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How to Maintain Natural Gas Vehicles

(How to maintain CNG Cars)

More people are now switching to natural gas particularly compressed natural gas or CNG. Like any other vehicle or machine, a CNG-powered vehicle is maintained properly if the owner understands its inner workings and its special features. Except for much lower harmful emissions and more efficient fuel systems, natural gas powered vehicles (NGV) do not differ much from those running on traditional fuels such as gasoline. The drive train of both an NGV and a gasoline car are practically the same, using the same kind of spark ignition engine. However, NGVs differ from gasoline powered vehicles through their respective fuel storage and delivery systems.

Maintain the CNG tank in top shape.

The fuel tank is an important component of the CNG system. CNG has to be stored under very high pressure, typically around 3600psi and more. Thus, CNG tanks and cylinders are specially constructed to contain the fuel safely. They are also built to withstand the daily rigors of driving. Companies such as CNG United that offer CNG conversion offer DOT-certified storage tanks and cylinders. These tanks and cylinders range from 6.7 to 13.6 US gallons. Drivers can choose which type of cylinder to use depending on desired mile range as well as available free space in the vehicle.

High pressure CNG tanks and cylinders have expiration dates beyond which it should not be used anymore unless inspected and verified to be safe by certified authorities. These special tanks and cylinders as well as the interconnected plumbing should be regularly inspected. NGV owners should follow the inspection schedule mandated by the manufacturer in the operator’s manual.

CNG for a cleaner engine system.

One of the biggest advantages of natural gas is its clean burning characteristics. Natural gas burns cleanly; it produce little or no harmful tailpipe emissions residue. Natural Gas also release little or no combustion by-product into the motor oil. This makes the oil stay cleaner longer. Comparatively, gasoline fuel produces more soot, acids, and other carbon particulates that contaminate the motor oil. This debris also depletes the additive packages, making the oil ineffective.

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Because CNG helps the motor oil stay cleaner, there is a significantly longer period in between oil changes. The engines are also cleaner and more efficient which results to longer service life and savings on maintenance costs. The regular service parts of the vehicle also last longer. By having a regular maintenance schedule for your NGV, your vehicle will reward you with hassle-free and reliable service.