Small cars Volkswagen Rabbit/Golf
|First of all, you need a car that can run on biodiesel if you don't already have one. Just about any standard diesel car or truck will do. Currently, there aren't a lot of diesel models available in the U.S.; diesel offerings reached a peak in the early 1980s, so you might have more luck finding a used diesel car. |
There are a number of things to consider when choosing which car to get. A place to start is what type of car you want. You have a pretty good range of options, from small cars to full-size sedans, SUVs, and pick-up trucks. Here are a few examples of passenger cars.
This model changed its name from Rabbit to Golf in 1985. Volkswagen offered diesel versions of these cars in the U.S. off and on throughout the years. Older versions of these cars had a four-cylinder 1.6-liter diesel engine. By 1999, the diesel engine was upgraded to 1.9 liters. Ford Escort
A diesel version of the Escort was made from 1984 to 1987. These cars had a 2-liter four-cylinder diesel engine. Full-size sedans Mercedes-Benz 300
With various letter additions to the 300, such as TD, SD, or simply D, this Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan has been offered in diesel versions from 1978 to 1987. Most used a 3-liter five-cylinder engine. These are very popular cars to convert to biodiesel. Oldsmobile Cutlass
From the Cutlass Calais to the Cutlass Supreme, Oldsmobile offered this model in a diesel form from 1979 to 1985. The Cutlass was offered with either a 4.3-liter V-6 or a 5.7-liter V-8 engine.
Another important consideration is what model year to get. Cars from before 1993 use fuel hoses that will slowly be eaten away by biodiesel, so you will want to replace those hoses. Older cars will also have lots of dirt and sludge built up in their engines. Biodiesel will clean out the sludge, but this will result in fouled fuel filters, at least until the engine is all cleaned out.
If you consider buying a completely new car, you first will want to check the manufacturer's warranty. For example, running the 2007 Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec
on anything more than B5, a mix of 95 percent petroleum diesel and five percent biodiesel, will void the warranty. A spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz suggests that, as the E320 uses direct injection, biodiesel could foul the injectors. eBay Motors
is one place to start looking for a diesel car. Its search function even lets you look for cars that already run on biodiesel. Cars.com
also has extensive used car listings, although you have to search for specific models, as there is no facility to search for fuel type.