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One man's exploration of diesel to vegetable oil conversion... and proving it can be done!

Vegetable Oil Motoring - Frequently Asked Questions

3296 Days
of trouble-free motoring on veg oil since converting on 18th June 2008

If you're interested in running your car on vegetable oil instead of diesel, the chances are you have a few questions. Below I've listed a few questions and answers that may make life easier for you.

Can a diesel engine run on vegetable oil?
Yes. It's more popular than you'd think.

Can a petrol engine run of vegetable oil?
No. It's a different form of combustion.

Can any diesel car run on vegetable oil?
Most can, I believe, but the more complex the engine, the less likely it is to accept veg oil.

Can a diesel engine run on waste vegetable oil (WVO)?
Yes, as long as the WVO has been properly de-watered / cleaned / filtered. From the engine's point of view, it really doesn't matter whether you use shop-bought veg oil or recycled WVO. See my WVO FAQ page for more WVO related questions.

Can my car be converted? It's a XZY...
I'm sorry I cannot answer this question. I just don't know the answer. I don't claim to be an expert in cars or conversion systems. The best bet is to contact experts like DieselVeg (DieselVeg no longer trade - click here for other fitters) who will give you free advice.

Is it illegal to use vegetable oil in my car?
No. It's perfectly legal and even the British government has been sensible enough to make provisions for it.

Do I have to pay Tax / Duty on the vegetable oil I use?
At the time of writing this, if you use less than 2500 litres of vegetable oil each year, then there was no duty to pay. If in doubt, check it out... HM Revenue & Customs

Will my car be damaged if run on vegetable oil?
From my experience I would have to say no, but then I had my system professionally fitted and I use good clean oil. Check with experts like DieselVeg (DieselVeg no longer trade - click here for other fitters) if your car is suitable, get a proper conversion kit properly installed and don't use unfiltered oil.

Is engine performance effected?
Research I've read suggests not, and from my personal experience I can say that my miles per gallon is the same on either veg oil or diesel.

Is there a difference between Virgin (shop bought) Veg OIl and Waste Veg OIl (WVO)?
There's usually a colour difference (WVO tends to be darker), but that's it really. As long as your WVO has been properly cleaned / filtered, there's no difference as far as your engine is concerned. It will run just as well on WVO as it will on virgin oil. See my WVO FAQ page for more WVO related questions.

What happens in Winter?
Vegtable oil thickens in colder temperatures making driving on veg oil awkward. The solution is to thin the oil by adding ordinary diesel, typically in the ratio of between 25% and 50%. This YouTube Video may help.

Will my car insurance be effected if I drive on veg oil?
In my opinion, insurance companies will use ANY excuse to avoid paying out on a claim, so I would strongly urge you to notify your car insurance company if you use vegetable oil. Some can be a little funny about it, but shop around. You'll find one that's happy for you to use biofuels. More details on car insurance.

Will my MOT be effected?
No. As long as the conversion kit has been properly installed, there's nothing to worry about. And yes, I do have a current and vaild MOT on my veg oil car : )

Will my vehicles warranty be effected?
Very likely yes, but check anyway with the manufacturer. My car was under warranty when I first toyed with the idea of converting and in my case Toyota did not support alternative fuels. So I waited until my warranty was over and then took the plunge.

I've heard about SVO. What is it?
SVO simply means Straight Vegetable OIl. As some folk make Biodiesel, and as others mix additives into their veg oil, someone somewhere came up with the acronym SVO to make life easier.

Can you mix veg oil and diesel?
Yes, they mix very well. Lot's of people run their engines on a cocktail of the two, mixing in proportions that they favour. I don't personally do this and have no knowledge that I can pass on to others, but if you're interested a search around the internet will yield results.

Are there any drawbacks?
Of course there are some drawbacks associated with running a vehicle on vegetable oil. Consequently I've dedicated a page to the subject. Click here to view.

Can I send a donation?
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If you have a question that's not listed here, please contact me and I'll be happy to try and help.

 

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