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Which BI-Fuel car to buy?

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  • Which BI-Fuel car to buy?

    If I were to buy a Bi-fuel car, which do you think is better and why? My wife might get one, she just doesn't want to get stuck with a cng only car because of lack of refueling stations.

    Let me know,
    Anthony

  • #2
    Re: Which BI-Fuel car to buy?

    I'd think it would be a personal decision choice. Most are late 1990's models from Ford or Chevy, with a few cars (Taurus, Contour, Cavalier) and lots of trucks / vans. I am not aware of bi-fuel Hondas (but I am a novice), so your choices are limited to Ford, Chevy and Dodge.

    There isn't alot of range on the CNG portion of the bi-fuel, and I don't think they'll qualify for carpool lane access - so consider that if she commutes and wants to use the diamond lane.

    I ended up with an F250 dedicated, which now serves three purpose: work / play vehicle, lower cost fuel & carpool lane access. The helping the environment is a plus, but wasn't my driving requirement.

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    • #3
      Re: Which BI-Fuel car to buy?

      Anthony,

      Here are your options:

      1998-2008 Honda Civic GX (Dedicated)
      2000-2001 Toyota Camry CNG (Dedicated)
      1996-2001 Ford Crown Vic (Dedicated - 3,000 psi only)
      1998-200? Ford Contour CNG (Bi-Fuel)
      1997-2004 Ford F-150 (Bi-Fuel and Dedicated)
      1998-2004 Chevy Cavalier (Bi-Fuel)
      Vans - Various makes (Ford/Chevy/Dodge) and various years (1996-2004)

      The two most popular bi-fuel cars are the Chevy Cavalier and the Ford Contour. Now onto your question - Which is better and why?

      This might bring about a "minor" dispute. Some will say that the Ford Contour is better and some will say that the Chevy Cavalier is better. Here is what I have found:

      Chevy Cavalier
      PROS: Pretty reliable CNG components. All components are sold separately and most are off the shelf (IMPCO products). Fairly low maintance vehicle.

      CONS: Small trunk space. Have to run out of natural gas to run on gasoline. No switching between fuels.

      Ford Contour
      PROS: Bigger trunk space than the Cavalier.

      CONS: The dreaded compuvalve (see threads in Ford Vehicle Forum).

      I may have missed some PROS and CONS that others have seen.
      Jared.
      Mountain Green, Utah
      2003 CNG Cavalier
      2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

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      • #4
        Re: Which BI-Fuel car to buy?

        Jared,

        Nice list . . but I thought that Toyota Camry (dedicated cng) was manufactured from 1999 to 2001?? Those babies are rare and fetch a mighty high price as taxi companies love them.

        Personnally I've bought 3 bi-fuel Chevy Cavaliers in last year (2 for me and 1 for a friend). All have worked great with only an occasional "watery" fill where the last few miles of cng tank were sputtery (those were out-of-state fills while travelling multi-state). Small trunk IS a problem, but I've added a Hitchster 1 1/4" trailer connection that I'm going to add an aluminum folding cargo carrier.

        Anthony, I'd recommend watching the GSA auctions, especially for obscure towns, if there is such a thing. Remaining cng cars RISING in value from any Ebay or other sales data I've seen. If you're diligent at scouring Craigslist, you might get a couple hits as well - - that's how I got a 9 gge type 4 cng tank for $100 bucks!! For California, driving cng is the only way to go with recent runup in gas prices. Jump right in there, and buy a couple cng cars!!

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        • #5
          Re: Which BI-Fuel car to buy?

          There will be one such GSA auction at the cruise-in, June 15th.
          [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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          • #6
            Re: Which BI-Fuel car to buy?

            which bi-fuel or dedicated pickup is more dependable. It seems from what I've read that the Ford compuvalve is concern on dependability and cost. the Dodges are rare to find and the Chevy's are not much greater in #. Also what is a real world expectation on fuel range the nearest fueling station is approximately 90 mile round trip therefore I was thinking of additional fuel tanks. My diesel usage of 100 gl per week is getting to be more than I care to spend on fuel.
            Last edited by jmoo; 05-26-2008, 05:12 PM. Reason: spelling

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