Archive for July, 2007

Jul 22 2007

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Precautionary Measures in Using Biodiesel in Your Engines

One of the main biofuels which is biodiesel is now widely used in the United States, Canada, Thailand, and many countries in Europe. Since it turns out to be increasingly common and generally used by the public as they become more knowledgeable of the positive effects, it is advisable to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations and information about the use of biodiesel. Here are some of the important considerations in utilizing biodiesel in your engines.

Rubber Seals and Hoses

Almost all pre – 1994 automobiles and several later model vehicles have fuel lines that are not compatible with biodiesel. These rubber fuel system components, such as hoses and pump seals will be gradually degraded with the utilization of biodiesel. Before they will entirely ruin, it will first become supple or spongy. Thus, once in a while check under your hood and replace with a biodiesel resistant synthetic any ruined fuel lines and seals

Fuel Filter Clogging

Biodiesel can liberate deposits mounted up on pipes and tank walls from previous traditional diesel fuel, thus primarily causing fuel filter clogs when used for the first time. Power loss is an indication of fuel filter clogging. Vehicle owners must change the filter shortly after trying on a full tank of biodiesel. It is suggested to carry an extra fuel filter in your car, know how to change it and be prepared at all times.


The paint on your automobile may dissolve with the use of biodiesel in due course. This incident can be prevented by immediately wiping off or washing with small amount of soap and water.

Cold Weather

Depending on the type of fat sources it was derived from, at around 32°F or higher, biodiesel crystallizes. The vehicle will not start when biodiesel freezes your fuel system and injection pump. This however may not cause damage, warming up the vehicle helps. Fuel containers can be stored in warm places. If no indoor parking is available, the car should be parked where sunlight can hit it, else park it indoors. In regions with colder climates, crystallization can be prevented with adding of heating elements or insulation to the fuel systems. If experiencing power loss, immediately replace your fuel filter. A blow-dryer can also be aimed at the fuel filter and lines. Pouring hot water can also be done but be sure to avoid wetting the electrical components.

Uninformed Mechanics

Mechanics that are not knowledgeable and familiar with biodiesel might misdiagnosed not related problems as being brought about by biodiesel and perform “repairs” in the fuel system that are not necessary and expensive. It is better to look and locate for the nearest biodiesel-friendly mechanic before actually needing one. A second opinion from an expert mechanic is also suggested before permitting any expensive repairs to be done.

Overall, the utilization of biodiesel can not be the primary reason for maintenance issues and concerns. A lot of newer vehicles have compatible components that will accept biofuels readily. Nevertheless it is still best to check your owner’s manual or consult your vehicle manufacturers for recommendations and more specific information.

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