High School Student Drives 7,500 Miles on $5 of Gas and a Whole Lot of Vegetable Oil

Maybe it’s possible that at some point in the near future, you’ll be able to buy your vehicle’s fuel right next to the cake mix in your local supermarket.

High school senior Bill Bridgers has traveled 7,500 miles in his diesel truck using only $5 in gas and used vegetable oil.  Taking technology he has found on the internet, Bridgers has retrofitted his truck to be able to run almost exclusively on used vegetable oil.

As a side note, I think it’s nuts that this guy was willing to risk screwing up his truck for the sake of finding a cheaper fuel.  More power to him, but I don’t think I’d have the onions to do that to my own car.

According to CBS News, Bridgers “has a huge filter to get the mandarin chicken and other food particles and impurities out of the oil, which is then heated to 180 degrees, and pumped into the truck’s engine.”  Gasoline is used only when the car is being started and when it’s being turned off – other than that, it’s powered strictly by veggie oil. 

The great thing about this is it appears that news like this will help to speed up the push for America, and the world for that matter, to find cheap, clean and renewable alternative fuel sources.

The sooner these reliable alternative fuels are readily available to the world, the better.


  1. More power to ya Bill!!!…

    I do wonder what and if he paid for the “used vegetable oil?”…

    Then again even if it did ruin the engine over time, what would the cost be for the fuel he would have purchased when it did fail as opposed to the cost of rebuilding or even replacing the engine???…

    Makes me go, Hmmmmmmmmmmm???…

  2. Untill people start to modify their diesel vehicles to utilize this, resturants will give you it free. I’m pretty sure it costs them to dispose of it, so if you take say 50gal on their hands, that’s a decent chunk saved.

  3. Why are people talking about a failing engine? I don’t think him driving like this will put any extra stress on it then running diesel would. I spend over 3k a year on gas right now. If I ran diesel I would make the conversion.

  4. Hi,

    This is not news. Actually, it is illegal in the UK to run your deisel car on vegetable oil, as you are not paying the government the excise on it. Deisel cars in the UK account for a much higher percentage than in the US, so the government were very quick to clamp down on this type of fuel which, when properly filtered, will not harm your engine a bit.
    I think OPEC would also have something to say if we seriously looked into this type of alternative fuel. It is ironic that a cheap renewable fuel source is very quickly outlawed by a money grabbing government.
    Incidentally, before you say “how would they know?” in the UK we have random roadside deisel tesing by HM Customs and Excise to stop people using agricultural (or “Red”) deisel, on which no duty is paid. And the smell of chips (or fries) when you pass is a dead give-away!

  5. Brian Carr says

    That’s really too bad. It just goes to show that no matter what the government says, all it really wants to do is generate the most amout of tax revenue it can. In many aspects, government is no different than any other corporation.

  6. That’s not completely true. You can use vegatable oil in the UK IF you declare it and pay duty on it. You can get an unmodified diesel vehicle and run it on used vegatable oil.

    There are a few people in the UK that do this because it more than halves the cost of driving. In terms of causing damage to the engine, I have heard a number of diesel (vegatable oil) Volvos have made 150000 miles+ without a problem. The worry is that the consistency of the vegatable oil might require extra servicing, which may or may not be true…

    The only problem really is that your car exhaust smells like french fries.

  7. I’m thinking there’s NO gasoline used in his truck. It’s a diesel engine. It runs on diesel. It is started on diesel. Gasoline tends to mek diesels explode. Get out of the habit of thinking all fuels = gas.


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