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What should I concern when inspecting a CNG car before buying it?

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  • What should I concern when inspecting a CNG car before buying it?

    Does fuel meter use for both gasoline and CNG? Does it means gas leaks somewhere if the fuel meter indicates empty?
    Does it works with OBD2 scanners? if the CNG car passes OBD2 scanner's check, can it likely pass smog test too like gasoline car? Can expired cylinder fail smog test? I can not find CNG cylinder in the trunk of most CNG cars, where else they are often located?
    Thanks.

  • #2
    In the US, with a factory cng car, If it is a Honda GX,, toyota Camry , Chev .Cavalier bi fuel, and Ford countour bi fuel. the tank is in the trunk behind a panel, under the package shelf. Ford Crown Victoria, two tanks in the trunk under the package shelf AND 2 tanks above the rear axle. extended range version can also have 3 additional tanks in the spare tire well, for 7 total.

    Most areas do not consider tank age for smog check, however some do. I believe Utah does.

    Some fuel suppliers will not allow you to fuel without a current inspection on the tanks or both tanks and cng fuel system ( P G and E in northern cal).

    The codes on the cng fuel system are often proprietary and cannot be read by generic scanners..

    What kind of car are you looking at , and where. Is it a factory or aftermarket conversion. Some aftermarket conversions cannot be registered in CA. You need to do your homework before buying.

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    • #3
      Thanks G oldman. Looking for original factory's small sedan or cargo van as long as I can save some money for driving around.
      Where can I bring the cng car for inspection, how often and how much does it cost?
      I saw a car had only a fuel meter, so I dont know it is for gas or CNG or both! The meter indicates near empty and I assume gas leaks!
      If the hidden cost breaks even with lower cost of CNG fuel then it is not worthy to buy/drive cng car.


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      • #4
        "If the hidden cost breaks even with lower cost of CNG fuel then it is not worthy to buy/drive cng car"


        You hit the nail square on the head.

        If you are going for fuel $ savings, I would discourage.

        Unfortunately, the most expensive and difficult / impossible to find parts can be working 100 % one day and fail the next. And an inspection cannot determine this.

        Generally these are pressure regulators, fuel injectors, pressure sensors, tank solenoid valves. Usually no way to predict if / when they will fail ( internal rubber seals/ diaphragms.

        It's age , not mileage that gets to them.

        Most of these vehicles are orphans, out of production and parts support unavailable. Even Honda has discontinued some of the proprietary parts for the older civic gx .

        Sorry for bad news .

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        • #5
          Thanks very much. I see more clear now.

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