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  #1  
Old 06-01-2002, 08:35 PM
Human Spirit
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 56
Who has premium diesel in Charlevoix/Petosky area?

Our TDI Beetle leaves Minnesota in June to spend the summer in Charlevoix, MI. Does anyone know of a premium diesel (hopefully 47-50 cetane or soy diesel) retailer in this area - (Charlevoix, East Jordan, Boyne City, Petosky, Harbor Springs - or even Traverse City if we have to go that far)?

While in Charlevoix, it will make a few trips down state to the Flint area traveling along the I-75 corridor. I am hoping some Amoco retailers in Flint (e.g. on Corunna Rd. near Dye Rd.) still offer Premier - they used to.

Happy Motoring!

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04 GMC Yukon XL Denali, Black, 12k
02 New Beetle, TDI, Reflex Silver, 24k
89 300TE, Arctic White, 214k

90 300E, 142k (sold)
87 300TD, 128k (sold)
83 300D, 314k (sold)
79 300TD, 266k (sold)

Share your knowledge -

Wayne
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2002, 10:02 AM
dweller
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I have not been able to find any premium diesel in the area. I drive through (Grand Rapids to Mack City) so don't live there and can't claim I've checked every station.

As you probably know, Michigan has no requirement that the cetane be posted (unlike octane, which is posted for all grades) and no definition of what makes diesel "premium." And most station attendants are clueless if you ask about the cetane level or whether it's "premium" or not.

Meijer lists all their diesel as "premium," but no one has been able to tell me what that means. There are several Shell stations (one in Muskegon and one in Ludington) that sell two grades of diesel, and I presume that the more expensive grade is better, but again I've never been able to find out the actual cetane rating.

I haven't seen premium at any Amoco station in the area, but there may be one.

If you find out differently, please let us know.
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2002, 10:06 AM
dweller
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I'm also not sure about soy diesel. Last time I checked, the Koch distributor was selling it only in bulk (and it was a "mixed" soy/petro diesel), and they weren't selling it to any retail stations at the time.
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2002, 10:06 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Western Michigan
Posts: 1,080
Ron:

The Crystal Flash station at Exit 91 (US 131) sells "premium" diesel. I have been using it for a while and liked it.

There is no cetane rating on the pump but it displays some improved additive in the fuel.
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2002, 10:21 AM
Human Spirit
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 56
Thanks for the comments - This helps in a couple of ways -

The Crystal Flash at US131 exit would be fairly handy, especially when heading down state or back. I'm glad to hear some Shell stations offer two diesels - from what I've learned searching for premium diesel in Minnesota, this would 'minimally' mean that the premium offering is a mid-range, (42-45 cetane) with some type of additive offering - if not a full blown premium (47-50 cetane), also with an additive package.

Minnesota does not require cetane posting either. This, combined with a very weak federal definition of 'premium diesel', leaves lots of room for penny pinching retailers to abuse the term premium. I post a comment I made on the TDIClub forum regarding premium diesel regulation (which includes the website for the feds who set the standard).

Motor On!

How can a retailer can sell 40 cetane diesel and label it as 'premium diesel'? The law currently states that only 2 out of 5 requirements need to be met to be considered 'premium'. [From the NCWM regulations <http://ts.hist.gov/ts/htdocs/230/h130-02/engreg.pdf> they are: 1: Energy content minimum of 138,700 BTU/gallon, 2: Cetane Number of 47.0, 3: Low Temperature Operability from Oct 1 - March 31, 4: Thermal Stability minimum reflectance measurement of 80% and 5: Fuel Injector Cleanliness, a CRC rating of 10.0 or less and a flow loss of 6.0% or less bla, bla, bla] . . . So, for example, a retailer could purchase regular #2, 40 cetane, low sulpher diesel (one requirement met) then add a simple fuel stabilizer such as 'OTR' (a second requirement met) and presto, they can legally label the pump as premium diesel!
__________________
04 GMC Yukon XL Denali, Black, 12k
02 New Beetle, TDI, Reflex Silver, 24k
89 300TE, Arctic White, 214k

90 300E, 142k (sold)
87 300TD, 128k (sold)
83 300D, 314k (sold)
79 300TD, 266k (sold)

Share your knowledge -

Wayne
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2002, 10:37 AM
dweller
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Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally posted by loubapache
The Crystal Flash station at Exit 91 (US 131) sells "premium" diesel. I have been using it for a while and liked it.

There is no cetane rating on the pump but it displays some improved additive in the fuel.
Interesting! Crystal Flash recently sold their stations to Marathon, but kept a few (one station in GR--on Alpine--out of 19). I don't know, but suspect the 131 station was sold.

Crystal Flash (the parent company) is one of the Koch distributors and a year ago someone there told me they were going to test market a bio diesel. Unfortunately, they decided to get out of the retail biz, and I think the bio-diesel idea is gone. They are still shipping fuel and lubricants though.

One big negative about their sale of the retail stations--they used to be the primary collector of used oil--a big tank at every station. Marathon's first move was to eliminate the oil-recycling tanks at the stations. The one remaining Crystal Flash station on Alpine in GR is the only station in town with oil-recycling. (There, they sell only one grade of diesel--unmarked.)
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  #7  
Old 06-02-2002, 04:12 PM
Human Spirit
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 56
Quickyl checking the Crystal Flash website shows they operate stationstores only in Indiana. < www.crystal-flash.com >

Also, if you believe the Michigan Crystal Flash outlets were carrying Koch petroleum products in the past, that may have come to an end with the sale of the Michigan outlets to Marathon - just an educated guess. Marathon is now part of Marathon Ashland Petroleum. < www.mapllc.com > On the refinery side of the business, MAP is a competitor to Koch (now called Flint Hills Resources). < www.fhr.com >

From my research into premium diesel availability in Minnesota, I have learned that Koch/fhr markets an excellent suite of premium diesel fuels. < www.premiumdiesel.com > Branded under the Artic, Gold, Gold Plus, Soy and Soy Plus brand names. When these products are stocked by a retailer regardless of the station brand, the diesel pumps will oftentimes carry the type of Koch premium fuel being pumped at the time. i.e. I think Koch is doing a nice job of building 'brand awareness' for their premium diesel products.

Here is some discussion I also shared on the TDIClub forum under 'fuels and lubricants':

Today, I talked with Don Howe with Koch/Flint Hills Resources refinery in Pine Bend, MN. I learned a bunch about Koch diesel products:

1. The change in names for the Koch Premium Diesel fuels (from Soy 50 and Gold 50) to Soy Plus and Gold Plus was due to a change in the test method used to measure Cetane. Koch is now required to show a cetane range, not a specific number - hence, the fhr <www.premiumdiesel.com> website now indicates a cetane range of 47-50 for their Gold Plus. I mentioned to Don the fhr website indicates their Soy Plus is a 50 cetane rating - he said that needs to be updated to indicate a range, same as the Gold Plus. Don said the current Gold Plus is the same product as the old label Gold 50. The change was in cetane test measurement methodology and name only.

Some additional comments I found interesting from Don:

1. Koch Soy diesel is currently a 1% soy oil blended into their fuel.

2. The cetane rating of Soy Plus is identical to Gold Plus - both 47-50 cetane range.

3. A Minnesota regulation did pass this session that mandates a 2% soy oil blend in all Minnesota Diesel starting 2005.

3.5 Ultra low sulpher diesel will be mandatory in 2006 and Koch is close to the new spec. now.

4. Koch definately makes a 40 cetane diesel commonly sold as low sulpher #2 and is the basic diesel sold at many outlets.

5. Koch's Gold diesel (not Plus) is a 45 cetane rating and contains cetane improvers from Koch.

NOTE: Don recommended DO NOT add further cetane improvers to the 45 cetane diesel (his opinion) this would be doubling up on cetane improvers and could cause injector clogging - Anyone have any experience or opinion on this??

6. Koch's Gold diesel 45 cetane is sold at all Kwik Trip stations in WI, MN, and IA - even though they don't label it as Gold.
__________________
04 GMC Yukon XL Denali, Black, 12k
02 New Beetle, TDI, Reflex Silver, 24k
89 300TE, Arctic White, 214k

90 300E, 142k (sold)
87 300TD, 128k (sold)
83 300D, 314k (sold)
79 300TD, 266k (sold)

Share your knowledge -

Wayne
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2002, 07:57 AM
Human Spirit
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 56
Found: Premium Diesel in Charlevoix, MI area

I found premium diesel in Charlevoix, MI area -

Ellsworth Farmers Exchange, Ellsworth, MI has the good, 50 cetane diesel. Was told it is supplied by Sonoco. The farmers know a good thing.

While traveling along the I-75 Corridor, Ripster from the UP, said the 4 mile road exit at Grayling has premium diesel. Don't know the brand or who supplies it.

Thanks everyone, motor on!
__________________
04 GMC Yukon XL Denali, Black, 12k
02 New Beetle, TDI, Reflex Silver, 24k
89 300TE, Arctic White, 214k

90 300E, 142k (sold)
87 300TD, 128k (sold)
83 300D, 314k (sold)
79 300TD, 266k (sold)

Share your knowledge -

Wayne
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-12-2002, 09:39 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,531
Ooh, Ellsworth - the best restaurant in Michigan is in Ellsworth - Tapawingo. Very expensive, and very worth it.
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2002, 07:21 PM
Human Spirit
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 56
Premium Diesel in Ellsworth, MI

Yes, and the Rowe Inn in Ellsworth is also excellent for fine dining. Last time I went to the Rowe Inn, the owner was driving a W123 Diesel! Ellsworth: Fill up with premium diesel then fill up with premium food! Maybe the Ellsworth chamber of commerce would be interested in this slogan. Motor on!
__________________
04 GMC Yukon XL Denali, Black, 12k
02 New Beetle, TDI, Reflex Silver, 24k
89 300TE, Arctic White, 214k

90 300E, 142k (sold)
87 300TD, 128k (sold)
83 300D, 314k (sold)
79 300TD, 266k (sold)

Share your knowledge -

Wayne
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-13-2002, 10:28 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,531
I've not been to the Rowe Inn, but understand it to be comparable to Tapawingo. I have good memories of that area. A few summers ago my wife and I did some cycle touring in the area. We had ridden our tandem down from Mackinac island to stay at the B&B in Ellsworth. Forget the name - Inn on the Hill, perhaps? Walked down to Tapawingo for dinner. Life was good, very good, that summer.

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