It is projected that India could have one crore CNG vehicles plying on the road by 2025. To give a significant push to CNG powered vehicles and reduce dependability on oil imports the government is aiming to set up more than 10,000 CNG stations in the coming ten years. Statistics say that there are 1,424 CNG station in India, out of which 82% are located in Delhi, Mumbai and Gujarat. Also, considering the rising prices of petrol and diesel fuel, CNG comes out as the most feasible and cost-effective option. While CNG fitted vehicles come at a premium of ₹40,000-₹60,000 dearer, the ownership cost is around 20%-30% cheaper than petrol or diesel vehicles.CNG fuel for vehicles is a proven technology regarding eco-friendliness, sustainability and practicality. A CNG fitted car can save you upto 50% over petrol or diesel.
With the peaking trend of CNG vehicles in India, there also comes service and maintenance issues. CNG vehicles are not that different from petrol or diesel-powered cars. The drivetrain of both: a CNG and a conventional fuel car are practically the same, using the same kind of spark ignition engine. However, CNGs differ from petrol-powered vehicles through their respective fuel storage and delivery systems and if you think, replacing the engine oil, changing the spark plugs or cleaning the air filter is all that has to be done, Read further to know more on CNG car maintenance tips.
Here are top maintenance tips for CNG cars:
Get a CNG kit installed by a professional
Or better yet, buy a car that has company fitted CNG kit. Also, make sure that you always visit a CNG specialist for any service or tuning required for your CNG vehicle. CNG conversions done outside may save you ₹10,000-₹15,000, but you are risking losing your warranty, and there can be discrepancies and legal issues regarding vehicle registration. Not all vehicles are mechanically compatible with CNG conversion so; it is advisable to check if your car is CNG approved.
Get the CNG compliance plate renewed every three years
This is a good practice advised for all CNG car owners, not only for legal purposes but for personal safety as well. A CNG conversion includes a plethora of precision components that require servicing periodically like the cylinder, throttle body, pressure regulator valves, reducer cartridge, low-pressure filter etc. Never skip on CNG leak test and if the engine is running on high RPM, get the tappets adjusted accordingly.
Inspect the CNG tank periodically
The CNG tank is a crucial component in a CNG system as has to be stored under very high pressure, around 3600psi and more. CNG tanks are specially constructed to contain the fuel safely and to withstand vibrations and jolts during driving. Make sure to periodically inspect any visible damages like a dent or a bulge, also look out of any audible leaks. In case of a leak in the CNG system, stop your car, turn off the engine and get out of the vehicle. Do not try to run the car on petrol and contact your nearest specialised service centre for assistance.
Always replace the spark plugs
Spark plugs in a CNG system wear out faster than that on a petrol engine. Spark plugs should be cleaned and checked for the gap every 20,000 kms or 12 months for a CNG vehicle. There is also a special spark plug available for CNG vehicles which you can get at your nearest service centre.
Start with Petrol, Drive with CNG
There is a very strong reason for this. As CNG is introduced in the combustion chamber in gas form, it provides no lubrication inside the cylinder thereby accelerating wear and tear to the engine. Starting your car on petrol will help the engine warm-up in a proper way after which you can shift to CNG. It is advisable to run your vehicle on petrol for at least two kms before switching to CNG.
Always tank up to full
The pressure inside the CNG tank falls drastically as the fuel reaches the low point, which may cause the valves to explode. It is strongly mandated to never run your car when it is low on CNG. Also, keep an eye on the pressure regulator valve and get it serviced or replaced periodically.
Never skip on periodic service
Just like any other conventional fuel car, a CNG car also requires periodic service and maintenance. Always make sure you get a complete check and inspection of every CNG related component on your car. Here’s a quick checklist:
- Reducer filter cartridge- Replace every 20,000 kms
- Low-pressure filter cartridge- Replace every 40,000 kms
- Throttle body cleaning- Every 10,000 kms
- Air filter cleaning/replacement- Every six months
|Bonus Tip: Always park you CNG car in the shade, as CNG contain petroleum, it evaporates faster when compared to petrol or diesel. So make a habit of stationing your car under a shade to prevent loss of CNG gas.|
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