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Discussion Starter #1
A.) I just finished my first tank of diesel. I noticed that the fuel gauge moved much slower for the first half of the tank, and once I got past that point it seemed to move much faster. My driving was no different any of these times and my mileage didn't really seem to vary either. Anyone else experience this?

B.) How the hell am I supposed to fill this thing up? I went to 4 different stations, and at all of them the diesel pump was too large a diameter to fit into the fuel filler. I ended up filling it very slowly and letting it trickle in, but this would get old real fast. And, once I was done, I wasn't even at a full tank! These were not truck stops, just regular gas stations. Anyone have advice on this? It's pretty messy the way I had to do it!
 

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I've heard about this, could you angle it in or was it way too large? They could be the fast fill truck stop nozzles. Earlier cars didn't have this problem.
 

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I just finished my first tank of diesel. I noticed that the fuel gauge moved much slower for the first half of the tank, and once I got past that point it seemed to move much faster. My driving was no different any of these times and my mileage didn't really seem to vary either. Anyone else experience this?
I believe it's related to the geometry of the tank. Imagine it as being shaped like a funnel, with the sides tapering to a narrow bottom. If the fuel gauge sensor is measuring the height of the fuel in the tank, most of the volume the tank holds would be in the top half, as its cross-sectional area is greater than that of the bottom.

FWIW, I've seen this occur on just about every car I've ever driven -- it seems that most tanks are either tapered to some degree or have some kind of shelf (i.e. the tank is 2 or more stacked rectangular boxes, with the widest one on top).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks 3waygeek...that makes sense. As far as the fuel filler...all of the pumps I saw were the same size, and the diameter was larger than that of the opening, so I had to try and aim it directly down the hole and let it slowly fill.
 

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I'm supposed to take delivery on my TDI in Oakland next week, and I'm puzzled by the problem with fueling the car, which would seem like a simple operation. Why hasn't anyone else mentioned this issue before? Does everyone have this problem? Is there a solution?
 

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You just have to find a station that has the regular nozzles and not the big nozzles. If you really push it in the nozzle can also get stuck on the neck. You could carry a funnel but then you have an oily stinking funnel in the trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah I figure that the 4 stations I went to all had the larger pumps...I will continue my search for a smaller pump I guess. The problem is, I went to the 4 places that I pass every day, so I guess I'll be going out of my way for fuel now, or filling up slow and sloppy.
 

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THe BP next to me has two diesel pumps-- one of the pumps has the large nozzle for big trucks the other pump has the smaller nozzle. The first time I went I grabbed the larger nozzle that didn't fit. I had to cancel my credit card transaction and drove to the other pump which thankfully had a smaller nozzle.

From now on, If I'm going to a new station I will be checking the nozzle first before putting in my credit card.
 

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In 6k miles of driving all around the eastern seaboard, I have found exactly one station that lacked the correct size nozzle. Many, however, have both, so you do have to glance before swiping your card.

As for fuel gauges, I'm surprised you have not noticed this in previous cars -- it is more or less standard industry practice to calibrate the sending units so that the needle moves faster in the second half of its travel. I've never owned a car that didn't behave this way to one degree or another.

-dan
 

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So far I've only been to 2 Shell stations and both were fine. I did notice the fuel gauge taking its time when its full but I was getting some good hwy mileage at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I went to a Kwik Trip that is only 10 minutes from my house and alas, I found a station with a pump that looks like it will fit in my car. It is labeled large truck diesel on one side (with the fatter nozzle) and just says diesel on the other side with the normal sized one. Now I see what some of you were saying with the different sized pumps on either side, thanks. Too bad this station is not in the direction I travel every day but I guess it is close enough to home...and it's good to know that the smaller nozzles actually exist. I was beginning to think I was crazy.
 

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I see two Kwik Trips listed in my "WHERE" fuel finder app on my iPhone, but I also see tons of alternatives nearby, including Exxon, Clark, Cenex, PDQ, BP, Shell etc. -- many more than in my area and I've never had even slight trouble finding fuel.

Let me know if you want addresses (I'm going by the location you listed in your profile).

-dan
 

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It also occurs to me that you may still be "stuck" in a gasser mindset [g]:

"Well, I have to stop for gas on this trip anyway, so I'll fill up close to home and go as far as I can."

As opposed to:

"Hmm, I've got a quarter tank left; I'll drive 100 miles and then start looking for Diesel."

The Gulf station nearest my home has decent fuel, but the dirtiest nozzles ever, no paper towels, broken or missing windshield squeegees, and twice this month has had its fire extinguisher system go off inexplicably, sending one guy to the hospital with respiratory issues. Think I bother stopping there on the way out of town? Not [g].

-dan
 

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Most companies have a station locator on their site and you can narrow the search by checking diesel fuel. Very handy.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ha yes thanks dan but I will keep looking...I'm sure there are plenty of diesel stations in my vicinity, it's just that all of the ones that I pass every day to and from work will not work for me, so the convenience factor is not there but certainly I can deal with that. And yes, of all the stations I have been to, they all seem to be a greasy mess on the diesel pump. Guess I will have to keep some wipes in the trunk or something. Thanks for the help guys!
 

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I carry an old glove, plus a small container of hand sanitizer. Normally all I need is the glove, but on the rare occasion I need some cleanup of fuel residue, the sanitizer's alcohol cuts the smell and does a nice job.

-dan
 

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reviving an old thread...

I had the issue of filling up w/ the truck-sized nozzle last night. Granted, it's only my 3rd fillup and I've gone to a different station each time, so I'm still figuring things out... The station attendant did say that they do have a smaller sized nozzle on the other side, but I was already 2/3 of the way done, so I stuck with it.

Is there an easy way to discern the diesel pump and size of nozzle w/o having to pull out the handle? If any of you diesel vets can fill me in (esp if you are in the LI-Queens area), it'd be much appreciated.
 

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Well I suppose it depends where you fillup. Generally in the UK the truck pumps are away from the car/van petrol and diesel pumps the petrol nozzles are green and the diesel nozzles are black and different sizes so you can't mix them up. ;)
 

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Big Nozzles

Vent 5 may have the right idea. Carry an emergency funnel with a tapered spout and a roll of paper towels. As I've practiced on my boat I will towel off excess diesel before replacing the funnel in its locker ( or trunk of a car ) Any left over diesel will evaporate, smells will be minimal, and your car filler / fender will be kept a bit cleaner from spills.
Bill R.
 
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