Autogas entered the market in the early 90's of the last century. Since then, there has been a lot of myths concerning its use, unfortunately, the great majority untrue. They are often the results of early-stage problems - the problems that occurred with old carburettor installations and which we are not going to experience in today's well-controlled, fine-tuned electronics.
1. Tanks explode – driving on gas is like driving with a ticking bomb.
It is one of the most frequently appearing myths, which is as untrue as it is widespread. Gas tanks are constructed in a way which prevents them from breaking. They are made of thick metal (much thicker than the fuel tanks) with reinforced bottom and series of valves standing on guard of the whole system's tightness. Some explosions or cars' burnings about which we are sometimes informed by media are due to damages of gasoline and not gas supply systems.
2. Loss of engine power.
The decrease of engine power when driving on autogas could be noticed with the first generation installations - in carburettor systems. Today, worse performance of a converted car can only be the result of improper assembly or improper calibration. "Modern sequential systems inject gas directly into the intake manifold, right next to the gasoline injectors. Thanks to this, the driving dynamics is the same when driving on gas and petrol - explains Piotr Makarewicz - OPTIMA technical support manager. - What's more ... the latest installations for turbo-charged engines with indirect fuel injection may even cause the engine on gas to have more power than on petrol. "
3. Handling the LPG powered car is complicated.
A properly assembled and well-adjusted autogas installation is virtually maintenance-free from the driver's point of view. One additional switch, which appears on the dashboard, tells you which fuel the car is currently powered with, as well as how much gas remains in the tank. Today's installation is controlled by electronics controlling the moment of switching the power supply to autogas and all other key engine parameters. The only thing the driver must remember is to refuel autogas.
4. Gas destroys the car's engine.
When driving on LPG, much less carbon is formed and deposited in the engine compartment than in the case of petrol or diesel. What's more... the gas has engine cleaning properties, so it may happen that after the autogas installation, the accumulated pollutions will be removed from the system and, ipso facto, the gas will contribute to extending the life of the engine.
5. There are better and worse engines as regards LPG conversions.
It's not the matter of an engine but the technical condition of the car and the knowledge and experience of the fitter. All the vehicles with spark ignition can be converted to autogas power. However, it should be remembered that the mixture of propane and butane requires better combustion conditions than gasoline. That is why the condition of the ignition system is very important. It may happen that the installation of the gas system and driving on gas will reveal the service negligence of the car. "It is worth to install autogas in a good, specialized workshop, where they check the car's current technical condition before accepting it to the so-called gassing "- suggests Piotr Juziuczuk – OPTIMA'S technical support
6. Unpleasant smell.
The gas itself is odourless. The unpleasant smell is emitted by specially added chemical compounds. An unpleasant odour of gas is a deliberate treatment intended to serve our safety. If we happen to smell gas in our car, it is a sign that something is wrong with the installation and you should visit the service for inspection. Nothing escapes from a properly installed and serviced installation and we should not know how the gas smells.
7. LPG installation is not worth it.
Actually, if the car stays in the garage or in the parking lot, then the gas installation may not pay off. However, in the case of cars that are regularly used, the autogas installation usually pays off faster than we expect. We can find very helpful calculators on the Web, which calculate, based on the average fuel consumption and our average monthly mileage, how quickly the cost of LPG installation will pay off.
8. New engines do not tolerate autogas.
It is not true that newer cars do not tolerate gas - explains Piotr Makarewicz - OPTIMA technical support manager - Due to savings and lower durability of today's engines, the mechanics need to work more on tuning such cars and selecting their gas system components. For example, many new cars have a fuel pressure sensor and without additional, suitable electronics, a fuel pressure error will be reported. In this case, a fuel pressure emulator should be installed (eg Torpedo PFPE) or a controller with a built-in module of such emulator, eg OPTIMA EXPERT. Everything depends on the equipment and knowledge of the gas fitter.
9. The engine uses more LPG than gasoline.
Yes and no. The only difference is due to physical differences between the two fuels. Gas has a different density than fuel: gasoline - 0.8 kg / l, and gas 0.56 kg / l. Therefore, to obtain the same amount of energy, we need a larger volume of LPG than gasoline. If one were to compare the energy value of fuels by their weight, a kilogram of propane-butane would be more energy-efficient than a kilogram of gasoline. Unfortunately, we refuel in litres, not kilos and that is why there is such a difference.
10. It's a shame to have gas installed in a luxury car.
Thanks to the gas installation, we can save a lot - especially if we have a large car that uses a lot of fuel, and it often applies to luxury cars. No one is surprised anymore to see the latest models of BMW, Mercedes or Hummers powered by LPG. "I have already seen Maybach and Maserati converted to LPG. The owners of these cars did not resist the temptation of savings and were not ashamed of their bills for refuelling - says Piotr Juziuczuk - OPTIMA's technical support - Today, autogas is often assembled in sports cars because it is already telling a tale that gas slows the car."
Fortunately, despite the fact that the myths about autogas are constantly repeated, not everyone believes in them and there are more and more LPG powered cars on our roads. We are convinced that installing gas as an alternative power source, serves not only our wallets but also to some extent protects the car engine and the natural environment. The most important thing is to entrust the car to a good and competent mechanic and we can forget about all the "warnings and cautions" from the past generations.