Vehicle suitability

When selecting a vehicle to convert to run on straight vegetable oil (SVO) you need to be quite careful. The first thing to remember is:

it has to be a diesel vehicle!

SVO is a fuel that is not suited for petrol engines.

The next step is to check whether the diesel engine of your vehicle is suitable for conversion. Most diesel engines can be converted to run on SVO however there are a few that are uncompatible. It is important to know these uncompatible engines as some people have bought diesel vehicles in the hope of converting them only to find they have sadly ended up with the wrong sort.

Veg Oil Motoring

Uncompatible engines include indirect diesel engines that are fitted with the wrong kind of fuel injection pump. If you take your diesel vehicle to a reliable mechanic he should be able to tell you which fuel injection pump it is fitted with. Indirect diesel engines fitted with rotary CAV/Lucas pumps, or pumps which follow their same general design including those made by Delphi, Rotodiesel and Stanadyne, are generally unsuitable for conversion*.

The majority of vehicles however are fitted with suitable fuel injector pumps for conversion. Suitable pumps include: Bosch pumps installed on many European manufactured diesel engines and the majority of pumps fitted on Japanese or Asian vehicles including Nippon-Denso, Kiki, Zexel and Doowon.

With certain vehicle manufacturers you are almost assured that the vehicle is fitted with suitable pumps. Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes and latterly Skoda and Seat exclusively use Bosch fuel injector pumps. Likewise Japenese diesel vehicles are also a pretty safe bet to have suitable pumps.

The trouble picking a suitable vehicle arises with European manufactured vehicles including Ford, Peugeot, Citroen, Renault, Fiat and Vauxhall. In these vehicles either Bosch or CAV/Lucas type pumps are used. Even at the individual model level these two types of pumps are used interchangeably. Therefore it is very difficult to produce a comprehensive list of vehicles that are suitable for conversion. As mentioned above you can get a friendly mechanic to tell you which pump your vehicle is fitted with or you can have a go at finding out for yourself. Details of how to find and identify your vehicle’s fuel injector pump can be found in the section on Diesel engines.

If you are hoping to be able run your vehicle on pure vegetable oil without a diesel start up using an Elsbett one tank kit then you should be aware that this type of conversion is only currently available for indirect injection vehicles and certain direct injections which are not of the common-rail or unit direct injection types. For more detail on these engine types then see the relevant section in Diesel engines.

*Some people do convert indirect engines which are fitted with these pumps but extra precautions are required and there are risks associated with such conversions. As a result Veg Oil Motoring does not advise conversion of such engines.

Not all diesel vehicles are suitable to convert to SVO. Diesel vehicles fitted with most types of rotary pump produced by Lucas, CAV, Delphi, Stanadyne and Rotodiesel are not recommended for conversion by Elsbett. In addition, vehicles with common-rail direct injection and unitary direct injection engine designs cannot generally converted with ‘one tank’ kits as they require start up on diesel.

Conversions involving ‘two tank’ kits are required for these vehicles. To find comprehensive list of the vehicles that can and cannot be converted it is best to visit the following database on the Elsbett website: .