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Old 11th February 2010, 12:41   #1
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Default Palio 1.2 ELX, problems in LPG kit/ Lambda sensor

Hi guys,

I have a palio 1.2 ELX 02' model, and used it with LPG kit for abt 15k kms, ODO reads abt 54K, i recently decided to install a lambda control system for the LPG kit, so as to reduce the frequent visits to tuner (the lpg tuning goes haywire very often)

I procured a lambda control system unit from Sharon Autogas, Hyd (they sent it through courier to bangalore), I took it to the installer here in BLR (on lalbag road). This guy first was confused with the lambda sensor and cut open all the 4 wires that it had, and had tough time figuring out what exactly is the lambda signal wire out of the 4 wires coming from lambda sensor.

He wired it wrongly and packed up the whole thing with a tape, and starts tuning without even reading the manual that came with the kit !!
obviously the tuning isnt successful, and I along with a friend had to spend time understanding the manual and tried tuning it again, but unsuccessful, coz the wiring was not right.

Next day, I go back to the installer, open up the four wires of the lambda sensor, and see a black wire & 3 white wires. The black wire is the lambda signal wire, coz that is what varies with throttle input and i wire the lambda probe to this black wire, and wire up the rest of the wires as they shud be (stock). Now, when I run in petrol, the car runs just fine, no issues.

but in LPG, I am not able to accelerate from idling, I press the accl pedal, but it is as though the car is running out of gas, jerking and doesnt pick up !! I come back to neutral, accelerate to higher rpm, and change gear to 1st, and pick up. Once after the pick up, the car runs fine till another such scenario comes up ! Happens in almost every gear, if i slow down and reduce the rpm.

What could be the problem ?? I checked in concorde motors with a diag tool, In petrol, lambda shows lean mix and in lpg lambda shows optimum mix !!

I try to tune the unit again and again, but it either doesnt get tuned or something else is wrong with it ... Can you guys plz guide me through this ?
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Old 11th February 2010, 14:36   #2
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Hi Krishna,
I too run my car on LPG in a closed loop - i.e., with a lamda controller unit called Stag 100. That apart, Loveco is a popular lamda controlled manufactured by Lovato. Let me know which controller you have gone for and also the make of the LPG kit. Btw, I have the Stag 100 programming CD if it may help you.
Firstly, it is never a good idea to source the unit from a vendor and get it fitted at a different place. In case of issues, the mechanic will blame the vendor and vice versa.
Coming to your concern, the lamda controller has to be tuned using a laptop and numerous parameters have to be set. At least I found it to be a rather complex process and knowing the correct setting for each parameter is something best left to the expert.
I can introduce you to a very skilled LPG mechanic in Bangalore in HSR layout - Gas Pandian - who should be able to help you out with your trouble. I too have put up a post regarding my faulty oxygen sensor in the past.
Although my LPG retrofitter - Gas Ganesh in Ulsoor - is a good friend of mine, I believe that these technical issues are best handled by Pandian. Do get in touch with me if you need his contacts.
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Old 12th February 2010, 09:35   #3
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Hi Krishna,
I too run my car on LPG in a closed loop - i.e., with a lamda controller unit called Stag 100. That apart, Loveco is a popular lamda controlled manufactured by Lovato. Let me know which controller you have gone for and also the make of the LPG kit. Btw, I have the Stag 100 programming CD if it may help you.
Firstly, it is never a good idea to source the unit from a vendor and get it fitted at a different place. In case of issues, the mechanic will blame the vendor and vice versa.
Coming to your concern, the lamda controller has to be tuned using a laptop and numerous parameters have to be set. At least I found it to be a rather complex process and knowing the correct setting for each parameter is something best left to the expert.
I can introduce you to a very skilled LPG mechanic in Bangalore in HSR layout - Gas Pandian - who should be able to help you out with your trouble. I too have put up a post regarding my faulty oxygen sensor in the past.
Although my LPG retrofitter - Gas Ganesh in Ulsoor - is a good friend of mine, I believe that these technical issues are best handled by Pandian. Do get in touch with me if you need his contacts.
Thanks Harsha, that will be a great help if you can provide me a contact of Gas Pandian.

well, I bought my car in 2008, and it already had the LPG kit of Lovato. The complete set is of Lovato only (including the vapouriser, switch etc). The Lambda kit that I have sourced from Hyd is manufactured by Sharon Autogas, who make kits PCBs for Loveco (the lovato lambda stuff). This guy was very friendly and didnt blame the mechanic or installation. He was guiding me on how to get it fitted actually. The kit costed me 1400 bucks, I have the similar one running on my Baleno in hyd, without any problems !!

So, this is definately a tuning problem, because O2 sensor is working fine as shown in the DIag Tool. The mechanic who has done the installation doesnt has the laptop or any programming exp i believe coz what he said was.. u run the car in gas for 5 mins in the total RPM Range and it will be tuned !!! In fact he didnt even care to read the instruction sheet to reset the controller

Update: I have driven about 50kms on Mysore Road today, and good speeds, in NICE Road I touched 140 (without A/C) running in LPG, but again when accelerating from 80 in 5th gear, I felt the supply of gas weakened, car held back a little and then got the supply .. like a small Jerk !! Why is this happenening ? Not only 5th, any gear, while accelerating this happens..
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Old 12th February 2010, 11:13   #4
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Thanks Harsha, that will be a great help if you can provide me a contact of Gas Pandian.
Pandian's No is 09448133918. His place is in HSR layout. Once you reach HSR BDA, he will direct you over the phone.

I have an Accent 1.5 and stag 100 works fine with it. The jerking problem sometimes could also be because of the gas flow itself and sometimes due to the dust in the plunger etc. So you should get that checked as well. A good way to ensure that the lamda controller is not the weak link is by running it without lamda in open loop. If the problem still persists, then the cause surely can not be the lamda controller.
Having said all that, i have heard many a time that LPG does not take too well to Palios. I am sure Pandian would be able to help you with this.

You can give my reference as harsha advocate, with Hyundai Accent silver. he had fitted a lamda sensor in my car and had tuned the car as well.

Cheers,
Harsha

PS: To respond to your PM:
I dont remember what the lamda sensor had cost me - should have been around 2k. Not sure.
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Old 12th February 2010, 12:38   #5
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Hey harsha,

I just spoke to Mr. Pandian, he was quoting abt 7k for a BRC lambda control system, and also told me that he has a spare lambda sensor to fit and check whether the existing setup works with a different lambda sensor or the setup has to go !!

I am confident that the fault is with lambda control unit only, because this started happening only after installing the lambda kit. earlier while running in manual, there was absolutely no problem at all, except that the tuning goes kaput very often. Pandian is busy today and tomorrow there might be a road construction happening near his garage, so not yet sure when i can get it fixed.
He said he is doubting the operation of lambda sensor itself... anyways i think the mystery will be solved soon ! I jus hope he doesnt fiddle with the ecu
and knows how to replace the lambda sensor with a new one... coz these sensor wiring stuff is done with absolutely no color coding and it can mess up anything !!
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Old 12th February 2010, 12:53   #6
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Hey harsha,

He said he is doubting the operation of lambda sensor itself... anyways i think the mystery will be solved soon ! I jus hope he doesnt fiddle with the ecu
and knows how to replace the lambda sensor with a new one... coz these sensor wiring stuff is done with absolutely no color coding and it can mess up anything !!
See, the great part is that he has an extra lamda sensor for testing. So you can use elimination to figure out whether the LS is the cause. You can also try tuning the Lamda controller to see if that works etc. In any case, when the lamda controller is actually connected to lappy, you should shift to petrol and check. If it still doesnt work on petrol also, then the problem is clear - the LS has gone kaput.
As for fitting the LS, he is the man. read my post earlier - he got me to replace my old type 2 wire LS with heating types 4 wire LS. Even Hyundai and others refused to do this as they said wiring would be very complex, but this guy did it. I think he should be able to sort things out. But please do not show too much enthu about buying a new lamda controller. try and get this one running - get a replacement from the vendor if you can. if not, see if you can run without the lamda controller - i think it will be good enough. worst case, invest in a new lamda controller - but then 7K isnt really worth it pal.
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Old 12th February 2010, 14:25   #7
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..... But please do not show too much enthu about buying a new lamda controller. try and get this one running - get a replacement from the vendor if you can. if not, see if you can run without the lamda controller - i think it will be good enough. worst case, invest in a new lamda controller - but then 7K isnt really worth it pal.
Thats precisely the reason i went it for an indian made lambda controller which costed me abt 1400 bucks, and was easy to install. I am not so keen on getting a new lambda controller again ! that will be the last.. laaasst option in my mind.

I would definately get the LS changed and check the working. My only worry is, when we change the sensor, and there is an error code generated in the ECU, then we cant really figure out if the sensor is working or not ! anyways, will update you once i meet this guy . I hope it happens of this weekend

Thanks Harsha
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Old 12th February 2010, 16:27   #8
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I would definately get the LS changed and check the working. My only worry is, when we change the sensor, and there is an error code generated in the ECU, then we cant really figure out if the sensor is working or not ! anyways, will update you once i meet this guy . I hope it happens of this weekend

Thanks Harsha
I am not very sure about the error code part - IMHO, if the new lamda sensor is working, there should not be any error code. Am i missing something?
In any case, ya just try and get it done this weekend. His availability is an issue indeed. and that apart, even once you figure out the issue, if you do not have a spare lamda sensor, you will have to go again and get it fitted and tuned. I hope you know where to procure the spare LS from. I dont remember if i told you - you can purchase Bosch lamda sensors for replacement. Here are the contacts of two distributors for O2 sensors in Bangalore for Bosch:

Dhiren Mehta of United Motors: 9448487037
Vijaya Diesels: 09945004606
The Company marketing head who supplies to the above distributors is Mr. Hegde - 09611118693. He will only supply to these guys who will then sell to you.

Cheers,
Harsha

PS: Make sure you figure out the right model of Universal LS for your car.
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Old 15th February 2010, 10:18   #9
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Originally Posted by harsha.cs1 View Post
I am not very sure about the error code part - IMHO, if the new lamda sensor is working, there should not be any error code. Am i missing something?
In any case, ya just try and get it done this weekend. His availability is an issue indeed. and that apart, even once you figure out the issue, if you do not have a spare lamda sensor, you will have to go again and get it fitted and tuned. I hope you know where to procure the spare LS from. I dont remember if i told you - you can purchase Bosch lamda sensors for replacement. Here are the contacts of two distributors for O2 sensors in Bangalore for Bosch:

Dhiren Mehta of United Motors: 9448487037
Vijaya Diesels: 09945004606
The Company marketing head who supplies to the above distributors is Mr. Hegde - 09611118693. He will only supply to these guys who will then sell to you.

Cheers,
Harsha

PS: Make sure you figure out the right model of Universal LS for your car.
Hey Harsha

This weekend was very hectic and eventful for me ... just read on to know what went right & wrong !!

Saturday morning 10AM, i set out to HSR Layout, to get the tune up done by Mr. Pandian. I meet him, and he connects his analyzer to the lambda sensor, Doesnt see anything, no lights moving. So he is doubtful of the LS working and tries to change it with a maruti spare LS, and checks, some output and lights glow but he is not satisfied. He gets a testing lambda Sensor of bosch universal type, and now he gets better output on his setup, but still not satisfied. He says, the sensor is able to give Lean & rich mixture details, but the ECM is not working on it immediately. It takes its own sweet time to work on the value to either make it rich or lean !! which is big NO for closed loop systems... the LOGIC ?? depending on the Lean/Rich value, ECM has to supply a signal to change the amount of fuel sent, and stepper motor is then activated to send gas instead of petrol. SO if the response time is 2 seconds, then stepper motor wont respond for our immediate demand in acceleration !! sounds good... so i cant run closed loop, and have to change lambda sensor any how... coz mine is gone kaput. we both together head to Bosch Car Service, Dhiren mehta & he obliges by giving us a new LS for fiat palio at the cost of 3900 incl of taxes & labour. We get this fitted & again analyse in the diag tool. Same thing, the ECM switched the mix from Lean to Rich and vice versa, little better now, but not as fast as it is required to work on closed loop(effectively). So pandian says we ll try running on LPG for some time and check if it is ok and then decide to keep or remove the Lambda controller.

after 3 kms, we both are unhappy with LPG performance and switch over to petrol. My guage is showing just a little less than 1/4 tank. ie.. abt 15lts... so we carry on, only to get stuck in traffic and car refusing to start !! we were in petrol mode and absolutely sure of petrol in the car.. we crank again and again.. but nothing works !! finally we shift to LPG and limp till jayanagar 4th block. Now, we fill the tank full to brim... and try to crank, nothing happens. To our horror, car refuses to start either in petrol or in LPG... its abt 10pm & we get upset. Both of us not had food since morning, and pandian was on fasting the earlier day as well. So he could not do/help much but try to check fuses etc. we see the 30A fuel pump fuse blown out.. and a horror thought raised in my mind... is the Fuel Pump Safe ?? we call it a day and i ask my friends' help in towing the car to a safe place and parking it overnight.

Sunday morning, Pandian calls up telling me to contact Bosch guys again to see if they can help in diagonisis. i call them up and they reach my place by 1P, with a new fuel pump. My thought was right, the fuel pump gone kaput, coz the gauge was not functioning properly and not sending me low fuel signal at all !! So my assumption that i had 15 ltrs in the tank was all BullS**t!! I get the new fuel pump installed, my vallet is lighter by 15200/- and palio fires up !! This is the first major expense in my 18 mnths of ownership!

Monday, pandian calls up again to enquire about the status of the car and i tell him the total story, he says your fuel pump was running even when the car was running in LPG, which might have lead to the damage ! He suggests removal of lambda controller coz stepper motor cant be so lethargic in response (that is becoz ECM is like that for lambda signal). So he gives me two options :
1. make it totally open loop, removing the other stuff of lambda control and jus run it like that.. (which can lead to cat-con getting damaged over time) or jus a bad performance or tuning issues... which i know is common wit open loop.

2. go for a sequential kit with the existing setup upgrade.. which will cost abt 25k & will give me peace of mind for ever, coz that doesnt depend on the existing ECM and lambda, rather it copies the injector map of petrol, to simulate the same on LPG. So runs smoother, performs better and economical ! Big advantage here is i can just remove it when i am parting with my palio and plonk it onto any other petrol vehicle even if its euro4 version !! Sounds good, except for the cost !

Can you guys help me decide ? plzz

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Old 15th February 2010, 13:07   #10
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Hi Krishna,

You have had a very eventful weekend indeed! Hard luck pal, yes, sometimes we all end up spending a bomb on our vehicles and often it is due to someone else's fault as well.

Firstly, on the fuel pump - i think in most LPG kits, the fuel pump is not deactivated, so it keeps pumping the petrol even when running on LPG. This is why they say that always keep some petrol in the tank, else the pump will get burnt. At the same time, one must also make sure not to keep very old petrol in the tank - the quality of the petrol decreases with time. What does Pandian say about the deactivation of fuel pump - should it be ideally done when fitting an LPG kit?

Just to keep the focus on the main issue, I understand that issue with your LPG is totally unrelated to your fuel pump problem.

The problem with your LPG kit is that even now that your Lamda Sensor is working, your ECU is not responding well to your Lamda sensor - either in Petrol or on LPG, right? So the issue is with your ECU mapping - ideally it should respond the the rich-lean inputs by the LS and accordingly, the ECU should activate or slow down the stepper motor, right? So I think, ECU resetting should help. Are you with me till here?
And if you have to do that, first try disconnecting the battery for like 15 mins and then reconnect. I have read that the ECU kind of resets in that process. Else Dhiren or Fiat *** should be able to help you. What does Pandian say about this? I think this is the main issue.

See, I have experienced that cars are less sensitive to LS inputs on petrol - that is because they have many other sensors as well from which they take inputs. Whereas, on a closed loop, you have only the LS to fall back on and if LS is kaput or if the ECU doesnt respond to the LS inputs, then you have bad news. My car ran fine on petrol even with a dead LS. Whereas, on LPG, it was giving trouble.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kri$hna View Post
Hey Harsha

He suggests removal of lambda controller coz stepper motor cant be so lethargic in response (that is becoz ECM is like that for lambda signal). So he gives me two options :
1. make it totally open loop, removing the other stuff of lambda control and jus run it like that.. (which can lead to cat-con getting damaged over time) or jus a bad performance or tuning issues... which i know is common wit open loop.

2. go for a sequential kit with the existing setup upgrade.. which will cost abt 25k & will give me peace of mind for ever, coz that doesnt depend on the existing ECM and lambda, rather it copies the injector map of petrol, to simulate the same on LPG. So runs smoother, performs better and economical ! Big advantage here is i can just remove it when i am parting with my palio and plonk it onto any other petrol vehicle even if its euro4 version !! Sounds good, except for the cost !

Can you guys help me decide ? plzz
Assuming that the ECU option suggested above does not work for some reason, we will be left with the above two options.

How far do you stay from Pandian's place? The reason I ask you is because if you have a good tuner nearby, then you can surely go for open loop - and it is not even that you need to get it tuned every month.
Open loop with a good tuner should be fine buddy! My dad has run like a lakh kms with open loop on zen and omni - never had any issues, touch wood!

Second option of a sequential kit is fine except for the expense bit. And if you use normal LPG (non-domestic - domestic is illegal) then your savings of Re. 1 per KM may not justify a 25K expense unless you drive a lot. But as you said, unless you are a prospective diesel head like me, going for sequential is not a bad idea - provided you take a 'mother-dead promise' from Pandian that it will work fine with sequential FI before going for the fitting!

Give open loop a shot with Pandian's help if ECU remap is not working.

Also, it was nice of Pandian to have come with you to United Motors and spared so much time etc. was he cooperative? How much did he charge?
Do give me your feedback on him as well and United Motors.

Also feel free to call me at 9900239781 for any further assistance.

Cheers,
Harsha
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Old 15th February 2010, 16:17   #11
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well, it was very nice of you to give me the contact of Mr. pandian. His knowledge of the system & LPG kits is huge.. well learnt and it is evident that he talks out of experience. there is no doubt about his capabilities & the stuff that he has to tune the open/closed loop or seq kits is also good.

I have never seen a mechanic who uses laptop & google to figure out what is the part number & the wiring diagram before replacing the part with an alternative.. that speaks a lot about his approach which i liked the most. The way he was following me up is really good and made me feel happy about his interaction.

Guess how much he charged me for all the work he has done ?? Nothing yet !! yes... i didnt pay him a penny. May be because he felt he didnt completely work and finish my job, so he has unfinished work left for which he is waiting for me to visit him back this week. He may charge little more than usual mechs.. but wth.. i wudnt mind paying more for such a nice work !!

Regarding running in open loop, yes I will try resetting the system ecu & run it in closed loop for some time, check the performance and then take it from there on. Open loop i am not comfortable because the inherent problem with fiats is tuning going kaput pretty soon & his explanation for that is satisfactory... that the restriction of air intake causes problems in petrol & helps lpg tuning. Thus we can only have 1 tuning for the car... may be i should check this up again with him. I have not yet decided on investment with the seq kit, but since it can be a long term investment, considering its modularity to install on any vehicle, makes me rethink about it !!

My running in the last 1 year has been just about 17000kms, which may increase a little more or stay there.. so what do you suggest ??

My experience with United Motors has been fair enough, to start with, they didnt hesitate in connecting the diag tool and checking the sensor parameters first on my request & then put up a spare sensor to diagonise the problem correctly. And next when my vehicle broke down, they could send a service van on sunday, along with a spare fuel pump (new) to change on the spot... which is very rare considering the vehicle is a palio !! The service manager was very friendly & Dhiren Mehta also attended to the vehicle while checkin on the ecu !! All in all, experience was good and a great learning, though a little sad for the lighter vallet that i was left with :(
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Old 17th February 2010, 15:44   #12
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Krishna, for people like us, every problem is a fun learning opportunity provided we are in the company of a good mechanic. the only not fun part is the bill!

I too respect Pandian for the fact that he knows the subject really well and is always willing to learn more. He googles up manuals etc as well!
He is not greedy about his fees and I am happy to pay him more than a normal mechanic because he is a true engineer. Further, while other mechanics set the Lamda Controller numbers on a call with the product vendor, Pandian actually knows what each reading means and what to change if some other reading is changed and so on.

Anyway, I wish you all the best and hope that the kit works out well for you. Yes, considering you use it for like 17K per annum and considering that you can remove and refit it, even going for the SFI kit is not a bad idea. Try open loop with Pandian, if it works, great. Else go with SFI. Keep me posted on any further developments.
Cheers,
Harsha
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Old 27th November 2011, 17:38   #13
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Default Re: Palio 1.2 ELX, problems in LPG kit/ Lambda sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by kri$hna View Post
Hi guys,

I have a palio 1.2 ELX 02' model, and used it with LPG kit for abt 15k kms, ODO reads abt 54K, i recently decided to install a lambda control system for the LPG kit, so as to reduce the frequent visits to tuner (the lpg tuning goes haywire very often)

I procured a lambda control system unit from Sharon Autogas, Hyd (they sent it through courier to bangalore), I took it to the installer here in BLR (on lalbag road). This guy first was confused with the lambda sensor and cut open all the 4 wires that it had, and had tough time figuring out what exactly is the lambda signal wire out of the 4 wires coming from lambda sensor.

He wired it wrongly and packed up the whole thing with a tape, and starts tuning without even reading the manual that came with the kit !!
obviously the tuning isnt successful, and I along with a friend had to spend time understanding the manual and tried tuning it again, but unsuccessful, coz the wiring was not right.

Next day, I go back to the installer, open up the four wires of the lambda sensor, and see a black wire & 3 white wires. The black wire is the lambda signal wire, coz that is what varies with throttle input and i wire the lambda probe to this black wire, and wire up the rest of the wires as they shud be (stock). Now, when I run in petrol, the car runs just fine, no issues.

but in LPG, I am not able to accelerate from idling, I press the accl pedal, but it is as though the car is running out of gas, jerking and doesnt pick up !! I come back to neutral, accelerate to higher rpm, and change gear to 1st, and pick up. Once after the pick up, the car runs fine till another such scenario comes up ! Happens in almost every gear, if i slow down and reduce the rpm.

What could be the problem ?? I checked in concorde motors with a diag tool, In petrol, lambda shows lean mix and in lpg lambda shows optimum mix !!

I try to tune the unit again and again, but it either doesnt get tuned or something else is wrong with it ... Can you guys plz guide me through this ?



Hi

Sometimes the filter get chocked up m talking abt d gas filters try cleaning dem
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Old 28th November 2011, 09:46   #14
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Default Re: Palio 1.2 ELX, problems in LPG kit/ Lambda sensor

When the mechanic messes up with the white wire and black wire no wonder your lamba blew up. Two white wires is for the heater +12v, -12V. Black wire is the sensor signal wire and no voltage must be passed. Ecu must move between rich to lean about 1 cycle per second.
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