I wanted to post my troubles with a 2009 Jetta TDI that I bought specifically to run B100 from day one. There's a long thread on TDI club (http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=224644), but here's the end of the story:
Bad news - the dealer said they found excessive oil dilution AND the CEL was due to excessive biodiesel. They consulted with VW's tech line (this is a policy for all 2009 Jetta TDI's regardless of what they come in for). They took a fuel sample from the fuel filter, took pictures of my "powered by 100% biodiesel" sticker, and gave me a copy of all the data, including diagnostic logs. I had to ask for it, and they didn't want to give any of it to me, but I pressed them and they agreed. I told them up front I was using biodiesel, so there was no worry that I would be seen as being sneaky about anything.
I'll post all this information in PDF form when I have a chance, but I wanted this info to get out as soon as possible. I'm confident that my fuel is ASTM quality (I have the sheet on file from the batch that went into the tank when the CEL came on, and the lab test was from that same week), so this isn't a case of bad fuel, poor handling, or a bad mechanic. They have simply crossed the line into territory that B100 doesn't belong in.
Also, the service manager said that they want me to run out the rest of the B100 tank I'm currently using, then fill up with diesel and bring in for a free oil change. No warranty issue going forward, although I did agree to pay a $98 service charge to the tech who performed the work. I was unaware of an asinine employment structure that my dealer has, in which each mechanic "works for free" unless either the customer or VW pays them for the work on each individual vehicle. So refusing to pay doesn't mean that VW has to eat it - it means that an individual mechanic got screwed. That feels so wrong to me, and puts the customer experience in jeopardy for fear of ripping off some guy who just works at a dealership.
The service advisor also said that VW told him that if I come in for service on the vehicle in the future, and I have B100 in it, they will "void the entire car's warranty". That ridiculous notion, as if they could not fix my radio because I'm using biodiesel, made me almost angry enough to pursue it on principle. I do hope to get something in writing from VW stating this policy, because it's obviously not legal to do such a thing. If I get any more information about it, I'll be sure to post.
I will also get a sample of the oil right before I take it in. I'll take 3 samples - one for Blackstone, one for my own use, and one to send off somewhere else if needed. I'll report those results as well.
I'm sad to report that the days of Volkswagen producing (willingly or not) the best cars to use biodiesel with are over. The 2009 Jetta TDI simply will not work with B100. There may of course be those that use it and have no problems, but my issue is as close to a smoking gun as we will get. The only thing left to do is to go over the diagnostics and have a third party confirm that the codes mean what they say, and that they aren't simply using the biodiesel as a scapegoat. I have no reason to think that's the case here, but mention it in the interest of fairness for anyone else wanting to pursue this.
From the 1977 diesel Rabbit to the 2006 Jetta TDI, Volkswagen has led the way for diesel passenger cars in America. With the newly designed emissions system in the US, they've jumped the shark and disappointed the faithful. Personally, I'll be looking to unload this petroleum-sucking turd and buy something that I can safely fuel with domestically-produced biodiesel made from waste vegetable oil. If anyone is interested in a 2009 base model, reflex silver, manual transmission, 2000 miles, send me an email. On a side note, I'm disappointed with the room in the back seat - barely enough to squeeze my baby seat in the middle and have the driver's seat back far enough to drive comfortably (I'm 6'0"). Does the Passat have more back seat room?
And by the way, TDIclub.com SUCKS for biodiesel and vegoil talk. infopop has very little posting about TDI's, so I felt like TDIclub would be the best place to document my test. Bad move on my part, as I've gotten more than a few flame posts ("wish I had $25,000 to throw away", etc) and mostly negativity. There's no love of alternative fuels there, even in the alternative fuels section. Their mods don't give a crap about alt fuels, and go through great lengths to scare anyone away from using them. Too bad, especially considering the founder was interviewed when he started TDIclub based on his use of biodiesel in the very beginning!
DieselGreen Fuels, Austin TX
2009 Jetta TDI (Powered by B100 as of 9/9/08)
2004 Golf TDI (powered by vegetable oil)
1993 Dodge 3500 (powered by B100)
2003 Dodge 3500 (powered by B100)
I have heard and talked to some people that are running B100 in their new 2009 TDI's with no problem at all.
A couple of things that come to mind.
First, your car is still very NEW. I would assume you would get slightly higher oil contamination in the first 10,000 miles... Then the engine would be in the best possible condition from say 10,000 mi to 100,000 mi, after which it will show some signs of wear.
Perhaps you should "break-in" with Diesel and/or B50.
If you are changing oil every 1,000 miles and sending in a sample, then you would get some excellent quantitative data to observe any break-in effects.
Depending on your financial situation, perhaps you could get in touch with a manager either at VW USA, or at VW Germany, and try to work up a contract about the warranty & testing & etc.
I would imagine VW would have to pay someone to do the testing that you are willing to do for FREE!!!
Anyway... Approach them with this:
Approach this as you being willing to invest time and effort in doing a carefully controlled "real-world" test of their vehicles using certified ASTM B100 (new veggie oil or WVO?)
And, emphasize that you aren't using your own garage WVO brew, but rather ASTM certified production B100.
Also emphasize that you are willing to share all test results with VW at your own expense.
Thanks for posting this here. I've been looking at buying a 2009 and was interested to hear about your experience after seeing your initial post on the tdi forum.
Can you clarify what the dealer meant when they said the CEL was due to biodiesel. Are they saying the car has an "excessive biodiesel" code? As for the oil dilution issue, it seems to me that we need to wait to see what the results of the oil sample tests will be, because I find it hard to believe a visual determination can show proof of dilution, unless it was severe.
Obviously they can't void the entire car warranty, they're just using hyperbole to make their point. Tho, The fact that they would say it shows a bias against biodiesel that means they shouldn't be trusted to fairly analyse problems with your car. We have a senior VW tech here on Maui who has been caught red handed lying about his diagnosis of car problems because of his rabid negative opinion of biodiesel. He's so bad that several years ago he tried to claim that a TDI that had lost all of its oil due to bottoming out the oil pan was caused by biodiesel use.
I agree with your opinon of tdiclub. It's a great technical site, but I stopped going there on a regular basis because of the anti-biodiesel talk. Like you, I'm open to the idea that there might be engines that won't run on b100, but when some people bash biodiesel just for the sake of bashing biodiesel, what's the point.
Please continue to keep us informed on this. I'm holding out hope that your problem is not really caused by b100.
Neurot- Sorry to hear about your problems. The replies to your post have excellent info, so here's a couple of thoughts... The CEL can come on for hundreds of reasons, and there is still a lot of room for interpretation by a tech. Example- if you get a code for glow plug heating, the tech still has to narrow down the code to something specific- wiring, a bad plug, a bad relay, etc. I'm curious what the EXACT FAULT was that caused the CEL to come on. My guess is that the tech may have been swayed from a complete/accurate diagnosis by your bumper sticker. You'll know for sure if the fault repeats itself on fossil fuel- same fault? It's not your B100. VWs can be a pain to diagnose- ask any tech at a dealer. I have experienced this first hand from the DEALER side... By the way- all shops operate like you describe- the techs are paid by the flat rate hour. If the VW warranty manual says a repair job should take 1 hour and the tech does the job in 1.5 hours, he still only gets paid 1 hour. Labor times from manufacturers are notoriously low, and techs often lose time. This is why dealerships and techs hate doing "warranty work". They would rather put brakes on a car (at the customer's expense) in 45 minutes and get paid for 1.5 hours! Can't blame 'em either. Steve
From a dealership tech standpoint here are my opinions 1.)I am glad that the public is starting to realize how crappy the pay system is that we get paid on. 2.) I was very generous of you to agree to pay the techs time for working on your vehicle. 3.) I agree with sotba you need proof that the BD caused your problem. there is no "oil quality sensor" so what did the biodiesel do exactly to throw the light on 4.) cylinder was down could have happend even on petro diesel on a brand new engine that is why the oil has to be changed so early for the first one. 5.) In the tech's defense it may not have been his call to blame the biodiesel it could have been someone higher up the chain that told him to blame that or they had no other logical explanation so they used BD as the scapegoat. 6.) They cannot void the entire cars warranty b/c of BD use they can only reject the claim at the time of the incident due to biodiesel use if it is something that has been proven to be BD related. Like you said they cannot reject repairing your radio because you use BD, they cant even reject an engine related repair unless THEY prove bd not you. You should not have to pay to prove your case they have to pay to prove you wrong!
Hope this helps
Factory Trained Ford Tech
Gas and Diesel Expert
Ford tech, No offense but in the owners manual it states that the use of Bio is NOT approved and will void the warranty. This is common knowledge. Polymerization and oil dilution are common issues on Bio/WVO/SVO cars. That is why most who are successful with bio/wvo/svo change their oil often. You are correct in your statement with the dealer having to document why the claim is void. With the ammo they have the customer loses. Also regarding the warranty, they certainly can void it completely. Can the customer fight it? Yes, but it would be a long drawn out case and chances are they would lose depending on how the warranty is written.
Neurot, good luck to you. Perhaps you may be better off picking up an older model to use BIO.
hevster, where in the manual does it say that bio will void warranty? and what makes you say that they can refuse to repair the radio or suspension parts if I'm using bio?
you also must not have read much about me or this test, or you would know that i'm not looking for a car, but to show what can and cannot work with the 2009 Jetta specifically, as i own a biodiesel business. i already own an older model as well as the new one.
thanks but no thanks for the post to nowhere
I have been researching and collecting biod samples in CA and OR for 2 years now. run 2 VW TDI's and a dodge sprinter '05 CDI on blends from b50 to b100.
Many ASTM fuels i have collected contain either residual glycerine or salts (some minor some pretty bad!). the former can cause buildup of gunk over time and the latter can cause corrosion. My source of Biod is the cleanest & best i've found in the entire two years. NO issues w/ vehicles have been experienced. My hunch is the new TDI's are more fussy about Biod fuels that, although may be ASTM "certified" are still not "A Grade". Test your fuel. mix 50/50 with distilled water, residual glycerine will wash out as a film between oil/water interface. also put a sample in fridge. what temp do crystals start forming? what temp does it solidify? the biod i use doesn't show any gelling until 25 degrees F, and it is made with recycled restuarant grease.
And yes, changing oil more often or at least on schedule with synthetic is important as i have smelled it in the oil during changes.
'03 TDI Jetta: 42,000 mi B100
'00 TDI Glof: 33,0000 mi B100
'05 Mercedes I5 CDI 6,000 mi on various blends.
Demand quality biodiesel for our future,watch out for the bunk stuff!
Hi Neurot, and everyone,
I just wanted to encourage Neurot on his brave steps to test the new 2009 Jetta on b100. Somebody had to do it, and you did, so I applaud you.
I saw your threaad on TDIClub.com just days ago, and was oone of the many ready to keep an eye on your results, hoping all would be fine. In fact, I just got my 2009 TDI just days ago, wit the distinct purpose of at some point soon switching to B100. I know some folks already running their diesels on B100, though most were older diesels, and the Jetta TDI's were 2002-2006 being the newest.
My heart sank as I read your post on here with the bad news...but then I read on.
3rd, I would agree with the others in that there has to be more exact identification of what exactly caused one to conclude it was the BD for the CEL. As someone else so aptly put it, what is the code for bad BD?
I will close stating I am very un-knowledgeable in all this, other than being very pro-BD, etc and having gone to a workshop with a friend to learn how to brew BD. Thsi friend has already been brewing a few months and successfully running a few vehicles, as I said, for some of our friends. I had a gas vehicle that I decided not to payoff and turned in and got a new Jetta TDI, hoping it would be perfect for BD.
So, again, I think you are braver than most of those naysayers on the other forum, and should perhaps "keep going" and continue learning, for all of our sake, how the 2009 Jetta TDI engine handles it, etc.
The pioneers, in any endeavor, always bear the brunt of the criticism, etc, and blaze new trails on uncharted territory. I would think there's a distinct boldness that it takes to do that, and most do not have it. So, you have it. I say, keep going!! You started, you might as well keep going as long as something that truly wrecks the engine happens. Until, then, like Edison, I think you are just getting closer to finding out what truly works...
I hope that at worst, B50 or more is still usable without issues...
Yes it does.
Just too many morons. My ignore list was about 50 members. One member shoots WVO hardware with his guns. This is the type of person who inhabits TDIClub.
Many of us left this year.
Some settled at their kit's clubs.
I post here.
Thanks for adding your info here.
"The 2009 Jetta TDI simply will not work with B100. "
Stock, probably true.
But as I postulated over a year ago, the solution might be as simple as a dual tank arrangement and an indicator to know when the TDI wants to do a regen. I have already seen indicator like boxes for detecting regen aftermarket in Germany.
"I find it hard to believe a visual determination can show proof of dilution, unless it was severe."
Over on the WVO side, we do two tests.
1. Refrigerator test. See if the oil gels at 40*F, a sign of vo dilution.
2. Paper stain test. Put a sample on a business card and look for concentric rings caused by crank and veggie oil separating.
But yo're right, it's very subjective and proabably onl works for >10% vo or bd dilut.
1-tank Elsbett VW TDI , 220,000 WVO miles.
and a '92 F-250 with only a FPHE
I understand the problem is a post combustion burst of fuel which is intended to burn in the exhaust system and clean the particulate filter. Dino-diesel vapourizes and burns at the temperatures during post combustion, whereas BD does not.
The answer is to alter the ECU programming to eliminate the post combustion burst. I am sure the companies who program for performance could do this.
If you disable the regen, then how does the DPF get cleaned out? It will eventually plug and choke the engine leading to a complete loss of power.
If you intend to cut off the DPF, are you willing to pay the EPA fine when that is discovered?
I'm not even sure that will work. The ECU may look for pressure readings that will not be correct if the DPF is deleted.
I wonder what VW service will do with illegal flash code in the ECU? Overwrite it most likely.
Don't those 'companies who program' charge a fee for each flashing?
1-tank Elsbett VW TDI , 220,000 WVO miles.
and a '92 F-250 with only a FPHE
Im not too sure about the Jetta or the new emmisions laws, but i have a 2007 Chevy Silverado with the Duramax diesel. I, from the day I drove it home, use b100. About a month into using B100 I had a message pop up on my dashboard saying "change exhaust filter." I was wondering what this exhaust filter was. I did the research and it turns out that 2007.5 and up now are equipped with this diesel particle filter. Now it didnt trip my CEL, but it did warn me, but I imagine it wasnt helping my fuel milage. So I bought an aftermarket exhaust system to get rid of my DPF, and a computer programmer to bypass my exhaust emissions system so my truck doesnt think it has the DPF. Since then my truck has had no issues with B100. Could your CEL have come on because B100 clogged your DPF like it did mine? I'm looking for a diesel vehicle for my wife and was looking at the Jetta TDI, and I want to know if B100 is compatable or if I have to bypass the emissions system like I had to do on my truck.
I am a diesel mechanic, I know for a fact if you used clean properly made B100 your exhaust would have had no issues. The problem starts when dirty B100 is burned, I have used B100 for years in my entire fleet with no problems.
and your vehicles have the DPF?
Biodiesel burns at a lower temperature than petrodiesel, so the exhaust temperatures don't get high enough to allow the particulate filter to burn off the accumulated soot. Eventually, the particulate filter fills up, and Peugeot/Mazda/VW charge many thousand dollars to replace it.
Matt, thanks for the info about your situation. It would be a shame if everyone who wants to use B100 has to spend money to bypass the emissions system, which is also technically illegal. I don't have an ethical problem with doing it, since I know that the B100 has much less emissions than the diesel it was trying to clean up.
To your point, once the DPF is clogged, it can still recharged - either manually by the dealer, or by running a tank of diesel and putting it in the right conditions to trigger it. I'm not saying it's an ideal situation, but replacing a DPF because it's clogged would be absurd.
TDIGuy2 said: I understand the problem is a post combustion burst of fuel which is intended to burn in the exhaust system and clean the particulate filter. Dino-diesel vapourizes and burns at the temperatures during post combustion, whereas BD does not.
Neurot said:To your point, once the DPF is clogged, it can still recharged - either manually by the dealer, or by running a tank of diesel and putting it in the right conditions to trigger it.
So, would finishing off the tank of BD and running a tank or two of dino-diesel then trigger regen normally and blast/vaporize the DPF and put one back on BD after that?
Please forgive my ignorance if I am missing something obvious..
Also, Neurot: what's the latest? And, I have not checked your original thread (the second one, not the closed first one) in TDI Forums lately...you still posting updates? There? or here? And what of rodneyh, who was also runing bd on his 2009 and he was posting there alos/has a thread...
Wow, where to start? Nurot: Thank you for your information. I intend to comment on the main point of your post a litter further on.
As a mechanic and Auto Shop teacher (Yes, there are a few of us left.) What you are describing as the mechanics pay structure, is a con by the dealer. There are many companies that use this “Independent contractor” ploy to avoid paying for things like Unemployment insurance, health care benefits, retirement benefits, etc. I hope the Department of Labor figures out how wrong this practice is and outlaws it.
The problem of oil dilution and diesel engines is that when the engineers design the system to inject the fuel directly into the combustion chamber after the power stroke is over. With this process the fuel doesn’t vaporize properly and washes down the cylinder walls, and raw fuel gets into the oil.
What is confusing to me is this: The regeneration process occurs at somewhere around 800 to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Fuel is injected to bring the DFP up to this temperature so that the “Soot” trapped by this filter will burn away in a clean manor. If the goal is to reach this temperature, I don’t understand why an injection of air and fuel (Bio or otherwise) can’t do the job. Temperatures at boiler burners approaches 3000 degrees, and even at half that efficiency 1500 deg is more than enough to do this job. I think that someone is trying very hard to make biodiesel not work.
Since I am venting a little, I am very much against using alcohol as a vehicle fuel because it has less energy per gallon than gas, diesel, biodiesel, or natural gas. That means it will take twice as much fuel to go the same distance (read that a larger fuel tank.). I once attended a class introducing mechanics one of the first vehicles designed to run on E85, gasoline, or straight alcohol. I asked the engineer what the gas mileage would be on gasoline vs. alcohol. He said the mileage for gasoline was 26 to 32 MPG. On alcohol the mileage dropped to 12 to 14 MPG. Those were the official numbers from the manufacture to a group that they were trying to impress. I was not.
I am not a conspiracy theory person, but something odd is going on and we need to continue to educate ourselves, and continue the experiments.
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