LPG gas conversions.

by Andrew Automoto21. November 2013 09:43


Running your vehicle on LPG can throw up a lot of questions. Let me answer the most simple one first.


What does LPG stand for and how does it power your vehicle:  Liquefied Petroleum Gas, is made up of propane and butane. The conversion of a vehicle to LPG adds a second fuel system, making the vehicle "dual-fuel", capable of running on either petrol or gas, or "dedicated gas", able to run on Gas only. Both conversions usually require a second tank to be installed, either in the spare wheel well, or in the boot of the vehicle, in some 4WD the LPG cylinder is fitted under the vehicle. 


So why convert your vehicle to LPG? LPG cost's up to half the price of your standard petrol vehicle to run, and has a similar energy content to petrol, which burns readily in air. LPG is not the same gas that is used for your home energy and heating or for cooking a BBQ, it is a higher quality LPG and is controlled to ensure consistent vehicle performance in all driving conditions. LPG also reduces exhaust emissions and potentially prolongs the life of your engine, as LPG doesn't wash the lubricating oil from the cylinder walls like petrol engines sometimes do.


So can your vehicle be converted to run on LPG? Most vehicles can be converted to LPG, but not all vehicles. Most petrol vehicles can be converted to "dual-fuel" or "dedicated gas'', however there are a few factors that determine if the vehicle is suitable. One main factor is the availability of an LPG conversion kit for the vehicle, as the cost for a conversion kit can be quite high.


There are also technical factors that influence the vehicles suitability. If you are unsure though you can always go and speak to your local LPG conversion centre or vehicles local dealership centre. 


A few other reasons that an LPG conversion may not be possible is if the vehicle is not fitted with an LPG compatible engine, or there may not be room to house the LPG cylinder.


Diesel Engines generally cannot be converted to LPG, however there are some organisations that are in the process of developing a system that will allow a diesel engine to run on a mixture of diesel and LPG.


Another thing to think about when converting your vehicle to LPG is the vehicles servicing. While LPG engines are serviced as before the conversion your LPG system itself will need to be serviced separately by an authorised LPG service centre.


It is important that you test your LPG gas tank to make sure it's not compromised by damage or corrosion. While LPG has been proven to be just as safe in an accident as that of a petrol or diesel engine, it is still important that you make sure that it meets the states roadworthy laws, and is not damaged or old, as it is illegal and can be potentially fatal. All LPG cylinders should be fitted with an expiry date, or a date of installation. If your LPG cylinder is 10 years old or older, then it is important that you have the cylinder tested, and certified for another 10 years, or replaced as the needs may be.


To find your local authorised LPG service centre visit http://www.carservice.com.au/LPG-Conversions.

To find out more about LPG Roadworthy requirements see: LPG Roadworthy laws.