Well, it finally happened to me.
We've had temps hovering around freezing here for the past few days. I run B99, and was expecting some gelling, but while frost at work and halfway home, no frost at home and temps never below 36°F overnight.
Our local BD business has gone bust again, possibly for good this time. I got notice of this last week. I had filled up just before then. I am down to 2/3 tank because I have been driving the Aero off & on the past week.
I got exactly six miles toward work this morning, and had fuel starvation, to the point that I couldn't nurse it and had to stop. After 15 minutes, it would restart but not continue running, so I called for a ride and left it.
At 5pm I got a ride back to it, put 3 ounces of Power Service Biodiesel Auntie Gel in, it cranked and fired up OK. With friend following me, I headed back to work, got about 1.5 miles and died again.
We'd brought a filter -- planning for Just In Case. Pulled out old one and poured it over my white-latex-gloved hand: pretty opaque for biodiesel, but at least no water. Spun on new Wix, but then . . .
. . . the dreaded failed purge pump! Yup, it would not pump fuel out the discharge. I could get a vacuum at the bleed screw but would not move fuel.
Back to work, picked up 1.5 gallon Mity-Vac and adapter hose & clamp, back to the Wagon, and pulled 1/2 gallon of fuel out the OUT nipple of the filter housing -- just in case. No more problem, though did have to crank about thirty seconds to get it to fire up this time. Drove 20 miles and no problems.
However . . .
On the way to/from work to take back tools and friend and such, I stopped by the biodiesel trailer. Official notice that they are no longer selling fuel was inside, but this most disturbing sight:
That's my wall thermometer, that I donated to them about three years ago. It reads 44°F -- I came back to take this picture; an hour earlier it read 49°F but the filters looked the same. If you click on them, you can see that the filters are solid. (Actually, there is only one filter, on the right; the other two housings are empty at this time, but the one on the right is a 10 micron, so it doesn't really matter.)
The totes are all empty, but the few inches on the bottom look solid.
It appears to me that there is a large amount of unreacted oil in this batch of BD. My friend following me, who knows biodiesel, said he smelled what smelled like SVO, not BD, when following me. Oh, joy.
Since it looks like I'll be driving the Wagon on petrodiesel for a while, I'm not going to worry too much about it. I just thought I'd share another "bad fuel" story with y'all, and let you know that I, too, have been bit by the failed purge pump thing. Not that I'm going to rush out and buy a trouble-prone electric pump now, but I do want to find a hand pump that can supplement or replace the OEM one -- I think I am No. 3 or so of our members that have experienced this failure.