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Old 01-28-2000, 10:21 AM
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I own a 1987 diesel powered turbo. Here in Maine, the price of diesel fuel is now $1.99/gal, if you can even find any! I have heard that you can use standard heating oil in a pinch-which is what I'm in right now. Anybody out there know whether this is true?

Warren Swartz
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Old 01-28-2000, 01:26 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Orange, OH, USA
Posts: 56
If you cannot get ANY fuel, and cannot bum a ride from a freind, get public transportation, etc.; then and only then use heating oil. The biggest problem is the stuff does not get nearly as refined as diesel fuel. I know people who have run the stuff on a limited basis. Your car will run on it but you can do damage with extended use. It can contain (among other things) higher sulpher, larger poorly burning long chain byproducts which WILL over time clog injectors, add more particles to your oil thereby increasing wear - all in all not good for your engine. The main point - don't do it to save a buck.

My Mercedes users manual suggests the use of Kerosene/Diesel in a 50/50 Maximum for use where non-winterized fuel may not be available. At higher percentages the lubricity becomes a problem.

An old trick I've heard of, is to add used motor oil to kerosine in a pinch. The problem with this is that motor oil will give similar problems to that of home heating oil. From another web site, I have read that instead of motor oil use automatic transmission fluid. The claim is that this burns ashless - important if you want to keep things from fouling. Unfortunately I do not know what ratio will give the best benfit.

I hope this problem does not become an epidemic! All I run are diesel vehicles now - a '96 6.5l suburban, and an '84 300SD.

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Old 01-28-2000, 01:49 PM
Luke's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Saint Helena, CA
Posts: 166
One-dollar-ninety-nine cents? Yikes! And I thought we had it bad in California. The current price in my rural area is $1.67. Anyway, I have run my 300D on straight ATF in an emergency, and had no performance problems. In fact, it was quieter and smoother. If you are really commited, surf the 'net for the keywords "biodiesel" and "veggie van" There are grassroots companies selling do it yourself home biodiesel stills.

Reagrds - Luke

'78 300D
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Old 01-29-2000, 08:58 AM
Mark B
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I have read in other discussion threads that heating oil and diesel fuel are the same. Only difference is the dye added for tax evasion. Oil companies just don't want everyone to know this. The person who stated this works for an oil company and is a chemist with a PHD to back it up. I also know of several folk who have used heating fuel for years. One has done 300k+ miles. He owns a farm and runs everything on heating oil.

don't know if true just passing this along.

Just my .02
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Old 01-29-2000, 04:50 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 203
I believe you can run heating oil as long as your fuel filters are good, and you will need to change them a bit more frequently due to a little poorer refinement. As long as you stay on top of that you should be ok. A guy I know used to siphon heating oil out of his parents home furnace tank for quite some time with no ill effects.

1987 300SDL-T
1985 190E 2.3-16
1984 280GE Cabrio
1978 240D
1957 220S(running one day, I hope!)

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Old 01-29-2000, 07:39 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
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You can run the heating oil. I would just have an after market dual filter installed under the hood with the screw on type filters so I could change them monthly.

1981 280GE SWB
1987 16V

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Old 01-29-2000, 09:39 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Lehigh Valley PA
Posts: 1,321
Here in eastern Pennsylvania our diesel prices have gone from $1.35 a gallon to $1.92 within the past three weeks. Premium unleaded has inched up a few cents, maybe a nickel; it's around $1.50 a gallon.

The best explanation I've seen so far on (see my thread "Diesel Fuel prices - what's up?") is this. Within the past 9 months, crude oil has gone from $12/barrel to $28/barrel. OPEC has been trying to cut production, thereby raising prices. They recently decided to give kickbacks to Venezuela (which previously wouldn't cut their production) if they would go along with the cartel. Also, the demand for home heating oil increases as it gets cold.

So, now we see price increases like we saw in 1973-1974 and 1979. I remember gas going from $0.329 in 1973 to about a dollar a gallon by 1979.

Robert W. Roe - my 200th post [great site guys, thanks for all the great help and info so far]
1984 300SD 167K mi

[This message has been edited by Robert W. Roe (edited 01-29-2000).]
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Old 01-31-2000, 09:43 AM
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Location: Orange, OH, USA
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Just to clarify things a bit. While it is a fact that SOME refiners use the same fuel for heating and diesel, some do not. It is a crap shoot unless you know where the fuel comes from. Do ya feel lucky? This from a freind who used to work in the refining area.
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Old 01-31-2000, 03:36 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: montreal,quebec,canada
Posts: 53
in quebec they put red dye in the heating oil.
if you get caught using it in the car the fine is $1000.00
and they have special check this.
good idea to check in your states if the same rule exists
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