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How to Maintain CNG Car

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There is an ever-increasing number of CNG vehicles on the roads today, especially with company fitted kits being offered directly by car manufacturers that do not void warranty.  A few basic steps should be taken care of while maintaining your vehicle that runs on CNG, as the fuel is very different from petrol and diesel.
 

Here’s some basic pointers on how to maintain CNG car

  1. Use the Automatic Switching System – All CNG vehicles have a switch, where the driver can choose to set fuel mode manually or let the system decide when to switch. Automatic mode is the universally preferred, as it starts and runs the vehicle on petrol till the optimum operating temperature of the engine has been achieved and then automatically switches over to CNG. This helps in keeping the car engine protected, as it ensures the engine gets adequate lubrication by running on liquid fuel as the engine achieves optimum operating temperature since CNG is a dry fuel.
     
  2. Air Filter – It is essential to regularly clean, and if need be then replacing the air filter, as it tends to choke because of the dust in the environment. Replacement is usually required once a year or maybe once every 10,000 Kms.
     
  3. Spark Plugs – Running a car on CNG hurts the Spark Plugs as well, Spark plugs are small devices located on the car's engine that sparks at regular intervals, and it is this spark that ensures optimum burning of the fuel, thereby affecting power and mileage. Titanium tipped spark plugs are said to offer better performance and longer life.
     
  4. Engine Oil & Oil Filter – Regularly checking the level of oil and having the oil changed either every 10,000 Kms or once a year whichever is earlier will make sure your car engine keeps running smoothly for many more years to come. Various grades of oils are available in the market primarily divided into 3 categories Mineral, Semi-Synthetic and Synthetic. The choice of oil would depend upon the class of vehicle and your actual usage.
     
  5. Spacers – Indian roads are known for their amazingly large number of potholes and adding a CNG tank to your vehicle is like putting a fully grown adult in the boot of the car, there is a lot of pressure on the suspension and it also lowers the ground clearance also that causes the car to bottom out in smaller potholes also. Spacers are available that are fit on the coil springs of the suspension, thereby not only regaining the lost ground clearance but maybe increase it slightly therefore making sure a more comfortable ride.
     
  6. Cylinder Testing – As per the government norms, the CNG cylinder has to be sent for regular testing to the concerned authority. Without a valid certificate, it will become impossible to even purchase CNG at a filling station.
     
  7. Gas Leak – CNG has a very peculiar smell. This odour has been deliberately added for safety, in-case if you smell gas in a running car or even where you may have parked the car, make sure to step out and check under the bonnet for any smell, in either case of you being able to find the leak or not, if the smell persists, the gas flow must be shut from the cylinder valve itself which is on top of the cylinder in the boot of the car. You can continue to drive the car on petrol till you can have the vehicle repaired.
  1. Fire Safety: It is not only a standard rule but also a highly recommended practice to maintain an easily accessible small fire hydrant in every vehicle that has a CNG kit installed. This cylinder is important to stop a fire in case of a minor fire, or at least to help the passengers to get out and into a safe area in-case the fire seems difficult to control.

Keeping in mind the above pointers, you can be sure of how to maintain CNG Car, and keep your car in good shape and yourself with peace of mind.

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