Diesel To Vegetable Oil Conversion Frequently Asked Questions
Below we've assembled a number of frequently asked questions that may be of use to you. If you don't find the answer you're looking for here or anywhere else on our website, please don't hesitate to contact us.
- Can my vehicle (make and model) be converted with the kit?
- Where can I order the conversion kit?
- Where can I have my vehicle converted?
- Is the conversion permanent?
- Is running on Veg Oil legal?
- What about Fuel Duty?
- What is the difference between vegetable oil and biodiesel?
- How does vegetable oil effect the engine’s properties?
- Are there any long-term studies related to operating diesel vehicles with vegetable oil?
- Can the new generation of diesel engines (direct injection, common rail) be operated with vegetable oil?
- How do injection pumps react operating on vegetable oil?
- Can I operate my vehicle on vegetable oil during the winter months or at freezing temperatures?
- Does operating an engine on vegetable oil effect its regularly scheduled maintenance?
- Can parking heaters operate with vegetable oil?
- Can normal diesel fuel be mixed with vegetable oil?
- How expensive is vegetable oil and where can I purchase it?
- Does installing a kit affect MOT tests?
- Does installing a kit affect Insurance?
Due to the vast number of vehicles or engines on the market, it is almost impossible to make a type-specific statement. Our kit is universally designed to fit most diesel vehicles, provided there is sufficient space in the engine compartment and for an additional tank. However correct operation is mainly down the the injection pump. Click here for more information.
Directly from ATG.
or - fit it yourself if you're a competent mechanic
Please note: No special tools are necessary. Takes about 6 - 12 hours depending on the type of vehicle (auto/truck). Requires an understanding of diesel engines and should be installed by a skilled specialist (e.g. auto mechanic)!
The good news here is that the conversion process is not permanent. It can be removed and your vehicle can be returned to its original state, e.g. when selling. All of the components can then be reused - usually on your next vehicle!
There's no fuel duty pay and you don't even need to register unless you use more than 2,500 litres each year. See our section on Fuel Duty.
There can be some confusion on this point so it's worth making very clear - Vegetable Oil and Biodiesel are not the same thing. Whilst both fuels may be considered greener than standard diesel, biodiesel is not a natural product but requires chemical treatment, usually with fossil fuels.
Vegetable Oil :
All biofuels (e.g. cold-pressed vegetable oils) are CO2-neutral and free of sulphur and pollutants in their pure, untreated state. This means they produce only a fraction of the harmful substances as compared to burning mineral diesel. Additional advantages of vegetable oil:
- water reactivity 0
- flash point aprox. 240°C (reduces the risk of fire or accident)
- requires less energy to produce
- locally produced
- protection of limited fossil fuels
Biodiesel = Rapemethylester = RME
Biodiesel is chemically produced and substantially more expensive than vegetable oil. Except for a few new vehicles, most are not suited for using biodiesel. The majority of diesel vehicles must first be converted, in order to guarantee they will operate on biodiesel. The problem is the durability of the plastic and rubber components, which come into contact with the fuel. If biodiesel is used in a system that has not been adapted, the fuel can leak from places where it frequently backs up, which weakens and dissolves the fuel system´s components. When using pure, untreated vegetable oil, these problems will not occur.
Usually the engine’s properties (operation, performance, consumption, etc) remain unchanged.
Can the new generation of diesel engines (direct injection, common rail) be operated with vegetable oil?
Yes new technology is available
Bosch injection pumps have shown the best results when operating on vegetable oil. Lucas / CAV injection pumps are only partially suitable. See our injection pump section
In our experience over the last few winters, no further thinning of vegetable oil has been necessary, but in extreme weather a 10% mix of diesel would probably do the trick
As a rule, the maintenance intervals remain unchanged and should be adhered to as specified by the manufacturer, however all diesel engines inherently contaminate their engine oil with fuel and carbon via the bores, engine oil contaminated with diesel will get thinner, but engine oil contaminated with vegetable oil will get sticky. Regularly checking the oil on the dip-stick, rubbing a small amount between thumb and forefinger can tell you a lot, if it gets sticky, change the oil. Fully synthetic diesel engine oil is recommended.
Parking heaters are not suitable for operating with vegetable oil. If your vehicle has a parking heater, you should consult with the manufacturer beforehand to see whether an additional conversion is possible. With the two-tank system, parking heaters can still operate on diesel fuel.
Yes, normal diesel fuel can be mixed with vegetable oil. When filling your tank, it is also possible to switch back and forth between vegetable oil and diesel fuel.
Vegetable oil is a foodstuff and usually not subject to a mineral oil tax. Vegetable oil is a natural product and an inexpensive alternative to conventional diesel fuel. Smaller quantities of vegetable oil can be purchased in any supermarket or wholesale store. In the long term, it is more preferable to purchase vegetable oil from suppliers (e.g. oil mills) in the region. Recycled vegetable oil can also be used provided that it has been cleaned and filtered.
Yes it's legal - certainly in the UK (see our section on fuel duty). Up to now, we are not aware of any country having specific provisions prohibiting the use of vegetable oil.
No, providing it has been installed to professional standards.
Some insurance companies have little experience with veg oil conversions so they tend to err on the safe side and may load the premium, it is our intention to help create an approved standard for safe and professional installation of vegetable oil kit and as with the LPG trade insurance will be made easier. NFU Mutual the National Farmers Union insurance company have indicated that they will insure vehicles that run on vegetable oil. We have found the services of Adrian Flux www.adrianflux.co.uk to be extremely competitive and converted vehicles are welcome. It has also been reported to us that Norwich Union, More Than, Churchill and the Co-Op now have no problems with insuring veg burners and are not loading premiums.