Running a Car On Vegetable Oil

(An intro to how I got interested in alternative fuels. See my blog for more details and the play-by-play.)

In May-July 2006 I met a few people who are running their diesel cars on vegetable oil. By filtering used vegetable oil from restaurants, they are using fuel that is essentially free, aside from the time they invest in collecting and filtering the oil.

I hadn't quite convinced myself that I really wanted to own and drive a veggie car, but due to a 3 degrees of separation type scenario, I ended up with a 1980 Mercedes 300d that I couldn't pass up. I am starting a blog and also tracking my expenses to calculate my return on investment, which I expect will be somewhere around 10 months.

I'm not the type of person you might initially think of as a vegetable oil car owner. I am someone who has a 50 mile round trip commute 5 days a week. Not only do I enjoy my 2001 Nissan Xterra SUV, I love driving it. I love being able to see above the smaller cars on the road and I love not feeling like all the Expeditions and Hummers are going to run over me, which is how I feel whenever I drive a car. The stereo in the Xterra has an iPod port. I love having a zippy truck that can pick up speed on a hill. I'm changing to a car that's 26 years old. It's possible that I won't like driving a car and sitting lower to the ground, but I am doing a 12 month experiment to see how much work is involved. I'm doing it for the environmental benefits and so my money is not going to middle eastern countries. I'm doing it so it won't cost me $50+ to fill up my tank.

Click on one of the blog topics to the right to read more.

-- If you want to learn more about how to convert a diesel car to run on vegetable oil, what types of cars are best, how to collect and filter oil, check out the LINKS page.

-- To read about my experience, from the first time I found out it was possible to run a car on vegetable oil, to buying my car, converting it and the driving experience, check out "MY VEGGIE CAR BLOG."