Sunday, September 09, 2007


Woo Hoo! 30,000 Miles

So I’ve traveled 30,000 miles using a 2005 TDI PD engine on soy Waste Veggi Oil (WVO) and still going...

But here are some of my mistakes that you should avoid if you try this at home.

1) You must change your motor oil every 1,000 to 2,000 miles. This is soooooooo important. All of my engine wear and tear (damage) has been caused because I was lazy and or pushed it too hard to see what would happen if I went 3k -4k miles on the same motor oil.

The excessive wear and tear on the engine happens because of Polymerization. Picture super hard plastic micro pellets being formed in your engine. They form because of the super hot heat in the engine mixing with the hydrocarbons from the motor oil and the veggi oil (soy being the most susceptible to this chemical reaction) And since Castrol Fully Synthetic oil, the oil that VW and the dealers tell you you must use, is not “fully synthetic,” which means it contains traces of hydrocarbons, you get this problem. By the way, in case you were wondering, super hard plastic micro pellets in your engine is not good for the turbo or the cylinders. Take a look at my turbo picture below (a couple posts back) Now all of this damage I believe can be avoided. But you must change your oil and use a real synthetic like Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel and Truck, which so far tests the best with veggi oil or you can use Canola oil which has a lower change of polymerizing. I’m currently testing Amsoil.

2) Your install should use two 3 port switches and a relay timer so the veggi oil doesn’t get into the start up diesel tank. My install doesn’t have this and so in the beginning, during the winter, I had some rough starts when I let the 5 gallon tank run low. Now I keep it full. Also, I should note, that my roughest starts were when I was running B99 as the start up fuel. The combo of veggi oil and B99 is no good for a morning start. To solve this, I have to use Diesel as my start up fuel.

3) Electric pump filter systems are a pain. Just use two 55 gallon drums to filter your oil with hand crank pumps. The first drum has a 10-20 micron filter bag. Then hand crack the filtered oil into the second drum which has a “5 micron” bag. But make sure your install has an on board filter/water separator.

4) Don’t run B99 in a car like mine. Your rear engine seal will become soft and you will start to leak oil and you will have to replace it. I used to use B99 as my primary fuel before the conversion and as my start up fuel after the conversion and this happened to me.

Hi Kevin,

I think your blog is fantastic and I'm impressed you've done this.

I have a Pug 206 on oil, its twin tanked and done 50,000 on veg.

The problem is really modern cars like yours, and the lack of infomation about running on veg. Eventually we will all have to have post 2000 vehicles.

Kevin, you truly are a pioneer of vegetable oil motoring!

Regards, James
only 20k more miles to go, before you kill the engine for good. I've seen it on 4 different VW TDI's 47 to 55k and the engine is ready for a full rebuild.
It seems that every time you solve one problem, you are just causing yourslef more problems down the road. Mobil One is not 505.01 approved. And by not using a 505.01, you are going to get wear on your camshafts and the lifters for the PD injectors. Wear on the camshafts will cause your PD injectors to misfire. Your PD injectors are already taking a heaping of abuse by the WVO you are pushing through them. Expect to replace or rebuild the engine as the previous poster said.

I'm avidly awaiting the next update on your blog......

Have you had your fair share of problems with the engine yet? If I had as many problems as you in 30k miles, I'd junk the car and get something more reliable.

Any savings you had from fuel expenses has been offset by service and repairs. I think you are in the hole big time on this car. Your operational expense per mile must be sky high.
Some of the nay-sayers have been harsh, which is a shame since you should be praised for your experimental efforts, but I'm afraid they're mostly accurate. Your engine will not survive long-term on WVO and you are further damaging it with every mile driven.

An older engine using older-fashioned technology and a robust inline injection pump, vegetable-based engine oil and an aggressive filtering program (WVO and engine oil) may handle it, but not your VW, sad to say. Today's engines run a delicate balance of numerous factors to bring us efficiency and environmental performance; such engines cannot be adapted to a "non-spec" fuel, but rather need the fuel adapted to the engine.

With those facts in mind, and your laudable attitudes towards a "green" solution, may I suggest you move up to the next step: home-based production of biodiesel from WVO?

The nay-sayers will appear again to point out the potential wide variance of biodiesel quality from batch to batch, and they'd be right, but such an effort would be a far more noble experiment than your direct-burn WVO project. Your results, the methods you employ to achieve such results, the journey of learning you will travel in this process, your very readable reporting, will contribute greatly to the fund of public knowledge on this subject.

I hope you will consider such a course instead of the WVO direct-burn conversion, which is ultimately futile given the technology mis-match and will only destroy your engine.

"ToyotaDiesel" is mostly wrong. Your efforts are only experimental because you did not do anywhere near enough research. The problems you're having with your car are not unknowns. Many people have independently come to the same conclusions about what not to do by not following those who have been successful and destroying their car. Dino diesel doesn't come straight from the ground, it has to be processed in a massively complex refinery. Why did you think passing some waste oil through a few bags was enough? Why did you think the specified oil for your car was merely an offhanded recommendation? I really can't understand your logic. This might be harsh, but the problem isn't the car or the fuel, it's you.
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