Thursday, 2 December 2010

LPG System now completely useless

This is the third year that I've had my LPG system, fitted by Warrington Autogas and Autogas99. Every year, from October onwards the LPG system is of no use, I've had to switch back to running on Petrol in the winter. This is despite repeated visits to the installer every winter (and more in between)

The system runs lumpy, fells like it's continually about to stall and often cuts out at junctions.

In short, whilst the LPG system is out of it's formal 2 year retailers warranty, (however, not out of the Supply of Goods and Services act implied "reasonable" period), it is now of little use for half of the year.

See here for the video of the car repeatedly stalling

Thursday, 6 May 2010

MORE Problems! Part 2

The replaced seal from the last post did not solve the problem and a new gas exchange unit had to be fitted. This solved the problem of the disapearing coolant, but soon after I discovered a crack in the cylinder head (this was not present when we changed the head gasket, which we originally thought was the cause of the water loss, but it turned out to be the lpg system).

In short, the LPG system has:

1) Not been usable every winter, despite repeated attempts to resolve
2) Prematurely sent a battery to it's early grave (although I appreciate that car batteries are consumable items and this may have needed to be changed eventually anyway)
3) Caused a cylinder head to crack due to overheating as a result of the water loss. Whilst Z22SE engines have been known to crack cylinder heads, they do this around the spark plug aperture due to overtightening. This crack is on the flat metal of the rear of the cylinder head. This is an expensive problem even for an experienced mechanic such as me. For a non mechanic this may very well mean an uneconomical repair i.e. over £1000 parts and labour.

MORE Problems!

The car had been losing water for a while.

When I took it in to a garage to diagnose the problem, it turned out there was gas getting in to the header tank system (this was diagnosed by putting a lighter to the header tank and seeing the air inside burn quite well!).

As a result of this I decided to get the head gasket changed to be on the safe side (as I thought a leak from the cylinder to the water jacket would cause LPG to blow through, and the car had done 98000 miles so thought it would be this).

Unfortunately this did not solve the problem, so I trotted on down to Autogas99 / Warrington Autogas's new premises, where they changed a seal inside the exchange unit and told me that the water I put in the system was too hard and had caused the seal to fail.

View the whole blog here

Warrington Autogas now Autogas99

Warrington autogas have moved premises (quite a while ago now) to a garage in Widnes, and changed their name to Autogas99.

View the whole blog here

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Price Update!

Petrol seems to be on it's way back up again.

Many places selling it at 106.9 or even 108.9

Gas however seems to be holding steady (for a change). Only 49.9p at Shell Haydock Island (just off the M6) and also Asda at queensferry.

View the whole blog here

Monday, 3 August 2009

Mostly all sorted now

Took the car back to Warrington Autogas for it's service a couple of months ago.

It turns out that the service is less of a service and more of a "safety inspection" with a gas filter change.

As an amateurish mechanic I could have done this myself, possibly not conduct a thorough and professional gas inspection, but certainly change the gas filter, which I found here for £14, so I don't think I'll bother with the services in future.

However, one positive thing that came out of the service was that Andy, flashed my ecu with the latest map. From what I could see happening, it appeared that the new map for the lpg ecu allows it to communicate with the car's ecu more effectively.

Anyway after this new map, there was no stalling, no kangarooing, no loss of power anywhere. The car runs perfectly on gas now, just as if it was on petrol. In fact, sometimes after i've filled up and am still running on petrol, I forget becuase it runs so well on gas now.

In short it's good news, but it should really have run like this from the beginning, given the price. I suppose the main thing is that its fixed now and running perfectly! Now all I need to do is sort out the water leak!

View the whole blog here

Monday, 23 March 2009

As a little update, having lived with the LPG conversion for about 9 months I can safely say the following

1) I would NOT recommend warrington autogas for a conversion. My slightly unusual car was enough to completely fox them and require many trips back to get it running right. Possibly they have no trouble with standard 1.6 focuses and normal astras, but one slightly different (and my engine isnt even that unusual) car like mine and there was no end of problems.

2) If Warrington Autogas are the best of a bad bunch, I hate to think what the worst of the bunch are like.

After repeated trips to Warrington Autogas I still have the following:

A) Lumpy idling. This does not happen on petrol.
B) Intermittent stalling. Every now and then you'll just coast up to a junction and find you have to restart your engine, again, doesnt happen on petrol.
C) A gauge which is neither use nor ornament. All indications of remaining LPG are to be done through the trip counter. Repeated attempts to have this fixed bore no fruit whatsoever. Not only that, the gauge wasnt glued down, so comes loose, that will be another job for me to fix in time.
D) The car is still dropping water somewhere. It wasnt doing this before the conversion, so again this is another job i will have to fix.

3) In all honesty, bearing in mind Warrington Autogas were given repeated attempts at fixing my car, they really should have been taken to court for their poor workmanship. All I had in way of compensation was one lousy free tank of gas, which they tried to charge me for anyway before i argued with them.

Andy and the guys at Warrington Autogas are lovely blokes, but there are lots of lovely blokes around, few of whom I would trust to perform extensive and complicated work on the fuel system of my car. Andy and his colleagues are now firmly in that group.

Look at the engine bay after the install.

Note the gas distribution block not secured in any way and free to roam the engine bay.