My Vegetarian Car, Elevation Burger, My Sister, “Chuck,” and Some Awesome Forums
Brian said I should blog about my car, and so I've been trying to come up with some way to relate it to the web. I'm not sure just how that will work, so I'll start with a little story about sibling rivalry. My sister, Krisna, has been two years older than me for as long as I can remember. This means that she learned to whistle and snap well before I could produce anything louder than a slightly reedy wheeze. She drove first, voted first, was the graphics editor of our college paper a full two years before I was, etc. She minored in art, so I made it a double-major.
Things went on like this for a while until she eventually started a family and I decided to do my own thing (not start a family). Then, about a year and a half ago, she and her husband (let's call him "Chuck") bought a new, used car. Then, they bought a kit from Greasecar.com. They installed the kit and started running their car on waste veggie oil (WVO) they got from a couple of local restaurants.
I immediately saw my chance to rediscover the art of copying my sister. And so I looked on Craigslist and bought an automatic version of exactly the same new, used car they'd bought, except that it's blue (thanks Wayne!). I also bought a kit from Greasecar.com. And then my brother-in-law selflessly gave up two precious weekends to help me install that kit so that I can run my car on WVO (I get mine from Elevation Burger - THANKS!), just like my sister.
Now here's the thing (the way I relate this back to the web). I once worked in a car shop when I was 16, but I mostly filed papers. I've never changed my own oil. I once paid a shop $80 to replace my air filter. I was never a mechanic. And neither were Krisna or Chuck. But with the help of four very active forums, we all have the knowledge we need to take up our own wrenches, along with some level of confidence that we aren't going to break things that we shouldn't. Or be left totally stranded once we do (we won't, of course, but just in case). So I'd just like to give a shout out to all of the really helpful community members who post photos, resources, and step-by-step instructions for newbies on tdiclub.com, greasecar.com, frybrid.com, and biodiesel.infopop.cc. You're the best!
And Greasecar — that step-by step DVD with the encouraging music was awesome, even though the whatever-you-call-ems that held on my heat shield did not unscrew as easily as yours did in fast-forward. Not bitter ... just sayin'.