I saw a segment on TV, where a man converted his car to use cooking grease that he obtained from a local fast food joint, instead of gasoline. He said anyone can do it. How can I? Can it be done to a mini-van? What better way to solve the overpriced gas issue?
First, if you are not mechanically gifted, it’s probably going to be very expensive for you to do.
My husband and I live on a farm. We will soon be making our own bio fuels…both gas and diesel. My husband is VERY mechanically gifted. He is a helicopter mechanic, wind turbine technition, works on old cars, trucks and tractors (snowmobiles, boats, lawmowers too!).
Things to think about:
How cold is it where you are?
Usually cars must be both started, and stopped (when parking) on regular gas or diesel, or they will most likely not start. Some of these bio-fuels have very low gel points and will gel in your lines, making it impossible for you to start your van, until oh say Spring!
Do you have a place to store the grease you pick up?
Do you know it will smell, and attract rodents, and stray dogs and cat?
Have you checked your state laws? You very likely have to put up some sort of bond to the state, because you will no longer be paying tax on gas for road repairs. The bond is often $2500, or MORE. Sometimes it’s per vehicle. Fines are ENORMOUS if you are caught without proper bonds. The IRS gets involved….remember it’s tax evasion.
Are you positive you will have regular access to grease pick up from resteraunts?
Do you ever go on long road trips, or on vacation?
Who will pick up the grease for you, while you are gone? The resteraunt will be angry if suddenly they have a bunch that’s not being pick up. Will your van’s engine be flexible enough to run on gas station fuel, without major problems if you go on a road trip?
Do you have the tools needed to put in, and take out an engine? If not you will need $500-$1000 worth of tools.
Seals and hoses (the rubber) must be different, because biofuels often eat the regular rubber. However most people notice their vehicles run smoother on biofuels.
Biofuels often give LESS milage. So if you get 20 mpg in your van, you might only get 15 mpg on biofuels. True the fuel will be at a lower cost….however will all the expense you need to go through be offset?
Probably a better way for you to solve the gas price issue is to find other ways to save money. Buy the book "Food Storage For The Clueless," by Clark L. & Kathryn H. Kidd. Immediatly start to store a years worth of food for your family. Your food budget will start to drop by 50-80%, because after you have your years worth of food, you never buy food again, unless it’s on sale.
Dump your cable TV, and invest in some card, and board games for your family. You will save a lot of money and have more free time without TV. Especially nice will be the fact that the TV is not telling your children what new thing they just "have to have!"
Next season, try growing a few easy things, so you are produceing your own fuel.
Make sure your tires are actually inflated to what the TIRE MANUFACTURE states they should be!! Tire stores constantly under inflat the tires, because the auto manufactures want them under inflated, so they give a smoother ride. This cuts down on the life of both your tire, and your gas millage.
Get a tune up on your van. Clean oil and a clean airfilter will keep your van running longer and getting better milage, as will a tune up.
Visit thrift stores, as see if there are not some clothing items you can buy at very inexpensive prices, instead of new prices. I just purchased two raw silk skirts at a thrift store, for $2 each. They are from Nordstroms…$80 each at Nordstroms.
There are a ton of ways to save money. Cutting up your credit cards is a good way to go too.
My husband and I live totally debt free, except for our mortgage. We should have our mortgage paid off 15 years early. We live a very frugal, but not cheap lifestyle. Our six bedroom home (on acrerage) is 3600 sq ft, not including the garage, or huge sunporch. Sit down and really think about what’s important in your life, and what is just fluff. What makes your family truely happy, healthier and stronger. You will find ways to save money, if your are following your dreams, and setting real goals.
Homesteading/farming for over 20 years. Living frugal, but not cheap of over 30 years.