Keith on Life

Run Your Car on Veggie Oil!


If you’d stayed at Snowdonia Mountain Lodge a few years ago you may have noticed something fishy about the smell of chips in the car park. Had the cafe degenerated into a cheap fast food outlet, abandoning the values of Dru Health and Nutrition? No, actually it was only the café car which, unlike us, was happy and healthy on a diet of refined vegetable oil.

It was a rescued car really. When I first saw the car it had been abandoned for 4 years and there was a bird’s nest in the engine. Yet the vehicle had been fitted with a separate oil tank and system so it could run on veggie oil as well as diesel.IIt looked like it had its chips, but the previous owner only wanted £50 for it, so we decided to give it a new home. With a lot of TLC and even more elbow grease we got it running and found the veggie oil system was working perfectly.

How did it work?

Basically, oil is thicker than diesel so it has to be hot when it goes into the engine. The system uses hot water from the radiator to warm the oil.

I had to start the engine on diesel first thing, then switch to veggie oil after a few minutes. At the end of the day, I had to remember to run the last few miles on diesel so it’s in the engine when it starts cold the next day. A few times I had forgotten to run the diesel. This used to make starting the engine difficult — but it gave me a great excuse if I was ever running late for anything!

Unlike diesel, vegetable oil is a renewable resource, as new crops can be grown each year. The vegetable plant absorbs CO2 to make the oil—which is then released when you burn it. It’s OK as long as the oil is created responsibly, not grown in rainforests cleared to make a quick profit.

3 Ways To Use Veggie Oil In a Diesel Car

1. Convert the car completely
2. Make biodiesel from waste oil which can be used like diesel.
3. Mix a percentage of oil with your diesel and run as normal.

You need to do your research though, it depends on how sophisticated the engine is. Generally it works better on older cars.

Remember to tell Customs and Excise that you’re using oil as a road fuel though, otherwise the frying squad will be after you! It’s really easy to register, the tax is less on biofuels and you don’t have to pay if you are using a small amount.

Until next time, bye for now!

Categories: Keith on Life

2 replies »

  1. Hey Keith I also run the car on old fish & chip oil. In winter mix in a little kero. Avoid using animal fat oil as its much thicker and will solidify. It needs more treatment. It’s great to avoid the fuel prices and beat the system. What a sight with the the dogs and seaguls chasing us down the road though.
    cusoon John

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