8 Things to Know Before Installing a CNG Kit in Your Car
The ever-rising cost of fuel in India is no secret. The price of petrol and diesel are touching the sky making people rethink about their travel choices. To top it all, the consumption of petrol and diesel is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases, which are destroying our planet’s ozone layer. The only greener alternative available right now is electric cars and cars that run on CNG. But given the high cost of electric cars, using CNG cars are the only alternative.
CNG or Compressed Natural Gas is one of the most environment-friendly fuels. It produces fewer unwanted gases as compared to its counterparts. It is also much safer as it disperses quickly in the air in case of a spill. Unlike petrol and diesel, CNG is extremely affordable. Therefore, using CNG in your car can help you save money on your monthly fuel consumption and cut down your travel costs.
CNG is widely used in several Indian cities, such as Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, etc. People at these places either use a CNG car or install a CNG kit in their petrol or diesel cars. That’s right! You can install a CNG kit in your petrol/ diesel cars. It eliminates the need to buy a new car to use CNG just to cut down your fuel expenses. Moreover, motor insurers also provide coverage for CNG kits installed in the car. You can compare car insurance plans to find a suitable plan that covers the damages related to the CNG kit.
8 Things That You Must Know Before Installing a CNG Kit in Your Car
Installing a CNG kit in your petrol/ diesel car is good for your pocket. But before you go ahead with the installation process, you need to watch out for a few things that may prevent any future financial losses. Take a look at eight things that you must know before installing a CNG kit in your car:
Not All Cars Are Compatible to Install a CNG Kit
Before you decide to install a CNG kit in your car, you must check whether your car is compatible with changing the fuel type to CNG. Your car must be compatible enough for fuel customization to CNG. Older cars are mostly not compatible to be converted into a CNG car. Therefore, it is important to check if your petrol/ diesel car can be converted into a CNG car.
The best way to check your car’s compatibility with the installation of a CNG kit is by contacting the Regional Transport Office (RTO) of your area. The RTO issues a list of cars that can be installed with a CNG kit. If your car model is present in the prescribed list of CNG approved cars, you can install a CNG kit in your car without any second thoughts. Remember that the list of car models permitted for conversion to CNG vary from one place to another and hence, you must make sure to check the list from the RTO of your area only.
All CNG Kits Are Not Genuine
In today’s era and time, you can find a fake copy of everything and the same goes with CNG kits. Not every CNG kit available in the market is genuine. It is important to check the authenticity of a CNG kit before getting it installed in your car. To ensure that the CNG kit installed that you have chosen is authentic, make sure to opt for a branded CNG kit and buy it from an authorized dealer only. Avoid buying the CNG kit from local dealers as they may sell you a fake one that may give trouble later. Hence, buy a branded CNG kit for your car from an authorized dealer instead of a local one.
Using a Retro-Fitted CNG Kit in Your Car Requires a License
Once you know that your car is eligible to be converted into a CNG car, you can get a genuine CNG kit installed. However, you cannot use your retro-fitted CNG car legally unless you take approval from your RTO. When a petrol car is converted into a CNG car, the vehicle owner is required to take permission for its usage from the RTO that has the jurisdiction for his/ her area. To do so, you will be required to update the fuel type information on your Car Registration Certificate (RC) from petrol to CNG. The RTO will put a ‘fuel change’ seal on your car’s RC upon approval. After the seal has been put on the RC, you can legally use your retro-fitted CNG car. Remember that updating the fuel type information on your RC can get a little hectic and may take some time.
Cost of Installing & Maintaining a CNG Kit is High
CNG is more economical than petrol or diesel. However, buying a CNG kit from an authorized dealer can be rather expensive. Usually, the cost of buying and installing an authentic CNG kit from an authorized dealer can take about Rs 50,000 to 60,000 depending on the make and model of your car. Fortunately, the amount can be easily recovered within a few years given the low cost of CNG in comparison to petrol or diesel.
Installing a CNG kit is definitely a one-time investment. However, maintaining your car with a CNG kit can be really expensive. The cost of maintaining a CNG car is higher than a petrol or diesel car. You will find yourself taking your CNG car to a garage more often than you used to take your petrol/ diesel car.
CNG is Available Only at Selected Locations
Before you jump on the decision to install a CNG kit in your car, find out about the CNG fueling stations in your neighbourhood. Unlike the petrol pumps, there are fewer CNG fueling stations in India. You may find one or more petrol pump in a neighbourhood but you can’t guarantee the same for a CNG fueling station. Even in metro cities, CNG fueling stations are not in abundance and you may have to travel quite a distance to refill CNG in your car. The situation is even worse in smaller cities.
Even if you have a CNG fueling station in your area, you may often find yourself standing in long queues at the time of refilling. This is because of the scarcity of CNG fueling stations and a higher number of cars to be catered. Thus, you need to refuel a CNG car frequently. If you plan to go on a long drive in your car, you must know beforehand about the CNG fueling stations on your route and should also keep a backup container full of petrol/ diesel in case you run out of CNG.
Your Car’s Performance May Be Compromised
After you start using your retro-fitted CNG car, you will notice that the performance of your car is falling with time. This usually happens because the change in fuel type adversely impacts the engine of the car. Under petrol cars, the fuel acts as a lubricant to the cylinder and the valve and prevents it from corrosion. But in the case of CNG, the lubricant in the form of fuel goes missing making it more susceptible to corrosion. Thus, your car’s performance gets compromised.
As a consequence, you will have to take your car for servicing frequently and your car maintenance cost will go up. Therefore, you must compare car insurance plans and buy the one that offers coverage for the CNG kit installed in your car. Most car insurers come with optional cover for CNG kit installed in a car. You can compare car insurance and choose the most suitable policy as per your budget and the features you require.
CNG Kit Increases Your Car Insurance Premium
As you decide to install a CNG kit in your petrol car, be prepared to pay a higher amount for your car insurance premium. The cost of car insurance increases if the fuel type of the car is changed to CNG. This happens because car insurance premiums depend on several factors, including the fuel type of the car. Therefore, if you change the fuel type, it impacts the insurance premiums. Since the cost of maintaining a CNG car is higher than a petrol/ diesel car, the car insurance premiums also increase by at least 10 per cent depending on its make and model.
However, the increase in car insurance premiums only happens in the case of comprehensive insurance and not third party car insurance. This is because third party car insurance provides financial benefits to a third party and does not concern about the damages to the policyholder’s car. As a result, premiums for third party car insurance will remain unchanged even if the fuel type is changed to CNG.
Claims Can Get Affected if Installation of CNG Kit is Not Informed
You must inform your insurer about the change in your car’s fuel type to CNG as soon as the kit is installed. Do not wait for your policy renewal to inform your insurer about the modification. This is necessary because your insurer can reject a claim in case they are unaware of the change in fuel type at the time of claim settlement. Before paying the claim amount, a surveyor sent by the insurer will inspect your car and cross-check the details mentioned in your insurance policy. Any mismatch in the two can lead to rejection of the claim and you may have to bear the cost of repairing your car’s damages on your own. Thus, notify your insurer about the fuel conversion in your car to CNG as soon as the kit is installed.
|You May Also Like: 14 Precautions That Every CNG Car Driver Must Take|
Summing It Up
CNG is a greener and more economical fuel alternative to environment corrosive and expensive petrol/ diesel. But before you install a CNG kit in your car, you must know the crucial things mentioned above to understand its cons. When you install a CNG kit in your car, you must inform your insurer about the modification as your insurance premium will be impacted except in the case of third party car insurance. Make sure to compare car insurance plans to get coverage for your CNG kit and related costs.
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