Diesel Fuel Alternatives In Emergency

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This 300SD gets TOO good a mileage! So good that I forget to think about gas stations!
I got more than 470 miles out of a tank and was cruising on "E" when I
noticed it. Actually the kids noticed it.
The Chilton Manual says that in a pinch the car will run on kerosene or even gasoline! My son's baseball coach said he made it off the North Carolina barrier islands in the early 1960's running on a few cans of charcoal lighter fluid he bought at a hardware store. He said the car ran fine, as he remembers it, though it smelled like a picnic.
However, Chilton manuals are not above reproach, and I wouldn't put it past the coach to have glorifed his memory of the event.
Can anyone corroborate or refute these tales?
By the way... Thanks for all the information here...
This is probably the best newsgroup I have found.
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If, but only if, this engine is the old (early - mid '80s) 5 cylinder 917.xxx type can one substitute fuel, the new common rail engines cannot do so without fuel system damage.
Kerosene will work, also jet fuel. Furnace oil will too but, lacking road tax and sulfur reduction, is illegal for highway use.
As a last resort one can add a minimal amount of the LOWEST octane gasoline. The engine will run but will not easily start. So the concept is to add only as much gasoline as one needs to get to a diesel pump for a fill up (to full) that will dilute the gasoline.
You should know that gasoline will act as a solvent and loosen the years of diesel fuel deposits inside the tank and fuel lines etc. So be ready to replace the car's fuel filters afterward. So you see why this is the last resort.
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My local heating oil supplier has been delivering untaxed -blue- diesel fuel as heating oil to my residence for years. There is no "furnace oil" in my area. It is, as you state, illegal to use it in a road vehicle. However, I know of no one that has ever had the status of the fuel in their passenger car checked. I wouldn't hesitate to use heating oil in an emergency.
Chas Hurst
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Ditto... heating oil.
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Having extremely high taxes on fuel, driving with heating oil is of course highly illegal in Germany (as it is in many other countries, too). I'd like to mention, that the Diesel fuel is undyed, while the Heating oil is dyed. This means that customs patrols (in Germany Customs patrols are responsible for checking that) can spot the colour of heating oil in your car, even if you have burned the heating oil and filled up the car with Diesel again. Actually I personally do not know anybody who ever had his fuel checked, but the punishment seems to be drastical. As soon as they spot heating oil in your car they assume that you never used anything else in your car and charge you with all the fuel tax for every mile you have ever been driving with that car. This sounds odd, but maybe it is only an urban legend to keep the people off their heating oil reservoirs.
Frank
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Same here but the odd thing is it's no cheaper!
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haute in die Tasten:

course
like
Last fall I prepurchased heating oil at $1.49/gal. Yesterday I bought fuel for the Benz and paid $2.08/gal, that's down from $2.30/gal 2 months ago. The difference isn't what it is in Europe, but it's substantial.
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I suggest you call your home heating oil provider, as the prices have increased drastically since the fall...
Marty
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2 weeks ago stove oil was 71 cents a litre and diesel fuel was 68 cents a litre.
(Now diesel is 78 cents a liter, dunno what store oil is)
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In BC (Lower Mainland) diesel is 92 cents, I wonder if them delivery companies have contracts for cheaper fuel.....
cp
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haute in die Tasten:

fuel
litre.
Currently heating oil is $1.66 /gal, diesel $2.08. Prices vary considerably by location.
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You can say you put in ATF to clean out the system like fuel injector cleaner... very common.
Or add some kerosene with next tankful to clean out the dye.
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Mercedes says no to this. (yeah I know everybody does it)

Octal nitrate baby, octal nitrate. Deisel Purge is aboutthe cheapest way to get this. Makes an instant difference.
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What about the Lucas Fuel Treatment stuff?
http://www.eliteone.com/lucas/fuel.htm
cpp
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I have no experience with that. If it smells like octal nitrate it'll probably work fine; Lucas is a reputable company. It's made for diesels, right?
The smell of octan nitrate is unforgettable. Besides Diesel Purge I've used Standadyne (sp?) which appears to be the same stuff.
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Yes, this specific one is for diesels.

hmmmm will try as aftershave :-)
cp
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In an emergency, Look for a food store and buy a gallon of vegetable oil . My 300D loves it.
Paul

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I have been checked once, about 20 years ago.
A fuel inspector patrol stopped me, took a sample from the tank.
It took 30 seconds, everything was fine. Was I glad I had not cheated.
As someone posted here, you do it once and if you get caught you are considered as having done it for all the mileage on the odometer and pay the bill.
Like in golf, you get caught cheating the only one time you did it in your life. From now on you are considered a cheater.
dans l'article snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com, Chas Hurst snipped-for-privacy@comcast.not a crit le 19/02/05 09:23:

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My 300D loves to chow down once in a while on organic, non-genetically modified virgin olive oil. Kind of expensive though, and I don't know about the cholesterol in the fuel lines...
cp
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When I worked for Union Oil Company of California from 1972-84 there were three separate mid-distillate products with various names for the same three products:
1 - Kerosene, Automotive Diesel (whatever that was!)
2 - Heating OIl #1 ("Stove Oil), Diesel #1 (winter diesel), Jet Turbine Fuel
3 - Heating Oil #2 ("Furnace Oil"), Diesel #2
On the west coast the Heating Oil #1, Diesel #1 and Jet Turbine fuel (for the airlines) was actually blended to a higher grade the same as kerosine. Only two mid-distillate products were made at the refinery and marketed, so the diesel #1 and turbine fuel were actually a little better quality than other marketers.
The Diesel #1 was added to the Diesel tanks at the Nevada Auto/Truckstops in mid-winter to prevent wax solidifying and promote easier cold starting.
Probably an old wives' tale, but I heard years ago that accidentally putting gasoline in a diesel would make it "run wild" and be unable to shut it off . . . I guess until it blew up or something.
Pete Cowper 1987 300E
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