Elgas LPG Gas Blog

Is LPG Good for Cars - Does LPG Damage Engines? LPG vs Petrol Engine Life

An LPG car engine heats up quicker, even with a fully cold engine. This is advantageous, as petrol engines take longer to warm up and a fast warm up is better. High octane (+100) LPG has far less pre-ignition (knocking) and is cleaner running. Your engine will be smoother running with cleaner spark plugs, valves, pistons and cylinder heads.

If you are thinking about LPG vs petrol engine life and converting your car or SUV to run on LPG, you would typically have a lot of questions. You want to know is LPG good for cars or does LPG damage engines before deciding.

Let’s look at the facts about LPG vs petrol engine life so that you can make an informed decision…

LPG Conversion

In simple terms, LPG conversion is the addition of a second fuel system including an LPG tank, intake manifold modifications, a new ECU and various fittings. These additions enable the LPG conversion to run on both fuels.

What Does LPG Do to an Engine

LPG is a cleaner burning fuel than either diesel or petrol, so engine life is actually extended and LPG does not damage engines. If anything, LPG may prolong engine life. Using a fuel that burns cleaner should allow the engine components to last longer. LPG is over 100 octane, so no knocking or pre-ignition that could damage an engine.

Is LPG Good for Cars - Does LPG Damage Engines? What Does LPG Do to an Engine

LPG is good for cars. LPG does not damage engines. LPG may actually prolong engine life and reduce maintenance.

In summary of LPG vs petrol engine life, is LPG good for cars and does LPG damage engines:

  • LPG prevents pre-ignition (knocking) in an engine, as it is over 100 octane

  • Manufacturers offer dual-fuel models with the same warranties

  • LPG changes the fuel storage and intake systems of the engine. These are the only major differences

  • LPG conversions to engines do not affect factory warranties

  • LPG doesn't damage engine parts

  • LPG vs petrol is cleaner burning than petrol or diesel in an engine

  • LPG may actually prolong engine life

High Octane Prevents Pre-ignition - Knocking - LPG Does Not Damage Engines

Using a lower than recommended octane fuel can cause pre-ignition. This is also referred to as 'knocking' and can cause harm to your engine. In LPG vs petrol engine life, it would never be a concern with LPG damaging an engine, as LPG has an octane rating of over 100.

Autogas is over 100 octane

The LPG octane rating exceeds that of premium petrol and the recommended octane rating for all production cars.

This is important for cars with high compression engines, as they are the most prone to pre-ignition.

Factory Installed LPG Engines

Many European and Asian new car manufacturers offer LPG versions of their cars.

The Europeans include Volkswagen, Citroën, Fiat, Ford, Opel, Vauxhall, Saab, Peugeot, Renault, Skoda, and Volvo.

Toyota, Hyundai, Daewoo and Tata Motors are amongst the Asian manufacturers.

LPG cars can be OEM single fuel models or dual fuel conversions that run on petrol or LPG – also known as Autogas.

The dual fuel (bi-fuel) models, with two fuel tanks, run on either petrol or LPG.

They do not need to produce separate LPG dedicated engines.

Their normal petrol engines work well with LPG.

The warranties offered on these dual fuel cars are the same as for the petrol only versions.

This is indicative of the confidence that the manufacturers have in LPG.

The Differences are Few in LPG vs Petrol Engine Life

The engines are just variants of their standard engines. In LPG vs petrol engine life, the two main differences are the fuel itself and the fuel storage and intake systems.

The engine block, pistons, spark plugs, ignition system, lubrication system and electricals all remain the same.

The driver can switch from gas to petrol or vice-versa.

The driver is typically provided with a switch and can select which fuel they choose to use.

Having two fuel tanks can double a vehicle's range.

petrol gauge

With both the petrol and LPG tanks filled, cruising ranges of 1000km or more are not unusual.

LPG Conversions Do Not Void Your Warranty

Your new car warranty remains intact unless the LPG conversion itself causes the problem. LPG conversionLPG conversions have a long track record and ever improving technology and LPG does not damage engines..

As a result, it would be rare that the conversion would ever cause a problem that would affect your warranty.

LPG systems are so reliable that more than 1 million LPG systems have been factory fitted. 

When still operating in Australia, Ford and Holden (GM) both offered factory equipped LPG cars.

Ford chose a Liquid Phase Injection system for their factory equipped LPG Falcon EcoLPi. 

Holden elected to go with a Sequential Vapour Gas Injection System for the LPG Ecoline Commodore. 

Both came with full factory warranties. 

The same liquid and vapour technologies are also available for aftermarket conversions.

The manufacturers of conversion systems also offer extended warranties on their LPG systems.

For example, Sprint Gas offers a 3 years / 100,000km warranty on late model vehicles.

LPG Does Not Damage Engine Parts

LPG will not damage any of the parts of your engine.

The same does not apply to fuels containing ethanol.

Ethanol can damage fuel lines and other rubber and plastic parts of the fuel system.

LPG vs Petrol Engine Life - LPG Engines Run Cleaner - LPG is Good for Cars

Operating an engine on LPG is good for cars and actually beneficial for your vehicle. LPG is a cleaner burning fuel than either diesel or petrol, so engine life is actually extended and LPG does not damage engines. If anything, LPG may prolong engine life.

Using a fuel that burns cleaner should allow the engine components to last longer.

Engine oil and spark plugs need changing less often with LPG, so service intervals can be increased, reducing service costs..

In addition to lower fuel costs, autogas vehicles normally require less maintenance.

This means that you will have to spend less per year on vehicle upkeep.

Using LPG is better for car engines, as it reduces carbon build up during the internal combustion process.

It produces less carbon overall when compared to either diesel or petrol.

That manifests itself in both vehicle emissions and the waste that will also start to coat a lot of the engine components.

The more waste materials that build up on these components, the more quickly that they are likely to wear out.

Overall, this helps to lower your total regular maintenance costs

LPG Car Problems

LPG  car problems are rare but they do happen. The majority of the problems come from LPG that is sourced from oil refineries that don't have the greatest quality control and have some impurities in the LPG.

LPG in Australia is almost all sourced from natural gas streams, as opposed to oil refineries, so we don't typically have any problems.

Final Thoughts

Regarding LPG vs petrol engine life, I think you'll agree that LPG is superior.

Far from damaging your engine, LPG may prolong engine life.

It reduces carbon build up and extends the period between certain service procedures.

This, along with fuel cost savings, helps make LPG conversion a great way to save money.

 

 

 

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The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.