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FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

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  • FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    Q: Why should I buy a vehicle or buy equipment that runs on an alternative fuel like CNG?
    A: There are a number of GOOD reasons to convert to an alternative fuel such as:
    - Reduced fuel costs.
    - Reduction in toxic emissions.
    - Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
    - Reduced maintenance costs.
    - Reduced dependence on foreign oil.
    - Reduced need to fight foriegn wars over oil.
    - Increased national security by becoming energy independent.
    - Local, state and federal incentives that add up to thousands of dollars in rebates, cash grants, and federal tax credits.
    - Single occupant access to car pool lanes in many states.
    - Fuel savings of up to 60% or more.
    - Home refueling option. Refuel while you sleep!
    - Never go to a gas station again!
    - Greater personal security refueling at home.
    - Some utilities offer discounted gas rates for home refuelers.
    - Reduced DMV fee's in some states.
    - Free parking at city meters in many green minded cities.
    - Free parking at many major hotel chains.
    - Reduced insurance premiums with some major carriers.
    - More and more companies are offering incentives to their employee's to drive environmentally "green" vehicles.

    Q: Are LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas, commonly known as Propane), LNG (liquified Natural Gas) and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas, actually Methane) the same fuel?
    A: LPG and CNG are quite different fuels, CNG is a high-pressure gaseous fuel that always stays in gaseous form. LPG is a low-pressure fuel which is stored as a liquid. Above a certain temperature LPG becomes a vapor fuel which the engine then runs on. LNG is natural gas compressed to very high pressures and at cryogenically cold temperatures to turn it to it's liquid state.

    Q: I have well gas, can I use it in my NGV?
    A: Well gas is simply raw gas which contains other trace gas' like Butane, Ethane, and Propane. California is the only state which prohibits use of well gas in vehicles. Modern NGV's can compensate for the "hot" mixture with their onboard computers. Natural Gas (Methane) must be better than 94% pure for vehicle use in Ca. Most gas piped to your home is the purified form. Some oil/gas producing area's may pump raw gas to surrounding communities for heating and cooking applications.

    Q: How many vehicles run on CNG?
    A: There are over 5,000,000 vehicle world wide and approx. 150,000 in the USA. School and city bus', airport shuttles, taxi's, zamboni's, semi trucks, trash trucks, street sweepers, city, state and federal fleets of cars and trucks, military vehicles, and the guy that just passed you driving solo in the car poollane, just to name a few.

    Q: Is CNG safer than gasoline?
    A: Like gasoline CNG is flammable, but has a much narrower range of flammability. CNG has a much higher ignition temperature of around 1200 degrees vs. 80-300 degrees for gasoline. CNG will only burn with an air-fuel ratio of between 5% and 15% and will rapidly dissipate beyond
    its flammability range in the open atmosphere, making ignition unlikely.
    CNG tanks are tested to a minimum 4 times normal operating pressures and are hundreds of times more puncture resistant than gasoline tanks.

    Q: Is CNG safe?
    A: Natural gas has one of the safest records of any transportation fuel. There are two primary reasons: the physical properties of natural gas (natural gas is lighter than air!), and the structural integrity of the natural gas vehicle storage system.

    Q: How about power loss?
    A: You will typically notice very little if any power loss on CNG.

    Q: What about range?
    A: CNG tanks are generally smaller than conventional gas tanks and range varies with the size and number of tanks on the vehicle.

    W: What about gas mileage?
    A: Gas mileage will be virtually the same as a comparable gas powered version of the car.

    Q: What about refueling stations?
    A: To answer that question, I will refer you to our associate site www.cngprices.com, where you can see all the stations and prices in your area.

    Q: Will CNG hurt my engine?
    A: NO! In fact being on the light end of the hydrocarbon scale, there is almost no carbon in these fuels. Carbon is what turns your engine oil black! One big benefit of CNG is your oil will stay cleaner and requires less frequent changes, saving your time, money, oil and oil filters! CNG goes into your engine as a vapor, there is no "raw" fuel entering the cylinders which washes the lubricating oil off the cylinder walls so the piston rings stay better lubricated resulting in CNG engines lasting up to THREE TIMES LONGER than the same engine on gasoline! CNG should cause no problems with valves in any engine designed to run on unleaded fuel. You can burn a valve or damage a valve seat just as easily on a poorly operating gasoline engine as with a poorly set up CNG system.

    Q: How much maintenance will my CNG system require?
    A: Thats' one of the great features about CNG system, it requires no
    maintenance other than particulate and fuel filter to maintain performance and fuel economy.

    Q: Is CNG harmful to the environment?
    A: NO. as an approved, alternative clean fuel listed in the Clean Air Act and the National Energy Policy. CNG is one of the cleanest burning of all alternative fuels. CNG is is non-toxic and is not harmful to soil or water. Tests conducted by the U.S. Environmental Agency show that CNG vehicles produce 80% less carbon monoxide than gasoline engines and
    about 87% fewer toxic emissions. Ever wonder why almost all
    indoor use equipment from forklifts to the Zambonis' at your local ice rink run on CNG indoors?, now you know why.

    Q: Are CNG conversion kits available?
    A: Absolutely. Conversions typically run from $10,000 - to $15,000. There are many levels of technology and many more levels of quality in component parts. Different countries manufacture their products to different standards and safety codes. Cheap basic conversion kits obviously do not include the highest quality parts and in most cases do not include all the parts required for the PROPER installation of the kit, and they are rarely EPA certified. Professional installers are required to do a safe and propper conversion. In most cases it's less expensive to buy a dedicated OEM vehicle, like the Civic GX, than to try and convert your gasoline vehicle.

    Q: Where does CNG come from?
    A: Approximately 85% of CNG is from the USA, coming from our own sources. The other 15% coming from Canada and Mexico, which have extensive natural gas reserves. CNG is an odorless, non-toxic product that is found in association with oil (wet gas), or found in large underground pockets by itself (dry gas). Less than 1% of the natural gas burned in the USA is used as fuel for automobiles.
    Q: How long have cars been running on natural gas?
    A: The first NGV was produced in 1913! Honda has made the Civic GX since 1998.

    Q: Is refueling difficult with CNG?
    A: No, not at all, refueling is quick and simple. CNG's pumping rate, 2-3gasoline gallon equivelent (gge) per minute, is comparable to that of gasoline. To refuel a simple quick-connect connector is used, so there is no worry about "spilled fuel" as the delivery system is "sealed".

    Q: What are the "mechanics of a conversion"?
    A: With a few modifications to the engine, virtually any gasoline engine can be converted to run on CNG. Vehicles can be equipped to operate solely on CNG (dedicated conversion) or to switch between CNG and gasoline (dual-fuel conversion). The "under hood" components of the CNG system, when correctly installed, are almost indistinguishable from the factory components under the hood. CNG tanks fit compactly into car trunks, or in some cases where the gasoline tank has been removed, the tank(s) can be mounted where the gasoline tanks were previously in some vehicles. In trucks and Vans, the tanks can be installed inside the cargo bed or under the vehicle. CNG is stored as a gas, usually in one or two tanks, at a pressures of 3000psi (in older (pre 2002 applications) and 3600psi, which is now the standard. In a CNG engine, the gas travels from the tank to a pressure regulator, which lowers the pressure before injecting it into the engine. A complete conversion system includes ALL the "under-hood" components, the fuel controller, valves, actuators, brackets, hoses, all hardware, wiring and electronics and any software needed to convert the vehicle OBDII computer to CNG operation.
    I hope this answers most of the questions you have. These are the questions I am asked on a daily basis and I hope you found it useful and educational.

  • evans237061
    replied
    dose anyone know where I might find one

    Leave a comment:


  • evans237061
    replied
    hello how are you cant find pressure regulator anywhere

    Leave a comment:


  • DavidP
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    I watched a YouTube video on how to change your high pressure fuel filter on a Honda GX. That's exactly how the video said to bleed off the pressure - turn off the valve by the rear wheel, start the engine and let it run till out of gas.

    Leave a comment:


  • Darkstarchuck
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    Originally posted by raskell View Post
    Unfortunately, there is no provision for extending the life of a CNG tank by inspection. The life limit is set by theoretical fatigue calculations and fatigue damage can not be undone, ever. You should be able to reconfigure your car to the OEM single tank state and keep driving that way. You may need to have an error code reset as I have read somewhere to never run the fuel lines all the way empty.
    This was not the case when I changed the fuel filters on my 07 Civic. The car idled for almost 2 minutes with the valve closed, then ran out. Changed filters, and re-opened the valve, and the car started. Nothing else was needed.. Just my $.02

    Leave a comment:


  • geektea
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    Curtis i am very interested in your point of view on what is the possibility of finding a Used Honda GX 2006 and up at this time. Thank you for any response! i am new to this CNG business and any additional info would be wonderful. I am getting this vehicle not only because of the emissions but because i will have a 75 mile round trip drive everyday and i am a very frugal person.

    thanks again

    Leave a comment:


  • Faadi
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    Hey Curtis.

    Can you guide me on how to open a up a CNG Filling station. What are my initial steps? who should i talk to start the ball rolling. I don't know if this is the right place to ask this question but i hope you will advice me something.

    Thanks

    Leave a comment:


  • raskell
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    Unfortunately, there is no provision for extending the life of a CNG tank by inspection. The life limit is set by theoretical fatigue calculations and fatigue damage can not be undone, ever. You should be able to reconfigure your car to the OEM single tank state and keep driving that way. You may need to have an error code reset as I have read somewhere to never run the fuel lines all the way empty.

    Leave a comment:


  • bryanfong
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    I just purchased a 20004 HONDA GX that has an auxiliary CNG tank in the trunk. In order to clean out a foul odor in the trunk, I turned a shut off valve located just behind the rear tire on the drivers side. I then proceeded to disconnect the tank from the fuel line and took the tank assembly out of the trunk. When I tried to start the car, it ran for a few seconds, then cut out. I towed the car to a filling station and proceeded to fill the tank, but the gas just ran straight through the open fuel line. Upon further inspection, I think that I shut off the valve to the main tank because it appears that the auxiliary tank is connected by a T fitting directly into the fuel line and there is no shut off valve for the auxiliary tank. My dilemna is 1) Can I cap off the auxiliary tank inlet, then fill up the main tank, 2) Have I done any damage to the CNG system by releasing the pressure and allowing air into the system, 3) The auxiliary tank expired in May 2010, do I need to replace the tank, or can it be reinspected for a few more years?

    Leave a comment:


  • Curtis
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    Yeah, getting to the LP filter is no piece of cake and I wouldn't want to have to do it myself, but several here have. If you had said the car had been home refueled exclusively I wouldn't be too concerned. Public stations are, for the most part, all oil lubed compressors. Their maintenance is beyond your control. If their desiccant cartridges are old/failed, or the 3rd & 4th stage rings are getting worn, the unit could be passing oil. Some areas of the country have "wet oil" and can have an impact on the filters.

    As you know, working for a Honda dealer requires my advise to err on the side of caution and tell you to follow the factory maintenance schedule. A fouled injector can run $500 and be a real pain. Unless you know all of the factors I mentioned are 100% not an issue... I might suggest you side with caution.

    Leave a comment:


  • kennyt1123
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    Hi Curt,

    I'm in Utah and have a fuel filter question regarding a 2006 Civic GX I bought about 6 months ago. It had 42K miles and the previous owner filled it at home with a Phill unit. I fill almost always at newer stations which I assume have oil-less compressors. I just now got around to changing the filters at 48K, which the previous owner never did. The HP filter had absolutely nothing in it. It was dry and as clean as the new replacement filter so I left it in to save the new one for later. With the HP filter being so clean, do I need to worry about even looking at the LP filter right now? If nothing is getting into the HP can anything somehow get past it and contaminate the LP? The LP seems hard to get to and I don't want to pull it out if I don't have to.

    Thanks!

    Kenny Thomas
    kennyt1123@yahoo.com

    Leave a comment:


  • Curtis
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    The Odyssey is not legally able to be converted to cng. There are no EPA approved conversion kits currently available for it, and no known plans to make it available in a cng variant in the foreseeable future. I don't think any other cng models will be available from Honda in the next in the next 3-4 years... sorry to say.

    We would all like to see more options from Honda, as well as other manufacturers, but economics has a roll to play in decisions like this. Demand for cng vehicles has drastically dropped, right along with oil prices, as has always been the case.

    People need to develop longer memories. I expect that oil prices may stay down for a while, but they'll eventually stabilize at about double where they are now. Additional offerings would entice more buyers to cng, buy only high gas prices seem to drive people to make the change.

    Not surprisingly... most wonder why they waited so long to do so.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rohotep
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    Do you know if Honda is planning to offer any additional CNG vehicles - specifically the Odyssey? Is it possible to convert the 2009 Odyssey to CNG by independent converters? Thank you.

    Leave a comment:


  • jetboatjohnny
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    I'd say about 18.7. I have a listing of tanks from SCI, the 210 litre is 17.8, the 230 litre is 19.7, so your capacity is right in the middle.
    Generally you can take the volume in gallons and divide by 3.2. for 3600psi.

    Leave a comment:


  • ryanlds
    replied
    Re: FAQ - Questions about natural gas and the cars that run on it?

    Is there a formula to figure out gge? I have a 2001 van that holds 220.5 liters at 3600 psi. What is the GGE?

    Leave a comment:

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