Finding LPG

When planning your trip you need to know that you wil have access to LPG for the duration of your holiday. To map your trip to include gas stations or to simply locate the station closest to the town you are in, visit the Gas Energy Australia website.

autogas.jpg [original]The advantages of installing Autogas equipment

Changing over from petrol or diesel to autogas will bring with it the following advantages:

Frequently asked questions about Autogas

Q. What is LPG?
A. Liquefied Petroleum Gas is the generic name for mixtures of hydrocarbons (mainly propane and butane). When these mixtures are lightly compressed (approx. 800 kPa or 120 psi), they change from a gaseous state to a liquid. LPG is colourless, odourless and heavier than air. A chemical is added to give it a smell like cabbage, so that even a very small leak can be easily detected. LPG burns readily in air and has an energy content similar to petrol, which makes it an excellent fuel for heating. cooking and for automotive use.

Q. Is there a difference between LPG used in a car and LPG used in a barbecue cylinder?
A. YES. There are two different grades or blends of LPG and they are not interchangeable. Autogas is for automotive use only and will be a mixture of mainly propane and butane. The other blend is propane, which can only be used for decanting into small cylinders for caravans, barbecues and camping.

Q. Where does LPG come from?
A. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) can be obtained from several sources. Most commonly it is extracted directly from 'wet' natural gas. It can also be obtained as a by-product of the petroleum refining process.

Q. Is LPG safe?
A. YES. LPG has been used safely in Australia for decades. The Australian Standards for LPG equipment, appliances and their installation and for storage and handling are among the world's best. Every aspect of the LPG industry is covered by a National Code or Standard and similar State Regulations. Autogas vehicles use 3mm thick steel cylinders, whereas petrol tanks are plastic.

Q. Is autogas available in remote country areas?
A. YES. As at July 1999, autogas was available at more than 3.500 outlets throughout Australia. More outlets are planned around the country in the future.

Q. Is LPG environmentally friendly?
A. Combustion of autogas results in less, and in some cases. none, of the following harmful emissions. Carbon monoxide. methane, sulphur dioxide, low level ozone, unburnt hydrocarbons, particulates, air toxins (benzene?s etc). LPG also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

On average, using LPG instead of petrol gives a 15% reduction in carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas). LPG can therefore deliver immediately the Federal Government's objective of achieving a 15% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2010.

Because it uses a sealed system, LPG also reduces evaporative emissions of HC (hydrocarbons) to virtually zero - not only from the vehicle's cylinder but also during refuelling, transport and handling of the fuel.

Q. Should conversions be dual fuel or gas only?
A. The choice is ultimately yours. The latest engine management systems lend themselves well to dual fuel operation giving similar engine performance whether driven in LPG mode or petrol mode. The new unleaded petrol fuel injected engines ensure that there is no loss of performance when they are powered by either petrol or gas.

Q. When a vehicle is converted is much of the manufacturers equipment altered?
A. A vehicle converted to operate on LPG must conform to strict Australian Standards and Australian Design Rules. This means LPG components must be fitted to complement the original equipment fitted to the vehicle. Manufacturers such as Ford. Holden and Mazda have available a range of vehicles factory fitted with dual fuel capabilities. Other manufacturers have released vehicles designed to accommodate LPG for conversion at a later stage.

Q. Does autogas have an effect on engine wear?
A. NO. In fact, an appreciable reduction in overall engine wear is the norm. This is particularly applicable during cold starting because LPG does not wash lubricating oil from the cylinder walls. Modern unleaded petrol engines are especially suitable for conversion to LPG.

Q. Can a reconditioned engine be converted satisfactorily?
A. A new or reconditioned engine should be 'run in" on petrol for approximately 3,000 km before it is converted to LPG operation. If the engine is to be used for LPG only operation. the reconditioning techniques can be adapted to suit a LPG "run in".