Wednesday, 8 October 2008


Well chaps and chapesses - I am getting the message out slowly but surely. A couple of days a go I entered a comment on the BBC have your say web page and although they did not publish my blog address they did publish my comment here link. Good Old aunti beeb. Oh and one of my mates at work did me a picture...not sure its much like me but hey..

Saturday, 13 September 2008


Right then - basically been drivng a month now and all is well.

In the last month I have driven a good deal and spent £185 on fuel - the month before £277. If I can replicate that every month for a year I'll save £1110 a year. I'll pay for the conversion in a maximum of 18 months ! Good payback and better for my cash flow.

Basically my savings are are 33% from driving on petrol. I must admit I have been driving the car much harder and the milage will not be the same But the great news is I get 310 miles for £25 of LPG fuel and I can get places quicker. The month previous I had been driving very carefully and saving petrol as much as I could going at 3000 revs max and keeping the speed under 65 miles per hour. I suspect if I had been driving in the same manner the savings would have been higher. So the challenge now is to run for a month at a lower speed keeping revs down to 3000 and see if I can go further for less. But lets be honest am I going to do it? could I do it? What would the savings be? I suspect I could definately get to 40% savings month to month. But hey I'm happy and even happier that the guy round the corner is now selling LPG at 48 p per litre again! I put a tank of the morrisons stuff in and it seemed to run better more power / acceleration available. As with everything in life Its all about a trade off.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

LPG Cars - Taxing your LPG car

DVLA - sometimes they know what they are talking about sometimes they don't!

Basically make sure you go to a DVLA office is my advice. You can't get the tax status of your car changed by post seems to be the message. They sent all the bits of paperwork back and told us to go down to a DVLA office.

So get your MOT certificate, your insurance certificate, your V5 log book and your LPGA conversion certificate and take it down with your existing tax disk. Surrender your tax disk fill in a V70 get them to run all the bits of info onto their rather complicated computer system. Then get them to re issue a new tax disc in exchange for your old one and then make sure they reduce your tax classification to give you refund we should get £ 20 back! Your car is then reclassified as running on "alternative fuel". They then don't give you a refund there they send off your v5 to the DVLA Swansea and get it reissued! I could have saved them the bother and sent it but procedures are procedures. Then the £20 back should be sent from DVLA Swansea.

Basically it seems like the DVLA swansea try and give some work out to the local DVLA offices and keep 'em busy. Nice to see bureaucracy is alive and well!

So I will await with anticipation my £20 back to spend on.... not sure yet.. answers on a postcard.

Saturday, 16 August 2008


The conversion process is quite simple really. You take the spare wheel out and dump in a new tank in the well where the spare wheel goes like this. You then carry aorund a nice can of holts tyre weld just incase you ever get a puncture and need to reinflate your old tyre to get you to a tyre repair shop or back home to get your spare on the car.

Put a hole in the car and and fix in the filler conection point

Then run the pipe work to the engine bay into the fuel mixer

Run the pipe work into the top of the engine

Connect up a little fuel management computer

Connect up the flash lube stuff to the pipework ( this stops the valves in the engine getting damaged)

Hook up the little fuel gauge and switch and you are all set!

put on the fuel filler cap after you fill it up with £25 worth of gas which will take you 300 miles down the road untill you need to fill up and get motoring!

Simple really.

Sunday, 10 August 2008


Right don’t take my word for it – do some home work yourself!

The only thing left to do is rummage around the internet yourself here are some links to get you started.

LPGA / Boost LPG – basically this is a site which promotes the stuff and the installers -

LPG forum – this site is a discussion forum about LPG to post and talk to others who have converted –

Calor LPG Autogas – Basic industry promotion stuff but has some useful links to installers / converters -

Calor LPG Sat Nav station finder – sat nav file for tom tom owners ( I don’t need a machine to tell me where to go plus too many accidents caused by them but useful if you are safe driving with the things –

Calor / Shell – Autogas TM – site promoting their autogas –

Auto Gas Map – simple to use site profiling all the sites they know about -

LPG store that stocks bits and pieces for lpg converted cars –

For the more adventurous of you who get your car over to Europe here’s a link for LPG fuel stations in Europe –

Energy savings trust blurb on LPG –

London congestion charge make sure you get the right installer ! - For those of you who want to get your car converted by an LPG installer who is recognised by the right people check out your installer here personally I hardly ever drive in London now anyway and this looks like some mafia style closed shop to me but hey I don’t make the rules–

Euro Tunnel info on LPG powered cars – at the moment they won’t take LPG cars -

Ferries seem to take LPG cars though but check with them before you book. –
Link, Link, link, Link, Link,

But basically the information is out there so crack on and see if you can save yourself some cash
Good Luck!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


An Update

The great guys have converted both our cars and recalibrated the Verso now and all seems well. It seems to be behaving itself and pottleing along fine. So we are on LPG and loving it. Did my first proper fill up the other day which went well managed to get 56 litres into the tank for a princely sum of ....£35 nice. The first tank on the regular corrola lasted 256 miles - I monitoring the next one to see how much I get out of it plan is to mointor the consumption etc and then work out how much I am saving but this will be easy to work out when I compare my monthly credit card bills as my milage is pretty steady month to month. The cars are much quieter when running on LPG which is cool and you don't notice the switch over. granted there is a little bit less accelration power on LPG but its working great. I understand there are better systems on the market that do keep the power up better.

Flash Lube
Right then found out what the stuff is for - basically its a kind of lubricant that gets put through the injectors into the engine to lubricate the valves and keep the valve head running smooth and stop valve seat recesion - all i know is that it will protect the engine and keep it running nicely. Its kept under the bonnet in a bottle and it is supposed to use 1 ml per litre of fuel so I'll keep a close eye on how much it uses over the next tank and adjust accordingly.

I rang up the morrisons in coventry and they promised that the pump was getting fixed lets wait and see...

So the plan is run the car on LPG for 1000 miles get it checked over and all will be well.

Plans for future posts include

A nice set of photos of the conversion stuff (tank, filler point, inkjectors, flash lube, fuel management system etc. so people get to see what's involved.

Plus a full set of links to get people started on their own research.

Happy motoring people...

Saturday, 2 August 2008


Well campers the second step is recalibraiton - everything still works on the Verso but quite a few interesting warning lights appeared. Don't panic Mr Manwaring Don't Panic
A yellow engine symbol ( if it had been red we would have worried) and the traction control symbol and the VSC symbol came on. The engine runs fine although when it kicks into LPG it almost stalls on idle.
We spoke to our friendly installer chappy and he said it just needs some adjustments to sync the LPG fuel injection computer with the engine management system. All fixable in his opinion and this does happen occasionally so its back to the garage on Monday to iron out the glitch. Will keep you posted on developments.

Sunday, 27 July 2008


The First LPG Car.

Well our first LPG car was delivered to us in fine order. The car is a Corrola Verso and is working well - its our first Verso. We are still getting used to the car and the system. However the engine is running smoothly, the acceleration seems fine and the car runs well switching from petrol to LPG without a hicup.

Some stuff to get used to

We have managed to stall the car a couple of times as we get used to the bite point on the clutch and the basic revs needed to get a slightly larger car moving! The car came supplied with a handy booklet with LPG gas stations on it. There is a small button and indicator light which tells you if its running on LPG or petrol. The switch and the lights work well. However the only niggle we can find right now is the lights don't indicate how much gas is in the tank very accurately e.g. when we go down a hill it measures 3 lights! when on the flat measures 2 or 1 . The installer did say this was common.

Filling up when we didn't need to !

So after having a minor panic as the lights dipped to 1 unit we decided to fill up on the way home! Guess what, we only managed to pump in 6 litres before it was full. So we went in rather sheepishly to the garage and paid our £3.67 and pootled on our way!

Flash Lube - what is that stuff?

The only other mystery for us right now is the flash lube system that has been installed. I'll talk to the installer and get some more info about it, what it does, how it works and how to maintain, fill and manage the flow of the flash lube into the engine. Thankfully our installer runs a 1000 mile check up for the system once we have run it for a bit which should help us sort things out.

Morrisons in Coventry stop selling LPG?

Only bit of news we have is that the Morrisons super market near us that had LPG gas ( it still has the gas tanks on the forecourt is not selling it right now which is a shame looks like the pump has been removed. I'll ring the manager of the store and find out what has happened and let you know.

Friday, 4 July 2008


What is LPG ?

LPG is a natural hydrocarbon fuel made up of propane and butane, and is an abundant by-product of the oil and gas industries. The burning of LPG produces less carbon dioxide than other fuels, meaning a smaller contribution to global warming.

It also has the property of turning from gas to liquid at atmospheric temperature if moderately compressed, meaning it can be easily stored as a liquid and turned back into gas simply by relieving the pressure. And because it is 250 times denser as a liquid, a lot can be stored in a relatively small container.

LPG has a lot of uses, including home heating, refrigeration, air-conditioning and the industrial manufacture of paper, textiles, glass and heavy ceramics. But it is in motoring where the gas is gaining most attention, with around 1,300 UK service stations currently offering LPG, which is sometimes known as Autogas.

Where does it come from?
Lpg in gas form comes from the North Sea – there’s plenty of it being pumped out as they extract the oil It is obtained as a by-product of the distillation of oil from crude oil and from "wet" North Sea gas. It is produced in large quantities, a surplus of approximately 4 million tonnes per annum is currently available from the North Sea . This surplus is forecast to increase over the next 20 years. The UK is a net exporter of the gas.


Where can I buy it?
Currently there are well over 1300 stations in the UK with the gas with more being set up you can hunt these down
here or here . Its pretty likely that a station near you and either ignored it or just didn’t realise it! Plus I have noticed that more are opening up than are on the lists.

How much does it cost?
The average is about 57 p per litre – but for more detail you can look

Who can help me find a LPG conversion specialist?
Now I’m not in the business of recommending people to a particular supplier – But basically you need to do a bit of home work on where you live to get a hold of a supplier this I how I did it.

I googled it and followed the natural search links to see who was out there I figured if they have a web site and have put enough time and effort to get good rankings on google they must be pretty committed to making their business work online and driving business to them.

The next thing I did was hunt around for suppliers on this website – the
LPGA (approved fitters network) If you get your car converted with an installer who is part of this network you get a certificate for your car insurers if required. I built a shortlist and then looked for indicative prices on their website – pinged a few emails got some quotes and picked an outfit.

Who is converting your car?
These guys are –
LPG Cars Ltd they had a reasonable price – their whole business is converting cars and they have plenty of people who like what they are doing – I will follow up with a more detailed review / pictures etc. on how they did once the conversions are all done.

Is LPG dangerous?
There seem to be loads of urban myths on the internet about safety – but it appears most car fires are caused by faulty electrics – leaky fuel pipes etc. In the main LPG is very safe. Its used in a stack of stuff from lighters to patio heaters (not my favourite form of outdoor heating (put a jumper on!) or build a conservatory!

Plus the great thing is the tanks they put in are really strong mainly because it has to take stuff under pressure so they build these things to take a knock or two. They have to be at least 4 mm thick steel. Most petrol tanks are either thin steel / or plastic to find out more read this here

The tank and gas pipes are fitted with numerous safety devices. The gas flow will automatically stop if the pipes are damaged or the engine is not running. If the vehicle catches fire, the gas tank pressure is controlled via cylinder venting, which will prevent the tank from rupturing and causing further damage.

Its as safe as it can be right now.. but I would not recommend installing this stuff yourself unless you are a very very competent mechanic.

Why convert my petrol car?
Its cheaper fuel, its pretty safe and you can reduce your carbon footprint.

Is it really more environmentally friendly ?
LPG is more environmentally friendly because it emits 20% less CO2
A 400,000 Euro emission programme has recently completed, comparing the emissions from petrol, diesel and LPG vehicles:
Compared with petrol, vehicles running on LPG emit about 20% less CO2.
Compared with diesel, one diesel car is equivalent to 20 LPG cars with regard to NOx, and 120 LPG vehicles with regard to particulates.
Diesel emits substantially more fine particles than LPG.

Can you convert a diesel car?
Nope – not yet and if you do you will probably kill off your engine in a short space of time it burns hotter than diesel

Why did you decide to convert your cars?
Fed up of paying crazy prices for petrol I need to save money and this is the best way I can think of to do it

What is the pay back ?
In my case its going to be about 15 months Please see my its all about the money post – but basically depending on engine size it will be about a year

Are there any disadvantages?
Yep my spare tyre won’t be there but I’ll use some tyre weld instead

What about insurance?
This will remain unaffected as long as its covered by a LPGA conversion certificate

Do you still need petrol in your petrol tank?
Yep because it starts up on petrol until the engine is warm and then it cuts in the LPG

Can I buy an LPG car?
Sure some manufacturers sell them form new – but check them out like you would any other car before buying and don’t buy without a LPGA certificate so at least you know its safely installed.

What do you think are the main criteria for converting your car?
If you do any serious mileage then get it done
If you have a car that is relatively young and you can get 25 000 plus miles out of it you are planning to keep it then get it done
If you want to save some money then get it done.
If you want to sell your LPG car and get another then you should be able to sell it pretty quickly and for a bit more.

If you want to know more then just leave a comment or ping me an email

Saturday, 28 June 2008

LPG GAS 101 THE BASICS - its all about the money

Why are you doing this? Are you some sort of green nut?

Last time I checked I didn’t look like a pistachio but I have been getting increasingly concerned at the rising cost of fuel. So I got my calculator and my handy interweb connection out and did some sums ( yes I know I am rubbish at maths and most 12 year olds are better at it than me but hey this is pretty simple stay with me on this).

It’s all about the money
I work for a well known Charity and frankly I don’t want to move closer to home to find another job but the charity probably isn’t going to be able to afford to help pay more for my fuel to get to work 'cos the economy is in the doldrums right now. So I was stuck in a quandary about liking my job and not wanting to move and the fact that I need to travel to get there.

OK for all you maths graduates – this is pretty rough fag packet but conservative estimate on the savings I will make.

I do 90 miles a day which is costing me £12.27 to get to work and back each day – that’s £61.34per week. (that’s assuming I do 400 miles on a tank using up about 47 litres a time at a cost of approx £1.16 per litre) this is the absolute best mileage I can get out of my tank driving at 55- 65 miles an hour keeping the revs steady at 3000 rpm.

The average price of LPG is currently 57p per litre. According to the average savings for a week on a handy chart I found
here I could be saving up to about £25.36 a week in savings over petrol that’s a 40% saving per week on the best mileage I can get on my current vehicle a 1.6 Litre Toyota Corolla.

So my current yearly fuel costs are a shade under £3000 (if I drive slowly and I don’t always do that!) If I can get a 40% saving on my fuel costs I could save up to £1200 in a year (£100 a month)!

Say it costs me £1800 to get the car converted - In the worst case scenario I will basically get the cost of the conversion back in savings in 18 months.

Given that I will do some other mileage on the car trips to the shops, some long distance to visit friends, I am pretty sure I’ll make it back to break even in 15 months.

Doh!!! Should have done the conversion years ago!

Friday, 27 June 2008

LPG gas a new frontier - Why I have started this Blog

A world gone crazy on oil

It seems that the world has gone crazy - Oil has hit stupid prices and inflation is going up. Frankly I have had enough of trying to make my petrol last by going at 55 miles per hour sitting behind lorries and generally getting depressed about motoring. I have not got the spare cash to waste burning it out of my exhaust.

Driving to work is getting silly

The drive to work is getting unsustainable and I thought about getting a new job but I quite like my current job and moving house is not an option due to personal circumstances and anyway the housing market in the UK is so rubbish I wouldn't be able to sell right now. I thought about getting a diesel car - but that is not going to work out given that diesel is now costing way more than petrol and is not going to deliver much in terms of savings.

LPG a new frontier?
I have decided to embark on a new frontier Liquid Petroleum Gas. For now the tax grabbing government of the UK seem to be leaving this fuel alone and the prices are about half that of petrol and more than that of diesel. I only hope that the price of this fuel will keep within reasonable limits before I have to get a horse and cart. Steptoe and Son come back all is forgiven me old muckker.

What I am doing about the OIL Crisis
I have decided to convert my existing car to LPG, document the process and let people know how I get on. In fact I have been so taken with it I am also getting a second car for my wife to use ( yes I know 2 cars are worse than 1 ) but life will not operate with only 1 car in our family right now.

So by the end of July 2008 I should be running my mini fleet of 2 cars on LPG

So the posts in this blog will hopefully give people some encouragement to have a crack and get their car converted and in the process use a fuel which could burn cleaner than petrol and diesel and deliver some savings in what seems to be a crazy world right now.

The next post will be about how I came to the decision the pros and cons and the links, information and so on that helped me get this far.

Take care campers.