I'd been warned by DieselVeg (and had already read elsewhere) that using vegetable oil as a fuel can have a "cleaning" effect upon an engine. With that in mind, after just three months of motoring, I thought it wise to have an oil and filter change. If anything strange was going on inside my engne - and I genuinely had no reason to think there was - then it was better to get to it sooner than later.
My car had done 40,000 or so miles prior to conversion, so I expected some engine muck to have gathered. I decided the pay my mechanic Andy a visit and have the fuel filter changed.
Upon changing the filter, Andy was a vindicated man. He took a certain amount of satisfaction in showing my the extremely dirty content of the removed filter. However, he was very gracious when I cautiously relayed that I had expected such a result, pointing out the cleaning properties of vegetable oil. In fairness, he confessed that he'd also heard the same thing, so we agreed that I'd pop back in another 3 months and try another filter.
Sure enough, after another 3 months I returned again. Andy once more changed the fuel filter for me, but this time he was genuinely surprised by its condition. "It's like new" he remarked, and I genuinely believe he was relieved, which tells you a lot about this particular mechanic - he cares...
After six more months, I had a major service, including the fuel filter which was reported as still being good as new. That meant twelve months of trouble-free motoring.
After 11 years of routinely using vegetable oil to power my car, I have experienced no mechanic difficulties. If anything I think my engine is slightly quieter than it was, but I may be imagining that. Importantly there's been no loss of performance and no sooty clouds when accelerating. It's the same car it's always been - but a lot greener.
I think Andy has forgiven me now. He's accepted that I took an environmentally motivated gamble and I'm sure he feels, as do I, that everything worked out nicely in the end.
I think it was within a year or two of running full time on Veg Oil that I decided to create this website and share my experiences with others.
“The heart that gives, gathers” - Tao Te Ching
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