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Old 17th September 2007, 16:42   #1
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Default CNG conversion for the Optra? Is it wise?

Hi friends

I recently had a talk with the GM Lucknow people and they told me that I can get rid off the FE problem of the optra [ I face this problem mainly due to city driving (99%)] by putting the CNG kit which is costing about Rs. 50 K - 60 K alongwith warranty and the extension on my optra warranty (2+2 years) will also not be void in this case. He said that the authorised GM installer would be coming from Delhi alongwith kit and this is the main reason why its expensive than other CNG kits. My run each year is more than 30000 Km per year (very least) that comes out to be nearly 2500 km per month (its usually 3000).
it seems to be a very cheap deal in the long run because at the current petrol rate (Rs. 50 in Lucknow - Reliance and FE of 10) its costing me Rs. 5 per km.

I was really concerned about the engine life, and also the prospect of after sales say after 3- 4 years more. I really don't know which way to go? If anyone could post the FE of Optra in 1kg CNG that would be really helpful.

Cng has been introduced in Lucknow quite some time back and now getting CNG pumps is not that big a problem (I have one just 2km from my house )


P.S. Mods I was really confused where to post this thread so please do the needful
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Old 17th September 2007, 17:11   #2
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From my interactions with the GM service workshop personnel in Delhi, I think CNG may be a reasonable option for Optra. However, I have also heard of some performance and maintenance problems (which I did not pursue further because it was not relevant to me). I think that with CNG, it is recommended to use petrol for first 4-5 kms each morning and then switch to CNG. Of course CNG is very cheap, but perhaps overall cheaper with only high running of more than 20000 kms per annum. If you plan to keep Optra for more than 4-5 years, then anyway resale will not be a deciding factor in opting for CNG. Factor in possible higher maintenance costs.
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Old 17th September 2007, 17:14   #3
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Refer my earlier post. Pls. also check that CNG in an Optra is really as reliable, or is just a tool to boost sales. Of course GM has a warranty, but problems do require a visit, lead to lost time, and cause inconvenience.
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Old 17th September 2007, 17:16   #4
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till now after 3years I have not had any issues with my car and the maintenance was also very low (just the servicing and stuff)

with CNG will maintenace costs sky rocket OR I just need to be a bit careful about my car while using CNG

and what about the engine and all, will affect the engine in someway (Not talking about performance cause i personally think its more than enough in Lucknow's traffic). I am mainly concerned about the engine life and thing with all the serving and maintenance done correctly and in place
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Old 28th October 2007, 13:57   #5
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i have cng fitted in both my cars, esteem and alto and there is no problem in them......... they are actually worth it........

i get an average of around 14-15 per kilo from my esteem and around 16-18 from alto in city driving...... there is no maintaince problems also.......... the car functions just fine......... there is a drop in pick up but once you get use to it you wont even feel it.............

i have booked an SX4 and will be getting it converted in 6 months.........

also you can always remove the kit from the car when selling it off and fit it in your new car...... so its a one time investment.......... i am selling off my esteem and will put the kit into SX4 after 6 months or so...........

GO FOR IT.........
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Old 28th October 2007, 14:39   #6
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For CNG ... If you really want to save your engine then ...
1. Regular injector cleaning after 3k-4k km.
2. Run your car on petrol whenever you leave your place for like 2-3 km, then rest of the day on cng and when you will be coming back to your place at the end of the day, again switch over to petrol before 2-3km.
3. Take care of the sensors, especially the Oxygen sensor.

In optra it may be an issue of Oxygen sensor, also use good fitting of the clippers used in the kit, else the car can give problems.

There is a possibility that the car will start giving missing problems after switching over to the petrol.

else car wont give problems on CNG. infact it is pollution free and approx 1.20-1.50 Rs per km on AC for optra. I think it will save your money. Only if you have a good long run.
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Old 28th October 2007, 18:24   #7
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Go for LPG, rather then CNG, since power less is lesser in LPG.
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Old 28th October 2007, 18:57   #8
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According to me CNG is worth it if you drive for 1 lakh KM you will roughly save 3-4 lacks in next 4 years as your post mentions.

If installed properly there is no problem as such with the car ,and in your case its installed by the GM guys which in my opinion is as good as it can get ,when ever you need to zip around you always have the petrol option in hands
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Old 28th October 2007, 19:31   #9
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Hi,

How much of a distance there is in lucknow bhai, Its my Hometown and Distances there are nothing. Back here in Delhi I do a daily drive of 38 KM and an occassional extra night outs leads a max 1500 per month with CNG it costs around 1.13 rupees/per Km on AC and modulates to 0.98-0.99 per Km without AC in winters...!

But incase you still want to reduce the bills, Shrimanker Bedini is the Authorised OEM for GM , Ford and TATA. The guy will come from them not from GM.

A Closed loop kit costs around 45 K in Delhi somewhat around the same price direct from GM Shrimanker Alliance. So you can drive down here, get the installation with warranty, Get all neccessary Tuning done with the scanner...But first you need a NOC and Permission from RTO Lucknow that the installation is being done with permission,as only delhi cars are legally allowed for conversion here,which most people flout...So Guess you better speak with Sahu at Shrimanker to clarify.

An open loop system is not recommended, but is most likely simple to repair in any case considering less Electronics- will cost around 35 K.

The most Important thing, Any CNG related faults like Adjustment on Lamda Sensor or Stepper , You will need a Scanner- Ensure that the GM Showroom has a Trained guy and equipment,else you will need to recall a guy from Delhi each time it needs adjustment, Manual Adjustment won't help.

I also see that its 3 years old, Do you have extended warranty cover or so..If not its better you look at a Local Dealer for the Same- Bedini / Landi Renzo / Minda Impco / Tartarani- and watch out for Chinese duplicates, its a thriving market.

Last edited by wolfinstein : 28th October 2007 at 19:44.
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Old 28th October 2007, 19:56   #10
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Forgot about the Engine Query :

No Damage, just ensure that you change spark plugs every 15,000 KM and Air filter also.

Also every 10,000 get the Throttle cleaned, because in CNG- The most important thing is the right mix of CNG and AIR ratio.

I recommend using Castrol Magnatec or Mobil Synthetic with the CNG engine.
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Old 28th October 2007, 20:17   #11
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Hello

just as another data point, my bro's xeta would be completing 20k km (Dec 06) in next coupla days - the only maintenance he had was an initial faulty lambda sensor. Rest, his tirps have only been to get the OEM tata wiring et al installed. But no "problems" at all. and negligible powerloss.

However, that being said, leave your car in Delhi for a coupla weeks to get it installed. As is, GM guys are cancelling your warranty so no point getting it done in lko because the spares/expertise there would be minimal, in the remote event of a messup. I personally wont be comfortable with getting it done in lko - delhi installers are extremely competent. That being said, how it will get put on RC in lko needs to be answered. You wouldn't want your family member to get an heart bypass surgery in rural areas, even if with docs from delhi, wouldja?

and i'm just maybe being forgetful but in Delhi BRAND NEW cars get CNG, there is some funda of warranty being valid on the lines of TATA OEM fitment. You could check up shrimanker for more details, posing as a prospective delhi customer *about to buy* the optra
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