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Old 11-10-2014, 04:35 PM   #1
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Question Diesel for 2014.5 Interstate

We are taking delivery of our new 2014.5 Interstate on the 19th of this month. I have read on various post in this forum warning the use of bio diesel including B5 or it will mess up the engine. Before I make any stupid mistake, my questions/comments to folks who knows way more than I do.

There is no station I contacted in our home State of RI that has pure 100% diesel

All gas stations I contacted has B5 with Ultra Low Sulphur Highway Diesel Fuel (15 PPM sulfur maximum)

Per Mercedes Benz web site- "MB approve the use of B5 according to ASTM spec (low sulphur with a maximum of 15% ppm) in all common rail Injection and Blue Tec diesel engine.....". Anything more the B% is not approved. The date on the note is 2014 Edition. I did not call any local MB dealer yet to get any additional info.

I have read other Diesel forums and it is generally true across the country very very hard to get 100% diesel fuel. I am very worried about using the right fuel on all our upcoming and future travel.

Any help and thought on this matter is greatly appreciated.

Best,

Titu

http://www.mbusa.com/vcm/MB/DigitalA..._Brochure5.pdf
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:43 PM   #2
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Most of what you will find is the 15% ULSD which is fine.

Pay very close attention to the gas pump though as some stations have green pump handles for regular. NOT GOOD.
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:54 PM   #3
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I have had no problems over the last 45 or 50,000 miles running B5 diesel in either my Sprinter or my Volkswagen TDI. Nor have I ever run across any B100 (100% bio-diesel) but I did find one station in a small town in the Texas panhandle that claimed they had 100% petroleum based diesel, but it was NOT Ultra Low Sulphur Highway Diesel Fuel, and not legal for use in highway vehicles. They sold it for use in irrigation pumps and tractors. I did run into some B15 (15% bio-diesel) in a remote town in Northern New Mexico when traveling in my VW but the only ill effect I encountered from it was a noticeable decrease in fuel mileage. Not surprising since the energy content of bio-diesel is less than that of petroleum based diesel.

I believe that if you check more closely you will find the warnings are against using B20 (20% bio-diesel) or higher. I have read that engine modifications are required for successful use of B20 or higher. Railroads have experimented with high bio-diesel levels but now they are looking at LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) as a less expensive alternative for their big diesels.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:11 PM   #4
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MB is very clear: It is safe to use B5 or less. Beyond that is not approved:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...79189006,d.cWc

You do not need to find 100% dino diesel, but anything over B5 should be avoided. This can be a challenge in states such as Minnesota which require B20 during the summertime, but that is what Mercedes says.

As for sulfer, all on-road diesel sold in the United States is required to be ULSD, so you have no worries there, unless you are planning to visit Mexico, which is a different story.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:29 PM   #5
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Most of what you will find is the 15% ULSD which is fine.
Not 15%. 15ppm, which is 0.0015%. Big difference.

All road-use diesel is ultra low sulfur diesel, as required by Federal law. Doesn't matter if it's B0, B5, B20, or whatever, it's still ULSD.

Watch out when you purchase diesel in rural areas. They sometimes have a separate pump for non-road-use diesel, for fueling tractors, that may only be low sulfur diesel at 500ppm sulfur. And near significant water bodies, because marine diesel is also not required to be ultra low sulfur. I nearly ended up with a tankful of non-road-use by accident not too far from Toledo Bend Reservoir. It was only though dumb luck that I noticed the pump had "non road use" printed on the opposite side from where I was ready to start fueling; the label had peeled off from my side of the pump.

If you know that you're in an area where B20 is common, start looking for a fill-up when you get about half empty. Don't wait until the last minute where you might find that you have no choice.

But if you DO find yourself with no choice but to buy B20 because you're running on fumes, only fill the tank a quarter full or less. Then as soon as you can get to a place that has B5 or B0, top off the tank and dilute that B20 back down to B5 or better.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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In my three plus years and 20K miles I've only seen B5 a couple of times, one of which I did use a few gallons to get me to a "bio-free" station. Never experienced any problems but don't want to tempt fate.

All of my small engine lawn equipment, jetski, etc say that E10 is just fine but after rebuilding carburetors and replacing spark plugs, I switched to E0 (alcohol=free) and haven't had any more problems. Thus my hesitancy to use B5 diesel fuel.

Yes and BP uses green handles for gasoline. Don't know what they use for diesel, if they sell it. Maybe yellow as that's what the plastic 5 gal. containers are.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:07 PM   #7
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Thank you all. Makes us feel much better.

Another couple of questions-

Can/should I use any Diesel fuel additive/supplement in winter-e.g Slick Diesel.

Also, is there any harm to start the engine and idle it for a bit in winter?

The unit will be stored in our back unheated garage (hooked to power) and I want to start is once a week. Once snow starts, it will hard to get the unit out, The Interstate will be sitting pretty next to its big brother-our 34' Classic. Ventilation will not be issue while running the engine.

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Old 11-10-2014, 07:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirHog View Post
Thank you all. Makes us feel much better.

Another couple of questions-

Can/should I use any Diesel fuel additive/supplement in winter-e.g Slick Diesel.
You will get many opinions on this. I vote "no".
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Also, is there any harm to start the engine and idle it for a bit in winter?
Yes, there is great harm in this practice. Every time you start an internal combustion engine, you are introducing water-vapor into the innards. This is very bad for a vehicle that is not being used regularly. For one thing, this is why exhaust systems tend to rust from the inside out. If you insist on doing it anyway, it is imperative to bring the engine up to full operating temperature. In the case of a modern diesel, there is very little waste heat generated, so the only way to do this is to take it for a good long drive. By far the best thing is to leave it alone.
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The unit will be stored in our back unheated garage (hooked to power) and I want to start is once a week.
Why?
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:13 PM   #9
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On our recent trip to the East coast we ran into several Love's truck stops that sold B15. You do need to read the pump before filling as they don't make a big deal about it.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:25 PM   #10
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I have 102,000 miles on my 2011 MB Sprinter 2500. In my annual cross country treks, I find quite a bit of bio-diesel in the West, and have never failed to use it. Values range from B-5 to B-20 at the pumps, but I never usually run the tank below a third full, so what ever I put into the tank is diluted anyway. I have never noticed any problems with the engine operation on bio.

I was also having a distinct engine hesitation on soft acceleration between 1600-1800 rpm on a consistent basis. My MB tech said it might be the EGR valve, and the folks at the Sprinter Store in Portland where I had some suspension work done agreed and gave me a bottle of Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement (DFS).

The theory was that the EGR was carboned up and that the solvents in the DFS would clear the problem. I was extremely suspicious, but it was free so I added it to my next fill-up.

Nothing was evident after the first tank, but after the second tank, the engine was definitely running smoother and my otherwise lower than average mileage was returned to it's prior normal range, and the hesitation was completely GONE! I had been getting 14-16.5 in the Pacific Northwest, but after a few tanks with the DFS, my mileage had sprung back to the 16-18 range in general driving.

After my 4000 mile return drive back to FL using the DFS with every fill, I logged 15.5-20.8 MPG with an actual average based on actual mileage driven and actual fuel usage of 17.1. This was with a fully loaded van (at max. GVWR) and towing a cargo trailer weighing 2300 lbs.

As always......and actually more so in this case....YMMV!
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:44 PM   #11
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I would prefer not to run the engine during winter storage. I was under the wrong impression I needed to do so. Maybe it is to charge the batteries, which would not apply to me as it would be hooked to the garages 30 AMP outlet.

So to be sure, I do not need to run the engine during the winter storage? I may have been confused with my Honda 2000 generator which I run once a month for 20 minutes under load.

As I get older my brain gets overloaded easily, specially during week days when I pretend to be a banker.

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Old 11-10-2014, 08:57 PM   #12
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I would prefer not to run the engine during winter storage. I was under the wrong impression I needed to do so. Maybe it is to charge the batteries, which would not apply to me as it would be hooked to the garages 30 AMP outlet.
Are you sure that your coach charging system is set up to charge the chassis battery? (I am not sure about current-production Interstates. My 2005 did not have this feature). If it does not, you can add it easily by getting a TRIK-L-START:
Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer
The other option is to disconnect the chassis battery using the connector up above the accelerator pedal. This will kill all parasitic loads and the battery will *probably* last the winter.
Quote:
So to be sure, I do not need to run the engine during the winter storage?
Correct.
Quote:
I may have been confused with my Honda 2000 generator which I run once a month for 20 minutes under load.
That is different. They want to keep their seals lubricated and the commutator clean (no such issue in a Sprinter). 20 minutes under load is enough to drive the moisture out of the little generator engine.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:14 PM   #13
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If the BIM is functioning correctly and the van is on shore power or on solar, both the house batteries and chassis (oops, I mean starter) battery should be charged.
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Old 11-11-2014, 02:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirHog View Post
Can/should I use any Diesel fuel additive/supplement in winter-e.g Slick Diesel.
If you've got a tankful of #2 diesel and it's going to get cold enough for #2 diesel to gel (about +17įF), then you'd better use an additive. NAPA sells "CRC Cold Flow" which is an anti-gelling additive.

In climates where #2 diesel will gel, some service stations sell #1 diesel in winter. #1 diesel is virtually paraffin-free and so will not gel. But because it's paraffin-free, it doesn't lubricate as well, either, and so long-term use can be harmful to engines not designed to run on it. If you use #1 diesel, then get the Slick Diesel lubricating additive!

Cold-climate service stations that don't sell #1 diesel sell a "winter blend" that is a mix of #1 and #2 diesel. Winter blend gels at a lower temperature than pure #2 diesel, and doesn't require any additives.
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