October 6, 2006

Rocking the Biodiesel

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 6:48 pm

2005 VW Beetle TDI
Err. Well. I will be rockin’ the Biodiesel… when it’s time to fill up the tank again. After toying with the idea of buying a new car for a while, I finally caved in last weekend and purchased this 2005 VW Beetle TDI (Turbo Direct Injection) last Saturday. (This photo is from my Lomo.) It was time. My full size GMC 1500 SL was 12 years old and falling apart, and though even with a smaller 4.3L Vortec V6, it wasn’t by any means fuel efficient. After looking at all the options, (hybrids, small gasoline cars and the vw diesel) I chose the diesel Beetle because of it’s fuel efficiency coupled with safety features like full on airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), but the ability to run alternative fuel also played a major role, especially since there are a couple of sources to purchase the stuff—both locally (see Tacoma Biodiesel) and regionally.

It’s no secret. America is addicted to foreign oil. If this isn’t evident, you’re actually under a rock. Call me crazy, but to me, betting on biofuels seems like a more sustainable approach to this problem than trying to beat the fuck out of some people. Or—essentially—our way into oil. This isn’t about politics, so that’s all I’ll say.

So far, so good. Though I initally had to take it back to the dealer because the check engine light came on the first day I drove it around. Proved to be no big deal as there was just a vaccuum line detached. It was a simple fix, thankfully covered under warranty. I’ve driven about 250 miles on 1/2 a tank of petroleum diesel furnished by the dealer. That’s pretty amazing right to me there. I’d barely get better than that from the ginormous 22 gallon tank in the truck. When the tank’s empty, I’ll head over to APP and give the biodiesel a whirl.

The one thing I’ve discovered I don’t like about the little guy: the cupholders suck. They’re stashed down under the dash in front of the automatic transmission and it’s pretty hard to get a drink in there. Whatever. Not a hill to die on.

Volkswagens have keys that function like switchblades. Perhaps there is a biodiesel gang I can join. Me & Willie Nelson. “Watch out, we’ll cut-choo sucker.”


  1. Kickass, spark. Welcome to the biodiesel world!

    I’m one of the early members of the Tacoma Biodiesel group, and actually am responsible for the web site that you so heartily linked to. So we’ve been burning the bean in both our Jetta Wagon and 82 Toyota Pickup since 2003.

    I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. And I’m totally in if we’re starting a gang. We can tag with green paint.

    Comment by jamie — October 11, 2006 @ 12:22 pm

  2. Thanks Jamie, what a stellar resource. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have known where to find biodiesel locally without it, and likely wouldn’t have made the decision to jump. I haven’t burned through the first tank of dinosaur bones yet, but I’m at about 430 miles on the first tank. It’s looking like Thursday night or Friday morning for ye olde green pit stop.

    Comment by sparkrobot — October 11, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

  3. Glad you like the site. It hasn’t changed a lot since I put up the wiki version of the page round about 1 year ago…not too many people leapt at the chance to add/edit content. So please, feel free to update any of the content on the wiki.

    Comment by jamie — October 11, 2006 @ 1:30 pm

  4. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty thorough site. Perhaps I’ll add info on gang membership dues. “Please send checks to…”

    Comment by sparkrobot — October 11, 2006 @ 1:49 pm

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