Watch for B30 Diesel when caravanning in France
British caravanners planning holidays in Europe this summer are urged to take extra care when filling up with diesel.
Go Caravan reader Mary Kingdon alerted us to this issue after a French trip caused fuel injection problems with her Nissan X-Trail. It seems that she may have filled her car with B30 – a diesel with a high proportion of biodiesel.
Biodiesel is produced from oilseed rape, sunflower oil, used frying oils and palm oil. Unless a vehicle has been specifically designed to use it, this can damage cars.
In the UK all diesel contains up to 7% biodiesel. In France the proportion is similar, However, a B30 diesel blend (containing 30% biodiesel) is also available in France (and other parts of Europe), and it is this that has caught out some British caravanners. B30 is only suitable for vehicles specifically designed to use it.
Journalist and experienced continental caravanner Mike Cazalet believes the problem is that various seals in the fuel system are not suitable for bio fuel. He advised: “The seals may not fail immediately, which is why people who have filled up with the wrong fuel often think they’ve got away with it, but the seals probably will, expensively, fail.”
Motor manufacturer Nissan, along with most other manufacturers, advises customers to use only conventional diesel fuel, and Volkswagen says the use of B30 may invalidate the engine and exhaust system warranty.
A few filling stations in the UK also sell the B30 blend – Morrisons supermarkets has stocked this at its forecourts.
To avoid problems, we advise:
- Stick to conventional diesel fuel
- Avoid B30 – look out for the B30 label and possibly an orange pump
- Use B30 only if you have established with your car’s manufacturer that your vehicle is able to run on this mix