Shocker: Crushed Bananas Make Terrible Motor Oil

Two French explorers once put crushed bananas in their Citroen when they ran out of engine oil. It probably didn't go well.

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Project FarmYouTube

Here's a great story about a French car and bananas: in the late 1950s, French explorers Jacques Seguela and J.C. Baudot were crossing the Atacama desert in Chile in a Citroen 2CV, when one day, their car rattled to a stop because it had lost all its engine oil. A passerby saw them stuck on the road, and gave them a bundle of bananas. With no other options, the two decided to try to use the bananas as lubricant for the engine, and lo and behold, it apparently worked. According to , the two explorers were able to travel another 180 miles to safety without issue.

In order to test whether bananas actually make a good lubricant, YouTuber came up with an experiment: Fill a lawnmower engine with liquified bananas, and see how well it runs for 30 minutes. Project Farm even goes as far as to mix the bananas with water to maintain a similar viscosity as your average motor oil. As you've probably guessed by the title of this article, it doesn't go very well.

It takes just over five minutes for the banana juice-filled engine to seize. Though the host is able to get the engine running again by adding water to the solution, it doesn't bode well for the internals:

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Here’s what the inside of the cylinder looked like post-test.
Project Farm

The spark plug is covered in gunk, the cylinder walls have visible marks, and the piston is showing a lot of wear. Compression is down by around 25 percent to where it was when the engine was running with regular oil.

Bananas in a 2CV crankcase might make for a great story, but we wouldn't recommend trying this with your car. You'll probably end up doing a fair bit of harm.

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