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Can You Run Your Car on Vegetable Oil?

The Car Guys on NPR have a great article about how you can use vegetable oil to power your diesel engine. Check out this fascinating article about alternative fuels.

Here are some of the highlights from the article:

You’re telling me I can run my car on vegetable oil?
Pretty much — with two big caveats. First, it needs to be diesel-powered to begin with. Second, vegetable oil tends to congeal when the weather gets cool, which means you’ll need to undertake some major modifications.

Will any diesel vehicle run on veggie oil?
Yes, if you make all the modifications needed. There are a handful of companies that supply kits or already converted vehicles.

What do I need to do to run my car on veggie oil?
It’s complex. There’s a tank for regular diesel fuel, for starting the car, and a second tank for the vegetable oil. This second tank contains a metal coil that transfers heat from the engine’s coolant. The driver starts the car on diesel fuel, and can only switch over to vegetable oil when the veggie oil has warmed up enough. Before you turn the engine off, you must switch back to regular diesel and run the vehicle long enough to purge the fuel lines and injectors of the vegetable oil. Otherwise, the lines will get clogged and it’ll be a whole lot of work if you ever want to get your vehicle started again. Some designs may also require an auxiliary pump to move the warmed coolant from the radiator to the tank of vegetable oil.

Check out the full article when you get a chance.

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