Why you should switch to LPG

What is LPG?
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a fuel source most commonly used in heating, cooking and for running vehicles. In the automotive industry it’s commonly referred to as autogas. It is not a single type of gas. In Australia LPG is generally propane, but in other countries it is butane, isobutane or a mixture of all three. Under pressure, these gases turn to liquid and can be easily stored in steel vessels. LPG’s hydrocarbons are naturally occurring, but they are not found in isolation. More than half of the world’s LPG is extracted from natural gas. The remainder is obtained during refining of crude oil.
What are the differences between LPG and other fuels?
If you’re considering LPG as a vehicle fuel, it’s considerably less expensive than alternatives like petrol and diesel. That’s because of the abundant supply in Australia and the relatively small government excise (compared with petrol). Although prices fluctuate, LPG can often be half the price of both petrol and diesel at service stations, making running a large family vehicle as economical as most 4-cylinder petrol cars. The typical motorist can save approximately 40% on their normal petrol fuel bill just by converting to LPG.

Compared with other fossil fuels, LPG is significantly cleaner. It emits less CO2 and fewer harmful particulates than other fuel sources such as petrol and diesel. It’s also non-corrosive and free of lead. The World LPG Association says that the carbon footprint of LPG is 50% lower than coal (source: www.wlpga.org/about-lpg/lpg- society/climate-change/). Studies have shown that an LPG car will generate between 10 and 14% fewer CO2 emissions over its running life than the same car using petrol alone.

It will be an essential transition fuel between the dirtiest traditional energy sources and renewable energy such as wind, solar, hydro and geothermal. It also has an indefinite shelf life, meaning it doesn’t lose its usefulness and value over time, which makes using LPG in applications such as generators a better alternative to petrol or diesel, which can go stale.

Is LPG safe?
All LPG operated vehicles in Australia comply with one of the strictest and safest national standards in the world: Australian Standard (AS 1425). There is substantial evidence to show that an LPG powered vehicle is as safe, if not safer, than any other fuel available on the market today. LPG systems are equipped with a number of fail-safes – for example they default to petrol if any problems are detected, and will shut down in the event of an accident.
Where can I find LPG?
Over 3,500 petrol stations around Australia offer LPG. Download GasBuddy to find your nearest service station.

LPG conversions for vehicles

What is an LPG conversion?
An LPG conversion involves adding an LPG fuel system to your vehicle, so that the vehicle runs on LPG as well as petrol.
Which vehicles can be converted?
We offer LPG conversion kits for a variety of makes and models. The most popular are Ford, Holden, HSV, Toyota, Kia, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai. Our engineers regularly develop new conversion kits based on demand and general, all petrol vehicles can be converted to run on LPG. There are a few exceptions but the majority of vehicles built after 1990 are well suited to conversion. If your vehicle does not appear in our list of popular vehicles, it may mean that your make or model has a limitation of some kind. That might be engine incompatibility or space restrictions. Alternatively, we simply may not have developed a kit for your vehicle just yet. Call the Sprint Gas team and we will help find a solution.
What is the better system to install - Liquid Injection, Vapour Injection or Mixer system?
Mixer (also known as Venturi) systems have been around since the inception of LPG conversions, and are fitted mostly to pre-2001 model vehicles with either carburetor or Electronic Fuel Injection (EF) systems. The system mixes LPG vapour and air, generally at the throttle body or induction hose on EFI vehicles, or on top of the carburetor for older vehicles. This system is the cheapest option and best if you have an older car but would like to benefit from an LPG conversion.

Sequential Vapour Injection (SVI) systems introduce the LPG vapour directly into the manifold which is one of the reasons why our SVI systems have minimal power loss. When driving a vehicle with a SVI system, it is almost impossible to detect which fuel is being used. The general feel is that the car drives “smoother”.

SVI systems have been installed on Australian vehicles for many years and have been trialled, tested and improved for Australian road conditions over a long period of time. Australia wide, most LPG installers will have the required equipment to service a vehicle with this system installed.

Liquid Propane Injection (LPi) systems pump LPG at a high pressure from the tank to the manifold through an LPG injector. The injector sprays LPG into the manifold as a liquid before it immediately vapourises, causing the surrounding air to cool rapidly – to as low as – 30˚C. This rapid cooling increases the density of the air which leads to improved engine efficiency and output. Not only is the power output improved but torque is increased at lower RPM.

LPi systems are relatively new in the Australian market ,however we recommend Vialle LPi when converting high performance vehicles with V6 and V8 engines to maximise the power output for a better result.

How much space does the tank take up?
Traditionally the LPG cylinder is fitted behind the rear seat in the boot of the vehicle. In some vehicles a toroidal (donut-shaped) tank can be fitted in the spare wheel well or mounted underneath, a good option if you want to conserve your boot space. The toroidal options come with a tyre repair kit.
How much does a conversion cost?
Systems range in price from about $2,200 to $4,500 installed, depending a number of factors. They include:

  •  the vehicle make, model and engine capacity
  • the brand and quality of equipment being fitted
  • the type of LPG system being installed, i.e. vapour, liquid or mixer
  • the type/size of tank being installed, i.e. cylinder or toirodal (donut-shaped)
  • any included extras, for example spare wheel brackets or covers
  • the time required to complete the installation
Is a government rebate scheme still running?
Unfortunately not. The federal government rebate scheme ended on 30 June 2014.
How long does an LPG conversion take?
Converting a car generally takes one and a half to two days.
Can anyone install an LPG system into my vehicle?
No. LPG conversion systems must be installed by a licensed LPG installer. In Victoria, mechanics installing or repairing LPG systems on vehicles must be registered with the Automotive Alternative Fuels Registration Board (AAFRB). Sprint Gas supplies LPG conversion systems to an Australia-wide network of experienced and licensed installers.
What about the LPG system warranty?
Warranty commences on the date of installation of the system on the vehicle. The warranty period for brand new vehicles (those that have fewer than 5,000 kilometres on the odometer) is 3 years (36 months) or 150,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. For used vehicles (those that have travelled 5,000 kilometres or more at the date of installation), the warranty period is 2 years (24 months) or 50,000km, whichever comes first.
What about the vehicle warranty?
The vehicle manufacturer will not warrant the LPG system (unless it is an OEM-fitted system for a Ford or Holden) and they will not warrant any components affected by having the LPG system fitted. Please check with your vehicle dealer or manufacturer.
Do LPG systems need servicing?
All LPG systems need servicing or maintenance but some require more than others. When considering an LPG conversion, most vehicle owners weigh up the price of the conversion and how long it will take to recoup the cost, without considering the consequences of choosing a cheap LPG system.

With our LPG systems, servicing generally consists of a simple one-hour service at regular 10,000km intervals that involves leak checking, visual inspection of connections and fittings, as well as temporary connection of a diagnostic computer. We also offer a free 1,500km system check after your conversion just to make sure everything is as it should be post-installation.

Will my vehicle be less powerful when operating on LPG?
One of the main concerns car owners have when considering an LPG conversion is that their vehicle will “lose power”. A vehicle with our systems installed produces, at the very least, the same amount of power when running on LPG as the vehicle would running on petrol. It also feels no different to driving a petrol car.
If I convert my vehicle to LPG can I still drive on petrol?
Yes. After an LPG system has been installed, your vehicle will still require petrol however the amount of petrol you will use will be greatly reduced. LPG systems use petrol to start and to lubricate the engine before switching over to LPG. Petrol is then used as a secondary source of fuel.

By operating a dual fuel system you’ll almost double the kilometre range available to you. Because the petrol tank stays in the car, you can switch from gas to petrol, or vice-versa, whenever you like.

On some performance cars where a Liquid Propane Injection (LPi) system is installed, the system is programmed to temporarily switch the engine back to petrol at very high loads. This ensures durability of the exhaust emissions components under the most extreme
conditions. You won’t notice it happening but when it does you can be assured that the high load engine protection measures that the manufacturer developed will remain unaffected.

Is driving a car on LPG complicated?
There’s no difference driving an LPG car to any other car. For SVI and Mixer systems, the car starts on petrol and switches over to LPG immediately and for LPi systems the car starts on LPG and the petrol is there as a back-up. The fuel gauge sits in a convenient location on your dashboard or console, and our advanced technology automatically monitors and adjusts whether your car should be using LPG or petrol.

Filling a vehicle with LPG is easy & safe with little difference to how you would normally fill your car on petrol. The LPG fuel filler sits right next to your petrol filler and the browser at the service station has a nozzle that screws onto the LPG filler – this keeps the LPG safely contained whilst you fill the vehicle.

Will an LPG conversion affect the value of my car?
As the world moves rapidly towards low- and no-carbon vehicles, LPG will more and more be seen as a sensible transition fuel therefore it is still a desirable feature in a car.

Using LPG in other ways at home, at work & on-the-go

Are composite LPG cylinders safe?
The safety of Hexagon Ragasco composites – made from polyethylene, glass fibres and resin – is equivalent to or higher than steel cylinders. They do not corrode, have been tested to ensure maximum chemical stability and can be burned in a fire without any concern for explosion. They can withstand temperatures from between – 40˚C to above 65˚C.

They are approved in accordance with the Australian Standards AS 2030.1:2009 which applies to all gas cylinders and contains requirements for design, manufacture and inspection. WorkSafe Design Registration Number – V1400284.

The design, approval testing and production testing of the composite cylinders are based on the requirements of EN 12245 “Transportable Gas Cylinders – Fully Wrapped Composite Cylinders” and EN 14427 “Transportable Refillable Composite Cylinders for LPG – Design and Construction” and also comply with ISO1119-3 Gas Cylinders of Composite Construction Specification and Test Methods – Part 3: Fully Wrapped Fibre Reinforced Composite Gas Cylinders with Non-load Sharing Metallic or Non-metallic Liners.

How do you refill composite cylinders in Australia?
Cylinders can be refilled so long as they have a design registration/approval number from an Australian regulatory authority or a valid legible stamp of a certified Australian Gas Cylinder Test Station.

The Hexagon Ragasco composite cylinders have Australian Design Approval marked on the tank and are tested at Sprint Gas, a certified Australian Gas Cylinder Test Station (Certificate no. GC0226 AS 2337.3) prior to shipping to our customers. That means they are approved for use and can be refilled in Australia.

What about re-testing?
Currently, Australian Standards require composite LPG cylinders to be retested every 5 years. Contact Sprint Gas to book your cylinder in to be re-tested.
Why is the cylinder translucent?
The HDPE liner and composite pressure vessel are translucent so that you can see the liquid level of LPG inside the cylinder, therefore eliminating the risk of running out of gas at an inopportune time. It also makes it possible for the consumer to verify that the cylinder has
actually been filled with the right amount of LPG.
What about corrosion and chemical resistance?
These composite LPG cylinders do not corrode. All materials used are non-corrosive and have been carefully selected to ensure maximum chemical stability and resistance to concentrations of acids or solvents that may appear in the LPG or in the environment where the LPG cylinders may be stored or used. Additionally the pressure vessel is protected by a coating on the outside.
Can the cylinders be used in extreme climates?
Long-term testing in extremely hot climates has shown that the cylinders are unaffected by heat, salt & humidity and as part of the approval testing programme, the cylinders are also tested and approved down to -40°C. At both extremes they remain safe to use.
Are the cylinders UV resistant?
The materials used in the manufacturing process ensure maximum UV stability. In addition, UV additives are applied to the casing material depending on the region where the cylinders are distributed.
What happens to the cylinders in the case of fire?
The composite cylinders can be burned in a fire without any concern for explosion. After a few minutes in a fire, the resin will be burned off and the plastic liner and casing melted. The LPG will then breathe through the cylinder wall and burn off in a controlled manner.

Get the best deal on your LPG conversion

Send an enquiry to enquiries@sprintgas.com.au or call on 1300 985 953 and we'll help you today.