The mixture of gas and air is more difficult to ignite than mixture of Gasoline and air. With a weak spark engine will run unevenly, it can also cause misfires which can be quite dangerous. High voltage cables & ignition coils too have a limited lifespan and need a check or replacement in time.
On Alternate fuels, our car’s ignition system has to be in perfect condition. Even though the car may be running fine on Petrol with the same set up, you may be required to spruce up the electricals as they may not be good enough to ignite hard to ignite fuels like CNG or LPG as their ignition temperatures are higher than that of Petrol.
So one should replace spark plugs every 15-20000 kms ( or use BRISK SILVER CNG SPARK PLUGS – which have a life of around 30000 km on CNG ) and emit very strong spark owing to SILVER electrode in the spark plug which is a good conductor of electricity. Using a correct heat range and code of the spark plug is also very critical as an incorrect code can ruin the vehicle’s performance and can also damage your engine seriously.
Keeping HT Leads and ignition coils in perfect condition is highly recommended.
How to prepare your car for Summer ?
Regardless of the type of fuel which is supplied with the vehicle must be properly prepared for the long summer season. CNG / LPG powered cars should go for a general overview of the installation and calibration. The adjustment may be needed because of a change in the oxygen content of air.
Ensure Clean Air Filter Element
With so much of air pollution in evironment your car’s air filter gets choked reducing the amount of air going to the engine thus changing the stichometric ratio of Fuel & Air reducing the performance of the vehicle and its mileage. Thus special care about cleanling the air filter by blown air or replacing every 5000-10000 km is very important. Keeping a clean air filter would ensure excellent performance from the vehicle on Gaseous fuels.
In case of LPG system, there are filters also for the liquid phase and volatile gas. During operation, they gather in them solids and liquids, which when frosted can block the flow of gas which prevents the vapouring of LPG. Regular replacement of filters allows you to prevent such situations. If the filters are heavily contaminated – should be replaced even before the recommended change interval.
Check the cooling system
Engine coolant is circulated through the CNG/LPG reducers to ensure prompt expansion of gas before it’s fed to the engine. In case of LPG this coolant circulation is even more mandatory as it assists the change of its physical state from Liquid to Gaseous state.
Morever, the cooling system of the car should be in good order to ensure that excess heat generated with combustion of CNG is dissipated into air fast to keep engine temperatures optimum. So you should start by checking the tightness of the system. If there is a trapped air in the cooling system , unheated Reducer freezes under the influence of the expanding gas. If the coolant is too little, the reducer will not work at its full capacity. You should therefore check the level and quality of the coolant and if necessary, it should be topped up or replaced once a year.
Check the ignition system
We have already discussed earlier the importance of a robust ignition system of the car when we use CNG or LPG fuels in a Petrol fuelled vehicle. This becomes all the more important in summers as the load on the vehicle is increased due to high ambient temperatures and a very warm engine with air conditioning also running making the engine bay even more hot. EVO CNG/LPG controllers and wiring are tested to withstand temperatures of -40C to 120C. However your car’s electronics i.e Spark Plugs, HT leads, Ignitors or HT coils need to be in perfect conditions to prevent backfires, missing or jerks due to the added load on the engine.
Petrol Top Up 🙂
Please remember this is a dual fuel system. One can always switch to Petrol at less than a second’s gap when you run out of Gas or wish to drive on Petrol. So you should ensure that you have minimum 10 ltrs Gasoline in your car even though you are driving on CNG/LPG all the time. Even though your car’s Sequential Gas system is equipped with an Auto Changeover from Petrol to Gas after meeting the preset conditions of temperature, RPM etc, to ensure the Petrol injectors are always wet and remain in working condition with no gumming etc due to deposits of Petrol. While the car is running on CNG your Petrol fuel pump is also working sending fuel from tank to injectors and back via return pipe to Petrol tank since the injectors are closed electronically while running on gas. In case the petrol tank is empty or running on very low fuel, the fuel pump may run dry and get damaged.Therefore please ensure that there is ample fuel in the tank. Also higher the tank level, lesser evaporation or rusting would take place within the tank.
In Evo Systems, select models have the optional feature of Fuel pump protection built in the Gas controller for added safety.
What you need to do before going on a holiday by car ?
Before going on a long drive, ensure that you run a proper maintenance of your car and the gas system including a leakage check, calibration check, air filters and spark plugs. Care should also be taken to ensure tyres are in good shape and have ample tread life in them besides having their air pressure checked regularly as per the manufacturer’s set limits. A brake check, wheel balance & alignment check is also recommended.
In cars having clocked over 40000 km, a check to the valve clearance and ignition timing would ensure smooth running of the vehicle.
In case you park your vehicle for long duration / days, ensure the cylinder valve in case of CNG and manual tap in case of LPG Multivalve are in closed position for added safety.
What should pay attention to choosing the workshop?
CNG & Autogas savings start from day one, but when choosing the workshop for CNG/LPG installation never follow only the low price as basis of installation. Very often low price will be linked to the level of installation and quality of applied components. Check whether the workshop is recommended by the manufacturer of the system. Refer to the opinions of people who have already benefited from the services of the system. Remember that you should not take into account the ratings of people who got their kits installed a long time ago because with the development of technology, newer engines, OBDII technology have also changed method of their installation and calibration.
Good workshop assembler is also a good advisor, who will select the installation to our car, and tell where you mount the control unit or othe components for maximum safety and ease of repairs. You need to ensure that the workshop / installer is experienced, educated & trained to work on cars, CNG kits, computers to ensure good results.