Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Other problems

Oh yeah, forgot to say the other problems that occurred with the kit.

Firstly, the hoses connecting up to the coolant system werent even tightened! So it took me a couple of weeks to figure out why the car was losing all it's coolant. Not only that, one nasty occasion coming through preston in traffic caused the car to overheat, almost getting over 100 degrees (due to the lack of coolant).

Now fortunately I am technically minded enough to pressurise the coolant system to see where the leak was coming from, and i wasnt overly surprised to see that it was coming from the lpg system's additional parts. Had I been an unsuspecting customer I could have had an engine seizure, engine fire, or worse???

What is so frustrating is that I chose warrington autogas because of their long list of satisfied customers. Unfortunately, it seems that paying them £1275 plus credit card fee isnt enough for them to turn out a decent job :-( at least in my case anyway.
The battery died, due to the excessive amount of times the car needed to be restarted on a journey. By this time, i had completely stopped using LPG for over two weeks, switching over occasionally only to see if the problem was still present.

I bought a new battery, and it turned out that although the previous battery had held out perfectly acceptably for the past year of ownership (and through a winter period), it was the incorrect battery for the car, being 43ah instead of 60ah. So a bit of split culpability there, whilst i am confident the battery would still have worked without the additional strain of the LPG kit's failings, it could always be argued that the battery wasnt up to the job.

Anyway, I bought a new battery and went to fit it. Joy of joys, where the gas exchange unit had been bolted to the battery tray, it precluded access to the battery clamp. In fact it was screwed to the battery clamp itself, with a smaller than two inch gap to get access to the securing bolts (pictures to follow).

Had I known the lpg kit would have prevented the easy maintenance of user serviceable parts (such as the battery) I never would have had it fitted, and was never informed of this at any time during the installation.

After much swearing, the gas exchange unit was unbolted and the old battery was removed. When I went to fit the new (correctly sized battery), I was prevented from doing so AGAIN!

Turns out the mechanics at warrington autogas had seen the large space in the battery tray (which should have been filled by a correctly sized battery) and instead of thinking "that battery looks a bit small, maybe we should tell him to check it" they thought "thats a perfect place to fit our lpg ecu box!!!", thus preventing me fitting a new battery. I had to pull this out, and rest it in an unideal place to the right of the battery.

I phoned Andy at WA again, obviously unimpressed, and again, I received a load of "well that's strange, it shouldnt be doing that" and "you should be able to get to the battery". To his credit, he did advise me to get it straight in to him and he would try and sort it out so I will report back once I have!


Have been having no end of problems with the kit.

Tried to get the cold stalling problem sorted at the 1000 mile service, all that happened was that the temperature change over was set higher, however, this was not the problem. The car was stalling at junctions in cold weather.

The gauge was also not sorted. Instead of reading empty when the tank was half empty, it was now reading half full when the tank was empty.

Also, I did not get any apologies, only "oh god thats not very good" and "yeah thats about standard for those gauges", but as it was the 1000 mile service, and this is when the creases should be ironed out I wasnt overly concerned.

Needless to say, I had to take the car back. This time, Andy (the owner) worked on the car instead of one of his colleagues. He sorted out the problem that I had of the fuel pipes rubbing on the bonnet (surely should never have been installed like that, as he admitted) and of the gas distribution box actually wearing its way all the way through the bonnet carpet (again should never have been installed like that).

Unfortunately, whilst the cold stalling problem was temporarily fixed (i.e. when the temperature was over 10 degrees C the car ran fine, under and it would stall at EVERY junction), as the temperature decreased (as it is winter) it became problem again. So much so that my battery gave up the ghost.