Life of diesel in car?

Our transport is heavily oil-based. What are the alternatives?

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clv101
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Life of diesel in car?

Post by clv101 »

As the lockdown continues, are car related issues are likely to occur?

There's the six MOT exemption, but is that only if you're actually in self isolation? Are garages still doing MOTs? Looks like insurance is still valid.

What's happening with services? Especially as car warranties require the services to be maintained? Are dealers and independent garages still doing services?

And fuel? I last filled (diesel) the car on 15th March, over two months ago, still two thirds full! Not anticipating any significant mileage for another couple of months - might some people hit problems for stale fuel?
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Re: Life of diesel in car?

Post by vtsnowedin »

clv101 wrote:- might some people hit problems for stale fuel?
I think not. Diesel is stable for at least a year. Gas or petrol on the other hand tends to evaporate during periods of high temperature and really should be used within six months of delivery.
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Post by Mr. Fox »

For cars, bikes and light vehicles, if the MOT was due to expire on or after 30th March, it gets an automatic 6 month extension (although you still need to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy, as normal). This extension should show up on the database around 7 days before the due date.

More details here.

With regard to fuel, with a diesel, ideally you'd want to drain it and keep the fuel in an appropriate container if it's being left for months, but that's not really practical.

Personally, I'd say that you're better off keeping the tank as full as possible, since the main problems are water (not so much from rain ingress, but from condensation forming in the 'empty' part of the tank) and oxygen. As VT suggests, it should 'keep' for at least a year, especially if you can park it where it's not in direct sunlight (it doesn't like the heat).

You can also get various diesel fuel stabilisers for about a tenner (add to tank before topping up) - Sta-Bil, Seafoam etc - for extra peace of mind, which will help clean the injectors/system too.

If it's running on biodiesel/SVO, personally I'd drain it and refill with a quality (non-supermarket crap) fuel... the difference in price is down to the additives (generally includes a stabiliser). I've found bio/SVO to be the worst for gumming up.

In any case, it wouldn't hurt to get hold of a spare fuel filter (or two) while you still can.
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Post by clv101 »

Mr. Fox wrote:If it's running on biodiesel/SVO, personally I'd drain it and refill with a quality (non-supermarket crap) fuel... the difference in price is down to the additives (generally includes a stabiliser). I've found bio/SVO to be the worst for gumming up.
I only use Shell V-Power diesel.
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Post by Mr. Fox »

You might still want to add a stabiliser.

The other issue you will likely encounter with laying the car up for months is 'battery drain', as modern cars tend to use a few milliamps constantly (for anti-theft systems, etc), so either regular charging or maybe a little solar trickle charger that sits on the dashboard will avoid this (or maybe not, if parking it out of the sun!) - I'm sure you're well aware of how much lead-acid batteries don't like being left in a discharged state.

What I'd caution against is disconnecting the battery entirely, as many modern cars can freak out if this is done (e.g. certain VWs reset steering angle sensor calibration and throw up loads of esoteric warning lights/fault codes).
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Post by Catweazle »

I think we deserve a road tax and insurance refund.
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Post by adam2 »

Mr. Fox wrote:You might still want to add a stabiliser.

The other issue you will likely encounter with laying the car up for months is 'battery drain', as modern cars tend to use a few milliamps constantly (for anti-theft systems, etc), so either regular charging or maybe a little solar trickle charger that sits on the dashboard will avoid this (or maybe not, if parking it out of the sun!) - I'm sure you're well aware of how much lead-acid batteries don't like being left in a discharged state.

What I'd caution against is disconnecting the battery entirely, as many modern cars can freak out if this is done (e.g. certain VWs reset steering angle sensor calibration and throw up loads of esoteric warning lights/fault codes).
Yes, agree. If a solar charger cant be used, then consider a basic mains operated car battery charger. Unless you are VERY CERTAIN that the battery charger is suitable for continuous unattended operation, then use a timeswitch to restrict operation to 10 or 15 minutes a day.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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Post by BritDownUnder »

Catweazle wrote:I think we deserve a road tax and insurance refund.
One thing I have noticed is the reduction in mileage this year. Since last October I have only driven 3000 km. It also means that I get to skip the half yearly service thus saving more money. Sadly in Australia the tax and insurance remains the same.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

I was thinking that the government should give a rebate on road tax and insurers should do the same but it is probably a good idea to keep the cost of owning a car high so that when we come out of the crisis people might ask themselves whether it was worth keeping a car and get a bike instead. An e-bike is a fraction of the cost of an e-car and uses a fraction of the energy as well.
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Post by vtsnowedin »

kenneal - lagger wrote:I was thinking that the government should give a rebate on road tax and insurers should do the same but it is probably a good idea to keep the cost of owning a car high so that when we come out of the crisis people might ask themselves whether it was worth keeping a car and get a bike instead. An e-bike is a fraction of the cost of an e-car and uses a fraction of the energy as well.
My insurance company sent me a $50 rebate check on my $2000 a year two car policy. Most generous of them I thought. On the other end I think now would be a good time to bump up the gas tax here by 25 cents a gallon to be split with small town governments to reduce their property (council) taxes and to rebuild infrastructure on a cash basis. With gas down to $1.90/ gallon few would feel the pain and when prices and driving go back up it would put a damper on demand and reduce the popularity of behemoth SUVs thereby reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change.
I will not hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

vtsnowedin wrote:
kenneal - lagger wrote:I was thinking that the government should give a rebate on road tax and insurers should do the same but it is probably a good idea to keep the cost of owning a car high so that when we come out of the crisis people might ask themselves whether it was worth keeping a car and get a bike instead. An e-bike is a fraction of the cost of an e-car and uses a fraction of the energy as well.
My insurance company sent me a $50 rebate check on my $2000 a year two car policy. Most generous of them I thought. On the other end I think now would be a good time to bump up the gas tax here by 25 cents a gallon to be split with small town governments to reduce their property (council) taxes and to rebuild infrastructure on a cash basis. With gas down to $1.90/ gallon few would feel the pain and when prices and driving go back up it would put a damper on demand and reduce the popularity of behemoth SUVs thereby reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change.
I will not hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
With Trump in power? No chance! The corporations would string him up for any thoughts of reducing oil and SUV sales.
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Post by ReserveGrowthRulz »

vtsnowedin wrote: With gas down to $1.90/ gallon......
Price here just JUMPED to $1.60. I had been paying $1.35.

Lousy oil market manipulators, causing the price of oil to be greater than $0!!
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Post by Catweazle »

ReserveGrowthRulz wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote: With gas down to $1.90/ gallon......
Price here just JUMPED to $1.60. I had been paying $1.35.

Lousy oil market manipulators, causing the price of oil to be greater than $0!!
We pay five times as much.
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Post by ReserveGrowthRulz »

Catweazle wrote:
ReserveGrowthRulz wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote: With gas down to $1.90/ gallon......
Price here just JUMPED to $1.60. I had been paying $1.35.

Lousy oil market manipulators, causing the price of oil to be greater than $0!!
We pay five times as much.
Ick.
Last edited by ReserveGrowthRulz on Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by vtsnowedin »

Catweazle wrote:
ReserveGrowthRulz wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote: With gas down to $1.90/ gallon......
Price here just JUMPED to $1.60. I had been paying $1.35.

Lousy oil market manipulators, causing the price of oil to be greater than $0!!
We pay five times as much.
I know and have often wondered how HMG has squandered all the revenue raised by such high levies. One would think your highway infrastructure would be the pinnacle of perfection and efficiency with the vast sums available to accomplish that before any were skimmed off to balnace some other less worthy account. :roll:
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