Benefits of Conversion Kits for Car Engines

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Can Conversion Kits make your Car "green"?

An average American spends about $1,200 a year for the fuel for his or her car. If someone told you that you could halve that amount by switching to renewable, green and environmentally friendly fuel, of course you would jump on it. And so many Americans did. Europeans too, and in even bigger number, since their gasoline costs twice as much as than in the USA.

The most popular choice for alternative fuel among do-it-yourselfers is biodiesel, or just plain old cooking oil. There is no need for a biodiesel conversion kit, since biodiesel can be used instead of good old petrodiesel with no conversion. There are a number of vegetable oil fuel conversion kits on the market, which can make your ordinary diesel engine ready to use cooking oil instead of diesel. Can these conversion kits make your car "green"? Sure, but it is not for everyone.

Who should try the Conversion to Biodiesel?

You might not know that, but your ordinary car is probably already running on, at least in part, alternative, green fuel. Most gasoline in the pumps is now mixed with ethanol, an ethyl alcohol made from various kinds of grains. Many cars in Europe are running on natural gas, or a mix of natural and biogas. The diesel you buy at the gas station probably has a percentage of biodiesel in it. Some states, and many European countries, make it mandatory to mix petrodiesel with biodiesel. Slowly but surely, we are going in the right direction: far from expensive, non-renewable and polluting fossil-fuels.

The attraction of biodiesel is that it can be used without any alteration to your car. As long as your car has diesel motor. So, your old Toyota Corolla will not be able to run on your wife's used oil. But, if you have an old diesel Mercedes or Volkswagen, or diesel pickup truck or tractor, you are in business.

People in cold climate are also not very good candidates for converting their cars to biodiesel or vegetable oil, as it tends to get thick in cold climate and the engine might have problem starting.

If you want to run your car on vegetable oil, you should have ready supply of used oil, or crop from which you can make your own oil. Regular cooking oil is too expensive to use as car fuel. Farmers with some land to spare could start growing rape seed, canola, hemp, sunflowers as their own fuel source.

Even if you have a diesel car or truck, you might have problem converting some old models, especially if they have any rubber seals in their fuel system. As a strong solvent, vegetable oil can erode the rubber. Diesel vehicles made after 1994 are in most cases made to run on both petrodiesel and biodiesel. If you have a new car, still under warranty, you better check if your use of biodiesel would cancel the warranty. Most European car manufacturers provide vehicle warranties that cover the use of biodiesel, pure or in a mix with petrodiesel.

Using biodiesel in your car is not really a conversion, since your diesel car does not have to be altered in any way. All you need is to find where you can buy your biodiesel, which is still not easy in the US.

Using Vegetable Oil instead of Biodiesel

Conversion kits for alternative-fuel-vehicles

Converting cars to biodiesel or vegetable oil

While made of vegetable oil, biodiesel is sufficiently purified and converted (purified from glycerin) to run in diesel motors without any changes. If you want to use pure vegetable oil or used cooking oil to run your diesel engine, you need or to fix the oil or fix your car. Making your own biodiesel from cooking oil is not that difficult, but can be messy and it takes some knowledge and equipment. Converting your diesel engine to run on pure cooking or used oil requires a vegetable oil conversion kit, which you can buy online.

For example, a kit for your Ford diesel truck costs about $1700. Since you spend about $1,200 for diesel fuel in a year, in about a year and a half you will be able to run your truck on used oil from your neighborhood McDonalds, which will be happy to unload it to you. There are a number of companies, in the US and abroad, which sell conversion kits for different car and truck models. You will also need to purchase a tank, and find a qualified and experienced car mechanic to install the kit. But, it is all one-shot expense and once you are all set, you will be saving money and the planet. Your conversion kit will make your car green.

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There are vegetable oil fuel conversion kits available, which can make a diesel engine ready to use cooking oil