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FAQ - My Experiences


Revised 14/06/2005 .

My Installation
FAQ - My Experiences
LPG Conversions
LPG Systems

 

 
How much do you save each month ?

The tank that I have installed takes 54 litres of gas. I have checked a few times and it does seem that the recommendations are correct that miles per gallon using lpg is about 80% that of using petrol. The readout on the dash states an average of 22mpg, therefore I am getting about 17.5mpg from lpg. So say for every 1000miles I will cost 100 in lpg based on 39p/litre against 153 in petrol based on 75p/litre. However, it is surprising how much petrol you still use. The car has to start on petrol and will not switch over until the engine reaches a preset temperature, in my case 60 degrees. This means for the first couple of miles you are running on petrol. This is OK if you are doing reasonable distances, but if you are just traveling a couple of miles to work, and then not using the car all day until driving back at night you won't gain the benefit.  Obviously the better the mpg to begin with, and the more miles you travel, the better the saving

How do I locate my nearest LPG filling station ?

There are many web sites where you can download the latest list of LPG filling stations. The one I refer to most is lpgmap.co.uk where you can download an overlay for Microsoft Autoroute. Then whenever I am planning a long journey to an unfamiliar area, I can print out a series of maps covering the route with the relevant filling stations and opening times indicated. They also have overlays for France and other parts of Europe. There is also a map on the Powershift web site, and a full list of suppliers can be downloaded from the LPGA web site.

Do you notice a loss in performance ?

I have not noticed any loss in performance. The car handles as normal and pulls away cleanly, although it must be said that I need a few more revs when pulling off from standing ( I have also heard others mention this). Although generally you do not notice a loss and get use to the performance when running on lpg, you do notice that the car seems more responsive when switching back to petrol. 

Are insurance costs affected ?

When I enquired if my insurance premium would be affected, prior to conversion, several insurance companies said that there wouldn't be any difference, as long as the conversion was carried out by an LPGA approved installer and that they were given a copy of the installation certificate. A couple of insurance companies even offered at the time cheaper premiums as an incentive. Unfortunately I didn't take much notice of these at the time, as the quotes they gave for a 2.8 Galaxy were way above what I was paying at the time anyway !

Where do you put the spare wheel ?

The spare wheel is in the boot. I never have the rear two seats in the car ( they are kept in the loft) and have a parcel shelf so no-one can look in. At first I thought it was a bit of a pain, but when the wheel is turned upside down, it makes quite a handy storage box. I did buy a cover (as for 4x4's) to stop getting rubber marks on the side panels. One of the LPG installers offered a service where a puncture repair chemical was injected into the tyres which would instantly block any holes if there was a puncture. This worked out at about 10 per tyre which wouldn't have been too bad, except that I seem to go through quite a few tyres (average 9,000mile life for the front tyres so far, although had 45,000 from the rears so far !). The alternative is to carry a tin of puncture repair foam which costs about 10. One of my colleagues at work also had his car converted at the same time as me (2.0 litre ford focus) and just carries a tin of foam around - he says if he really gets stuck he's in the AA. There isn't a legal requirement to have a spare wheel. Even the new Mini One comes with a tin of puncture repair foam instead of a spare tyre. 

Can I get a grant to pay for the installation ?

Refer to the Powershift website for the latest rules on grants available

How do I fill up with LPG abroad ?

My only experience of driving abroad is in France. You will need an adapter which screws onto your cars filler point first. These can be obtained from your installer and cost about 15 (for a brass one although I've heard there are cheaper ones about). Finding LPG on the motorways in France is far easier than in the UK. The advanced information signs for services indicate if LPG is available - it is called GPL in France.  Most motorway services sell it as well as most of the major supermarkets (Carrefour tended to be cheapest). One of the good things about the LPG pumps at the service stations are they are usually in a seperate isle from the main pumps so whilst everyone is is queuing for petrol and diesel so can bypass them and go straight to the pump - not like in the UK

I have a "T" 2.3 Galaxy. Would the same type of kit be required as your car i.e. multi as opposed to single point injection? How much did the conversion cost?

Although I am no expert at this, I did talk to quite a few people when I was look at getting mine converted so I did pick up a fair amount of information. I was given several quotes, the cheapest being 1800 incl vat, the most expensive being about 2300 incl VAT. I ended paying 2000 incl VAT, although I did get a bit of a discount because it took 5 weeks to install - don't let this put you off - no one in the UK would admit to fitting multipoint LPG system to a new style V6 before so it was a bit experimental. However everyone I spoke to had fitted single point and multipoint to pre 2000 models with success. I even went to one place and saw one fitted and working.
 
For starters, the majority of manufacturers base their kits on 4 cylinder models or multiples of 4 cylinders (ie V8 or v12), so with a V6, this messes things up a bit. Naturally therefore there is less work in fitting a system to a 4 cylinder than a 6 cylinder car so generally they are cheaper. The other thing is that the mechanical 'plumbing in' of the kit is comparatively easy compared to the programming of the computer - the more complicated the electronics on the car, the harder it is to program, therefore the older and simpler the car, the easier, quicker and cheaper it is to fit - that's why apparently systems on old landrovers only take a few hours to install !
 
I don't know about the 2.3 model, but on 2.8's pre 2000 models had a steel inlet manifold which makes it suitable for fitting single point injection. After 2000, the inlet manifold fitted is plastic (although it is sprayed silver and to look at the two side by side you wouldn't notice any difference). If you have read the bit on my web page about backfiring and explosions, you will appreciate that if you get a backfire with a steel manifold, it would only blow up the air filter box - with a plastic manifold this blows up as well and can cause further damage to the engine as a result.
 
Certainly, the multipoint and newer sequential multipoint injection systems are more refined than the single point injection system, however it all depends how many miles you do, how refined you want the system to be and how much you want to spend in the first place. I would have thought that a single point installation would be in the region of 1200 with multipoint somewhere between 1400 to 1800 depending on where you went and what system was fitted. I would certainly recommend AG and Tartarinni.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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