Air pollution has become a very serious concern around the world. Every few months there are reports of ever-increasing pollution caused due to vehicles emitting polluting gases and industrial emissions. One of the few ways this pollution is being combated is by switching to healthier transport alternatives like Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) cars or electric vehicles. However, buying a new car is a major investment and not everyone may be ready for it. The good news is that you can convert your car to run on CNG too. All you need is a CNG conversion kit and some time to make the switch. In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of converting a car to CNG and how you can do it.
Reasons to Convert Car to CNG
If you’re still unsure about modifying your car so it can run on CNG, here are some important benefits that will convince you to convert your car to CNG.
CNG cars are environmentally-friendly
Petrol and diesel, which have conventionally been used as fuel, aren’t the cleanest options we have. Compressed natural gas is a cleaner alternative. In comparison with gasoline vehicles or diesel automobiles, CNG cars have a cleaner carbon footprint. In the latter option, carbon monoxide emissions are reduced by around 70%, carbon dioxide emissions by around 20%, and nitrogen oxide discharges by around 87%. These reductions are significant enough to help rebuild the planet’s ecosystem over time, which has been greatly affected by greenhouse gases. If you’ve been keen on adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle, you should convert your car to CNG.
You don’t need to trade in vehicle performance in exchange for an eco-friendly option anymore. This is because not only is compressed natural gas easier on the environment, but it’s also a highly efficient fuel. CNG, which is essentially methane at high pressures, has a higher octane rating than petrol or diesel. CNG’s octane rating is 130, while petrol’s octane rating is only around 87 to 88, depending on the lead content. This makes CNG cars more efficient than petrol-driven vehicles and one of the important reasons to convert cars to CNG.
Compressed natural gas is a safe alternative
When it comes to safety, CNG has science backing it up. Firstly, CNG’s range of flammability is quite narrow; it only combusts if its concentration in air is between 5% and 15%. Secondly, it mixes with the air easily. So, in rare cases when there’s a leakage of CNG, the gas dissipates into the air unlike gasoline, which tends to pool on the ground and pose a very real fire hazard. CNG is also non-toxic and non-corrosive, and it doesn’t seep into the ground and contaminate groundwater. In addition to this, CNG tanks are stronger than gasoline tanks. All of these factors make CNG cars a much safer alternative compared to gasoline-driven vehicles.
Convert your car to CNG and save money
With all these advantages, you’d think CNG would be more expensive than gasoline or diesel. The truth is, compressed natural gas is significantly more affordable. Gasoline is around three times costlier than natural gas. Not only are CNG cars cheaper with regards to fuel, but the costs of maintaining them are also lower in the long run. This is because natural gas, being a clean-burning source of energy, doesn’t wear out your car’s engine as much as petrol or diesel would. This feature of CNG allows you to enjoy long-term savings by reducing maintenance expenses and by minimising the need to go through multiple oil changes or part replacements.
CNG is abundant and readily available
The supply of compressed natural gas is abundant and there is also an extensive and well-established network for distributing the same. The number of fueling stations of CNG in India is also increasing. If you have a CNG car, you can easily get it refuelled without having to worry about the availability of a fueling station near you. Therefore, the usage of CNG has become more convenient than ever.
One of the major reasons why you should convert a car to CNG is that you can run it on both CNG as well as petrol. If you run out on one fuel type, you can always switch to the other one and continue your ride. This way, you do not have to worry about being stranded mid-journey.
Another important reason to convert cars to CNG is that it will increase the life of lubricating oils. Compressed natural gas does not contaminate or dilute the crankcase oil. This results in an increased life of the oil.
Beneficial for car engine
Compressed natural gas is known to be one of the cleanest types of fuel. This is mainly because CNG leaves comparatively less residue than petrol or diesel. This results in less damage to pipes and tubes of the vehicle’s engine and the lifespan of your engine is increased. This can lead to fewer visits to the service centre if you convert to CNG.
Maintenance cost is lowered
If you convert a car to CNG, the cost of maintenance for your vehicle will be lowered. This is mainly because of less contamination and the increased lifespan of your engine. This cost is much lower when compared to cars running on other fuels.
Less noise pollution and odour
Various reports suggest that the sound pressure level of a CNG engine is comparatively lower than a diesel engine and causes as much as 90 percent lesser noise. This makes your vehicle a good choice in densely populated areas or if you operate your vehicle at night. Another important aspect of converting your car to CNG is that while refuelling, CNG reduces the odorant and evaporative emissions as compared to petrol or diesel.
Types of CNG Kits
1. Factory Fitted CNG Kits
If you are looking to buy a new car, you can directly buy a new factory-fitted CNG car where you don’t need to get the CNG module fitted manually. And, you also have the benefit of your CNG module getting the warranty through your car dealership and car company. Factory fitted CNG kits are specifically customised for each car model by the manufacturer. So, the kit of one car model cannot be installed in other cars. As a result, they are considered to be safer than converting your car to CNG. If you have the option, it is recommended that you buy a new factory-fitted CNG kit instead of converting your car to CNG.
2. Retrofitted CNG Kits
If you have a regular car that runs on petrol, you can convert your car into a CNG powered car by using a retrofitted CNG kit. These retrofitted CNG kits are common for every car and thus their fit is not as good as a factory-fitted CNG kit. As a result, they are considered less safe than factory-fitted CNG cars. It should also be noted that by using a retrofitted CNG kit, the warranty on your car may become void and it might also affect the car’s resale value. That being said, if you really wish to convert your existing car to CNG, this is the only option. The good news is, it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Installation Guide of the CNG Kit
If you wish to convert your petrol car to a CNG powered car, make sure you get it done only at a professional garage that is reputed for handling this job. Do not try to install a CNG kit on your own as it involves many dangerous components and even a small mistake can lead to gas leaks or accidents. Once your CNG kit has been successfully installed, you should make sure to service your vehicle regularly and fill your car with the special engine oil that CNG fitted cars require. You should also know that using CNG as fuel may affect the performance of your car negatively.
These are only some of the many reasons to convert cars to CNG. Once you convert a car to CNG safely, make sure your vehicle is covered by car insurance, so you can mitigate any potential damages. You will also mandatorily need a third-party insurance plan to drive on the Indian roads, as per the traffic rules in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. If you need a new policy, or if your old one needs renewal, all you need to do is visit the Bajaj MARKETS online portal. You can choose a car insurance plan that suits you best, whether it is a comprehensive policy or a third-party liability plan.