What are the Pros and Cons of Converting to LPG?

lpg conversionPotential buyers are often frightened by LPG – but a good, professional installation is nothing to worry about. A few extra holes are drilled for the tank, regulator and so on, but the gas filler nozzle (often set into the rear wing) can be mounted on a discreet bracket under the car for painless removal before resale.

LPG’s a viable proposition if you cover a high mileage. It produces less power than petrol, but the engine runs more cleanly, which means less carbon build-up and better emissions. Do your sums carefully though. If you cover 5000 miles per year in a car that returns 25mpg, you’ll save around £300 by running on gas rather than petrol at current fuel prices. It’ll therefore take you a very long time to recoup the £2000-or-so it’ll cost to get the car converted.

lpg conversionCarburettor cars take well to conversion if you can live with the loss of power, as do sophisticated fuel injection models if fitted with a good quality system. However, certain engines from the early days of catalyst emissions control can be a nightmare to convert well. Mechanical fuel injection cars are also a no-no. LPG is an unleaded fuel, so make sure your car has hardened valve seats. One final consideration is the significant weight of the tank, which can have a dramatic effect on the ride and handling of smaller classics.

Only use an installer that’s approved by UKLPG (see www.uklpg.org for a list). You’ll need to declare the conversion to your insurer – and this is likely to require a UKLPG certificate to show that that the job’s been properly done.

TECH TIP

LPG works best on high compression engines.

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