This is a question we get asked nearly every day. The answer is… YES, but you have to be careful and smart about it and take certain precautions that were not necessary with older vehicles. Read on to learn more!
The latest “clean diesel” vehicles from VW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW are equipped with a number of sophisticated emissions control devices, including high-pressure common rail injection systems, NOx catalysts, urea injection, and/or a diesel particulate trap. Biodiesel CAN be used in these vehicles in high concentrations, including up to B99. However, it is not quite as simple as it was in the pre-2007 vehicles, and requires more forethought and planning. This is especially true in vehicles that use in-cylinder post-injection such as some 2009-up TDIs and late model Powerstrokes.
We have several customers that have been running B99 biodiesel in their brand new TDIs, Benzes, and Sprinters for tens of thousands of miles, with no trouble whatsoever. The key to their success has been in their driving patterns, which include mostly long-distance commuting and few short trips. For people who tend to use their cars for highway driving, biodiesel has worked great. For people whose routine includes mostly short-distance city driving and infrequent longer-distance highway use, using biodiesel may present some technical issues related to the more frequent DPF regen cycles necessary in cars that see lots of short trips. Our recommendation at this time is to stick to lower bio concentrations if this describes your use pattern.
If you are thinking about running biodiesel in your new diesel, or are considering a new diesel for biodiesel use, we recommend giving us a call to learn all the gritty details and figure out if it will work for you. Contact us at (206) 783-5728 or stop by!