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Burning the vegetables!

Discussion in 'Diesel forum' started by meatychi, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [Feb 13, 2007]
    OK so after a bit of research I have taken the plunge and fed my motor some SVO ( standard Vegetable oil ). SO far I am only running a 10 - 15% mix but I aim to get it to a 50/50 mix within the next couple of months.

    I am going to record my findings as much as possible and do my little bit for he environment.

    Mix : Faults/Comments

    10 - 15% : Non
    20 - 25% : Non
    30 - 33% : Immobiliser problem - unrelated
    33% : 0 degrees celsius today and car starts/runs fine
    #1
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  3. nivagh
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    nivagh Member

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    [Feb 15, 2007]
    Hmmm... better hope you have a warm garage as if there's a very cold night your tank will probably resemble hair gel!

    Brave move tho' - congrats. Don't forget to declare your usages to HMRT and pay your tax... :unsure:
    #2
  4. A3-frankie
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    A3-frankie Member

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    [Feb 19, 2007]
    id be interested 2 see how this goes.
    #3
  5. MikeA3
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    MikeA3 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 19, 2007]
    Maybe the mods could make this a sticky as i'm sure a lot of diesel owners would be interested inn your results
    #4
  6. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [Feb 20, 2007]
    I have been chatting to a chap that has an 2001 A3 130 PD un-modified and he has been running his motor on SVO and WVO for the last 70K.
    #5
  7. nivagh
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    nivagh Member

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    [Feb 21, 2007]
    What size filter does he use for the WVO?
    #6
  8. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [Feb 21, 2007]
    #7
  9. nivagh
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    nivagh Member

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    [Feb 22, 2007]
    Mine's a 2002 2.5 TDI

    Since I buy veggie oil for a living, I might look seriously at this come the warmer weather.
    #8
  10. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [Mar 2, 2007]
    0 degrees today when I jumped in my car and I was a little concerned but not for long, my car started first time and ran like normal. 33% mix safe so far!
    #9
  11. rickquattro
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    rickquattro Member

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    [Mar 2, 2007]
    So is this veggie oil off the shelf, as SVO usually means Straight Veg Oil, i.e. out of the chip fryer, bits and all... ?
    #10
  12. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [Mar 3, 2007]
    No its straight veggie oil - fresh out of a can! you be referring to WVO!
    #11
  13. rickquattro
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    rickquattro Member

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    [Mar 5, 2007]
    Ah.. SVo as straight from the shelf in Tesco.... Have you had a nose around on the TDi Club forum.. there is a lot of stuff on SVO/WVO there.

    Is your car a pd type deisel as I was lead to believe that they did not respond well to veggie oil in the fuel pump..?
    #12
  14. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [Mar 7, 2007]
    no I have an older direct injection motor I believe. a lot depends on the pump you have fitted. bosch appear to be the best. I haven't checked out that site, but I will.
    #13
  15. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [Mar 21, 2007]
    Mix : Faults/Comments

    10 - 15% : Non
    20 - 25% : Non
    30 - 33% : Immobiliser problem - unrelated
    33% : 0 degrees celsius today and car starts/runs fine
    33% : -1.5 degrees celsius today and car starts/runs fine
    #14
  16. SamDude
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    SamDude Active Member

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    [Mar 24, 2007]
    #15
  17. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [Apr 4, 2007]
    So I was driving home the other day and my heating coil light starts flashing, "oh no!"

    I then stopped at a set of traffic lights and my engine cut out and failed to start up again.

    When my friendly neighbourhood AA man inspected my car he determined that the cause was one of the following:

    NO Fuel! - My gauge was reporting over 1/4 of a tank
    Air in my system
    Faulty fuel gauge

    He then proceeded to put £5 worth of diesel in and the car started up again.

    How embarassing!

    That evening I decided to go and fill my tank up and when I turned the ignition on, the fuel gauge and the distance indicator were randomly changing from 0 - 1/4 full and 0 - 100 miles respectively.

    Anyway off I ventured, very warily, to the petrol station. The tank took 55 litres to fill which suggests that there was at least 2 gallons left in the tank prior to the AA man sticking a fiver in.

    So for the time being everything is pointing to my fuel sensors / gauge.

    The following error codes occured:

    463a Engine Control unit disabled

    0226 Start of injection control - Control Difference

    05A1 Fuel Shortage Sensor

    0560 Injection pump speed signal faulty

    They have been cleared to see if they re-occur.

    Bizarrely my motor seems to be running better now.
    #16
  18. SiliconS
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    SiliconS Member

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    [Apr 4, 2007]
    Interesting update. Thanks for posting it.

    My fuel gauge and 'distance remaining' readout are sometimes unreliable too. I tend to run my tank until it's almost empty. At the end of the tank I'll finish a journey with a couple of mm of fuel left on the gauge, and 40 miles remaining on the DIS. Next time I drive the car the gauge will be below the empty mark and the DIS will read 0 miles. It'll continue to show 0 miles for the next 20 miles before I fill up again, getting about 60 litres in (i.e. well below the max stated capacity of the tank, I think). This has happened a couple of times. Maybe you're just seeing a similar inconsistency.
    #17
  19. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [Apr 4, 2007]
    SiliconS - Did you get anywhere with your limp mode?

    Im going to lay off the vegetables for a week to see if any of the fault codes or any other odd bahaviour occurs.

    What sort of mileage are you achieving from a full tank?
    #18
  20. SiliconS
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    SiliconS Member

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    [Apr 4, 2007]
    I haven't got any news to report, but my car's now due a service and I'll get them to change the gearbox oil at the same time to see whether that has any effect. Haven't had the problem recur since driving back from the garage. It's very rare.

    I've switched away from supermarket fuels to using only Shell at the moment, and I'm now getting 500 miles out of every tank, at an average (measured) of 36 mpg. (With supermarket fuels it was 400-450 miles at an average of 32 mpg.) I'm really pleased with the improvement. Soon I'll try supermarket fuel again to see whether it's the fuel that makes a difference or whether it's my driving style that's gradually changed since I bought the car in November. My wife says I'm driving more slowly than I used to - perhaps that's the reason. On motorways I cruise at 80mph but I rarely accelerate enough to cause a kick-down. I think the gearbox program has switched to "Old duffer in a cardigan" mode, which is why fuel consumption is improved. :)

    Good luck with yours.
    #19
  21. meatychi
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    [Apr 5, 2007]
    lol - I know what you mean, most of the time the car just makes you wanna cruise and for a short period I noticed my general driving slowed down but recently I have taken to giving it a bit of stick and I am quite impressed at the big girls performance!

    The 1st to second does scare me from time to time mind!

    I changed from an 320 cd m sport, in November too and I can genuinely say I drive a lot safer than I used to.

    Early 30's more like early 40's - Age doesn't half sneak up on you.

    Anyway back to the car - I can generally run it to my reserves and get about 480 depending on how I am feeling that week. I mainly stick Shell fuel in myself as they are usually the cheapest and better quality than you local supermarkets.

    I'll back on the vegetables in a week to see if that makes my fault codes re-appear.

    My car still struggles to determine when to change up when in auto mode, changing from 2nd to 3rd but not a big problem as I tend to drive in tip mode all of the time anyway!
    #20
  22. ScoobyA4
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    ScoobyA4 ding dang do

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    [Apr 17, 2007]
    how did everything go after the service? back to using SVO?
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  23. meatychi
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    [Apr 17, 2007]
    No not yet I have been running it on diesel for the last few weeks to try and diagnose whether it is the veggie that may have caused it.

    I broke down again the other day not far from where I did the first time ( strangely enough ).

    Anyway after a specialist had taken a butchers at it, they have diagnosed that the fuel pump within the tank has failed.

    This does kinda make sense as the first time my car died the fuel gauge was displaying just over 1/4 of a tank. The second time the tank was showing just over half. My car ran perfectly fine between the incidents when there was a full or almost full tank of fuel. This would support the fact that the pump in the tank was not working efficiently and causing the following error 0560 Injection pump speed signal faulty.

    Is this due to the veggie oil?

    It could be but it also could be just down to old age. My motor has completed 111k now so it could be a combination of old age and the extra work it was having to do to push the slighty thicker SVO through.

    The good news is that the mechanic could not find any trace of coagulated veggie oil and no other foreign bodies in there apart from the usual **** generated after a long time.

    SO - my fuel pump, in the engine, seems to have withstood the test of a 33% mix, at temps around 0 degrees ( touch wood )

    The fact that no svo residue was evident either in the fuel pump ( engine ) or in the fuel tank is a good sign.

    The cost of the replacement fuel pump ( tank ) is not!

    In the name of science ( lol ) I intend to start my usage of SVO again, this being after a full tank of diesel has been used with my new pump fitted.

    Some of you may think this is a stupid and a costly thing to do but I have already committed to trying this out. Research suggests it is possible to do so and my motor has all the elements needed to run successfully on SVO.

    Stay tuned ill keep this post updated.
    #22
  24. ScoobyA4
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    ScoobyA4 ding dang do

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    i dont think that the temp has much impact on less than 50% mix. the diesel will dilute it enough, and prevent it freezing. (thats what i've read anyway...)

    Good luck, keep us informed! i might just follow you, i was pricing up 25lt drums in Costco over the weekend and it appears fair cheap...
    #23
  25. fjtwelve
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    fjtwelve Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    You are a man after my own heart, i run mine on the basis theres 9 litres/2 gallons left after the light comes on, often well past 0 miles on the DIS. Drives the wife mad. As the fuel hardly stays long enough in my tank to get warm i hold open the button in the tank filler pipe to allow the expansion section to fill up. My record fill up is a tadge over 74 litres/16 gallons which at my longterm average of 33 gives 535 miles roughly. :icon_thumright:
    #24
  26. meatychi
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    [Apr 19, 2007]
    fjtwelve - what is this button that you are refferring to and what is the expansion section?

    My motor is back on the road today and running on a full tank of diesel. I'll be checking mpg and fuel gauge readings as my fuel decreases - Fingers crossed I wont be breaking down for a while!
    #25
  27. fjtwelve
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    fjtwelve Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 22, 2007]
    Inside the left hand side of the filler pipe on my A6 and my previous Passat there is a small button which is the top of a pressure relief pipe from the fuel tank. If you fill the tank to the neck and screw the filler cap back on you may hear a hiss of air as you do so. I noticed this, and after filling the tank to the neck i took the cap off again and found no sign of fuel. So i now fill the tank to the click on the pump, then use the nozzle of the pump to hold the button open and carry on filling up. Generally you 'll get 6-9 litres more in depending how frothy your fuel is. I do not do this and then park the car, i always fill up on a run and by the time i stop i've burnt enough off to allow expansion for whats left.:gaehn:
    For what its worth (and i am now getting boring) Shell is definitely better than supermarket stuff, and was better than Esso for my Passat. I always run Shell now as i am getting stupid amounts of airmiles and have not tested other brands properly in the A6. I have had one bad experience with supermarket stuff in the A6, trashed the performance and the fuel economy, never again.:lazy:
    #26
  28. meatychi
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    [Apr 28, 2007]
    Thanks for the info fjtwelve:

    Well 430 miles later and my car has broken down again, this time with a third of a tank of fuel being shown on my gauge.

    I think its fair to say it isnt the fuel pump so back to the garage! and i think some credit or a refund is in order for unecessary fuel pump!
    #27
  29. Adam C
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    Adam C Mine a manual

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    [Apr 30, 2007]
    Hi,

    I've just read this thread with interest.
    The barmy weather we've had this April has pushed me into finding some local Biofuel, which I'm just starting to use now. ('01 2.5 TDI)
    I'm impressed with your decision to try out SVO, and most of all the "if it breaks I'll fix it" attitude, rather than "It might break, so I won't". I think it's time we all follow your example and cut down on the use of fossil fuels. Well done.
    BTW, sorry that the car broke! ;-)
    #28
  30. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [May 2, 2007]
    Thanks Adam C for your compliments.

    I have just got off the blower and the garage have found the problem. As bizarre as this may seem, he has found rather a large piece of cardboard which was wedged inside one of the fuel feed lines.

    The fuel tank on these machines are shaped like saddle bags and they have three fuel senders. One in each saddle bag and one in the main part of the tank. This would explain why the guage shows the correct amount of fuel but no fuel gets to the engine..

    This also explains why when more fuel is put in the engine, the engine works. The fuelling system has a bizarre way of feeding the resevoirs. If there is a shortage in one resevoir then the system pumps fuel from the other reservoir to cater for the shortage. So at any one time my near side resevoir was always full but not feeding fuell through due to the blockage.

    Well I am having to bite the bullet and pay for the new fuel pump and meet the mechanic half way for todays diagnostic/labour.

    BUT is this related to my initial experiment?
    Is it the SVO that has caused my pump to fail or is it this foreign piece of cardboard?
    How has this cardboard got into my fuel tank?

    So many questions but no answers.

    Well back to the drawing board - I'll have to see if I brake down again and the problem still exists!
    #29
  31. SamDude
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    SamDude Active Member

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    [May 2, 2007]
    Did you not use the CardboardFilter when filling up? :idea:


    [​IMG]
    #30
  32. meatychi
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    [May 3, 2007]
    Nope but I will be using one from now on!

    You would think that they would have put some sort of gauzing in the fuel inlet or something, wouldn't you?
    #31
  33. MikeA3
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    MikeA3 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 3, 2007]
    Sorry to hear that you've broken down 3 times so far - you must be getting your monies worth out of the AA :)

    Seems odd that cardboard got into the fuel tank in the first place? - might have been some little sh!t playing around with the pump nozzle at the petrol station?
    #32
  34. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [May 4, 2007]
    Well I have passed the first milestone - I managed to drive with less than 1/2 a tank of fuel in.

    Next I'll see if I can drive it down to the reserves!

    Its seems to be performing well enough. Lets see!
    #33
  35. meatychi
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    [May 8, 2007]
    I think it may be safe to say that my car is now running normally so back in with the vegetables.

    Running on 50% mix and found the car to judder a little when standing still but that symptom soon disappeared. 300 miles later and the car seems to be running fine.
    #34
  36. meatychi
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    [Aug 17, 2007]
    Its been a while since I updated you guys as to my progress.

    I experienced a bit of the white smoke syndrome that seems to be quite a common occurrence after 100K and replaced the crankcase breather filter. All is good now and the car is running loads better.

    As this seems to be a common illness I have decided to carry on my experiment and I am now pre-mixing the SVO before filling my tank. Its a bit messier but no engine chugg.

    My aim is to get to a 66% mix, I don't think I am prepared to go any further than that but we will see.
    #35
  37. SiliconS
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    [Aug 17, 2007]
    Thanks for the update. I was thinking about your experiment the other day after filling up my car for 99p a litre. :(
    #36
  38. Mcgough
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    [Aug 17, 2007]
    Im tempted also as i live one mile from costco and it works out as only 0.37p a litre with there special offer vegie oil at moment!!
    #37
  39. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    [Aug 19, 2007]
    37! price has just gone up to £10.64 for 20l at my local costco!
    #38
  40. unkle
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    unkle Beer God

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    [Nov 17, 2007]
    Sorry to dig up an old thread but I just found this one and wondered how it ended, are you still running the car on vegi oil? if so hows the car running these days?
    #39
  41. meatychi
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    [Nov 28, 2007]
    I'm still around!

    I ran her all the way upto 60% but found it a bit juddery, until the oil had mixed up a little.

    She still drives great, only running on 33% at the moment!

    SVO has gone up a tad recently too!

    Now theres a surprise!
    #40

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