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How to Use Vegetable Oil in Diesel Cars to Save Money as Gas Prices Skyrocket!

Updated on August 22, 2014

Diesel Cars are the way to go!

As the price of gasoline rises more and more people will begin to search for ways to get around the expense. One way is to use vegetable oil as fuel. In order to use vegetable oil for fuel one must have a diesel engine. Diesel cars and trucks are very fuel efficient under normal use, providing 20 to 30 percent greater fuel economy than non-diesel engines. They also have a greater resale value than regular cars. As of today fewer than 1% of Americans have diesel engine cars. This may change in the very near future. Yes, they are a bit more expensive up front but the way gasoline prices are going you will save much more in the long run, especially if you can get free vegetable oil from your local Mexican restaurant and use it instead of gasoline! Besides, you can always save money by buying a used car. If you must purchase vegetable oil for your car you can purchase it on at less than $1.00 a gallon which is a lot less then the going price of gasoline!

There are only a few types of cars sold in America that have diesel engines. They are:

  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Mercedes
  • Volkswagen

Avoiding the Pitfalls of using Vegetable Oil in your Diesel Engine

Vegetable oil can be used as fuel in any car that has a diesel engine, however there can be unwanted results if not done properly. Vegetable oil is very thick and it can clog the engine. There are three ways you can remedy this:

One, is to cut the vegetable oil with more conventional fuels so that even if you are not using 100% vegetable oil you are still lowering your gas usage and saving money.

Two, you can add White Spirit which is an oil based cleaning liquid (see the video below).

And three, according to Wikipedia straight vegetable oil works in diesel engines if it is heated first. Some diesel engines already heat their fuel, others need a small electric heater on the fuel line. How well it works depends on the heating system, the engine, the type of vegetable oil (thinner is easier), and the climate (warmer is easier).

Make It Green Please!

It's all about saving money now isn't it? If you plan on using used vegetable oil from restaurants you will have to run it through several filters. You can use any fine durable fabric such as a mesh for this purpose, a 40 micron mesh filter is recommended. Vegetable oil is also about the greenest way you can go when driving a car. The carbon footprint is minuscule and if you can get it for free at a restaurant the price is right as well. The only thing better would be a bicycle but a bicycle is not very practical when you have to go long distances in bad weather.

With the current middle east crisis underway, I have a feeling that diesel cars will become the next big thing. If you buy a used one they are cheaper than electric cars and if you have a good source (like a Mexican restaurant) of vegetable oil'll be set for life or for as long as people keep eating Mexican food!


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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Interesting idea to use your own vegetable oil for gasoline for your idea. Clever thought! Voted up!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks cgreen7090

    • cgreen7090 profile image

      cgreen7090 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Informative hub. It does work when done properly. If you use used restaurant oil, your exhaust will be much cleaner; it will just smell like chimichangas and egg rolls. (knows from experience). Thanks for sharing.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks LeanMan, very informative.

    • LeanMan profile image

      Tony 5 years ago from At the Gemba

      Disappearinghead you are able to use a considerable quantity of veg oil in your car before the customs and excise take any notice of you - not that they would ever know! The figure is many thousands of liters as I researched this a few years back when I ran an old Isuzu Trooper on vegie oil! It is not like running a car on "red-diesel" used for heating which is illegal and the police can check for!

      I used to buy oil in my local supermarket at around 40p per liter and fill my tank in the car park attracting many stares and discussions from passers by!

      I ran around 60-80% veg oil mix in my car with no deterioration in performance or any long term damage - I did this for over 2 years before I moved to work in Saudi where fuel only costs about 12c per liter!!!

      I would recommend anyone to do this, it is very easy to do and after all the original diesel engine was designed to run on peanut oil!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Wow, I didn't know that...terrible.

    • Disappearinghead profile image

      Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK

      In the Uk we pay £6 per gallon so that's silly money in US dollars. Consequently most people drive diesels. However should we fill our diesel cars up with veg oil Her Majesty's Customs and Excise who have more power than the police will take away our cars and crush them, then slap us for fines totalling what they estimate we have not paid to the treasury in fuel duty, plus a heavy make-an-example-of-fine.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      I wouldn't say genius :) Thanks for commenting Crystolite

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      Excellent teaching from a genius like you,creative article.thanks for sharing.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks rpalulis, we shall see...I think we are in for quite a ride.

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 6 years ago from NY

      I am waiting for the Mahindra small diesel truck to be sold in the US, Very popular in Europe they are a smaller truck but yet still has the same tow capacity of our larger trucks, and is diesel.

      I miss my old Chevy diesel. I also read that Moringa oil from the Moringa tree can be used for fuel as well. Great Hub! I think your are absolutely right, as gas prices continue to rise, small diesel vehicles will become very popular.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      And when gasoline hits $6.00 or $8.00 a gallon it will for sure.

    • Nan Mynatt profile image

      Nan Mynatt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Great idea and a lot of people may be switching to vegetable oil. Even if you used clean store bought oil, I think that it would be cheaper that regular diesel fuel.

    • profile image

      New Jura Natural Building 6 years ago

      friend of mine Dr Craig Sommers, who wrote the Raw Food Bible, also put out a DVD on converting a diesel vehicle to veg, and it is very easy to follow!!

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