Thursday, January 31, 2008

So far, so good . . .but

Car's been running fine but I haven't been driving it much. There was one strange problem and I don't know what it is. I've mostly been doing short local drives so I haven't been switching over on these drives around town. The other day I drove about 9 miles on surface streets and decided not to switch over because it was cool out and the car would sit for a few hours when I got there so I would just have to purge it when I got there.

Cut to a couple- three hours later. I go to start the car and it won't start. Now remember I'm on diesel, this shouldn't be happening and any problem I have ever had has been while on Veggie. It's just cranking with no sign or sound of wanting to start. I crank it for a few seconds with no luck. This is the classic sign of an air leak - but the car has been running fine with no problems until then, totally out of the blue. I have plenty of diesel in the mini tank and by default the system stays on diesel. That is to say that if the system isn't powered or fails the car will be on diesel.

So I start thinking about calling AAA and look under the hood to see if anything is obvious - nothing. I try again and it shows signs of starting and after another crank it starts. I drive home fine. Once home I wait a couple hours and restart the engine. Other then a slight hesitation it starts fine and has ever since. Obviously the worst of it is not knowing if the car will do it again. I know I could be grasping here but - bad gas perhaps? My last fill up was not at my regular station. Change the diesel filter? It's been 20 months on the same one.

I've also been waiting longer before switching over. I find that the longer I wait before switch over the faster the oil gets hot. Even with all of the mods I've done the oil still takes 10-15 minutes to get up to temp after the switchover. It kinda makes sense because one can't expect with the quantity of oil we are dealing with that simply waiting until the engine water temp hits 190º that the oil is even close to 160º. The colder it is outside the longer it will take to heat the oil. If I wait an additional 10 minutes after the car his operating temp (190º on my TDI) before throwing the switch it will generally make 160 pretty quick. Whether it is on the freeway or surface streets tends to affect the time also. With the cold weather and short trips you can see way I haven't been switching over lately.

I decided to empty the diesel tank to see if there was any contamination of the fuel with oil. The diesel looked clear without the yellow cast that I used to get when the oil purged into the tank.

1 comment:

  1. Keep doing it for all of us! My Jetta is running well now in it's fourth year of WVO. Thanks for linking to my conversion photo forum in the Lonely Garden!