Watch This Old Fiat Run On Kerosene and Camp Fuel

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By Car Brand Experts

Can a Fiat Run on Kerosene and Camp Fuel? Let’s Find Out!

In a recent experiment conducted by the YouTube channel Garbage Time, a Fiat 126, known as the FSM Niki in Australia, was put to the test to see if it could run on unconventional fuels like kerosene and camp fuel. Let’s dive into the results of this intriguing experiment.

The Experiment: Exploring Unconventional Fuels

The Fiat 126, originally equipped with a small 0.65-liter two-cylinder gasoline engine, was first run on standard gasoline before being switched to kerosene and camp fuel for the experiment. Here’s what the team discovered:

Running on Kerosene

Despite kerosene’s low octane rating and poor suitability as a fuel for combustion engines, the Fiat engine managed to keep running on it, albeit with some issues like significant pinging and post-ignition engine run-on.

Trying Denatured Ethanol

The Fiat performed well on denatured ethanol, a close substitute for gasoline due to its similar properties, showcasing its ability to adapt to different fuel types.

Testing Shellite (Camp Fuel)

While shellite showed promise with a higher octane rating compared to kerosene, the Fiat engine had a rougher run on this fuel. It highlighted the importance of fuel refinement for optimal engine performance.

Can You Really Run a Car on These Fuels?

Cold-Start Challenges

Starting the Fiat on kerosene proved challenging due to its low flash point. However, with additional heat applied, the engine eventually started. Denatured ethanol and shellite could be better options for cold starts due to their lower flashpoints.

Long-Term Damage

Running a car on kerosene or shellite could lead to engine damage from detonation. These unconventional fuels are not suitable for prolonged use in combustion engines and may hinder the vehicle’s overall efficiency.


While the Fiat 126 showcased adaptability to various fuel types in this experiment, it’s important to note that using unconventional fuels can have detrimental effects on the engine’s performance and longevity. In emergencies, denatured ethanol might be a viable alternative, but for regular use, sticking to conventional gasoline is the best choice for your vehicle’s health.


1. Can any car run on kerosene or camp fuel?

While some low-end cars with basic engines may be able to run on unconventional fuels like kerosene or camp fuel for experimental purposes, it is not recommended for regular use due to potential engine damage and performance issues.

2. Is denatured ethanol a safe alternative to gasoline?

Denatured ethanol can be used as an emergency fuel alternative, especially for older carbureted engines like the Fiat 126 tested in the experiment. However, modern fuel-injected cars may not tolerate such fuel options well.

3. What are the risks of running a car on unconventional fuels?

Using unconventional fuels like kerosene or camp fuel can lead to detonation in the engine, causing long-term damage. It can also result in poor engine performance, starting difficulties, and potential safety hazards.

Remember, choosing the right fuel for your car is crucial for its optimal performance and longevity. Stick to recommended fuel types to ensure smooth operation and avoid potential issues down the road.

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