If your car has been upgraded to run on bio diesel, you will need to make adjustments to how you normally service your car. Your eco-friendly auto has some new parts in it and these parts have some specific maintenance needs. While the general maintenance of your car will not change drastically, vegetable oil as fuel requires special considerations. When using your own fuel keep in mind that the warranty on your auto might no longer be applicable.
Facts about Vegetable Oil
It is important to know that you should not put straight vegetable oil into your gas tank. The vegetable oil needs to be converted first by using either a SVO conversion kit or by using bio diesel instead of straight vegetable oil. Bio diesel is vegetable oil that undergoes a process in which chemicals are added so that it burns cleaner and leaves fewer deposits behind.
There are different types of vegetable oil available but the best type to use and the most commonly available is canola oil. Also rapeseed oil and mustard oil are great. Unused oil is the best for the car and the easiest to handle because you won’t have to bother filtering it first. This, however, can become expensive so you might want to find a restaurant that will give you their used oil. Chinese restaurants are a good source for realatively clean used oil.
Some older cars have rubber seals and hoses rather than the synthetic rubber that newer cars are made with. If your car has rubber hoses, change them to synthetic hoses before converting your car to bio diesel. Synthetic rubber promotes fewer leak problems in general, so it is worth your time to make the change.
Vegetable oil needs to be very warm before driving because if it is too solid it will clog your fuel lines. You will have to get used to making time to warm up your car before driving. There are extras you can buy to aid in this process like tank heaters and parking heaters.
You should consider the climate in which you live because the temperature will affect how your vegetable oil is maintained. If you live in a warm climate, like Florida or California, you don’t have to worry about keeping the vegetable oil warm. If you live in a place that has harsh winters, you will want to consider using some of the extras mentioned above to keep your oil as warm as possible.
Remember that you will be storing all the fuel on your own and must find the space and appropriate containers for storage.
Beware that in the United States your original warranty on your car might no longer be honored after you make such a big alteration to its fuel system. You should talk to your dealer to make sure you understand what benefits you might be losing.
Much like other forms of green living, converting to bio diesel requries some adjustments, but if you're serious about reducing your environmental footprint, the benefits will far outweigh the costs.