Recent instances of LPG-powered vehicles exploding, which have stolen the headlines in newspapers on a regular basis, reflect the fast-growing number of motorists who have switched over to using liquefied petroleum gas.
These days, some vehicles are sent for LPG conversion even before the licence plates are received.
However, car owners should carefully study in detail whether the warranty provided by auto-makers and insurance covered by insurers will be terminated following LPG conversion.
Typically, a warranty will be terminated once any modification is made to the vehicle.
Earlier this year, Toyota brushed off demands by an owner of the Fortuner SUV to upgrade the braking system of the vehicle due to poor stopping performance.
But it was later found out that the owner had replaced the original wheels and tyres with larger ones.
Car owners must think first whether changing any parts will lead to nullification of the warranty. This can be easily done by checking with the auto company direct before making the move.
Top racing driver Natawut Charoensukkawa-tana said owners should be prudent about car customising, since installing certain parts and components might lead to mechanical problems.
LPG conversion is no exception because the gas is 10 times more flammable than oil, and the vehicles have originally been designed to run on petrol or diesel fuel, not variations of natural gas.
“Auto-makers already calculated the fuel consumption rate with the original components and fuel type,” he said, adding that problems could occur if owners played down this point.
“Unlike in commercial cars, all the equipment in racing cars is designed to withstand extreme conditions and heavy usage for the duration of a race. Therefore, racing parts might not be suitable for private cars since they are used in different conditions.
To make sure that certain add-ons will not affect the performance or the warranty of a vehicle, it is wise to consult experts before deciding to customise your car, Nattavut added.
“Car owners should be more concerned about the effects on the car rather than just thinking about the beauty from installing additional parts or accessories. Otherwise, the car warranty could become void,” he said.