this pure trash fuel because politicians pander.

Send yours an E mail suggesting that since we now have the ability to create all the fuel we need in the USA , this bio junk should no longer be mandated.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:12 AM   #45
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It sounds like it is a good idea to do an oil and oil filter change early - especially after traveling in areas where you have to fill up with > 5% bio-Diesel. Should the fuel filter be replaced also? I'm thinking of an oil and filter change every 10 - 15K miles (vs. the 20K recommended by Mercedes for our 2017), but I'm not sure about the fuel filter. Sounds like they are a fairly expensive part.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:14 AM   #46
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Be very careful when traveling in Canada and assume green handle means diesel like here in the lower 48. Sometimes it is gasoline. -----Don't ask
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:38 AM   #47
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It sounds like it is a good idea to do an oil and oil filter change early - especially after traveling in areas where you have to fill up with > 5% bio-Diesel. Should the fuel filter be replaced also? I'm thinking of an oil and filter change every 10 - 15K miles (vs. the 20K recommended by Mercedes for our 2017), but I'm not sure about the fuel filter. Sounds like they are a fairly expensive part.
I would tend to learn how to do OIL sampling and send the oil samples into a lab that will analyze your oil for you. Such as Blackstone or the Fleetguard oil labs. You can buy these kits on line and have a report back in a couple of days. They will recommend if you should change your oil early or not.

What this will do is provide you a Lubricant Analysis report that will provide information to you on Fuel Dilution in the oil, soot, water any other debris content that is in the oil. With this information you can schedule your oil changes for a longer period maybe to the 20K miles that MB recommends. I have been doing oil sampling on my trucks engine since I have been changing my own oil now for 10 years.

I would also change your fuel filter at the recommend change interval but carry a spare in your camper. I carry two extra fuel filters in my truck but I have two fuel filters in line for my filtering needs on fuel.

For my wife's VW TDI, VW sent us a letter that they would honor the engine/fuel system warranty with the use of 20% Bio Diesel since we live in IL. Maybe you can contact MB and see if they have changed their position on the Bio content of diesel fuel in the US. Since state governments are mandating higher bio-content of diesel fuel.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:55 PM   #48
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The entire Sprinter enviro-exhaust system is a huge PIA.

Only trick we have found to not see the dreaded CEL (check engine light) is to top off the DEF as often as possible.

But especially if you wont be operating for a few weeks .

The stuff if not topped off dries out in the tank and caused alarms in the system.

Fill DEF to the brim!!!
If the Sprinter diesel is so sensitive to biodiesel they shouldn't even be sold in Illinois or any other state that mandates high amounts of bio in the diesel. I don't think the biodiesel is going away any time some. I would think they should also have a warning sticker on the dash near the fuel gauge and at the fuel filler nozzle not to use bio diesel.
What seems to be the issue with the DEF tank on these vehicles? My DEF tank holds 5 gallons and I just went a whole year before I had to fill it.
Sorry to hear you guys are having such issues with the diesel engine in these vehicles.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:51 PM   #49
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Not sure how useful comments like "buy a Cummins" or "my Duramax doesn't care about biodiesel" are to you since you already own an MBS like I do.

There is another brochure produced by MB (similar to the Illinois one already posted), but it does provide a little more detail and insight for owners of MB Bluetec diesels. I think the big takeaway from it is (1) minimize use of anything over 5% (2) 5%-20% biodiesel can be used if absolutely necessary and (3) monitor oil levels (for dilution from the biodiesel).

Hope this helps somewhat. It is still concerning, though, given the sophistication and sensitivity of the Bluetec emissions system.
Thank you!!
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:58 PM   #50
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I would tend to learn how to do OIL sampling and send the oil samples into a lab that will analyze your oil for you. Such as Blackstone or the Fleetguard oil labs. You can buy these kits on line and have a report back in a couple of days. They will recommend if you should change your oil early or not.

What this will do is provide you a Lubricant Analysis report that will provide information to you on Fuel Dilution in the oil, soot, water any other debris content that is in the oil. With this information you can schedule your oil changes for a longer period maybe to the 20K miles that MB recommends. I have been doing oil sampling on my trucks engine since I have been changing my own oil now for 10 years.

I would also change your fuel filter at the recommend change interval but carry a spare in your camper. I carry two extra fuel filters in my truck but I have two fuel filters in line for my filtering needs on fuel.

For my wife's VW TDI, VW sent us a letter that they would honor the engine/fuel system warranty with the use of 20% Bio Diesel since we live in IL. Maybe you can contact MB and see if they have changed their position on the Bio content of diesel fuel in the US. Since state governments are mandating higher bio-content of diesel fuel.
Seems like a good suggestion and easy enough to do. My concern is what if Mercedes says "no" to honoring the warranty at higher bio-diesel levels? Worse still, what if you are in the middle of nowhere and suffer catastrophic failure because of the fuel?

BTW, "GrumpyOldMan", love the name. We could be brothers. ��
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:44 PM   #51
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Your should not have to many issues with the basic fuel system and engine. The problem with bio fuel is that the fuel will clean your fuel tank and you will have scum from your tank and this could plug the fuel filter. That is why I suggested an extra fuel filter.

The biggest issue is that bio fuel may not burn hot enough to allow proper regeneration of the DPF. Since fuel is injected during the regeneration process to burn off the soot in the DPF. But since your MB is using DEF the regeneration processes will not be as often as the earlier Diesel engine design that did not rely on DEF. So bio fuel may not be that adverse in the use.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:10 PM   #52
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Your should not have to many issues with the basic fuel system and engine. The problem with bio fuel is that the fuel will clean your fuel tank and you will have scum from your tank and this could plug the fuel filter. That is why I suggested an extra fuel filter.

The biggest issue is that bio fuel may not burn hot enough to allow proper regeneration of the DPF. Since fuel is injected during the regeneration process to burn off the soot in the DPF. But since your MB is using DEF the regeneration processes will not be as often as the earlier Diesel engine design that did not rely on DEF. So bio fuel may not be that adverse in the use.
Great information. Just returned from Mercedes dealership where they will do an oil change and change the oil and fuel filter on our Forester. Spoke to them about the bio-diesel issue and was told that Mercedes has not modified their warranty exclusion policy as regards to bio-diesel. The opinion of the dealership service advisor is that bio-diesel can damage injectors, filters, and dilute the oil. Reduced engine power results from metal fragments from damaged components in the fuel system that clogs the filter. Some of these fragments settle in the bottom of the fuel tank. What can be done besides trying to avoid the stuff - nothing. The dealership here in the Raleigh-Durham area claims that the local FBI, police, and many companies are changing their fuel filters with every oil change.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:33 PM   #53
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I don't know why you folks are all bad-mouthing biodiesel.

It worked just fine in that old 1980's Mercedes that some hippy guy poured his old french fry oil into and the politicians and enviro-freaks saw driving around.

Of course, we have no clue just how LONG he was able to drive around. Neither did the politicians, but they all voted to make everyone use biodiesel. (You know THEY don't drive diesels.)
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:27 AM   #54
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I haul petroleum products for a living. Bio-Diesel is here to stay. More and more stations are offering it including Pilot and Flying J, TA Travel Centers etc.

Since refineries started making ultra low sulfur diesel they had to inject a lubricant additive to replace the the sulfur.

Bio-Diesel doesn't need the additive.

I own my own semi and have no problem with Bio-Diesel, neither do the thousands of late model and new trucks on the road today.

I would be contacting your manufacturer and demanding an explanation. If they built an unusable vehicle I'd give it back to them. It's not like engine manufacturers didn't know that Bio-Diesel was coming.
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:56 AM   #55
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A little advice for those with older RV's with diesel engines.

Bio-diesel is here to stay.

My advice for you is to buy a couple extra fuel filters for your RV. The reason is because the biodiesel will clean the inside of your fuel tank fuel lines and clog your fuel filter. Once you have changed your filter twice you should be good to go and your engine will be cleaner than it ever has been since it was new.

Also the cloud point of biodiesel fuel will be higher than the regular diesel fuel. The cloud point of diesel fuel varies by manufacturer so will the cloud point vary based on what they made the biodiesel out of whether palm oil or soybean oil.

You should see lesser concentrations of biodiesel Blends in the Northern parts of the country during the winter months, however those higher concentrations will be seen in the South. The problem might be if you fill up in the South with a 20% blend and then head to the North country in the cold weather you may have issues.

Here in Ohio in the winter months biodiesel may not even be available as they will have issues with product handling. The product will gel up and not be able to be shipped or injected into the fuel. Blends in the winter time should be 5% and not more if at all.

Here in Ohio fuel terminals are just now beginning to add biodiesel to the product. it is not necessarily available in all retail outlets yet however it is here and it is here to stay and it will be ever-growing and offered everywhere. There are anti-gel additives available for diesel fuel and biodiesel blended diesel fuel.

Currently the supply of biodiesel does not meet the demand. for those people who do not want biodiesel that is good news - - temporarily.
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:19 AM   #56
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Great information. Just returned from Mercedes dealership where they will do an oil change and change the oil and fuel filter on our Forester. Spoke to them about the bio-diesel issue and was told that Mercedes has not modified their warranty exclusion policy as regards to bio-diesel. The opinion of the dealership service advisor is that bio-diesel can damage injectors, filters, and dilute the oil. Reduced engine power results from metal fragments from damaged components in the fuel system that clogs the filter. Some of these fragments settle in the bottom of the fuel tank. What can be done besides trying to avoid the stuff - nothing. The dealership here in the Raleigh-Durham area claims that the local FBI, police, and many companies are changing their fuel filters with every oil change.
I am a member of Turbo Diesel Register.com this is a site that is dedicated to the Ram/Cummins engine trucks!

There is a forum on this site dedicated to alternate fuels. I have listed two threads on Bio-Fuel for you to read. There are others threads but they date from 2014 and back. You can read them too if you like without being a member but you can not post any questions!

Here are the threads:
https://www.turbodieselregister.com/...n-Wide-BIO-Use
https://www.turbodieselregister.com/...iesel-in-a-6-7
Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:17 PM   #57
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All road diesel is ULSD. It is an EPA mandate.
That may be true in the US and Canada, but not Mexico.
We traveled to Baja about 2 years ago, No ULSD available just below the border.
Interestingly, before we left, I called a place in San Diego that rents Sprinter vans. I asked him if he allowed his customers to drive into Mexico. He did, and didn't seem to be aware of any problem.
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:47 PM   #58
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So after reading this thread and others on bio diesel and MB Sprinters based motorhomes I've come to the following conclusions, please correct me if my assumptions are wrong.

1. Use a quality name brand motor oil that meets or exceeds all MB standards.

2. Avoid the use of any greater than 5% Bio. (>5%bio)

3. MB warnings about >5%bio has to be for all vehicles since they don't know how they will be used, delivery vans with short trips, lots of idling, and running below normal operating temp makes the problem worst.

4. If you have to use >5%bio but <20%, driving at for a few hours at highway speeds, running at normal operating temp, and diluting the diesel by refilling sooner say 1/2 tank with better fuel when available minimize the problems.

5.On returning to home base always refill with good fuel before storage.

6. Monitor you oil level to make sure you aren't "making oil". Change you oil and filter every 9 to 10k miles.

7. Never use anything greater than 20% Bio.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:27 AM   #59
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Your list is all good concepts.

I would add to fill the DEF tank often and especially at home where the vehicle may rest a while. Fill it FULL!

I also suggest getting a code scanner of some sort , so IF the exhaust system throws a code it can be cleared and the vehicle operated.

Bio diesel is a USA political gift to farm states where the first POTEUS primaries are held., to keep crop prices high.

Burning food to create crap fuel is not a part of any Mexican program.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:45 AM   #60
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Amen!
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