CNG as the Best and Cheapest Alternative Fuel for Cars in India
I have not installed CNG in my car up until now due to my office being very near to my house but then also when I go for outings on weekends, I have to spend more money on petrol. I agree that sometimes it hurts my pocket. Since CNG launched as an alternate fuel in India, it has been always in my mind that it is good for long distance drivers and not for short distance travelers like me, but keeping in mind the rising petrol prices in India, it is important to think over fuel efficiency and I think I need to install a CNG kit in my car. For this I asked one my close friend, Amit, who installed CNG kit at 50,000 kilometers in his Santro Xing XS 2004.
He said that now his car has completed 64,000 kms. The engine is as good as new according to what he says. His car gives 14 kmpl on petrol and 20km/kg on CNG both with AC and without AC in mix conditions, which makes running cost phenomenally low than petrol. He has faced no problems till now. He says that his car runs butter smooth on petrol and CNG both. Maintenance has slightly reduced, as engine oil does not get contaminated when using CNG. He frankly says that though the car is a bit sluggish when in traffic with AC but he can live with it. He is very happy with CNG because now he does not have to pay 1000 rupees every time on petrol pumps, just 200 bucks and he is ready for 160 to 165 kms on AC.
He suggested two things to me for improving pickup and performance of car on CNG.
1. Timing Advancer with CNG: He says a timing advancer enhances the pickup of car on CNG. Get it installed in your CNG car and you will notice a very little bit of difference in pickup, especially with AC. A logical reason is that there is 100 kg CNG cylinder in your car 24X7 and it increases the weight. Another reason is that Hyundai Santro gets inclined toward the rear side with CNG cylinder and this reduces the pickup and mileage because the engine has to do more work to get the car moving. The latter problem can be overcome with something called Gutkha (in Hindi) put in the rear suspension and it is reasonable and good.
2. Lambda Control System for CNG: It regulates the air to fuel ratio and is beneficial for all cars going for a CNG conversion, but he says that Santro eRLX has a company fitted oxygen sensor, which does the job of Lambda, so there is no need of installing Lambda in Santro.
He also answered questions on pickup and mileage on CNG
Pickup on CNG: Pick up on CNG without AC is equal to pick up on petrol with AC.
Mileage on CNG: A very important aspect. This is most important reason why people are switching to CNG. In Delhi, CNG cost is 21/kg and cars totally driven on AC give around 1.30/km (around 4/km on petrol)
He also cleared two myths about CNG
- CNG is safe or not? I have read this question several times on the Internet. He said that this is true if you are installing Chinese local kits from a third class CNG fitting shop. Even petrol is highly inflammable. Get your CNG kit installed from a government approved CNG center and forget about safety problems.
- CNG decreases engine life or not? CNGs burning characteristics are same as the petrol and in fact its octane number is higher around 100, but its ignition temperature is higher than petrol so you might face starting troubles in winters, so always start your car on petrol in winters and then switch to CNG. Also nowadays, a CNG kit comes with an automatic switch, which starts automatically on petrol and then switches to CNG and this problem has also solved. Every new thing has some problem in the beginning.
So after reading his review on CNG, I am ready to install a government approved CNG kit in my car. Now, I will have more savings on fuel plus control emissions from my car as I have found the best alternative fuel for my car. Now it’s time to go and get it installed.