[Vwdiesel] [vwdiesel] Fuel
familykeith at comcast.net
Sun Mar 16 12:45:35 PDT 2008
You should have no problem with the technical aspects of burning
home heating oil in a caddy. I (in my long distant past) burned
home heating oil in a 1980 Rabbit. The
societal/legal/aggrivation aspects may be problematical, however.
With mine, I found a couple of things.
1. The engine would run a bit rougher, particularly when cold.
Once warmed the difference was almost indistinguishable save for
(I think) a slight increase in the diesel smell. I suspect that
modern diesel is a bit more refined than even the 1980s version
of the same thing (we're now into the "clean diesel" era) so you
may find the difference even more noticeable - but not
2. You'll want to run the #2 oil through a filter as you transfer
it to your car. Those VW Robert Bosch filters still tend to be
a little pricey and although the aftermarkets are more
reasonable, you can extend your filter life by pre-filtering the
#2 oil as it goes in.
3. You may want to do this in periods somewhat between an annual
inspection. If the inspector finds you burning non-tax-paid
fuel, you'll likely not get an inspection sticker and may even
get a call at home from a man in a uniform.
It is STILL illegal to burn colored red (no road tax paid) fuels.
Mostly the police when they stop you on a routine traffic
violation will not pay much notice, nor think to even look at
your fuel. But then they may.
That clear plastic tube leading to your filter/engine is a dead
give away. You can at least make it harder to see by replacing
the tube with a solid opaque tube or by wrapping electricians
tape "spiral wise" around the tube.
Truck stop fuel sampling does happen. Usually, the police
(Dept. of Revenue?) will hang around truck stops and catch trucks
coming or going and looking for traces of the red dye in their
samples. Additionally, it is possible for the police on a
routine traffic stop to demand a "sample" of your fuel. Both
are unlikely, (it's never happened to me in 20 plus years of
driving diesels) but the possibility, however remote, does exist.
In the older VWs the fuel is accessed by removing a star shaped
cover. Technically this is not "entering" your car and a sample
could be taken legally if the police choose to do so. In this
case you'll want to purchase a "lock-able" fuel cap which was an
aftermarket accessory, and which changes the legal status of your
fuel door to "search warrant" status. Newer diesel VWs,
however, have an inside door release latch which you access
inside the car. It is NOT legal for the police to sample this
type without a warrant, or your permission.
Of course, if the police want to, a search warrant can be
obtained over the radio in about 10 minutes if they suspect
you're burning non-tax diesel and REALLY want to make an issue of
it. Mostly they don't bother.
Now different states vary on fuel tax regulations. A recent
case in the midwest involved someone who had converted their
diesel rabbit to burn straight vegetable oil (SVO) and was
detected and fined by the state authorities as "bypassing" the
road tax laws. They owed umpteen thousands of dollars in fine,
penalty and interest. Most states are more enlightened than
this realizing the good that biofuels do for the environment and
discouraging their use is counterproductive to our societal
goals. It might be well to consult others in your area who may
have run this biofuel hurdle to get a feel for the sensitivity
If you're crafty and want to avoid fuel sampling, you can install
an auxiliary switch-able tank. You might even be able to set
this up to burn SVO if you do it right. Leave your existing
tank as "tax paid" fuel and put the dyed untaxed fuel in the
auxiliary tank. Want to sample? Here, let me undo the cap for
Meanwhile, to slip a gallon or two into your 10 gallon tank can't
possibly hurt anyone, providing you're not due up for inspection
in the next couple of weeks.
You know, you might even want to hold that partial tank of #2
fuel in your basement as a hedge against a blockade of the
Straits of Hormuz - which is VERY likely, the US media and our
national perceptions notwithstanding.
Of course, those of us who want to bypass the approximately 24
cent fuel tax can violate the law and do so anytime, but at less
than 10 percent price difference between #2 oil and bona fide
clean diesel, plus the additional filtering, AND the possibility
of spilled fuel, it's hardly worth the aggrivation.
At least that's what I found 20 or so years ago.
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