Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What to check before buying used CNG vehicle?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What to check before buying used CNG vehicle?

    Hi Folks,

    Great stuff in these forums!

    My question may be addressed elsewhere, but I've looked quite a bit and not seen anything specific on this topic. We've considered CNG for a number of years, but this is the first time we've shopped for cars when a (used) dedicated or bi-fuel car was locally available from a variety of sources. We just lost our smaller/higher-mileage car to a gross under estimate of how much space another driver needed to make a left turn in front of us (we arrived at their right-front bumper--fortunately having braked enough to avoid serious injuries--but the car's a loss). Family finances won't really allow us to look at new cars at this point, so the gleaming new Honda GX's at the local dealership are out. But, there's a fair number of used ones available here along the Wasatch Front (for you non-locals, that's the chain of cities to the N & S of Salt Lake--along the west slope of the Wasatch Mountains). And, there appears to be good options for fill-ups even for longer trips within state.

    Although I'm a bit concerned about people saying that the pumps are often not working--older posts are the only ones I've seen, so I'm hoping things are better of late. In any case, driving range is not a big deal; if we want to go far, we'd likely drive the minivan (plain old gasoline) anyway. For around town, short trips, CNG sounds great.

    So, the heart of the matter:
    o How often are the public pumps not working (in the last while)?
    o I see that the GX has had problems with the CV transmission. Is that something to get checked? Can it be checked?
    o Worn/bad injectors?
    o What's the story on tank expiration?
    o Some kind of in-tank valve that requires a $7K tank replacement?
    o What other parts I'm not used to thinking about in a gasoline power-train should I have looked at before I commit to buy?
    o Is there a list I haven't found of shops that have trained CNG mechanics?

    There's one particular outfit who apparently sells cars with salvage titles, mostly. Would there be anything special to be concerned about there (beyond the usual issues with poor repairs and bent frames)? I'm guessing a state tax credit isn't likely to be available with a salvage title?

    Thanks for anything anyone can suggest. (And if you can point me to threads which address some of these concerns, I'll be happy to do more reading.)

    John
    Last edited by JohnC; 02-11-2010, 01:51 PM.

  • #2
    Re: What to check before buying used CNG vehicle?

    o How often are the public pumps not working (in the last while)?
    I'm not in Utah, so no opinion, except that having a pump at home is incredibly reliable and great!

    o I see that the GX has had problems with the CV transmission. Is that something to get checked? Can it be checked?
    Mostly 01 and 02. It starts going bad slowly. Honda really treated us 01 and 02 owners poorly on this one (being forced into offering an extended warranty and then dragging their feet sending out the notices so that yours truly ended up being only partially covered).

    o Worn/bad injectors?
    Mostly from the double whammy of bad fuel and failing to change fuel filters regularly. A home pump eliminates both issues. The 'coil packs' are also an expensive wear issue on older GXs.

    o What's the story on tank expiration?
    They self-destruct after 15 years. (okay, they don't self-destruct, they just expire peacefully in the middle of the night

    o Some kind of in-tank valve that requires a $7K tank replacement?
    Rare problem, but, if you can believe this, Honda won't reinstall a tank. So if you go to the dealer it's $7k. I think others have resolved this problem for hundreds.

    o What other parts I'm not used to thinking about in a gasoline power-train should I have looked at before I commit to buy?
    1/2 the trunk space. No rear speakers. Only 4 seatbelts in 01-05. Otherwise it's amazing. We have 3 GXs and a Cav.

    o Is there a list I haven't found of shops that have trained CNG mechanics?
    If you buy a GX you'll want to locate a dealer that has a trained CNG mechanic. Our local favorite mobile mechanic 'Honda Bob' has gotten very familiar with GXs.

    Just Do It!
    02 GX
    01 GX
    03 Crown Vic
    06 GX
    Home Fueler

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What to check before buying used CNG vehicle?

      Great advice

      One other thing, make sure the fuel system has had a recient inspection from a competent (perferably CSA certified) technician, and ask to see the inspection form (the owner should have a copy). Evern if the vehicle and system are not due for a year or two, get the inspection; I would consider it money well spent.

      Larrycng

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What to check before buying used CNG vehicle?

        As you can see I have 4 CNG vehicles where the tanks are buried in the trunk and don't feel there is any danger in not having them visually inspected. Ok, squad, ready..., aim....,
        02 GX
        01 GX
        03 Crown Vic
        06 GX
        Home Fueler

        Comment

        Working...
        X