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  #1  
Old 11-04-2010, 07:03 PM
jdcolombo jdcolombo is offline
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Fuel Issues (Biodiesel) in Illinois

Hi folks.

We just took delivery of a 2011 X5 35d about 10 days ago. But I find that here in Illinois (at least in my home area of Champaign-Urbana), virtually every diesel pump is marked Biodiesel, with a sticker saying that the diesel contains a 5-20% biodiesel blend.

My manual (and filler cap) boldly proclaim that I shouldn't use anything higher than B7 (7% biodiesel) in the X5. Right now, our two Meijer stations in C-U still have an all-petrodiesel pump, but I'm starting to worry that state subsidies and laws will result in my having NO pure petrodiesel pumps soon. (In fact, my dealer filled the car up before delivery at a station across the street that has a 5-20% biodiesel sticker on it; I have since switched to the Meijer pure petrodiesel).

I read somewhere that BMW was part of a consortium testing B20's effects on modern clean diesel engines, but haven't heard any results. Does anyone know anything about this? Are there BMW diesel owners out there who hail from Illinois, and if so, what are you filling up your cars with these days? Is one more likely to find pure petrodiesel at truck stops than gas stations with diesel pumps?

John C.

Last edited by jdcolombo; 11-04-2010 at 07:04 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2010, 10:51 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is online now
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Out of curiosity, are the stickers stating that the biodiesel blend can be anywhere from 5% to 20% (with no notice whether the particular load you are pumping on any given day contains 5% or 20%)? Or, is there a pump for B5 and another pump for some other formulation? Or, something else????
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2010, 04:25 AM
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jdcolombo, if you search this forum you'll find a bunch of discussion speculating about the effects of higher-concentration biodiesel.

There are a few open questions that none of us know the answer to:

1) are there seals that it will deteriorate (seems unlikely as higher concentrations are allegedly permitted in europe--where, btw, there are tighter controls over the makeup of biodiesel)

2) will the "post injection" fuel, which ignites in the diesel particulate filter (DPF) and enabling it to burn off accumulated soot, cause problems if it has higher-than-7% bio content. Recently someone posted a link to a paper that indicates this could possibly be a problem if the bio content is sufficiently high. IIRC, they talk about how the blow-by that gets into the oil (a normal occurrance) is problematic when it contains biodiesel.

Am I missing anything?
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:07 AM
tlak77 tlak77 is offline
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jdcolombo,
Start reading this Link
Maybe we need to come up with similar list here, but I worry about not sufficient interest (not enough IL drivers).
I'm little paranoid about this whole situation. I did my homework before I got my D; but I did not realized that the push for bio will be so rapid; since I got my d two petrol diesel stations I liked switched to B-100.....I do have to go out of my way to get petrol diesel (there are 4 stations on my way home which offer 5-20bio)
Wonder what BMW thinks about it, in my opinion if you cannot get required fuel for the car in any given state that makes car (in addition to 5-20 in IL, I read that Minnesota will have requirement of all B10 in 2012) NOT 50 state complaint - even though that refers to emissions requirements.
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  #5  
Old 11-05-2010, 05:13 AM
tlak77 tlak77 is offline
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Jeff,
I think biggest problem with Bio is water (beside microbe growth, less BTU, stability) - which may cause problems with whole fuel system; some bio is good since it does increases lubricity of the ULSD. BMW ds don't have any way of dealing with excess water. You are right in #2, only thing we can do is change oil more frequently - 12k is BS
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  #6  
Old 11-05-2010, 05:33 AM
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JD, I posted this info in another thread, but it will be helpful to you here.

Recent tests by VW have found that even at 5% concentration, biodiesel migrates quite dramatically to the engine oil:


Quote:
Volkswagen is using post-injection for regeneration and according to Stuart Johnson with the Engineering and Environmental Office of Volkswagen Group of America, the issue of oil dilution from biodiesel is a real concern for the automakers. "We can tolerate up to 50 percent fuel mix in the oil but no more," he said at the 2008 National Biodiesel Conference.

Volkswagen tests using B5 and post-injection showed 45 percent oil dilution after 10,000 miles, but surprisingly no engine damage was evident upon inspection. "Using B10 at 10,000 miles surpasses that 50 percent threshold-and that is unacceptable," Johnson said. "We want longer oil change intervals as a car company, so it's hard for us to talk about this." The implications are that increased fuel dilution due to biodiesel blends could lead to premature engine wear if oil changes are not done more often.
So, it appears that even sticking to the 5% limitation can lead to significant oil dilution if we follow BMW's 15,000 mile OCI. If the oil is changed more frequently, the dilution would be reduced.

Beyond the issue of oil dilution, the chemical interactions discussed in the linked article are disturbing to me. I had decided previously to use a B1 or B2 blend for lubricity, but this information is causing me to rethink my plans. As of now, no biodiesel for the 335D.

It's to the credit of this magazine that they published this information; as a biodiesel supporter, it's certainly not in their interest.

http://biodieselmagazine.com/article...90&q=&page=all

For those who are being forced to use bio blends, I think the most prudent course of action (until we get definitive direction from BMW) is to decrease your OCI, and also keep close tabs on the oil level in your pan. It seems that BMW is going to have to step up to the plate and give us direction for this issue, as it doesn't seem to be going away, but rather accelerating.

Last edited by 62Lincoln; 11-05-2010 at 09:05 AM. Reason: repair link
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2010, 05:54 AM
jdcolombo jdcolombo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anE934fun View Post
Out of curiosity, are the stickers stating that the biodiesel blend can be anywhere from 5% to 20% (with no notice whether the particular load you are pumping on any given day contains 5% or 20%)? Or, is there a pump for B5 and another pump for some other formulation? Or, something else????
The sticker says that the fuel may contain anywhere from 5% to 20% bio. There is no "B5" pump per se. So you don't know exactly what you're getting at any particular time. I guess this is because the stations don't know exactly what they will get supplied; they might get a truckload of B5 one week, and B10 or B20 the next. But this sticker is on every single diesel pump within 3 miles of me; the nearest Meijer is 3.5 miles, and we shop nearby often enough that it hasn't been a major issue. Yet.

The other thing I worry about is that folks warn that if you regularly use petrodiesel, and then switch to bio, the bio will dissolve "gunk" left in your tank by the petro, clogging up fuel filters, etc. So I also wonder whether I SHOULD run a tank of bio every so often just in case at some point I'm forced to buy it.

John C.
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  #8  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:03 AM
jdcolombo jdcolombo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62Lincoln View Post
JD, I posted this info in another thread, but it will be helpful to you here.

Recent tests by VW have found that even at 5% concentration, biodiesel migrates quite dramatically to the engine oil:




So, it appears that even sticking to the 5% limitation can lead to significant oil dilution if we follow BMW's 15,000 mile OCI. If the oil is changed more frequently, the dilution would be reduced.

Beyond the issue of oil dilution, the chemical interactions discussed in the linked article are disturbing to me. I had decided previously to use a B1 or B2 blend for lubricity, but this information is causing me to rethink my plans. As of now, no biodiesel for the 335D.

It's to the credit of this magazine that they published this information; as a biodiesel supporter, it's certainly not in their interest.

http://biodieselmagazine.com/article...90&q=&page=all

For those who are being forced to use bio blends, I think the most prudent course of action (until we get definitive direction from BMW) is to decrease your OCI, and also keep close tabs on the oil level in your pan. It seems that BMW is going to have to step up to the plate and give us direction for this issue, as it doesn't seem to be going away, but rather accelerating.
62Lincoln: Can you post the title of the article; the link is truncating when I click on it and can't get there directly.

And thanks to everyone else for the info. I think that for now I'll hope Meijer keeps its petrodiesel pump!

John C.
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:35 AM
Snipe656 Snipe656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62Lincoln View Post
JSo, it appears that even sticking to the 5% limitation can lead to significant oil dilution if we follow BMW's 15,000 mile OCI. If the oil is changed more frequently, the dilution would be reduced.
How many people on here have actually had their computer stay at the 15k mile prediction for an oil change?
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:52 AM
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mecodoug mecodoug is offline
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Mine is trending to about 14K. I changed it myself at 4K and now at 6.5K it states 7K more to go. I am 90% highway - a little over 2K per month.

Going forward I plan to do it at the 50% mark, or around every 7K. I did the same with my E90 330i, but the 50% mark was every 10K - the computer was at 20K intervals for my driving style.

Oil changes are so easy on these cars - that was one of my pleasant surprises moving to BMW.

Last edited by mecodoug; 11-05-2010 at 06:56 AM.
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  #11  
Old 11-05-2010, 07:03 AM
Snipe656 Snipe656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mecodoug View Post
Mine is trending to about 14K. I changed it myself at 4K and now at 6.5K it states 7K more to go. I am 90% highway - a little over 2K per month.

Going forward I plan to do it at the 50% mark, or around every 7K. I did the same with my E90 330i, but the 50% mark was every 10K - the computer was at 20K intervals for my driving style.

Oil changes are so easy on these cars - that was one of my pleasant surprises moving to BMW.
I wonder how the sensors work, because I think maybe Chris who seems to do 100% highway maybe has made it to 14k for a change. I believe he just has the oil changed when the computer says it needs to be done. But one thing I have noticed with my car is at some point the mileage estimate starts to drop like a rock. My car right now says 6k to go but just a few hundred miles ago it said something like 8k or 9k to go. It did the same thing to me before the first oil change.
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2010, 07:08 AM
BMWTurboDzl BMWTurboDzl is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snipe656 View Post
I wonder how the sensors work, because I think maybe Chris who seems to do 100% highway maybe has made it to 14k for a change. I believe he just has the oil changed when the computer says it needs to be done. But one thing I have noticed with my car is at some point the mileage estimate starts to drop like a rock. My car right now says 6k to go but just a few hundred miles ago it said something like 8k or 9k to go. It did the same thing to me before the first oil change.
+1,

This is swhy I go by the lessor of actual or OLM miles when considering an intermediate change.
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2010, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcolombo View Post
62Lincoln: Can you post the title of the article; the link is truncating when I click on it and can't get there directly.
Fixed the link my other post, here it is for easy access: http://biodieselmagazine.com/article...90&q=&page=all
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:13 PM
jpeytonii jpeytonii is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snipe656 View Post
How many people on here have actually had their computer stay at the 15k mile prediction for an oil change?
Just as an FYI to everyone - the 335d OCI standard is 13K miles and for the X5 35d it is 11K miles.

I am also in Illinois and am always watching for the dreaded blue biodiesel stickers. Currently using Meijer and a few BPs.

Cheers.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:35 AM
VladX3 VladX3 is offline
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Exclamation Illinois diesel stations - B5 and below

Hey everyone,
This thread may be dead but just wanted to post some helpful info for those still looking for B5 and under diesel stations outside of Chicago. I recently moved here and was surprised to discover that most stations serve 'biodiesel content between 5-20%' at the pump which, apparently, is mostly an Illinois thing . Seeing as how my car is only rated to tolerate up to B5 and I travel frequently to central Illinois for work, I have come up with a running list of stations that have applicable diesel blends for myself and am happy to share it with others. The list below is taken from Shell's and BP's own websites as well as posts on TDIclub. I have not *personally* vouched for the availability of the correct fuel except where indicated with 'Verified'. Hopefully, folks can use this list and potentially verify the other sites and even add to it so we can have a shared resource to use for our oil burners... I'm also attaching the original table as a pdf doc to make printing/editing easier.

BP
379 Lynch Rd Danville
3910 N Vermillion St Danville
203 N Lombard St Mahomet
US24 and I-57 (Use truck pump)* Gilman Verified
1860 E Court St Kankakee
9051 U.S. 45 (Use truck pump)* Manteno Verified
3328 W 159th St Markham

Shell
203 N Lombard St Mahomet
624 US24 Gilman
820 N Kinzie Ave Bradley Verified
1952 E Court St Kankakee\

Meijer
3649 N Vermilion St. Danville Verified
2401 N Prospect Ave Champaign
2500 S Philo Road Urbana
15701 71st Court Orland Park
9200 S Western Ave Evergreen Park

*Truck fuel pumps require the diesel adapter supplied with your vehicle or purchased at the dealer or Amazon.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Diesel B5 Stations.pdf (192.6 KB, 23 views)

Last edited by VladX3; 12-01-2013 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:58 AM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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^^^^ Awesome first post! Welcome!
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:04 PM
ScottFM ScottFM is offline
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The Diesel fuel issue in Illinois is well known to the oil burners in this state. Sadly it is not getting better. Bio. typically 11% is sold all across the state. While there are a few places that do sell real D2, they are few and far between. I just purchased a 2014 328d, I traded in a 2009 VW Jette TDI that had almost 50k miles on it. I ran bio when I had to. VW sent out advisories to Illinois TDI owners that blends greater than >5% could be used but mentioned that watching oil levels should be a key thing and if the oil is too high from biodiesel contaminations then one should go into service to have some oil removed or better yet to have the oil changed. VW extended the warranties to allow this to occur.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:09 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottFM View Post
The Diesel fuel issue in Illinois is well known to the oil burners in this state. Sadly it is not getting better. Bio. typically 11% is sold all across the state. While there are a few places that do sell real D2, they are few and far between. I just purchased a 2014 328d, I traded in a 2009 VW Jette TDI that had almost 50k miles on it. I ran bio when I had to. VW sent out advisories to Illinois TDI owners that blends greater than >5% could be used but mentioned that watching oil levels should be a key thing and if the oil is too high from biodiesel contaminations then one should go into service to have some oil removed or better yet to have the oil changed. VW extended the warranties to allow this to occur.
Most certainly, have the oil changed. When the oil is contaminated with BD, it does not conform to spec. The added cost of changing the oil more frequently is chump change compared to engine replacement cost.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:49 AM
sirbikes sirbikes is offline
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This is interesting because on a recent trip across the states of NC/SC I am starting to see the same bio 5-20% sticker at certain Hess stations. I ended up filling half a tank with it. So it's coming here. I don't like the huge range permitted.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:44 PM
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How is the quality of biodiesel regulated/monitored? Is this a state issue? Having seen some folks "making" their own biodiesel in their garage, I would question the purity and quality. I know of one guy who literally drove around picking up grease from restaurants and then "purifid" it and mixed it with regular diesel to make his own biodiesel. His garage absolutely reeked.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:41 PM
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Sadly it appears that my source for the good stuff is now gone. The pumps at the BP in Wauconda now all say BIODIESEL on them. They do have the 5-20% too. I asked the attendant what was in the Diesel tanks now and she said "gas."
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