Friday, December 23, 2005
I heard from a reader of this blog, Bryan with a 2005 Passat, that VW "are having a systemic problem with the valve cover gaskets" and that they fixed his oil leak and it was covered under warranty with 37k. I'll have to give my local dealer a visit and see what they say.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Los Angeles Winter Fun
The winter is here and I've starting to see some interesting stuff with my car. First, I've stalled two times when switching from SVO to BioDiesel when coming off the freeway. The leading theory is that the computer is throwing a code that stalls the engine because the BD is to cold. Going from hot svo to cold BD could be a problem. At first that didn't make sense beacuse it was rarely happening. Then I realized that it was happening when I had about 1-2 gallons left in the BD tank. Less fuel in that tank means its gonna get cold faster. To solve that problem, at least in the winter, I'll be making sure I keep it somewhat full. Second, the other day I started the car cold at night and I started to drive but could not go over 30 mph. I drove about 30 seconds, stopped the car and then started again and it was fine. Ed Beggs of Neoteric said "Sounds like a viscosity-related computer issue. Went into limp mode from too-cold biodiesel. Key on/off reset it. By then it was warm enough." Sounds correct. He also said that there is a special chip that VW makes for people running BD. Seems like you gotta make the computer happy in the cold so I'm going to look into finding that chip. I'm also thinking about having the Vegtherm heating device be on when using BD and svo.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Look Holmes...A spot of Motor Oil
Today I found a spot of motor oil on my driveway. It's been 4k miles since my last oil change (I've been using the ELF brand) and so I brought it into Dan to do an oil change and check to see if we could see where the leak was. Oil pan and screw were clean. It's very hard to tell but Dan thinks its coming from the back engine seal. Not a good thing because it's like 8 hours of work to get to it and replace it. The car has 20K miles so it's not normal for an engine seal to be leaking already. Unless maybe that engine seal happens to be rubber and the owner uses bio diesel but who knows. So in Jan 06 Dan's going to replace the seal. Now some of you out there might suggest filling the car up with Diesel and trying to get this covered by the warranty and I've thought about it. But Dan can do this job in a day. The dealer is most likely going to take longer plus there's a chance that if the bio diesel did cause the problem then for sure it won't be covered and I'll have to pay dealer prices to put it back together again. The safest reliable bet is to have Dan do the work.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
The biggest problem I'm having is finding a good quick way to filter the used oil to 5 or 10 micron. My GreaseBeast is not doing the job. So I'm building my own improved filter Beast. I also changed out the two fuel filters. I have one for the bio diesel side and one for the veggi side. The BioDiesel one lasted about 5k miles and today I had Dan changed out the veggi one which lasted about 6K Miles. I could tell it needed to be changed because when I accelerated to quickly the engine would flutter. Other stuff I've learned: If you keep driving on a bad filter that restricts the fuel to the engine so that it keeps fluttering the "Emissions Workshop" engine light on the dash will go on. At first I thought I was doomed but after I replaced the filter and drove for another 30 miles or so the light turned itself off. This has happened three times to me. That's one of the reasons why I changed to the 10 micron filters. The 5 micron filters were not lasting long enough. So if you are running BioDiesel or svo and have this happend to you. Don't panic. Just fix the fuel restriction problem and light will go away. The on board computer and sensors really do work.
The GreaseBeast is No Beast
A couple weeks ago I switched to 10 micron filters for the vormax. My GreaseBeast is supposed to filter to 5 micron. Well, sadly, that's not the case becase my 10 micron filter is getting clogged.