Lets Get Real.....The Veggie Oil Talk

I've realized something about my blog....you may know that we renovate homes and work like crazy people but other than that I have not talked about much else around here. "LETS GET REAL" will be sort of a mini series that will pop up here and there and I will mostly talk about something unique about myself or Branko so you can get to know us better! 

Hope you enjoy! 

Us as kids....

One of the most unique things is that we drive our cars on used vegetable oil. 

what, what, what.....you say! 

When Branko first moved out to the country he knew his gas guzzling car was not going to be affordable any more so he started doing some research and came across the website Grease Car

The quick story is if you have a diesel car(mainly older models) ours are both 2003 Volkswagen Jetta Wagons that run on Diesel you can purchase a conversion kit from Grease Car and install it in your car. A separate tank comes with the kit that is installed in the wheel well usually in the trunk and an on/off/flush switch is provided to install on the dashboard(or where you prefer) ours is installed under the radio where it's hidden. The kit allows you to run your car on both diesel and oil so if you run out of one or the other you always have a back up! 

This is what the kit looks like

Actually, you always need to have diesel in the car. When you first start your car it needs to run on diesel for at least 1 min before you can switch it to oil. This allows the veggie oil to heat up prior to it running through the hoses. This will prevent anything from clogging as you know when vegetable oil gets cold it will thicken up. Same goes for when you are about to turn the car off for a long period of time. You hit the switch to flush out the oil and then on to diesel for about 30 seconds. 

In the summer time when you are running errands, you normally don't have to switch to diesel because the oil always stays warm. 

It can work on both automatic or standard cars. 

It does not change the effectiveness of your speed. 

It burns roughly the same amount as diesel would. 

The kit which you order from Grease Car cost just over $1500(they were around $1000 when we purchased them). Branko is pretty handy dandy with cars(it's his hobby to work on classic cars) so he was able to learn and install the kit himself. The kit takes about 6 hours to install.  

Now of course like anything else there is some extra work to be able to do this, one of things is you must do is filter the oil. Grease car also sells these filtration systems so you can filter the oil or you can construct your own. 

We have been driving our cars on vegetable oil for over 6 years! We save between the 2 of us at least $10,000 a year on gas!! 

Now do we plan on doing this forever, probably not but for now its works and it works well so no point in stopping! 

If you take a look at the Grease Car website it provides a list of the types of cars that can run on this system.  If you have any questions for me feel free to leave them below and I will respond. 

Sooooo there you have it!  Now whenever I tweet something like "the squirrels ate through our veggie oil line" (Lynne I bet you can relate to pestering squirrels!!!) you will know what I'm talking about! 

Please keep in mind this post was not sponsored by Grease Car and all opinions and thoughts are my own. 


  1. 1. holy moley- people spend that much on gas? Ive never owned a car...
    2. where do you buy the vegetable oil? Is it really that much cheaper? I assume you buy in bulk?
    3. How often do you change it?

    1. Well on average most people commute 1 way at least 1 hour a day. We each commute 1hr/each way so 2hrs a day. Almost everybody in my office commutes between 30min- 1hr! So it is much more beneficial to people who drive a lot :)

      Branko picks up vegetable oil from a few restaurants and pays 5cents/L(he might need to correct me on that) but we also get it from my parents who own a restaurant for free. We don't really buy it in bulk, those restaurants have just agreed to give us all of their used oil supply.

      The cool part is really don't change anything! You just fill up the extra tank once a week like you would diesel, the diesel tank is filled up about every 4 - 6 weeks only.

  2. This is really cool! My commute is just 20 minutes each way...and I don't own a diesel car...but this is definitely something to keep in mind for sure!

    1. Thanks! Also, you could also consider it if you are weekend drivers or like to take long road trips. We visit our families on the weekend and they both live about 1.5 away from us. We have also driven to Florida I believe 3 times strictly on vegetable oil and saved ourselves least $400 in gas if not more considering how me he drove around down there.

  3. Super cool. I've always been interested in bio-diesel (namely for a fully refurbed VW van ahh pipe dreams hah) but considering how bloody cold it gets here in the winter it would likely end up being a seasonal thing if we ever made the leap to diesel/bio-diesel, which is really the only restriction I could see (other than finding enough recycled oil to save on fuel costs).

    As far as engine maintenance goes, do you find your vehicles need any more special attention to certain parts (carborator etc?) or that it wears fairly similarly as it would with regular diesel?

    1. Bio-diesel is a little different because you have to create the mixture yourself where has this is just straight vegetable oil.

      So far we have not had any other major additional maint. issues. The only issue is that these cars are a little older and need more maint. in general because of that.

  4. Really informative post. One of the biggest changes for me since moving to the country is the amount of money I spend on gas and car maintenance. After 6 years of not driving to work at all, this is a big change. Right now I'm planning on driving my 10 year old (gas) car into the ground, but the next car will likely be hybrid or electric and small. (My thriftiness only goes so far). I admire your commitment to your vegetable oil.

    1. We really hope that in the future the electric cars will be able to go further but for now it is just not do-able living in the country!