LPG installation is extremely popular in our country. We can find it both in used cars and in brand new vehicles with manufacturer’s warranty. Is it a good choice?
The fundamental advantage is the low cost when refuelling LPG at petrol stations. However, this is a fairly obvious conclusion, so we want to delve a little deeper into the structure of the installation, check what distinguishes it and why in some cases it wins over traditional oil and petrol.
What distinguishes LPG is first of all its unlimited durability achieved thanks to its high level of purity. The octane number of LPG is about 100, so it is very resistant to knocking. In addition, in comparison to oil and petrol, it offers much lower emissions. The by-product of crude oil refining does not contain sulphur and does not produce soot when burned. Talking about the advantage of cleanliness, it is worth taking into account the lack of condensation of liquid fuel on the cylinder walls. Moreover, LPG does not contaminate the engine oil, which translates into a relatively longer correct operation of the drive unit fluid.
Older LPG systems had several disadvantages. Manufacturers deciding to introduce the gas to their vehicles at the factory had to upgrade the systems. The first problem eliminated was the loss of several horsepower after LPG installation and the negative impact on long-term engine operation. Italian brand Landi Renzo developed a two-stage reducer-steamer, as well as precise injectors and a control unit, which was to decide on the composition of the mixture sent to the engine chambers. In this way both power loss and problems with the drive unit after long LPG use were avoided.
In the case of older gas installations, the unit consumed petrol or diesel fuel when starting the engine. Longer time of burning gas and the necessary higher amount of energy during the ignition, defined this relationship. When the Start-Stop system started to appear in vehicles, it was a huge impediment for people who wanted to choose LPG. Of course, the system can be manually controlled, turning it off as desired. But it’s really helpful, and it saves fuel, so it’s hard to give it up. So they decided to restart the engine on gas fuel without wasting oil or gasoline, which are obviously more expensive. This appears in new vehicles with LPG installation from the manufacturer
Unfortunately, the use of LPG in a vehicle also has several drawbacks. Despite the new generations of gas installations, the negative features are not eliminated. Bad influence on the drive unit and lower engine power in older versions are just examples.
The tank, which must withstand enormous pressure, should be periodically checked. The one on LPG needs to be legalized, every exactly 10 years. It is worth remembering when choosing an aftermarket car and the last legalization took place nearly a decade ago. What does it consist in? First of all, the tank is disassembled in a specially prepared service, and if necessary a new tank is installed. Everything generates costs in the range of 300-600 PLN.
Of course you will pay less for LPG at the petrol station. However, when installing a complete installation you have to reckon with a considerable cost. This is an expense of around 2500 PLN. It is worth noting that the annual inspection of a car with autogas is 160 PLN. Another expense is the annual check for leakage and combustion parameters. This is the cost of about 150 PLN plus the possible repair of defects.
LPG system is installed in the trunk. What is important, the tank and accessories take up a lot of space. The solution is to mount it in place of spare wheel, but then you need to find another place for it. We suggest replacing the new rubber with a repair kit, which is getting more and more effective every year. Lack of trunk space is one problem, the other is lack of underground parking space. In some areas, entry of a vehicle with an LPG system may be prohibited. This is a safety issue – unsealing of the tank causes the heavier-than-air substance to deposit on the ground, which poses a risk of explosion.