LPG Equipment in Vehicles: Pros and Cons

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The expediency of LPG equipment in vehicles can be debated, but here we’re offering just some facts to prove it is safe, eco-friendly, and efficient.

Liquefied petroleum gas or LPG, also named “autogas”, is a fuel gas containing a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon gases, commonly propane, butane, and propylene. The LPG equipment is installed in internal combustion-engined passenger cars as an additional system to provide alternative fuel. Like other in-vehicle fuel systems, the LPG equipment has its strong and weak points.

Factory Installed LPG Engines

A number of car manufacturers offered or offer LPG versions for their models. Among them, there are Europeans, like Audi, Volkswagen, Fiat, Opel/ Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroën, Renault, Skoda, Volvo, and Asian brands like Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, and even Ford with its LPG-powered Fiesta.

LPG vehicles can be OEM single fuel models or dual fuel (autogas and gasoline) conversions. The bi-fuel models with two fuel tanks run on either gasoline or liquid petroleum gas.

Pros

  • Consumption of gas is 15-20 percent higher than gasoline (petrol), but gas as car fuel is considerably cheaper
  • LPG is lead-free and compliant with strict environmental standards 
  • Gas fuel burns without the formation of carbon deposits on spark plugs, valves, and pistons
  • Properly installed LPG equipment improves engine performance
  • Gas has a higher octane number, which reduces the load on the connecting rod and piston group
  • With two types of fuel, your car drives twice the mileage without refueling, so you can benefit from the LPG equipment when making long-distance trips
  • Switching between gasoline and LPG modes occurs smoothly and imperceptibly for the driver, even on the move
  • The LPG equipment completely duplicates a gasoline fuel system: this significantly increases fault tolerance
  • The LPG equipment “prolongs the life” of a catalytic converter
  • The depreciation is minimal, and the service life of LPG equipment’s rubber parts is at least 5 years before you’ll have to replace them – of course, in case of proper operation
  • Some parts of the LPG equipment can be reinstalled on another vehicle, where they will continue to serve for a long time.

Cons

  • The LPG equipment steals the cargo space in your car, with all the consequences to follow
  • The engine can lose 3-5% of its power, but this problem is easily solved by installing an ignition timing variator
  • Some LPG car owners complain about the smell of gas, but a properly fitted and configured system will never give such a negative effect. If it happens, shut off the gas supply and go to the service station for repair.

Benefits

After calculations, we can say that the LPG equipment is profitable if your annual car mileage is at least 6,200 miles / 10,000 km. With smaller runs, the payback period will be longer, but after all, all this time, every 100 km / 62 mi you have traveled will give an additional 50-56 miles (80-90 km) for free.

To be efficient and serve long, the LPG equipment should be of high quality (be attentive to all its components when choosing for your vehicle) and installed by a professional.



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