Everything worth knowing about LPG

Anyone interested in car gas installations has questions that require answers. We can talk about this topic forever – this is what ALEX’s many years of experience and passion mean.

Our experts answered the most popular questions, such as: is installing an LPG system profitable, how quickly will the cost of installing autogas be recovered, how much does an LPG kit cost, will the car lose power after installing autogas? You will find this and other useful information below. Remember – if despite everything you don’t find out what you want, contact us. We will explain everything and help you.

  • Before installation
  • After installation
  • What do you need to know about car LPG installation?

    Gas installations on the Polish market have been known and popular since the early 1990s. Since then, technology has advanced and the problems that once concerned autogas no longer exist. However, they remain in common consciousness – in the sphere of myths and legends. For this reason, drivers still have many doubts. It is worth dispelling them before deciding to install autogas in your car.

    First of all, you must remember that driving on gas is profitable. LPG is almost half the price of petrol or diesel. Thanks to this, sooner or later the cost of installing the system will be paid off with interest. Moreover, with full tanks of gas and other fuel at your disposal, you can cover a really long distance without additional refueling. These are facts that may be the basis for the decision to install LPG. We provide details everywhere on our website. You can also contact our advisors directly. We invite you.

  • Is driving on autogas ecological?

    LPG is the cleanest fossil fuel. Autogas exhaust gases contain 10 to 15% less carbon dioxide, 20% less carbon monoxide, and 55 to 60% less hydrocarbons than combusted petrol or diesel. The carbon footprint of LPG is 20% lower than that of heating oil and 50% lower compared to coal. The gas does not contain benzene, lead compounds and sulfates. Choosing LPG as a vehicle drive is an expression of care for health and the natural environment.

  • Is it worth installing an LPG/CNG system even with low mileage?

    Investing in autogas is actually profitable, even in the case of low monthly mileage (less than 1,500 km). There can be only one and decisive answer: yes, it is worth installing an LPG/CNG installation. The expenses you incur will always pay off. Depending on the number of kilometers traveled, the refund will be made sooner or later. It’s only a matter of time. We have developed a very helpful LPG calculator which, based on the average fuel consumption and average monthly mileage, will calculate how quickly the cost of installing an LPG installation will be recovered in your case.

  • How much gas does a petrol car engine burn?

    Typically, a car uses between 15 and 20% more gas than petrol. This is due to the difference in the mass of fuels in relation to their volume. An optimally calibrated ALEX IDEA installation burns on average only 10-15% more LPG than petrol. All this does not change the fact that the savings resulting from driving on gas amount to up to 50% with each refueling. By comparing the energy value of fuels according to their weight, you will learn that a kilogram of propane-butane is more energy efficient than a kilogram of petrol (although unfortunately we fill up in liters, not kilograms – hence the differences).

  • Is it necessary to check the condition of the engine before installing the gas system in the car?

    Before converting to LPG, be sure to check whether your car’s engine is fully operational – make sure that the technical condition of the car is impeccable. Take a closer look at the engine (head, valves, pistons) and its accessories (carburetor, ignition, spark plugs, etc.). If you have been postponing any repairs so far, complete them before visiting the gas repair shop. Although there may be additional costs associated with preparing the car, remember that installing the LPG system interferes with the original system of the car. It is worth making sure that the “patient” is fully healthy before this procedure. If you take care of your car regularly, great – your car is ready for LPG.

  • How does LPG affect the car engine?

    You must know that LPG is a fuel that is introduced into the cylinders in gaseous form. This is the best option for the engine, which directly translates into extending its life. Thanks to it, ignition is smoother and more effective, and the protective layer of engine oil is not washed off the cylinder walls. LPG does not corrode metal engine parts and does not create carbon deposits or metallic deposits. It has engine cleaning properties, so it may be that after installing the gas installation, previously accumulated contaminants will be removed from the system.

  • Does the LPG installation destroy the engine?

    Well-selected and correctly installed in a technically efficient car the gas installation does not damage the engine, just as an efficient electrical installation does not cause a house fire. Moreover, LPG fuel has a higher octane number (100-110) than gasoline (95), which reduces the risk of knocking combustion.

    Situations in which the installation may have a negative impact on other components occur mainly when the LPG system was not installed in a specialized workshop or when it was assembled from components from different sources. It is not worth saving here – although offers from people who do not specialize in the installation of gas systems may tempt with low prices. Using one of them will result in the need for frequent, expensive repairs in the future. Therefore, it is best to choose the services of a professional workshop dealing mainly with LPG/CNG installations.

  • Does LPG reduce engine power and worsen car performance?

    In the past, when carburetor installations (1st generation) or archaic 2nd generation installations were installed in cars, a decrease in the car’s power was a fact. However, this is already a long time ago. The currently used solution – sequential gas injection – provides virtually the same dynamics and driving parameters as petrol power. In theory, the power drop after installing LPG is max. 3%, in practice, the driver does not feel any loss of power or acceleration during real driving.

  • Is it true that there are better and worse engines for conversion to gas?

    The successful conversion of a car to LPG is determined not by the engine, but by the LPG components, the technical condition of the car, as well as the knowledge and experience of the installer. All spark ignition vehicles can be converted to run on autogas. However, remember that a mixture of propane and butane requires better combustion conditions than petrol. Therefore, for proper installation it is also important, among others, condition of the ignition system.

    It may happen that the installation of the system and driving on gas will reveal previous negligence in servicing the car. Therefore, it is worth entrusting the installation of autogas to a good, recommended workshop. One who, before accepting the car for gasification, will carefully check its technical condition and match the LPG components to the car’s capabilities and the customer’s expectations.

  • Is operating a car powered by LPG complicated?

    Operation is very simple, it comes down to… refueling with autogas ;). A properly installed and adjusted LPG system is maintenance-free from the driver’s perspective. There is only one additional switch on the dashboard that tells you what fuel you are currently running on and how much gas you have in the tank. Remember that today’s installation is controlled by electronics. It is responsible for the moment of switching the power supply to autogas and all other engine operating parameters.

  • How quickly does a car switch from petrol to gas?

    Much depends on the ambient temperature, engine properties and the speed at which the coolant warms up. After starting, the engine always runs on petrol. It is switched to gas only after reaching the appropriate temperature (approx. 30°C) of the fluid in the engine cooling system, which is used to heat the reducer (changing the state of the gas from liquid to volatile). This usually happens after driving a few hundred meters. The situation is different after stopping and restarting a warm engine. Then the engine switches to LPG power immediately.

  • I am afraid that I will feel a jerk when switching to LPG. Is it true?

    No. If the autogas system is properly installed and adjusted, fuel switching takes place automatically and is imperceptible to the driver and passengers.

  • Does it happen that LPG tanks explode?

    LPG tanks do not explode. This is one of the myths related to car gas installations. Gas tanks are designed so that they cannot burst. They are made of very thick sheet metal, have additionally reinforced bottoms and a number of valves to ensure the safety of the entire system. Cases of car explosions or fires, which are sometimes reported in the media, result from damage to the petrol, not gas, fuel systems.

  • Is the LPG installation 100% safe?

    Even though gas is a flammable substance, the gas installation is one of the safest systems in cars. Why? Strict standards and technology provide for higher levels of security than those of the petrol fuel system in a standard car. The tanks can withstand much more than typical driving situations can handle. The prevailing stereotypes and myths have been debunked many times – LPG installations are really very safe, not only in theory, but also in practice. Remember to choose approved, high-quality products and use the services of professional workshops specializing in the installation of LPG installations.

  • Is a direct injection LPG installation safe?

    LPG installation for direct injection is a widely used solution today, and correct installation guarantees proper engine operation. All the problems related to the topic “direct injection is not suitable for LPG”, which you can read about on the Internet, result mainly from poorly selected installation components and ineffective installation attempts. Therefore, if you care about quality and well-performed service, we invite you to our recommended, experienced assembly workshops.

  • Does LPG have an unpleasant odor?

    LPG gas is odorless. Chemical compounds specially added to it have an unpleasant odor. This is a deliberate measure – it serves the safety of drivers and passengers. If you happen to smell gas in your car, consider it a warning sign. There is probably something wrong with the installation and you need to go to the service center to check the tightness. Gas cannot escape from a properly installed and serviced installation, so you should never smell gas.

  • How important is the choice of the workshop where the LGP system will be installed?

    The choice of workshop is crucial. Only experienced specialists will properly install and configure the installation. Only the combination of the best quality products and professional work of installers guarantees real savings and satisfaction with the use of autogas. It is worth remembering that the problems affecting LPG cars result mainly from mistakes made by installers. Therefore, when looking for a workshop, consider only those that have authorizations (manufacturer’s approval) and exemplary assembly practice.

  • Where to find the engine code?

    When pricing an LPG system, installers usually ask for the engine code. Depending on the car brand, the engine code may be located in different places. In this blog post we explain where to look for the engine code.

  • Apparently new engines do not tolerate autogas, is it really so?

    It’s not true. Due to savings made by car manufacturers and the resulting lower material durability of new engines, installers must work harder when tuning and assembling such cars and selecting LPG system components. It all depends on the knowledge of the installer. For example, many new vehicles are equipped with a fuel pressure sensor, so in the case of a gas installation, without additional, appropriate electronics, a fuel pressure error will be reported. In such a case, there is a need to install a fuel pressure emulator, e.g. Torpedo PFPE, or a controller with a built-in module of such an emulator – ALEX OPTIMA EXPERT.

  • Is installing LPG in a hybrid a good idea?

    Let us remind you that a hybrid car uses the electric drive only at low speeds, e.g. when driving in the city. But at higher speeds or on the highway, the car will practically only use the internal combustion engine. This is where the scope for LPG installations arises.

    The LPG hybrid has great potential and is a really profitable and good technological solution. It brings real benefits not only to the user, but also to the environment. Using the car is as easy as before installation. Installing a gas installation makes the hybrid really profitable. Refueling costs are halved, and the car becomes even cheaper to use in the city and much more economical on the road. It’s cheaper only by scooter 🙂

  • Is it a shame to install autogas in a luxury car?

    A luxury car is usually a large car that consumes a lot of fuel. Thanks to the gas installation, the owner of such a vehicle can really save money. Therefore, no one is surprised by the latest models of BMW, Mercedes, and even Maybach, Porsche and Maserati, powered by LPG. It is difficult to resist the temptation to save money, especially in the case of fuel-hungry “beasts on four wheels”.

    Some people claim that purchasing an expensive vehicle obliges the owner to expensive maintenance. However, overpaying for gas has nothing to do with the value of the car itself. All you have to do is browse the secondary market and check the prices of luxury cars converted to gas to realize that LPG does not in any way lower the prestige of the vehicle. LPG is a fuel for intelligent people who manage their expenses wisely.

  • Save on fuel, not on installing LPG system. True or false?

    That’s true. Everyone installs gas in their car to drive cheaper. However, when choosing an installation, it is not worth trying to force savings. The final installation price is influenced by various parameters and data (including car model, engine type and capacity). Some of them may determine the need to install additional elements, such as a fuel pressure emulator or a more powerful reducer. It may turn out that your car needs such equipment. It will slightly increase the cost of installation, but will ensure reliable operation of the car on autogas. Remember that even the slightly more expensive LPG system option will quickly pay off, because you will soon be refueling at half the price.

  • How to strategically arrange installation elements to make it most convenient?

    You determine the arrangement of the LPG system elements in the car together with the installer. It is a good idea to consider the location of components such as the control unit/gas switch (a convenient place on or near the dashboard to keep an eye on it), the tank (the possibilities are limited by the design of the car – most often the tank is placed in the space for a spare wheel, in the luggage compartment or under the suspension) and the refueling valve (usually located under the fuel filler flap).

  • What should you remember when using a car gas installation?

    For the engine converted to gas to operate properly, the low- and high-voltage electrical system must be maintained in proper condition. In addition, once a year or every 10,000 km, the LPG installation should be inspected, which includes computer diagnostics and replacement of the gas filters of the volatile and liquid phases. It is also worth performing more frequent inspections of the ignition system (checking the spark plugs and high-voltage cables) and checking the valve clearances (on average every 50,000 km).

  • What documents do I need and how much time do I have after installation to register the installation?

    To register the LPG installation at the Department of Transport in Poland, you must bring with you an invoice for the installation of the kit (the VIN number and vehicle registration number should be entered on it), an extract from the approval certificate for the installation method, the registration certificate and the vehicle card (if issued). The deadline for entering the LPG installation in the registration certificate is 30 days from the issuance of the approval certificate for the installation method (According to Polish law).

  • Who provides the LPG installation documents needed to be entered in the registration certificate?

    The complete set of required documents, i.e. an extract from the approval, an invoice, a gas tank certificate, a warranty and inspection book, should be provided by the installer. That’s why it’s worth using the services of a recommended workshop. For example: all assembly plants cooperating with ALEX are authorized to install installations from at least one manufacturer (i.e. a current entry in the ITS). This guarantees that in such a workshop you will receive all the documents needed to make an entry in the registration certificate.

  • How long does the warranty for an LPG installation last?

    The ALEX IDEA and ALEX OPTIMA controllers we produce are covered by a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. The remaining components of the LPG kit and installation service are covered by a 2-year warranty.

  • The 10-year legalization period for LPG tank is ending. What to do?

    If the deadline for admitting the LPG tank to operation is coming, you need to go to a specialist workshop that will perform an internal inspection of the tank and a hydraulic pressure test. If the test result is positive, a test report and an administrative decision authorizing further operation will be issued. Remember that some tanks are not subject to re-legalization. In this case, replace the tank with a new one. (Polish law)

  • Periodic inspections of installations – how, where and when?

    Inspections and adjustments of the gas installation are one of the basic conditions for the proper functioning of the LPG system and maintaining the warranty. The schedule for inspections and replacement of individual components is determined by the workshop where the installation was installed. Generally, you need to visit the workshop at least once a year or after driving approximately 10,000 kilometers (whichever comes sooner).

  • I can’t find a certificate for an LPG tank, and without it I won’t perform a technical inspection. Are duplicates issued?

    The technical inspection of the tank is valid for 10 years from the date of production. You can only get a duplicate until the validity period expires. To order it, you must first check the manufacturer’s name, factory number, tank dimensions (capacity and diameter), production date / technical inspection expiry date, approval number (67R-) and Transport Technical Inspection approval on the rating plate (located on each tank). A duplicate can be ordered directly at the Office of Transport Technical Inspection (according to Polish law).

  • How to prepare a car with a gas installation for winter?

    Every car, regardless of its drive type, must be properly prepared for the winter season. Gas-powered cars should undergo a general inspection of the installation and its adjustment. Regulation may be necessary due to changes in the oxygen content in the air at low temperatures and because the composition of autogas changes in winter – the proportion of propane increases and the proportion of butane decreases.

  • How to care for LPG filters in winter?

    The filter stops air pollution. With use, it loses its capacity, which adversely affects the proportions of the fuel-air mixture. In cars powered by autogas, you need to pay special attention to the cleanliness and capacity of the air filter. The LPG installation has two gas filters – liquid and volatile phase filters. During operation, solid and liquid impurities accumulate in them, which may block the gas flow during frosts, which may impede the operation of the LPG system. Regularly replacing filters helps prevent such situations. If the filters are very uncleaned, they need to be replaced even before the scheduled periodic inspection.

  • Why do I need to check the cooling system before winter?

    Coolant in cars burning LPG, including: heats the reducer, which causes the gas to expand by changing its state of matter (from liquid to volatile). Therefore, before the winter season, you need to check the tightness of this system. If there is air in the cooling system, the unheated evaporator will freeze under the influence of the expanding gas. If there is too little fluid in the radiator, the reducer will not operate at full capacity. Therefore, you need to check the level and quality of the fluid. Refill or replace it if necessary.

  • Do you need to fill up with petrol in winter?

    Of course. You can’t forget to fill the tank with petrol, and not only in winter. After all, the engine that is always started is powered by this fuel. Moreover, if there is too little petrol in the tank, water condenses in the tank, freezes and clogs the fuel system. To avoid this, fill the tank with petrol to at least ¼ of its capacity.

  • Is it possible to transfer a used gas installation to another car?

    This is impossible and prohibited by Polish law. In 2005, the Parliament of Poland decided to ban the use of used gas installation components for reassembly.

  • What should you remember when traveling abroad in an LPG car?

    Before traveling abroad, make sure that the gas installation inspection date is not approaching. Be sure to check what refueling ports are supported at gas stations in the country you are traveling to. Try to plan your route so that you can refill the LPG tank. Thanks to this, you will avoid searching for an autogas station. If possible, also expand your knowledge of how propane-butane gas for powering cars is called in a given language.