With gas prices on the rise, some motorists are turning to an unusual source — the deep fryer — to avoid paying big bucks at the pump.

One Montreal mechanic converts diesel vehicles to run on cooking oil that can be obtained from a restaurant, often at no charge. “Since fuel prices went up, the phone started ringing off the hook,” said Marc Amsden, owner of EcoAuto garage.

With some analysts predicting gas to hit $1.50 a litre across Canada, the former Volkswagen mechanic expects to have a busy summer.


Many of Amsden’s customers haul big vehicles on long drives and, for them, the switch to vegetable oil means a big drop in costs.

But for Amsden, the main selling point of the converted tank is not the savings.

“To me it’s not a fuel-price issue, to me it’s a pollution issue,” he said.

Amsden encourages his customers to use recycled vegetable oil rather than virgin oil derived from food crops.

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