Car Tech: Use biodiesel in your car
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Car Tech: Use biodiesel in your car

3:12 /

Car Tech editor Wayne Cunningham shows you how to prepare your diesel car to run on clean, renewable fuel.

[ music ] ^M00:00:11 >> Wouldn't you like to drive a car that doesn't warm the environment? A car that won't melt the glaciers and smog up the air you have to breathe? I'm Wing Cunningham from CNET Car Tech and I'm going to show you what you need to know to use bio-diesel in your car. If you've heard of bio-diesel, it sounds pretty good, really low emissions and it smells a lot better than regular diesel. But first, you need a diesel car. This is a 1980 Mercedes Benz 300D. Diesels of this vintage make pretty good cars to convert into a bio-diesel car. And joining us now is Dave Williamson from Orange Diesel. He's gonna show us how to convert this car to a bio-diesel. So now where do we start here in converting this to a bio-diesel car? >> Well, even though we're looking at the engine, most of your problems will come from your fuel tank. I reckon you drive it to a radiator shop or to a mechanics shop, have them boil it. So clean your fuel tank. That's number one. Number two is check out your fuel lines. Change your hoses if your car is say older than the year 1993. The older fuel lines from the circa 80's vehicles, bio-diesel acted on it. It made it wet or with wheat and in the interior of the fuel line will actually be laminate. >> Looks like the rest of these hoses just that takes a screwdriver to replace them? >> Yeah, these things are fine. Go ahead and use it. Get a screwdriver, a little hose clamp. I do recommend you actually take your car to a mechanic to change these ones. You know up here at the top end of your diesel engine, a lot of tolerances up here. You don't want a shade tree mechanic maybe prone to, I am, prone to messing it up. So let the professionals do that. >> So this is on an older Mercedes where you need to replace these hoses? Newer ones that's not a problem? >> Not really. What I would do with a newer vehicle is just watch it, in fact you should do this for any car you have. Just open the hood every now and then and just check for leaks. Now the good news is if you don't do anything with your hoses, even have really old hoses, chances are nothing's going to go wrong immediately. You'll have some time. However, I just recommend you take care of it from the get go. The third thing is the fuel filter. This little critter here. Change the fuel filter after you add bio-diesel to your engine. Let the fuel filter do it's job, save yourself a little trouble after about a day or two, two days. Screw off the fuel filter, top off the new filter with diesel fuel. Make sure you do that and screw it back on and use thing to re-prime the engine. >> So if you wanted to get this entire thing done by a mechanic, about how much do you think that would cost? >> Say for the hoses, less than 500 dollars. The fuel tank, you should get a quote. It can vary. But it'll run several hundred dollars also. >> Bio-diesel is becoming more and more available around the country. If you're looking for a source in your local area, take a look at and if you have a newer diesel car like a Volkswagen or Mercedes Benz, check to make sure that using 100% bio-diesel won't void your warranty.

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