greasecar diesel conversion

greenfumbers4fowbersMarch 4, 2007

My boss recently traded in the company's Subaru Station Wagon. For whatever business reasons, it was time to replace the car - fully depreciated, or whatever.

OK, so he's recently on a big kick about doing his part to "save the world." For him, that means that replacing the old car with a new Toyota Camry Hybrid was the best choice he could make. He's all excited that he gets great fuel mileage, and that it's really a good choice from an emissions perspective, too.

I'm not really in the market to replace my current vehicle, a 1997 Toyota RAV4 with 175K, but... if I were, I'd consider "trumping" his hybrid with a Waste Vegetable Oil conversion diesel. I'd be getting similar fuel mileage, but my fuel would be mostly FREE! (And my emissions would smell like FOOD!)

Anyone else looked at these conversions? There's a company in Massachusetts that has my attention right now. My husband works in a restaurant and they have to PAY to get rid of the fryer oil. They'd be happy to see someone take it away for free!

Check out

Here is a link that might be useful: Grease Car Conversions for Diesel cars

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've learned a little about it from friends who've considered doing that or making their own biodiesel (different process). It's a little more complicated than just backing up the car to a vat of used oil. The oil has to be filtered well of fried food residue and anything else that has ended up in the vat. If you live in a colder climate, WVO won't be enough to start the car when it gets cold; you'll have to start it on diesel until the engine and fuel system are warm enough to guarantee that the WVO doesn't solidify on its way to the engine; you'll also need to purge the fuel system with diesel before the engine is shut down or you risk clogging the system. Depending on where you live, you still may be responsible for paying equivalent fuel taxes (a case about this recently popped up in Illinois). Oh, and many current turbodiesels and especially the upcoming BLUETEC (and variants) "clean diesels" -- at least right now -- specifically advise against using high percentages of biodiesel or WVO/SVO (Surplus Vegetable Oil) because some of the compounds in them are high enough to damage the clean-up components. You'll kiss your powertrain warranty goodbye when you go full biodiesel or WVO/SVO.

It's still a very appealing idea, but right now it's a bit more complicated than just siphoning off free grease from the local deep-fry store. I am hopeful that a concerted effort to standardize properties of the fuel (possibly amending the fuel to address some of the problems) and those building vehicles to use it will make the process simpler.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If I were to do this at all, I'd be using an older diesel to convert. So the powertrain warranty issue will be a moot point, as will the concerns about the "clean diesels" being damaged by this process. (Recycling an older diesel car, I could get "keep an old car out of the landfill" points in my mental game with the boss, too. He's a friend - we are constantly trying to one-up each other on a variety of issues, and it's great fun!)

I do live in a colder climate, so the Grease Car kits from Massachusetts (the state next door) appealed on that basis - it's engineered to handle the startup and shutdown switch-overs pretty nicely.

As to the fuel taxes... while I'm generally irritated by taxes in general and do what I can to influence my local, state and federal government's expenditures, I'm OK with paying my fair share of any fair tax. And since fuel taxes are the source of funding for highways, I'd not be opposed to making that payment if it were deemed my due.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 12:46PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Problem with remote starter
I had a remote starter (AS-1780) installed on my 2014...
Warning:Quaker State Oil Filters
Better check your filters really close. I used to simply...
Failing transmission questions
I have a 2001 Honda Odyssey, 167,000 miles. I've always...
too much pressure in cooling system
I have a 95 sable that lost heat about a year ago....
car alarm going off at odd times
We have a Hyundai that suddenly decided the entire...
Chickey Wingz
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™