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Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it!  
Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - twohapence

Hi,

If you ever think about converting your car to LPG then think very long and hard first and preferably go and lie down in a darkened room until the madness passes. It might work on some cars but it has been a complete and utter disaster for me and I'm very badly out of pocket.

I'm one of the poor unfortunates that paid good money to have my 6 month old Mondie converted to gas. I was advised to have a flash lube system fitted to protect the valves as gas is a "drier" fuel. The problems started almost from day 1. Fuel consumption on gas was about 18mpg and performance was dreadful. So, back the the installer who adjusted the system. Apparently the regulator takes time to settle in and the car was over fueling. Then it started stalling at idle. Back to the installer. After six return visits I was getting about 24mpg on gas and almost acceptable performance.

Over time the performance tailed off and the car started to run badly, the idle was lumpy and it started to cut out whenever the foot was lifted from the throttle. Fuel consumption on gas and petrol started to get really bad and the engine management light came on. For months the car was shuttled between the gasman and the local Ford dealer. No joy.

It got so bad I had the gas system disconnected and removed from the car and put it back in the hands of the dealership as a "clean" petrol installation. They have stripped the top end after checking the valve clearances and found that the valve seats are practically oval and the exhaust valves pretty much burnt out. This in a car that's three years old and has done 45k miles.

The recommendation is to fit a new cylinder head at a cost of £2,200 including labour. If I have the gas reconnected the risk is that in another 40k miles I'll need to replace the cyclinder head again. So, including the conversion, I've added about £5,000 to the cost of covering 40,000 miles, not counting the aggravation, loss of performance and poor fuel economy. My projected fuel cost for the period would have been £6,750 at today's pump prices had I not done the conversion. My fuel cost at today's prices running on gas are about £4,500.

The issue here seems to be that Ford fit a cylinder head that doesn't have hardened valve seats so they just can't cope with the gas system. You pay a lot of cash to have the car converted. If there are any subsequent issues you can bet that your local dealership will delight in telling you that the problems are caused by the after market conversion before charging you for the diagnosis. You have to have the car serviced twice, once for the routine service and once for the gas system. You are now helping to support two businesses instead of only one.

My advice? If you have to go LPG then make sure it is a manufacturer's installation and not an after market conversion. Alternatively buy a diesel. You'll get decent fuel economy without any of the aggravation of the LPG system. Remeber that there's usually only one pump in each service station that supplies LPG. So you have to queue for that pump. Fuelling takes an age and is much more fiddly.

All in all I've had a truly rotten experience with LPG and it has cost me a lot of time and money, never mind the aggravation. Be warned!

Two

Tags: technical issues fuel economy repairs real mpg

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - oilrag

I was thinking of converting my 2CV to gas in the mid 80`s. There seemed to be quite a few of these conversion places around and I approached a local firm and discussed the non hardened valve seats (which they did not mention until, I asked)

It seemed to be "No problem - you may need to adjust the tappets a little more often - but we have done lots"

I held off from it and noticed about 6 months later they had gone belly up.

I also worked with a guy who had a gas converted V8 Landrover Defender. That was a total nightmare - consuming much of his income and seeming like some sort of school lab test bed that you may mess around with just for the sake of it.

In the end he managed to flog it to a neighbor ( who actually requested to buy it) despite knowing all it`s running problems. I think it actually attracted him.

I lost touch with the story at this point - but when last heard of it was being `knackled` in the barn in which it was kept.

The image given was of a grinning `Fred Dibnah` esqe character, wearing his Northern flat cap -- surrounded by bits of pipe, valves and hissing gas.

With just the odd spluttering trip to the shops - juggling the gas and petrol controls.

Well, you have to have a hobby. It probably replaced a Meccano set and those little meths powered steam engines we had as kids in the 50`s.

Edited by oilrag on 03/06/2010 at 15:14

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - jc2

2CV have hard valve seats.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - oilrag

Hey, thats right of course JC2. How much do you forget? Flogged it in 89 having waxoiled and greased it`s chassis to last forever. D908 GWX powder blue (or something)..........

Thanks

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - TheOilBurner

I considered fitting an LPG system to my V6 C5, now I'm glad I didn't.

I was suspcious right from the start, when checking the cost comparison calculator on a well known LPG site the figures appeared obviously skewed.

In the comparison they failed to mention/take account of:

  • LPG is less energy dense than petrol, so reduced performance and economy is a fact
  • Because LPG lowers fuel economy that should be factored in when comparing to petrol costs (they tend to ignore that)
  • Cars must warm up on petrol first, so if most of your journeys are short, you'll hardly use the LPG system at all
  • The LPG system adds significant weight, also killing economy and performance
  • You'll lose your spare tyre or be forced to lose boot space to carry it...
  • LPG adds additional (expensive) servicing requirements, that must be kept up to keep insurers happy
  • LPG equipped cars cannot travel on the channel tunnel
  • After market warranty companies will either exclude LPG systems, or even completely exclude LPG equipped cars if it is not manufacturer approved.

I worked out for my car, doing 7k miles a year, it would have took me about 3-4 years to pay for the conversion (assuming nothing broke!!), by which time my car would be near worthless, so I'd get nothing for selling it on. Since I've never kept a car for more than 2 years, I decided not to bother in the end!

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - corax

If you do your research, you should know all the pros and cons before you decide to have the conversion done. I know someone who had her 4L Jeep Grand Cherokee converted, and shes very happy with it. She does start the car on petrol first. The main problem she has is that the local petrol station has an LPG pump, but it's always empty, so she goes somewhere more reliable (can't remember where). I think that you need to go to an approved company with a good reputation, and see some of the cars that have been converted.

Lots of cars are running on the stuff in Italy, and seem to be doing OK, in fact some of the better LPG systems are of italian manufacture. But they probably buy their cars ready converted by the manufacturer. A lot of cars in Australia run on it too. It's never caught on here, I presume it's down to suspicion that taxes on LPG will rise quickly as more people use it.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - corax

>> So you have to queue for that pump

More people than I thought running on LPG then!

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - Graham567

Surely the OP should get the lpg firm to pay for their damage?

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - twohapence

Surely the OP should get the lpg firm to pay for their damage?

One of life's lessons is that it is often more expensive to be proved right than to feel wronged. I could possibly involve solicitors, get expert opinions, go to court and I *might* even win. If I don't then I have a huge legal bill as well as my repair bill.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - sandy56

I also have the same car and I seriously considered going the LPG route.

After doing a lot of reading I decided that as do not drive a lot of miles- 10-12000 per year, the savings would be slight.

I appreciate your information and I am thanful I didnt do it.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - Cliff Pope

All cars designed to run on unleaded fuel have hardened valve seats.

The moral is only get major work done by someone with a personal recommendation, and check that they have done conversions on that particular model before.

The cheapest and best way is to buy a car ready-converted. That way someone else pays for the conversion cost, you get it virtually free. I bought a converted Volvo 240 about 18 months ago. It runs well, and gives excellent fuel economy with a very basic mixer system. It doesn't need flashlube, they have had hardened valves for decades.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - Collos25

All cars have hardened seat valves if they didn't the heads would last about a week.The reason the the valves burnt out is because it was over fueling and running to hot in the head the lpg company obviously has a technology gap and are responsible for all the faults and should pay to have the car put in its orgiinal condition.

Ford mondeo's with both ford and psa engines can be coverted and will run perfectly if the correct unit is used and the installing company no what they are doing.

Edited by Andy Bairsto on 04/06/2010 at 09:28

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - twohapence

All cars have hardened seat valves if they didn't the heads would last about a week.The reason the the valves burnt out is because it was over fueling and running to hot in the head the lpg company obviously has a technology gap and are responsible for all the faults and should pay to have the car put in its orgiinal condition.

Ford mondeo's with both ford and psa engines can be coverted and will run perfectly if the correct unit is used and the installing company no what they are doing.

Now there's thee rub. There are two points here.

The Ford main dealer wouldn't investigate because they thought there was a problem with the gas installation. The gas company I use (not the cretin that installed the system in the first place) swore it was a mechanical problem with the car. There was a lot of expensive to-ing and fro-ing between garages. So just diagnosing the problem can be expensive.

The second point is the ownership of the responsibility. The Ford main dealer and Ford themselves are going to say that they don't approve the conversion as the car is designed to run on petrol. The gas installer will claiim that his system runs perfectly and that the car is obviously defective..........

Just don't do it. You might be OK and have no problems but you are taking a fairly massive gamble with your engine. If it isn't a factory standard fitting then your car warranty might well be invalidated. If it is an older car then the cost of installing the system and the cost if it goes wrong will be more than the value of your car and more than the savings you might make on using LPG. Sure, lots of people have had nothing but positive experiences nd saved money. I didn't. I've also just been offered a shade over 3k for a 3 year old car with a gas conversion if I trade it in. So there's another hit - accelerated depreciation.

Two

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - Collos25

I totally agree with you I would not have a retro fit lpg system near a modern car for the simple reasons you describe,even factory built systems are a nightmare.You could not blame Ford, the lpg provider are liable for all costs unless they fitted it under duress which I assume they did not.Not only have they caused you plenty of time and trouble they have ruined a perfectly good car through there incompetence.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - piston power

I used to overhaul nissan forklifts and the gasoline engine came fitted with gas as standard these engines could manage 300k without serious overhaul, the gas system set up correct it ran no problem.

Lpg works just fine it's the guy who fit it does not have a clue or it's faulty which the garage is resposible for.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - DavidL

Sounds like a bad installation. I have an 04 2ltr Mondeo zetec which I bought at 3500 miles and a few months old. I asked my local dealer what Fords view was with regard to my warranty if I converted. I got the party line so the upshot was that I waited until the warranty ran out at 3 years and got a convesrion done by a guy who was well reccommended to me (Autogas Cumbria). The car had done 52k miles by this time. Flashlube was reccommended and fitted.

The car has just topped 130k and has been faultless since the installation, regularly returning between 260 and 300 miles on a 47 ltr lpg tank. It still runs as sweet as a nut, the oil stays clean between services and I have yet to top up the oil outside of a service. I travel regualrly between Leeds, London and Glasgow so the bulk of the miles are motorway.

I have it regularly serviced by the Ford main dealer in Leeds were I live and they told me recentlly that they now service several (converted) zetec engined fords.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - Dutchie

Here in this neck of the woods where i live the majority of police cars drive on lpg with no problems.(proton).I drove on lpg years ago vw jetta the old man had it fitted and i got the car when he died.When it gave up the ghost we took the engine apart valves burnt out ,i used to start on petrol then drove on gas we only had one filling station here,not many people used lpg in the uk and when i used to show them the tank in the boot they thought it was going to blow up any minute;)Thousands of continental drivers use lpg with no problems the big estate volvos where favorites the italian systems where the best .I know a chap in yorkshire who did conversions he used to collect the parts and systems from holland.On the continent petrol 1.26 euro a litre lpg 38 euro cents.And they pay extra tax a year.Its still atractive.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - Blue {P}

I had my MK2 Mondeo V6 converted and have to say that I would do it again, the only problems with it were eventually fixed by the installer when they figured out which part was defective. Unfortunately I had chosen an installer that was many miles away which was a mistake as it made the trips to get the fault fixed a bit of a mare.

Overall I think I was getting 35 - 40mpg equivalent from the V6, I didn't have to suffer any of the nasty diesel clatter and it was smooth and powerful. In the end I "upgraded" to a Mondeo ST TDCi and bitterly regretted it, flogged it within 5 months and bought another petrol car which isn't ideal for conversion and hence will continue to deliver just 25mpg lol.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - SteveLee
Take them to a small claims court, all alloy cylinder heads have hardened valve seats by definition, poor set-up is obviously what did for your valve seats.
Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - Dutchie

Agree with Steve they have put the wrong system in your car the installer should have known what was suitable for you car.The cost should be the installer they dropped a b******.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - Dutchie

They have made a mistake costly to you the installer is at fault here make them pay.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - Ethan Edwards

I agree it's a poor installation thats the fault here. LPG is fine if you get it installed correctly.

I'm on my third LPG car and loving it. I still own the first one (as well) and it's going fine.

Currently I own a 2003 X-Trail 2.5 Auto and a 2010 Nissan Note 1.6 Auto. No issues other than the Xtrail did stall occasionally in sub zero morning starts. I realised it was the vapouriser not being warmed up enough so in those circumstances I over ride the Auto switch over to stay on petrol longer - till the engines really warm

I just sold my 2002 X Pic 1.8 and that ran beautifully on LPG.

LPG isn't for everyone. You need to be sure your going to hold onto the car for some years. You do mainly long journeys (I do 25K a year too) and will never need to use the Eurotunnel and you have local garages who stock it. If you can say all that then you should really consider it carefully. The Xtrail has 'paid for itself' so it's clear 'profit now' and the Note will be 'in profit' in another three thousand or about 45days.

Half price motoring.

If your thinking of it I recommend only using a fitter who is a member of the LPGA (approved installer) or who has been in the business for some time - google for reviews etc.

Yes it's a punt but I have not regretted it one bit.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - jc2

All cars,not just Fords,have been fitted with hardened valve seats since the introduction of unleaded fuel(late 80's in UK);Ford offered LPG equipped cars as a production option as did other manufacturers-a lot of aftermarket equipment and fitting is not good as some of the other posters have found out.In the UK,unlike the rest of the EU,there is little or no in-service testing.An MoT test,for example, would not concern itself with LPG.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - Dutchie

Regarding the eurotunnel Ethan i used to go on the Eurotunnel regulary with the vw Jetta.I was never stopped or questioned and i did't hide anything.Customs used to look in the boot saw the lpg tank and nothing was mentioned.They did test in holland with the various lpg tanks till complete destruction and they did't explode.I think a petrol or diesel will ignite quiker than lpg.Even with hardened seat valves some cars still don't take to lpg i dont know why not .Its a very clean fuel and a lot cheaper than petrol or diesel.Like jc2 is saying there are a lot of people who really don't know what they are doing fitting the wrong systems what unfortunately happened to the OP.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - Ethan Edwards

I agree it makes no sense to me but I used to be a regular E/T user before I converted and every time I booked in I was asked. Once I converted I didn't go back.

So I mentioned it to be thorough.

Ferry is no hardship though...and usually cheaper!

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - DavidL

Update - recently sold the Mondeo at 207000 miles. It was still running fine but had to go since it was starting to cost in terms of suspension/clutch etc. Someone told me its now a taxi.

I've bought a Mondeo Titanium X (2.0 Ecoboost) and the day it moves out of warranty I will have it back to Autogas Cumbria for a conversion.

There is a lot of bullkaka written on these boards about gas conversions, mostly a result of lousy installations. Go to a reputable company that fits good quality kit and you wont go wrong.

I did 150000 + miles on gas, at 28mpg that would have been 5357 galls of petrol. @ £1.30/l or £5.85/gall

5357 galls @ £5.85 = £31,385 over the 150k miles. LPG is half the price so I saved over £15k which is more than the car cost me in the first place (including the conversion)

It's a no brainer

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - dan86

Update - recently sold the Mondeo at 207000 miles. It was still running fine but had to go since it was starting to cost in terms of suspension/clutch etc. Someone told me its now a taxi.

I've bought a Mondeo Titanium X (2.0 Ecoboost) and the day it moves out of warranty I will have it back to Autogas Cumbria for a conversion.

There is a lot of bullkaka written on these boards about gas conversions, mostly a result of lousy installations. Go to a reputable company that fits good quality kit and you wont go wrong.

I did 150000 + miles on gas, at 28mpg that would have been 5357 galls of petrol. @ £1.30/l or £5.85/gall

5357 galls @ £5.85 = £31,385 over the 150k miles. LPG is half the price so I saved over £15k which is more than the car cost me in the first place (including the conversion)

It's a no brainer

Isn't the ecoboost engine direct injection? If so iv been told you can't use lpg on direct injection engines. I think I've red it on here somewhere as well.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - gordonbennet

Isn't the ecoboost engine direct injection? If so iv been told you can't use lpg on direct injection engines. I think I've red it on here somewhere as well.

That is indeed the case, apparently the petrol injectors being inside the combustion chambers (obviously) eventually get burnt up by the LPG burn.

Maybe thats old news and conversion is now possible, be interesting to hear.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - brum

I did 150000 + miles on gas, at 28mpg that would have been 5357 galls of petrol. @ £1.30/l or £5.85/gall

5357 galls @ £5.85 = £31,385 over the 150k miles. LPG is half the price so I saved over £15k which is more than the car cost me in the first place (including the conversion)

It's a no brainer

But surely on petrol you would get at least 35mpg (lpg at least -20%) which would work out 4285 gal @ £1.30/l gives £25350. So in reality even using these figures (using recent prices isnt the way to calculate real savings) you only saved £9659.

Still a saving, but I wonder how much other expenditure is conveniently forgotten in Davids enthusiasm? Servicing,repairs,insurance and loss of resale value for instance.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - unthrottled

When calculating lpg savings:

-the 20-25% drop in mpg is often conveniently neglected.

-as is the cost of installation.

-so is petrol used during start up (not always trivial)

-loss of boot space (often a non-issue)

There can be significant savings-but I wouldn't call it a 'no-brainer'.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - gordonbennet

No, do not convert your car, its not worth it, trust me i've had one converted and bought another one converted from new, they run rough they break down every other day and they absolutely drink the stuff, which you can't find for love nor money and it works out far more expensive than ordinary fuel when you can find it, so don't do it OK.

:-)))

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - bathtub tom

GB

Friday night vino-de collapso?

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - gordonbennet

GB

Friday night vino-de collapso?

Good Lord Tom perish the thought, you must have guessed by now that i don't go near any mind altering drugs.

I was of course being a little devilish, pulling the tigers tail re the anti sentiments from those who haven't tried and are sure that they know best, its just like the ranting against hybrids by those who have never so much as driven one, please carry on chaps its very funny.

Selfishly i and many other LPG users are extremely happy its only a few of us that have tried tested and discovered, i'm sure i don't need to spell out the financial implications of larger take up in several ways.

Edited by gordonbennet on 14/09/2013 at 21:10

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - 659FBE

Consider also the fuel and time wasted in trying to locate an LPG outlet. Not only are they s p a r s e, but many are out of stock when eventually found. The psychology is such that to justify the ownership of such a machine, people with LPG conversions will drive stupidly far to locate an outlet.

LPG is most definitely not a proposition, especially in the UK. Conversions are an engineering bodge, usually "designed" by people who clearly lack a proper understanding of the vehicle's engine management system. Maintenance costs and some insurance costs are higher and there are other limitations of use (channel tunnel, for instance).

Buy a good diesel and maintain it properly. You will get a fully developed product (if you choose the right supplier) which can be easily maintained and fuelled in the real world.

659.

Edited by 659FBE on 14/09/2013 at 10:38

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - jamie745

LPG is a good idea in some cases. It's mostly used to keep older 4x4s and large engined luxury cars on the road, as it makes them vaguely sensible to own. Back in 1996, a 4.0 Jeep doing 18mpg wasn't too bad, but today it's ridiculous so LPG stops them all being turned into cans which is a good thing.

For everyday driving in an everyday car, just buy an everyday car.

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - unthrottled

Conversions are an engineering bodge,

Optimum spark timing for propane is different for petrol It needs more advance at low RPM, but less advance at high RPM. Does anyone know if (and how) the installers change the timing map for LPG use? I wonder if this contributes to the VSR problem some engines suffer?

Edited by unthrottled on 14/09/2013 at 19:26

Ford Mondeo - LPG? Forget it! - DavidL

Seems like the post generated some comment and the arithmetic corrections on actual savings are probably nearer the truth (thanks) but I cannot be bothered to be that accurate.. just a few fag packet sums.

In short I've had a very profitable experience running a car from nearly new to something worth very little (what would you pay for a 9 year old mondeo with 207K miles on the clock)

The car was still on its original clutch (a personal best for me) and the main dealer would have charged me £600 to replace it. It was serviced according to the book by a main dealer and apart from 2 rear calipers, several sets of brake disks and a few suspension bushes had cost me nothing outside of routine servicing. It picked up a few dinks and grazes along the way and drivers seat was totally shot but it served me well.

In very cold weather (in Scotland) when I had to run on petrol (the lpg pumps dont work) I got about 32 mpg. On gas I frequently ran the lpg tank to empty. It was a 47 litre tank which approximates to 10 galls. The best I got was 322 miles, around town I got 260-270 to a tankfull.

One poster queried my intention to convert my new 2L eco-boost. Rest assured I will research it carefully before doing so (as I did with ther previous car) and will post the results here if and when it is done.

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