A biodiesel user who is part of the San Francisco Biofuels group recently blew up his truck, a brand-new Ford F350. It's quite a story, and he's given AutoblogGreen permission to relay his tale to our readers, who I think will enjoy this heartbreaker. Here's Peterson in his own words:
"I supposedly blew up my brand new $55k truck, with just 200 miles on it, running B99. I say supposedly, because I can't believe it was a fuel problem-but Ford is sticking me with $17k bill for a new engine (major labor required to remove cab etc..). They tested the fuel at two labs and said I violated the warranty (which says no more than B5). I am meeting with the engineer that was flown out from Dearborn to examine the problem today, so I hope to get some technical background on this. ... I have been running B99 in my other cars for 2 years. I'm a farm kid, and fairly comfortable around machinery, and have never had any problems with them. To my understanding, biodiesel has a higher flash point and I can't understand how one blows up an engine on a vegetable-based fuel. Ford markets the ultra-low-sulfur engine as the cleanest in the industry. I ran B100 in my 2004 F25- for 2 years-a similar, high performance PowerStroke."
A bit later, he posted the coda:
"So here's the ending to the 'blown up' brand new truck saga I posted last week. ... Within minutes of posting, I received tons of helpful input ... to test fuel and eventually even legal documentation that Ford could not extend their warranty to cover third parties, and thus not honor (the now 20k) in warranty work. Armed with these questions, and the fact that as long as it was spec fuel, I was covered legally. I went in to siphon fuel out of the tank. Skip several interesting exchanges later, Ford scrambled and is now covering everything-and has even offered to take the truck back and sell me a new one (mine had only 200 miles on it). Next, I found out that Ford just offered a massive recall for injector problems that create a hydrolock that produces white smoke and can cause a massive bang-exactly what happened to me.... The whole things seems to have been a ploy to cover up something they eventually had to admit to on a massive scale. Go Ford."
UPDATE: OK, this story has gotten a lot of attention. Thanks for that. If you're interested to know more, the truck owner in question has been reading the comments and posted himself (see #24). Feel free to add your own if you have a question for him.
[Source: SF Biofuels]