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Old 08-21-2014, 04:01 AM   #1
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Default First tank - TDI

I'm going on my first short road trip and was thinking that I might get my first tank of gas... Anything I should be aware of such as use a shell, chevron, 76, Costco or Valero etc... I'm assuming all the major chains only have one kind of diesel etc...?

Just curious as this is my first diesel vehicle.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:41 AM   #2
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The biggest thing for diesel is trying to avoid water contamination in the diesel, which will come from water getting into the underground tanks and low fuel turnover. Look for stations that have good drainage (no low spots or worse, puddles, near the area the tanks would be) and that seem to have decent traffic. Most likely as long as a station looks well-maintained, you'll probably be fine.

To a lesser extent you can have cetane variation across brands, but how much that is in practice and how much it matters, I'm not sure. Generally Shell and Chevron people say work the best, but due to fuel supply being regional, that could change from area to area.

Certain areas of the country may have more-limited access to diesel, or you may run into pump nozzle size differences (older pumps had larger nozzles for trucks -- VW/Audi sells an adapter that you can use if you need to use any of those). I would think any major passenger fuel station would have the proper size nozzles, but some people around here have gotten use from their adapters so it's not necessarily guaranteed.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:29 AM   #3
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Thanks! It looks like my options in town are Valero, Shell, 76 and smaller chains such as US Pro Gasoline, Rotten Robbie, USA Gasoline... These are in my town Santa Cruz surprised that the smaller town near me has more with Chevron, 76, and Shell.

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The biggest thing for diesel is trying to avoid water contamination in the diesel, which will come from water getting into the underground tanks and low fuel turnover. Look for stations that have good drainage (no low spots or worse, puddles, near the area the tanks would be) and that seem to have decent traffic. Most likely as long as a station looks well-maintained, you'll probably be fine.

To a lesser extent you can have cetane variation across brands, but how much that is in practice and how much it matters, I'm not sure. Generally Shell and Chevron people say work the best, but due to fuel supply being regional, that could change from area to area.

Certain areas of the country may have more-limited access to diesel, or you may run into pump nozzle size differences (older pumps had larger nozzles for trucks -- VW/Audi sells an adapter that you can use if you need to use any of those). I would think any major passenger fuel station would have the proper size nozzles, but some people around here have gotten use from their adapters so it's not necessarily guaranteed.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:20 AM   #4
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Download the GasBuddy app if your have an iPhone, not sure if there is an Android version. It is a very handy app.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:35 AM   #5
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Download the GasBuddy app if your have an iPhone, not sure if there is an Android version. It is a very handy app.
Yes there is a android version in the Play store. Works well. Get Fuelly app while you are at it as well.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:00 AM   #6
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I used the gas buddy app on my iPhone as it was a tool I used to even see if I would buy a TDI. Just filled my first tank before our trip. 3.89 and 12.6 gallons!

I am on fuelly as well and am assuming that I just mark it as a partial fill up and it will calculate my mpg the next time I fill up.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:36 AM   #7
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Watch the pumps there is usually a sticker if they indicate there's a percentage of biodiesel in the fuel (5% to 20%), skip it and go to the next station unless you're empty. It'll run on a biodiesel blend, but it's not recommended, Audi claims it can create problems down the road.

The Midwest seems to have the greatest number of biodiesel blend stations from what I hear - which still isn't that prevalent.

Also - I use GasBuddy as well - but it doesn't indicate biodiesel blend stations, so you'll need to make a mental note of which to avoid.
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:13 PM   #8
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Watch the pumps there is usually a sticker if they indicate there's a percentage of biodiesel in the fuel (5% to 20%), skip it and go to the next station unless you're empty. It'll run on a biodiesel blend, but it's not recommended, Audi claims it can create problems down the road.
If I did that, I'd never fill up anywhere. B5 is standard (possibly mandated) here. DO NOT, however, use anything higher than B5 as the system's not set up to handle more than a 5% blend and so it can get all clogged up. But B5's nothing to worry about.
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:21 PM   #9
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Good to know - thanks!
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:38 PM   #10
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Good to know - thanks!
Yeah, B5 is pretty much the equivalent of E10 where all recent vehicles are supposed to be built to support it (and the fuel blend is standard for at least parts of the country), but any more and all bets are off. 5% is explicitly okay to run, but due to the differences between standard diesel and bio you'll amass buildup from excess bio content. And actually a little bio can be good for recovering lubricity lost in the conversion to ULSD -- though how much it really does, I've no idea (just that a number of dieselheads were recommending blending before B5 became standard).
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:38 PM
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