Cooking up some savings

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Cooking up some savings

Post by Lynnzer »

I had a Citroen C5 that I used to run on cooking oil many years ago. I can't remember which model though as i've had many over the years. However I used to buy cooking oil at around 65p per litre until I got awarded the chance to collect the used oil from a few hotel and restaurant kitchens.
Then I changed the car for, I think a newer model of a C5 or perhaps even when I switched to a DS5. I couldn't use oil to run it and if I remember correctly it was because it wasn't a common rail diesel engine.
Anyway, my DS5 burnt out a couple of years ago and I bought another 2014 model C5 diesel.
Can anyone tell me if it's likely to run on cooking oil. I mean the cost of diesel is frightening the $hit out of me right now.
For those other owners who may also be able to run on cooking oil, I suggest you find out if your own car is able to manage it. I saw little if any difference in performance when I did it, but I saw money left in my wallet that would have been spent of diesel.
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Re: Cooking up some savings

Post by Gibbo2286 »

Most motorists won't be looking at whether the car will run on it they're content to pay the extra at the pumps rather than have the hassle of finding, carrying and preparing used chip oil for use.
That's really only for the enthusiastic penny pincher with time on his hands.
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Re: Cooking up some savings

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Most HDi engines and certainly the later ones won't run on it.

Quote from a DS5 2014/15 fuel note:
Quality of the fuel used for Diesel engines The Diesel engines are perfectly compatible with biofuels which conform to current and future European standards (Diesel fuel which complies with standard EN 590 mixed with a biofuel which complies with standard EN 14214) available at the pumps (containing up to 7 % Fatty Acid Methyl Ester).

The B30 biofuel can be used in certain Diesel engines; however, this use is subject to strict application of the special servicing conditions. Contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.

The use of any other type of (bio)fuel (vegetable or animal oils, pure or diluted, domestic fuel...) is strictly prohibited (risk of damage to the engine and fuel system).
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Re: Cooking up some savings

Post by Stickyfinger »

No C5 has been able (without damage) to run on "veg" oil
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Re: Cooking up some savings

Post by mickthemaverick »

Having run two vehicles on used cooking oil I have a certain amount of experience. Both my cars were Mitsubishi 2800 diesels and I had to install the necessary control and pump equipment together with switch gear to swap between the Veggie and diesel. I also installed fuel pre-heaters next to the tank to reduce the viscosity of the oil which was then pumped to the changeover valve for use. It was always essential to start the engine on diesel and only switch over when warm as well as switching back to diesel for a few minutes before switching off to prevent veggie oil cooling in the fuel system which would be a nightmare! I ran the vehicles for 4 years in all and while I certainly saved a considerable amount in fuel I'm not sure the overall costs were that much less than just using diesel.

The basic set up costs for the pump, solenoids, heaters, piping and tank was around £300 per car. The biggest cost though really was the depreciation. I ended up having to break both cars for spares due to virtual unsaleability as they were. I actually made a profit on the Delica but lost out on the Shogun.

The main worry you have is the corrosive ability of the veggie oil to destroy a lot of rubber components so you have to be sure that your injector pump and associated seals can cope, secondly beware of veggie oil leaks in unexpected places. One such leak in a fuel line brought about the death of my Delica due to the oil dripping down onto the front suspension and eating away all the bushes in the shock absorber and steering arms. By the time I detected it there was too much damage to be economically viable to repair hence the breaking.

You also have to be aware of legal implications of running on veggie oil. In my day you were allowed a limited annual mileage before paying tax on the fuel and I can't remember the details but you need to be aware and check out the current position.

Finally you will find nowadays that the major sources of used oil have already got contracts to supply it to bio-diesel makers or recycle it themselves like McDonalds into their own fleet. I used to get mine from a chap in Suffolk who was a chef in a large restaurant and filtered it to 1000ppm. It meant a monthly trip to Suffolk with the trailer to collect 500 litres in 20 litre containers. I don't think you are allowed to transport those quantities now without the correct tanker precautions in place!! I must admit I did fear the potential issues if I had a problem with the trailer on the way home!! :-D

Overall my advice would be don't try and run it in a PSA engine because I am pretty sure they cannot cope with it.