Many Americans are looking for eco-friendly, money-saving alternatives to filling up at the pump. Luckily, there's more than one option available! Here's a novel way to save money that's also a real blast from the past.
America Now Automotive Expert Steve Strope interviewed Josh Thomas, the proud owner of a 1983 Mercedes. Josh has found an eco-friendly way around high gas prices by converting his Mercedes diesel to run on used vegetable oil he gets free from local restaurants.
It's an idea that has been around since the 1970's. Thomas says friends introduced him to bio-diesel, and he adopted the concept to save money.
"Initially I wanted to get a ‘92 Accord or something like that, a Toyota, but my friend got this for me with the idea of modifying it so then that way I wouldn't have to pay for gas," Thomas explains.
With diesel fuel, Thomas says he would have to pay about $80 per week. Now, he only spends $10 for gasoline and dilutes it with vegetable oil he gets for free.
"When you're running the vegetable oil, there's a lot of debris leftover from the bottom of frying French fries so you need a couple of filters to help get that debris out. You start with the pre-filter, which goes into the pump and then there's a secondary filter, which keeps all the sediment out of your engine," he explains. "They're easily replaceable; they're relatively cheap. It's not that hard of a system to work with."
The only downside is that you either have to know someone in the restaurant business who is willing to give you leftover vegetable oil, or you have to be part of a collective of people that go and collect the oil while you're working.
For now, Thomas has found his own way to help the environment and save some money every time he gets behind the wheel.
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