Gas in an old car – advantages and disadvantages
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Gas in an old car – advantages and disadvantages

Is it worth investing in LPG system in a car that is old? What savings and costs are generated by switching to LPG? What about the loss of engine power and the risk of engine damage? Find out the advantages and disadvantages of installing gas in an old car.

Driving a car with LPG installation certainly generates savings. However, a lower fuel bill does not necessarily mean that such an investment will be profitable. Using a car with LPG installation is connected with other costs. What is more, they may be much higher in the case of LPG installation in old cars. This is mainly about the expenses related to the maintenance of worn out engines.

First of all: savings

Old cars burn a lot of fuel, which makes their daily operation more expensive than new ones. Installation of the LPG system will significantly reduce the cost of the current operation of the vehicle – the price of LPG is more than twice lower than the price of petrol. This is obviously the biggest advantage of installing LPG system in the old car. It is worth noting that the installation of gas to an older type of vehicle usually costs less than in the case of modern engines equipped with advanced electronics. At the moment it is an expense of 1.5 – 3 thousand PLN. So, there is a good chance that in case of a fuel-intensive and old car, the investment will pay off quickly.

Is it really worth it?

Before deciding to install the gas system, it is worth to calculate how many kilometers we will have to drive to make the money spent on this purpose return in the form of fuel savings. If you drive very little, such an expense may be unprofitable. Let’s make a quick calculation. Here are our assumptions: LPG price – 2 PLN, petrol price – 4.5 PLN, fuel consumption at 10 l/100 km, and the annual limit of kilometers is 10 thousand. In this case the cost of installation of the system should pay for itself after just one year! This is of course an oversimplification, not least because older cars running on LPG burn more fuel than those running on petrol alone (usually about 20-30 percent more).

Beware of additional costs

Driving on gas is also associated with other expenses. Therefore we should remember to take into account the costs of running the LPG system in the final calculations. We need to take into account annual inspections of the installation (about 200 PLN), which can be increased by expenses related to repair and replacement of worn out elements of the installation, as well as a higher fee for the annual visit to the diagnostic station (additional 63 PLN). Another expense is the obligation to periodically approve or replace the LPG tank (once every 10 years). Please note that a car with LPG system also needs petrol, which is necessary for the engine to work before it reaches the right temperature to switch to gas.

Is the LPG system “healthy” for the engine?

Many people resign from installing LPG in their old car for fear of two things. The first is the inferior performance of the engine powered by gas. The second is related to the common opinion that the gas installation causes faster wear of the engine. These issues are of fundamental importance in the case of older cars. First of all, a large part of the owners of old cars are already struggling with the problem of fairly low power, secondly, they do not want to further expose the old engines to damage

Difference in power

Around the issues described above there are a lot of myths. It is true that the gas installation can reduce the power of the engine to some extent – this applies especially to cars with indirect injection of petrol. In many cases, however, the problem will be virtually unnoticeable or will not occur at all. The key to avoiding it is to install a good quality gas system

Prepare the engine for LPG

The issue of higher wear of the engine with LPG installation also has a grain of truth in it. The problem applies especially to old units. After the installation of LPG system minor defects of worn out engine components may become more troublesome. Before installing LPG it is therefore necessary to carefully check the condition of the engine unit. Worn piston rings and cylinders that cause gas leakage into the crankcase may prove to be a problem. The car should also not smoke large amounts of oil. It is also worth replacing spark plugs and high voltage cables (the ignition system should be in perfect condition).

Should you install gas to an old car? Such an investment may be worthwhile, provided that we prepare well for it. Before making the decision to switch to LPG, check carefully the condition of the engine and take into account the economic calculation


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