Clean plugs vital for LPG systems
Q: Recently, I attempted to start my 1998 Toyota Landcruiser Prado which had been refitted with LPG.
There was a large explosion, and the air box was blown apart.
I have since learnt that this is not uncommon for vehicles fitted with LPG systems, and that the condition of the spark plugs and leads are critical.
But these were replaced only 12,000km and 20,000km ago.
Having replaced the air box, what can I do to prevent this happening again?
Peter Mann, email.
A: The explosion is a result of the air/LPG mixture in the intake manifold igniting, most likely set off by a stray spark. Change the plugs and plug leads again, they are usually the cause of this problem.
Q: I read some time ago that you should inflate your tyres three to four PSI above the pressures recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, as they specify a lower figure to give a softer ride.
Do you agree with this?
James Johnson, email.
A: The tyre pressure specified by the carmaker is one that gives the best blend of handling, braking, ride comfort and tyre life.
In other words its a bit of a compromise.
By setting the tyre pressure a few PSI above the recommended pressure you can usually improve the tyre life, fuel economy and the handling, but you will at the same time make the ride less comfortable.
Q: I recommend anyone thinking of converting his or her car to LPG to think again. I converted a 2003 VY Commodore V6 and switched to LPG despite being told by my dealer not to, and have had nothing but trouble ever since.
Now running on petrol, I don’t have a problem, but I’m a few thousand dollars down the drain.
I say stick with petrol; our cars were not designed to run on LPG.
Patrick de Zilwa, Watsonia, Vic.
A: It’s unfortunate that you’ve had a bad experience with LPG, as your car is one that converts well and thousands of motorists have done it before you.
But remember it is worthwhile talking to a number of converters and owners who have made the switch to get their first-hand experience of any troubles they might have had.
Q: My 2003 Mazda SP23 is classed as unsuitable for ethanol blended petrol, but I was told that BP petrol stations include ethanol in all their unleaded petrol.
Is this true? If so why is that not stated on their premises identifying signs before one drives into the servo?
Peter Sauerberg, Holland Park West, Qld.
A: The alternative fuels people have told us that it is actually not correct.
All petrol companies must display notices on pumps when ethanol is present in the fuel.
Q: My Honda Jazz, now out of warranty, has been experiencing similar gearbox troubles as reported by some of your readers.