The maintenance of a methane car is different from that of a petrol or diesel powered car, but it is not a mission impossible, also because there are several advantages to owning a gas car.
Let’s find out what there is to know about the maintenance of methane-fueled cars .
The advantages and disadvantages of CNG cars
The advantages of methane cars are many : the full tank costs little since the price of the ga s is very low, you have the exemption from paying the car tax (in some cases permanent) and you will travel with a low environmental impact.
So why are the sales of natural gas cars not at the top?
There are probably some factors that discourage the purchase: the difficulty of finding the fuel (few stations in Italy), the low power (although this is not always the case) and the constant and scrupulous periodic maintenance (sometimes even expensive) .
CNG car maintenance operations: cylinders
In the methane system one of the fundamental parts are the cylinders that must be installed and approved according to the ECE / ONU Regulation no. 110.
In general, the revision of the cylinders (which is not the replacement) is carried out 4 years from the first registration and then every 2 years , always by specialized workshops, exactly as it happens for the periodic revision: remember that the re-testing of the cylinders is always free ( pay only the labor) but any replacements of valves, pipes or fittings remain at your expense.
If your vehicle has been converted to methane, the cylinders are overhauled every 5 years , always directly by the installer and upon payment of labor.
In any case, if a problem is identified during the cylinder overhaul, the cost of replacing them is also free, thanks to the existence of Eni’s Methane Cylinder Fund Management, the same body that guarantees appropriate insurance coverage for any damage caused by them. caused.
The definitive restoration of the cylinders comes (by law) after 20 years.
Car maintenance operations methane: the other components
As with diesel cars, maintenance of the injectors is very important on methane cars as they can become encrusted and make you lose power.
For this reason, even on methane cars it is always good to consider the use of special additives (cost between 15 and 30 euros) to be added directly to the fuel.
If the injectors are very dirty, you have to remove them (better if a professional does it) and clean them with ultrasounds: if the dirt ends up in the fuel pump it will need to be replaced.
Remember to travel with petrol only , consuming at least one full tank every 7 of gas, and also to start with petrol to ensure the right lubrication.
In any case, after many starts, check the spark plugs, because in methane cars they are subjected to a greater job due to the more difficult ignition.
One last note: the rear shock absorbers of CNG machines last less due to the weight of the cylinders and therefore you will have to replace them more frequently, or prevent the problem by installing springs or reinforced shock absorbers.
Therefore, once the maintenance of the cylinders is removed, which in practice costs almost nothing, in general we can say that the costs to take care of a methane car are higher, but remember that this also depends on the complexity of the system. To understand more, it is always good to inquire in advance with a technician.
The special cases of methane car maintenance
As mentioned, you will have to check the cylinders every 5 years if the cylinders are homologated according to the national regulation DGM , and every 4 years if they follow the European standard R110 ECE / ONU : in this case for type IV cars the first revision takes place in the 4th year after enrollment and then every 2 years .
There are also cars that mount two different types of cylinders and in this case the maintenance will be differentiated: those in composite material follow the standard maintenance, while those in steel must always be overhauled every 4 years.
A false myth to dispel ? The freezing of methane: it is true that the tank could freeze, but only at a temperature of -160 ° C! Considering that the lowest temperature ever recorded on our planet was -89.2 ° C, there is no problem in this regard!