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Old 13th March 2007, 11:52   #1
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Default ARTICLE: CNG vs LPG Comparision

Petrol prices are sky rocketing. Does this leave you with Diesel as the only economical option? NO! Times have changed! Presenting the new age car fuel alternatives – CNG and LPG; apart from being lighter on your pocket, these options are also environment-friendly.

Team-BHP explains the pros and cons of each fuel, as also about the issue as a whole.

With the Indian government providing several benefits on CNG and LPG, it is no surprise that buses and taxis in several metros have switched over. From easy availability to high subsidies, the government is providing complete support to these fuel preferences. As shown in the recent budget, bio-diesel is also given political preference now. Naturally, auto manufacturers have taken advantage of this and they now offer factory fitted options. However, some manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki prefer LPG where as others like Chevy & Ford opt for CNG.

Why opt for Gas?:
• Lowest running costs (compared to other fuel alternatives like diesel)
• Cleaner emissions
• Better resale value (in the case of factory-fitted kits only)
• Complete manufacturer-support available
• Any time switch over to petrol is possible

Factors that may hold you back:
• Initial investment in setup
• Reduced boot space
• Compromised power delivery
• Limited availability (compared to petrol and diesel). Few highways have consistent supplies. Also, some towns may not have any supply at all.
• Longer waits at the fuel pump

Are Natural Gas powered vehicles safe?
Natural Gas is an ideal fuel source for many reasons, including safety. Natural Gas is lighter than air. This means that it will not puddle (like petrol) which is heavier than air. Instead, Natural Gas will rise and dissipate in the atmosphere. Natural gas also has a higher ignition temperature. This means that it is much harder to ignite. Also the storage systems used for CNG and LPG are stronger than the petrol tanks found on cars and trucks today.



Want to switch? Here’s what you should do:
Consult the professionals at authorised high-quality service stations for the correct advice. Agreeably, this may cost you about 20% higher compared to your local unauthorised service station. But compared to the authenticity of the advice, reliability of the fittings and efficiency of the system, this price differential is well worth it. Team-BHP recommends only manufacturer-fitted kits or those from authorised service stations. Also, Please strictly AVOID the illegal LPG domestic-cylinder conversions.

Remember to:

• Endorse your registration certificate accordingly.
• Notify your insurance company. The premium may also go up marginally.
• If yours is a brand new car, you may stand to lose warranty coverage (even if the fitting is from an authorised service station).

Last edited by GTO : 13th March 2007 at 15:55.
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Old 13th March 2007, 12:11   #2
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nice article ..
Currently Optra and Ikon are available with CNG and WagonR with LPG
where does Flair CNG stands .. a economical , powerless sedan ?
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Old 13th March 2007, 12:13   #3
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Nice article GTO. Some positives (in Bold) also on the factors that may hold you back.

Quote:
Factors that may hold you back:
• Initial investment in setup (Is easily recovered within a few months)
• Reduced boot space (Tank in the Wheel well option available now)
• Compromised power delivery (There are experts that can remap the ECU to contain that)
• Limited availability (compared to petrol and diesel). Few highways have consistent supplies. Also, some towns may not have any supply at all. (Very True. Switch to petrol if there is no gas availability)
• Longer waits at the fuel pump ( Not always)
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Old 13th March 2007, 13:18   #4
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THanks for the added points, esteem lover. Do you own a gas-convert? Care to share your experience?
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Old 13th March 2007, 13:40   #5
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GTO, Yes, i do. I have found the esteem to be a perfect car for LPG conversion since it offers that extra power that can compensate for the slight loss of power after conversion. The OHC is also an excellent car for LPG conversion.
My first experience with LPG was with my M-1000 & it was a nightmarish experience in the sense that i could not get it properly tuned & the M-1000 was a wrong car to do the conversion since it is already seriously under powered. Moreover the place where i fitted was not competent enough to diagnose the initial hiccups & tune it properly. After trying it for several months, i gave up & switched back to petrol.

After a year & a half, i met a LPG tuner who took up the challenge & did a fantastic job. ever since i have been convinced that this is the right fuel for my car. When i changed cars, again i went to the same person & have been using LPG for the last 3 years & found it absolutely great. The problem is there are umpteen number of LPG converters who know nothing about tuning. These badly tuned conversions are putting a lot of people away from converting their cars to LPG. The most important point to note though is to keep the air filter clean all the time. even a little bit of dust can sap the performance of your LPG car. I clean my air filter once in a week.

Yes, the LPG tank does take up some serious space in the boot. If you can compromise your spare wheel, then there is a tank that can be flush fit in that space & voila, no space is taken.

I personally prefer to use LPG for city driving only because i need the extra power on the highways. But there are tuners who can remap the ECU in MPFI cars (mine is a carb) for the same performance.
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Old 13th March 2007, 14:42   #6
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Thanks for the additional inputs!

Quote:
The most important point to note though is to keep the air filter clean all the time. even a little bit of dust can sap the performance of your LPG car.
Wow, wasnt aware but sounds like a great tip nevertheless.

Quote:
If you can compromise your spare wheel, then there is a tank that can be flush fit in that space & voila, no space is taken.
Wont that tank have a far smaller capacity? What about the spare wheel then? The only time I can think of for using the full trunk is on a highway trip. And I dont like the idea of being out there without a spare.

Quote:
My first experience with LPG was with my M-1000 & it was a nightmarish experience in the sense that i could not get it properly tuned & the M-1000 was a wrong car to do the conversion since it is already seriously under powered.
I know what you talking about. Some smart alec in my family converted the 118NE to LPG and it bombed! But it was only due to bad installation. LPG kits have come a long way since.
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Old 13th March 2007, 15:23   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
My first experience with LPG was with my M-1000 & it was a nightmarish experience in the sense that i could not get it properly tuned & the M-1000 was a wrong car to do the conversion since it is already seriously under powered. Moreover the place where i fitted was not competent enough to diagnose the initial hiccups & tune it properly. After trying it for several months, i gave up & switched back to petrol.
I 100% agree with you on the point that the right person should tune the LPG car. I until recently had a LPG fitted Santro. The kit was complete with RTO approved kit and endorsed on RC book. However, the tuning was such that, gas was amazing performance, but after a few thousand kms, petrol performance was not so good. So, on the whole, it is great to use gas, but get it tuned by the right person.
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Old 13th March 2007, 15:34   #8
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Quote:
Wont that tank have a far smaller capacity? What about the spare wheel then? The only time I can think of for using the full trunk is on a highway trip. And I dont like the idea of being out there without a spare.
Yes, you're right, the capacity of that tank is just 35 litres (28Ltrs usable). This is strictly for city use. On a highway, a spare wheel is most important. If you are going to use your car more on the highway, fit a larger tank & keep the spare wheel. If it is only for the city, the wheel well tank is advisable. But for hatchbacks, the cylindrical tank will use up the entire space at the back. So one has to decide on what his priorities are before making the decision & go for the one that he is comfortable with. The cylindrical tanks come in 50/60ltr capacities. For C segment cars, the 60 ltr tank is recomended which will hold 48-50 Ltrs of LPG.

Regarding maintanence, it is almost nil. Apart from keeping the air filter clean all the time, the diaphragm inside the vaporiser needs to be checked after 45k kms & replaced if necessary.

Quote:
LPG kits have come a long way since.
Very true, especially for latest cars.

Wherever the LPG conversion is done, please make sure the endorsement is made in your Registration Certificate also.
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Old 13th March 2007, 15:46   #9
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Which is the best LPG kit available in the market, I am seriously considering one for my Palio since its a 1.2 and CNG with a heavy cylinder at the back will be a big performance dampner. Any suggestion on dealers who can do such a conversion with ECU remap or a new ECU for gas altogether.

Thanks,
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Old 13th March 2007, 15:51   #10
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The best according to me is Zavoli. There are other good ones too. But the install & tuning play vital roles in your car's performance. so it is best to find the right person first & then to decide on the brand instead of the other way round.
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Old 13th March 2007, 15:56   #11
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Quote:

Wherever the LPG conversion is done, please make sure the endorsement is made in your Registration Certificate also.
Excellent! Added to the article. Thanks for your eye-opening inputs, Esteem_Lover.
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Old 13th March 2007, 16:02   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
The best according to me is Zavoli. There are other good ones too. But the install & tuning play vital roles in your car's performance. so it is best to find the right person first & then to decide on the brand instead of the other way round.
Thanks for the quick reply. Any possibility of you knowing some mechanic in delhi?
Also what are the things that i need to look for when I get the conversion done? Is there any replacement CPU or piggyback in case of LPG conversion also? Can I use the timing advancer like we use it for CNG powered vehicles? The main reason I want to go for LPG conversion is becase its doesnt affects the performance much and tanks can be installed in the spare wheel well so wont eat into the precious boot space of my hatchback.
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Old 13th March 2007, 16:05   #13
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The pleasure was mine GTO. Thanks for putting up a forum to share my inputs.
cheers

P.S And it is nice to contribute in some way.

Last edited by esteem_lover : 13th March 2007 at 16:16. Reason: Adding the P.S
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Old 13th March 2007, 16:46   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. Any possibility of you knowing some mechanic in delhi?
Nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Also what are the things that i need to look for when I get the conversion done? Is there any replacement CPU or piggyback in case of LPG conversion also? Can I use the timing advancer like we use it for CNG powered vehicles? The main reason I want to go for LPG conversion is becase its doesnt affects the performance much and tanks can be installed in the spare wheel well so wont eat into the precious boot space of my hatchback.
A clean install is very much necessary without wires protruding. The gas line (copper pipe) should be run along with the petrol line & not inside the cabin. Make sure the hoses they use are of good quality & can take the heat without melting. AFAIK, there is no necessity for a timing advancer for LPG. Overall, it is not advisable to touch the ECU unless you are very sure about your installer's capability. Dont go by hearsay. try to experience it for yourself. Someone might go ga ga over a particular installer. But he may not be up to what you want. So visit him, talk to him & clarify your doubts. Try a couple of vehicles he has coverted & decide for yourself.
cheers
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Old 13th March 2007, 16:48   #15
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Thanks once again. I will talk to some dealer in delhi about possible CNG or LPG conversion.
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