Installing a CNG kit is the right option for you if you’re driving more than 50-60 kms in a city where CNG is readily available at pumps and if this was year 2003 when petrol was Rs.30/lt and if this article was written back then, the title would have read- “Alternate Fuel Types of the Future” and I would have probably also added that CNG fitted cars isn’t the way I would like to drive. But its 10 years later now, its 2013 and today, even the cost per liter of diesel is much higher than the cost of petrol back in 2003. It is almost impossible to even hope for the prices to come down in the near future.
One time investment on CNG Kit, price per kg is reasonable (when compared to other fuel types), maintenance costs and extended life are almost similar to that of a petrol engine. All you have to do is, get a CNG kit installed in your car and you’ll be one step closer to make a smaller hole in your pocket every 4-5 days.
Which Particular Kit Should You Get ?
Two types of conversion kits are there in the market: 1- Conventional CNG Kit and 2- Sequential CNG Kit
Conventional CNG Kit
A conventional CNG Kit is a basic manual tuning kit with minimum requirement. There is no computer to manange the flow of CNG gas into the car engine. The in-uniform flow of CNG is sucked into by the engine which burns inside with the help of spark plugs. If the driver isn’t happy with the average acceleration then it can be helped with a Timing Advancer nowadays with some improvements in the CNG kit technology and newer engine, is the cheapest of the both, costs approx. between Rs.25,000 – Rs.30,000, however regular maintenance is required. CNG Kit fitted engines were earlier known for poor air-conditioning and not so great acceleration, but nowadays with kits fitted with a Timing Advancer, the performance is much better now, more and more drivers are now switching to the CNG kit as now the performance is more or less similar and also, the use of A/c don't affect the engine.
Sequential CNG Kit
New and a better option today in terms of performance and longevity of engine are the Sequentian CNG Kits, a fully-computerised kit, has a separate ECU for gas function managements. The Sequential Kits mix the CNG and air in the right amount for optimum performance. Multiple CNG gas injectors manage the flow of the gas for better performance that Can only be installed in cars with electronic fuel injection system. Cost between- Rs.45,000 to Rs.70,000. These kits cost more because of the quality and better performance. The only complicated part of the sequential kit is that the installation process of the kit, some amount of modification in the intake manifold of the engine and requires some amount of drilling as well, which certain drivers are afraid of, which is of no worry if you get it done from a good and popular CNG kit seller. Then of course there is the price point, this kit comes at twice the cost of a conventional kit.
In expert opinion, the sequential CNG kit is the better option between the two.
You might say, “Hey, there’s always diesel. Its still cheaper than petrol, well in terms if cost per liter it is, but when you take in account all the running costs, you’re well off with a petrol engine along with a preferable pick up (which is a good thing in day to day city traffic) rather than too much torque that you don’t actually require if you’re simply driving your hatch-back or sedan to work. While petrol engines do have a good life, diesel engines aren’t exactly known for a long life. Petrol has many pros but its only con is its cost per litre and it is soaring new heights each day, globally.