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By dardanus, December 8, 2011

What do you thing about using a bi-fuel car like gas and LPG?  

6 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you thing about using a bi-fuel car like gas and LPG?

    • I have heard it but find it unsafe
    • I have never heard it.
    • I think that it is nonsense for small engines
    • I have knowledge about its benefits individually and for the environment.
    • I am rich enough not to bother about my cars fuel economy.
    • I have heard negative effects on engine.

Propane/LPG conversion experiences in Corollas: I personally use a 1999 model Corolla 4 AFE 1.6 with LPG conversion. Got installed this unit about a year ago. Has no negative affects for the moment. Would like to share ideas about using Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or propane in cars.

I'll caveat this with depending on where you live at - this could be a deal breaker. As far as I know, there is no CARB compliant LPG kits available. They have LPG "enrichment" kits, that help boost power with appropriately modded, high compression and/or forced induction engines (LPG has about 100-110 octane rating). But most are designated for pre-emissions cars and trucks, preferably with a carburetor.

From what I've seen in my area - the pro's and con's:


- cheaper fuel costs, typically in the low $2 per GGE (Gasoline Gallon Equivalent)

- burns cleaner, less emissions

- less soot means potentially longer oil change intervals

- retain gasoline burning ability for flexibly fueling

- higher capacity tanks are being utilized now for range and safety

- lots of kits available for carburetor applications, starting to grow for fuel injected apps - some now with EPA approval


- high initial cost to convert (kits typically in the $1000+ range, $3000+ installed, cheaper for carb'd applications)

- potentially cannot be smogged (No EO#, no referee)

- loss of some power being not as energy dense as gasoline

- lack of LPG filling stations in some areas

- range limited to tank size

- potential safety issue if installed incorrectly, more maintenance required for the plumbing (200+ PSI)

- possible engine damage from the "enrichment" type systems

Thanks a lot fishexpo101. thank you for your interest and many thanks for the very valuable info on mechanics! default_smile

  • 1,424 posts

In the late 1990's Ford built a CNG Contour. It was a bi-fuel car.

It looked a lot like a regular Contour, but had a CNG badge on the rear and the fuel cell was located in the trunk, leading to a slightly different interior trunk shape.

Ford sold them mostly as fleet cars to municipalities, but they also sold some to Ford Employees and covered the cost of adding the CNG refueling station to your home.

The CNG Contour was never popular, despite the fact that it was quite a bit more economical to operate and you didn't have to make trips to the gas station to refuel if you didn't want to

The major drawback to the vehicle that probably kept people away was the fact that they perceived that a CNG vehicle would end up like the Hindenburg in the event of a collision. While it is true that this could be possible in an accident, it isn't likely, but people often fear that which they don't understand.

As for a LPG vehicle, I'd imagine the same issues would give most people the same perception of what would happen in an accident.

I think the vote options are missing some points. I'd like to see these options:

- This could be a good idea for municipal or corporate vehicle fleets operating within range of the fuel capacity offered by the conversion

- I think this is a good idea as long as it is funded completely by the private sector with no state or federal mandate

- This idea makes sense only for vehicles in which the fuel economy has been independently certified by private sector organizations

In other words, I'd be more inclined to like this idea as long as it wasn't being shoved down my throat by government officials cow-towing to the environmentalist lobby, and the safety and efficiency is certified by private sector organizations. This would help to sell the public on the idea due to it having actual benefits and advantages to people who depend on their automobiles for daily transportation needs.

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