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Old 09-29-2014, 11:49 AM   #15
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While we're on the topic of diesel engines, I'll relate my latest experience with mine last weekend. When I started it for its monthly run, it started hard and seemed to be running on only 4 or 5 cylinders. It then died. It was very hard to restart requiring several attempts. I let it set for a few minutes and tried again and it started up and seemed to run a little bit better and then finally ran normally. Tried again the next day and it seemed to be normal. I never liked problems that seem to solve themselves because they usually don't.
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:20 PM   #16
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While we're on the topic of diesel engines, I'll relate my latest experience with mine last weekend. When I started it for its monthly run, it started hard and seemed to be running on only 4 or 5 cylinders. It then died. It was very hard to restart requiring several attempts. I let it set for a few minutes and tried again and it started up and seemed to run a little bit better and then finally ran normally. Tried again the next day and it seemed to be normal. I never liked problems that seem to solve themselves because they usually don't.

Do you leave it sit for a month between runs? That alone could explain the symptoms you are experiencing. I never let mine sit for more than a week.


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Old 09-29-2014, 01:24 PM   #17
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Do you leave it sit for a month between runs? That alone could explain the symptoms you are experiencing. I never let mine sit for more than a week.
One or two weeks at most for me. With my Viper alarm system hooked up to the chassis battery, if I let it sit longer than two weeks, I run the risk of running down the battery. Viper alarms are good systems, but every single sensor is a separate parasitic draw, and I can't unplug the disconnect by the accelerator pdal without setting off the alarm.

On the plus side, since I have to fire it up to keep the battery topped off, I don't have to worry about the engine suffering the effects of non-usage.
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:31 PM   #18
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Jerhofer,
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you scored a sweet deal on a lightly used Interstate.


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Old 09-29-2014, 01:51 PM   #19
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Do you leave it sit for a month between runs? That alone could explain the symptoms you are experiencing. I never let mine sit for more than a week.


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Since my solar panel keeps all three batteries fully charged, I didn't see any need to start it more frequently. I've been on that cycle for 3 years and this is the first time I've experienced this problem.
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:23 PM   #20
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Dealer is blowing smoke. From the horse's mouth:

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Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler AG (hereinafter “Mercedes-Benz) approve the use of B5 according to ASTM specification D975 [Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD) with a maximum of up to 5 % Biodiesel] in all Common Rail Injection (CDI) and BlueTEC diesel engines.
Biodiesel Information for Mercedes-Benz Vehicles 2014 Edition
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:07 PM   #21
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Thanks, Protag! I only use biodiesel to cook with... . And I never stop at Love's which sells modified hog grease for engine fuel.

Gerald

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Equally important, avoid diesel pumps that are labeled B20. You need to use 100% diesel or at worst B5 (95% diesel, 5% biodiesel) lest you damage the emissions control system— which will cause the engine to lock itself out until repaired.

You can go to this list of sources for biodiesel:
Biodiesel Retailer Listings - Biodiesel.org
to locate which ones sell B20, and avoid them like the plague. Kind of the reverse of what the webpage was set up for, but hey, it's the best list of biodiesel sources I've found so far.
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:12 PM   #22
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Dealer is blowing smoke. From the horse's mouth:



Biodiesel Information for Mercedes-Benz Vehicles 2014 Edition
Yeah and my Tahoe will run on e85 but I don't use it. I did a long-term study between E10 and premium without alcohol and found out that the premium gives me about a 14% better miles per gallon and only about a 10% increase in cost. Also all of my small engine lawn equipment states that it will run on E10 and I found over the years that while they may run on it, it's not good for him long term. After a season of using pure gas, they start running much better.
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:30 PM   #23
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Avoid Love's, Pilot and Flying J truck stops as their pumps all have a sticker that claims up to 20% bio-diesel (the RV pumps in front and the truck pumps in back use the same storage tank). I saw several Conocco stations with bio-diesel in Texas.

When driving in West Texas, stay with Shell or Chevron as other brands may have the bio-diesel sticker.

I have never put bio-diesel in my 2007 ML320 CDI (built in October of 2006) with over 120,000 miles on it and will not plan to ever do so as the entire engine system and fuel system were NOT designed for that caustic stuff.

I avoid bio-diesel in the 2012 Dodge with Cummins 6.7L diesel even though the owner's manual says up to 5% bio-diesel in a pinch. I have a modified fuel tank (56 gallons versus the stock 34 gallon tank) so I plan my stops way ahead with a over 600 mile range when towing.
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:35 PM   #24
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I did a long-term study between E10 and premium without alcohol and found out that the premium gives me about a 14% better miles per gallon and only about a 10% increase in cost.
Apples and oranges. Ethanol and biodiesel aren't the same at all, and comparisons between the two are misleading.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:19 PM   #25
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Apples and oranges. Ethanol and biodiesel aren't the same at all, and comparisons between the two are misleading.
But both Ethanol and biodiesel have less energy content and thus less mileage. Both Ethanol and biodiesel can damage an engine not designed to use these bio-fuels.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:37 PM   #26
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Apples and oranges. Ethanol and biodiesel aren't the same at all, and comparisons between the two are misleading.
I agree that they aren't comparable. That wasn't my point. My point was that E10 is OK per the mfg just as B5 is but it's not as efficient and based on my small engine experience, not good for things that use it.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:58 PM   #27
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One of my neighbors sent the info below to me. Has this been an issue for any of you?

"Light oils like diesel, kerosene, heat oil, jet fuel can harbor microbial growth.
A vehicle not driven often (so no new fuel has been put in recently) can develop the microbial growth in the fuel. This crap is a nightmare to deal with (pumps, filters, clogged....seems to take forever to correct). It is a black moldy substance that clogs everything. It is actually a microscopic animal like a bacteria or protozoa. Who would think the little bastards could live in fuel??

On cars that are driven often, this doesn't occur because you are buying a new tank of fuel every 2-3 weeks. Same goes for the planes I used to fly. An airliner that flew all the time had no problem with it, whereas a corporate jet that may sit for months can develop the problem.

On vehicles like boats and RVs that may not be refilled with fuel often, there is a product called "PowerService Diesel", You can get it at Wal-Mart, same isle as the other fuel treatment stuff. The gray bottle (white bottle is for really cold climates).
This treats the fuel with antimicrobial properties. Driving on your trips and what not you don't have to worry about it. When you come home and park the thing, I would put a double shot of that stuff in the tank. I put it in my tractor tank when it sits over the winter and I have had no problems with microbes."
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:48 PM   #28
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One of my neighbors sent the info below to me. Has this been an issue for any of you?

"Light oils like diesel, kerosene, heat oil, jet fuel can harbor microbial growth.
A vehicle not driven often (so no new fuel has been put in recently) can develop the microbial growth in the fuel. This crap is a nightmare to deal with (pumps, filters, clogged....seems to take forever to correct). It is a black moldy substance that clogs everything. It is actually a microscopic animal like a bacteria or protozoa. Who would think the little bastards could live in fuel??
That happens with fuel where there is condensation in the tank. Diesel fuel is lighter than water, so all of the water settles to the bottom of the tank. The microbes actually live at the water/fuel interface (live in the water, feed on the fuel), which coincidentally just happens to be right where the fuel pump is sucking up the fuel, microbes and all. But not so much on a Sprinter.

You may have noticed that your Sprinter/Interstate fuel tank is not vented. Since it's not vented, there's no place for humidity to get in. As such, there's not much water in your system for microbes to grow in. It ain't like the old days… Back then, when tanks had a vent that was open to the air all the time, there was also a glass bowl in the fuel system that you had to check before firing up the engine, and if there was any water in the bowl, you had to drain it.
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