Featured CAR 4 SALE!!! VOLVO 960 Turbo-Diesel

Absolutely gorgeous Volvo 960 Turbo-Diesel conversion. odometer reads 74k. Leather interior is fantastic. Engine rebuilt before this conversion, including injection pump! A beautiful running and driving car. This car was not available in the States, hence the conversion. It looks like it was built at the factory this way just like its European cousins were. You should get close to 30mpg on diesel or Biodiesel. The engine is the D24T used in the European models and parts are easily available .
This is your solution to wanting a bigger car than a TDI, $8000 or best offer.  See the full ad here.
If you are interested in this sweet car please respond through the Craigslist ad.  


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Winter Returns

This weeks forecast has some cold nights expected in Seattle, with the coldest being Wednesday.  The forecasted 24 hour average temps are just above our biodiesels gel point of 25ºF. However, we know that weather predictions are not always accurate.  With that in mind we recommend that steps be taken as soon as possible to ensure your fuel doesn’t gel.  Dans own car has been running just after spending nights on Snoqualmie Pass with temps in the high teens, so OUR fuel is performing very well when the car is used regularly and kept warm.  Still, and especially if you don’t do a lot of driving in the evenings, it is a good idea to take action to prevent your fuel from gelling.  If possible park indoors at night.  If you can’t park in a garage we recommend using a small mixture of filtered, winterized petroleum diesel.  Well filtered diesel can be found at most high volume retailers like truck stops.   To make a winter blend simply pour in a dose of winterizing additive like Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement Arctic Formula (which we carry here at Dr Dans), then add a few gallons of petroleum diesel into your tank, a blend of about 80/20 Bio/petrodiesel should be fine, be sure to check the capacity of your tank and the level of fuel in it.  Important, the winterizer will only work in conjunction with petroleum diesel (the winterizer will not blend with Biodiesel without petroleum diesel).

If your TDI is 2003 or older it may not like long term exposure to ultra low sulfur diesel unless the injection pump has already been rebuilt with seals compatible with ultra-low sulfur diesel.  Don’t add any more  sulfur fuel than you need to get through the cold snap.  We have seen TDIs not start after about 10 days of using high blends of ultra-low sulfur

Be sure to sign up for our email list to get important weather bulletins, news, and other information from Dr Dans Biodiesel.

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Dr. Dan On King5 News, TONIGHT 1/15 @6:30PM

King5 news reporter Eric Wilkinson was just here at Dr. Dan’s Biodiesel interviewing Dan about the current EPA proposal to reduce the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for petroleum fuels sold in the United States.  The RFS is what determines how much renewable fuel must be blended into petroleum.  Lately members of the American Petroleum Institute, which represents the petroleum and fossil fuel industry, have been pressuring the EPA to lower the RFS.  Learn more about the situation in this article from Biodiesel Magazine.

And be sure to watch Dan’s interview tonight on King5 at 6:30pm. 


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Winter Biodiesel

Some of you may have noticed a couple weeks ago that we sent out a cold weather advisory for the Puget Sound region.  The forecasted temperature that weekend was 16 degrees which was below most biodiesels gelling point.  Fortunately we have not had anymore cold snaps like that but its important to know what to do if the temperature drops.  Right now the Biodiesel B99 sold here at Dr Dans is rated at 25 degrees, which means that it will start to gel when the forecasted 24 hour average temperature drops below 25.  if that happens you need to take steps to winterize the fuel.  In the Seattle area we normally don’t see those kinds of low temps, and as of today, 12/19, there is no such weather forecasted that would require further winterizing.  However, always be sure to check the forecast in your area, or areas you may be traveling, Eastern WA, or Canada for instance.  If you plan on visiting a colder climate or if your vehicle will be sitting unused for an extended period, consider blending some clean, filtered (to 10 microns or lower) diesel into your fuel tank. We also recommend that you use a product like Power Service’s Diesel 911 ARCTIC FORMULA.  To see your local conditions and forecast we recommend the National Weather Service website.  

To receive cold weather advisories and other important bulletins from Dr Dans, please sign up for our email list here.

read more about using Biodiesel in the winter

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Sustainable Ballard Festival THIS SUNDAY 9/29

sbfSustainable Ballard, a blueprint for Everytown, USA, educates, inspires, and engages neighbors to take action to live more sustainably both individually and collectively.

There will be great food, music, and words from our local leaders, including the mayor about the Sustainable Movement.

Bring the kids, a special “Kids Zone” with face painting, games, and crafts will be tons of fun for the lil ones.  I hope they let the adults participate too.

For the adults there’ll be BEER from local breweries!  Woohoo.

Sustainable Fuel Co-Op will have a booth at the festival, so come one down and learn some more about what we’re doing from our awesome board members who will be volunteering there.

There’s lots of fun to be had, check out the schedule here http://www.sustainableballard.org/schedule/

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Sign up for our Email List

Be sure to sign up for our Email list to get important Dr Dan’s news and bulletins about our biodiesel stations.  Click the link http://tinyurl.com/pgwztd3 to be directed to the sign up page.  Thanks!

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Espresso Express CLOSED

We are sad to announce that after 27 years of business Espresso Express, the host of our Biodiesel station at 6500 15h Ave NE, has closed.  The good news however is that there is a new opportunity for someone to host our station and be a part of the solution to our energy and environmental crisis!  If you are interested in helping the sustainable fuel movement and have a location that could support our fuel station, please contact us. 

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Saving Local Biodiesel: The Death of Inland Empire Oilseeds.

The machinations of an ineffective national and global economy has claimed yet another so-called “Green Energy” business, as Odessa, WA based Inland Empire Oilseeds looks to have closed down its production for good.  The ultimate fate of the remnants of the company are now left to the determination of the bankruptcy courts, as the company’s creditors have filed for an involuntary Chapter 11, while the company management have asked to have it switched to Chapter 7 liquidation.

This is not the first time that I.E.O. has shut down operations.  It commenced operations in 2008 as a cooperative venture of, among other entities, the Odessa Union Warehouse Cooperative, Reardan Grain Growers, and individual investors.  I.E.O. had hoped to develop an Eastern Washington canola market by urging farmers to grow canola in rotation with wheat.  During this time, I.E.O became the primary source of fuel for Dr. Dan’s Biodiesel, providing a high-quality canola biodiesel with superb cold-weather properties.  But the company was forced to cease production in the summer of 2010 due to a lack of capital, spurred by the lapse of a national biodiesel blender’s tax credit and an inadequate RINs (renewable energy credits for fuel) market.

The tax credit was eventually re-installed (retroactive to all of 2010 as well as 2011) during the Congressional budget negotiations in December of 2010.  But the credit would once again lapse for 2012.  In the summer of 2011, I.E.O. came under new management, by a group calling themselves 1138 LLC, and finally resumed large-scale production and was then able to step up as a major supplier to Dr. Dan’s.

The tax credit was once again renewed (and again retroactively for 2012) this January, but the end affect was that major producers were forced to operate without profit margins during the periods the credit was not in place, placing producers under unnecessary financial duress.  The tax credit has not necessarily resulted in decreased end-user pump prices for biodiesel consumers mainly due to biodiesel producer’s efforts to keep market prices as stable as possible.

Meanwhile, in July of 2012 1138, LLC took control of 75% ownership of the company, the remaining 25% remaining in the hands of the original investment group.  There were plans at the time to significantly increase production, but by then the original model had become somewhat distorted; with most of the feedstock coming from Canada, high wheat prices affecting farmer’s willingness to grow canola, and unstable commodity markets severely compromising price controls for canola oil.

At the end of the day, Inland Empire Oilseeds represents yet another in a long line of failed “new economy” ventures rendered unworkable by the obsolete market forces, which still drive commercial agriculture.

So what does this mean for the end user?  As the biodiesel consumer it seems increasingly likely that our only hope to fight these mega-million dollar market manipulators is to band together to demand better products at better prices.  This is the heart of the cooperative movement; and this is exactly why we need the Sustainable Fuel Co-op to be able to work for area sustainable fuel users.  All you need to do is join the cause at www.sustainablefuelco-op.com and help push for a new economy

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TDI Service: Keep your TDI Reliable and Healthy at Dr. Dan’s

We have noticed that many VW TDI’s are not getting the maintenance they require, leading to expensive repairs and breakdowns.

Timing belt intervals:  This can be a complicated subject, since VW’s recommended interval has changed many times over the course of TDI production. There is a different interval for almost every year of TDI, and sometimes even within the same year depending on transmission type! To make matters worse, in the case of some models Volkswagen updated the interval after the cars were produced, so even your owner’s manual may not give you the current correct information.

All of this can make it difficult to know exactly when your car needs its belt done — including for VW dealers themselves, who we have known to commonly replace belts too early or too late. Fortunately, we have made this part easy for you. To find the most up-to-date interval for your particular car, just check out the handy PDF table we have compiled here, and look up your year and model.

If you bought your car used and don’t know if the timing belt has been replaced or what maintenance has been done we are happy to check it out for you.

A proper timing belt replacement on a TDI involves more than just changing the timing belt. In addition to the belt itself, the belt tensioner roller, all idler rollers, the water pump, and the serpentine belt should be replaced, as well as a handful of seals and hardware bits. Installing the new belt correctly is a complex task that involves a large number of special tools and procedures, including a computerized injection timing adjustment. Cutting corners on any of these steps can result in the car running poorly, having difficulty starting, getting worse mileage, or in extreme cases experiencing internal engine damage.  For Instance, we have seen repair shops who just change the belt, only to have the water pump fail just 20K miles later, resulting in the work needing to be done all over again.

Regular Maintenance Saves $$$!:  We provide expert, biodiesel-friendly auto repair and service for TDI’s and all diesels from Benzes, Volvos, and older VWs to Jeeps, Sprinters, and Powerstrokes. We like to save our customers from unnecessary or inadequate repairs recommended by other shops and we work on many TDI’s and older diesels; there is little we haven’t seen.

Biodiesel is wrongly blamed for emission testing failures, injection pump failures, plugged intake manifolds and turbos, leaking hoses and seals, and more. We can prevent and repair most of these problems with the care and thoroughness required to keep you car running as long as possible.

TDIs can be fantastic vehicles and great for biodiesel, and they are not expensive to own as long as you stay on top of the recommended maintenance and fix problems before they can cause additional harm. However, time is going by and these cars are getting older, and as they age we have been starting to see more frequent issues with a number of components.  Some examples of this are mass airflow and coolant temp sensors going bad on 1998-2003 cars, fuel pickup valves sticking, electric fuel pumps dying on 2004-2005 Golfs and Jettas, and several other common issues.  We have seen injector pumps go bad because of a simple clogged fuel filter; a regular maintenance item costing a few dozen $$’s becoming a major repair which is $1500+!

The onset of symptoms of these problems is often gradual, so they can sneak up on you. When you are driving the car every day it is difficult to notice subtle changes in its operation. It is important to pay attention and have the car checked out occasionally in order to keep your TDI happy and avoid big repair bills. If you catch these issues early on when they first arise, the repairs are quick and cheap — but if you let them go too long, they can cause damage to other components and then the repairs start to get expensive. If your car doesn’t have as much pep as it used to, is getting harder to start, has a check engine light on, or is showing any other sign of needing help, be sure to have it checked out sooner rather than later so we can address the problem before it becomes more serious.  We have had people bring their cars in because they failed an emission test and discover a whole host of problems that could have been easily avoided with regular and proper maintenance.

The two keys to being a happy biodiesel user are good, local, sustainable fuel and a healthy car! Awareness and prevention are your main tools. Give us a call or stop in next time you fill up if you need to schedule an appointment for service.

For additional information, take a look at our new Youtube Channel:
There are several videos which explain many of the common TDI maintenance issues and how to deal with them. We also encourage you to share some of your own stories about biodiesel, maintenance and your TDI on our Dr. Dan’s Facebook page.

Have a great Spring and thanks for supporting sustainable biodiesel!

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A Friendly Winter Reminder


With our recent snow and ice drama here in town we just wanted to remind you that our Sustainable Fuel Co-Op B-99 has superior cold weather performance.  Don’t get stuck with frozen fuel, plugged fuel filters and leaky injection pumps from under filtered Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel. Almost all of our work in the shop last week was repairing cars towed in from using other station’s fuel!


cars for sale!
Dan has a couple cars for sale, check ‘em out on Craigslist!
We also have a customer selling his ’84 Mazda B-2200 diesel pickup.  We have the infor here at the shop.
Join SFC!


We are looking for people committed to a future of sustainable energy to join the Sustainable Fuel Co-op.
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