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  #1  
Old 06-05-2003, 05:44 AM
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Location: USA
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Driving a diesel car during long trips in California and nearby states

Dear friends:

This question is for people living in Northern California or California in general.

I live in San Jose (North CA) and can only find 2 (out of 20-30) gas stations that have diesel fuel. I wonder whether it's risky enough to take a trip to Reno, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle etc... by driving a diesel car, considering the fact that it may be hard or impossible to find any gas station that has diesel fuel during the trips (mostly on highways) ?

Thanks for your info.

Best regards,

Eric
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2003, 06:02 AM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 19,745
If you take highways that trucks use you'll have no trouble finding stations that sell Diesel fuel. If your car is up to snuff, you hsould be able to go at least 400 miles on a single tank. None of the metro areas you mentioned is more than 400 miles from the nearest metro area.

I'd say Diesel is available every 30-40 miles along I5 from Sacramento to San Diego.

Maybe AAA or U-Haul has a listing of Diesel stations in the state.

In the south bay, it seems all Rotten Robbie's sell Diesel. I'd say more than half the Shells do as well. It's never been a problem for me.

You'd have a harder time finding an outlet to charge your EV.

Sixto
95 S420
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2003, 06:11 AM
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Dear sixto:

Have you experienced any big difference in diesel fuel from different diesel stations? Any preference?

Eric
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  #4  
Old 06-05-2003, 07:05 AM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
 
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Location: SF Bay Area
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I can't remember when I didn't fill up at some Rotten Robbie or other. The one on Lafayette and Aldo in Santa Clara is a commercial truck stop so they have good product turnover. I had a recent algae problem with the SD. I can't blame it on RR since I fill the SDL there too. Must have been the sitting for weeks with an almost empty tank. One tube of Diesel Doctor and the prefilter is clear again.

Sixto
95 S420
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2003, 07:15 AM
LarryBible
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Diesel is much easier to find on the highways, even the secondary roads. If you're on the Interstate there are plenty of truck stops. If you're in the rural agricultural areas, many of those guys have diesel trucks, not to mention their need to run their diesel tractors.

Enjoy the trip,
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2003, 01:29 PM
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Eric,

Drive away with confidence. With family in central Oregon we make frequent trips north. When we had diesels we never had any trouble finding fuel. Larry and the others are correct about finding fuel along major interstates. Texaco, for one almost always has diesel. Since Chevron and Texaco have merged your chances are even greater of finding diesel. But just in case email your concern directly to them and they will send you a list of stations along your route AND in N. California:

email address: texacoweb@chevrontexaco.com

You are not going to be stranded unless you simply ignore your fuel gauge, then it wouldn't make any difference whether it is diesel or gas.

Regarding N. California, specifically San Jose area, just look for a Rotten Robbie stations. They are all over and pump huge volumes of fuel at discounted prices.

Haasman
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Last edited by haasman; 06-05-2003 at 02:47 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-05-2003, 06:49 PM
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Dear friends:

Thank you all for your enlightening information and precious tips.

BTW, to tell the truth: I've just bought a 1984 300SD for $1900.
It has 175 Kmiles and it does not smoke! I must say that I've gotten hooked to MB diesel legend owing to this MB forum because of all rumours about their reliability. My mom has reprimanded me for acquiring 2 diesels within a time frame of 3 months. The first one was a 240D that simply does not want to start even after valve lash adjustments, glow plug/battery replacements, engine/transmission/diff oils and brake fluid changes. It only starts with a push start. Its engine compartment is very clean (hey I cleaned it :-) and the interior is almost perfect (and clean too). I'm still thinking about fixing it in the near future or getting rid of it completely to satisfy my mom :-)

Anyway, the 300SD's exterior paint is not very good (peeled off clearcoat and scratches) but it's OK for me since I do not care how and what people think about my cars. The engine always starts immediately within 1 second of cranking and I don't need any pre-glowing, perhaps because it's pretty hot here in San Jose. I will adjust valves and change all the fluids/oils in this car just like I did for the doomed 240D. Are sanding and repainting an entire car a possible DYI task? (I don't need to have a perfect or polished paint job, just an *uniform* paint color is enough for me.)

I am not planning any trip soon because of urgent projects at work, and baby at home.

Haasman: Have you been gettting tired of diesel? :-)

Thank you all again.

Eric
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