Petrol and diesel prices in India have been constantly increasing over the last few years. As we move towards cleaner modes of mobility, alternative fuels and electric power are becoming more attractive. One option that has existed for a while and is both cheaper and environmentally friendly is Compressed Natural Gas or CNG. A CNG car is ideal for daily commutes without the compounding costs of traditional petrol and diesel. For even more savings, used CNG cars in India becomes a great investment. But even though CNG is a cleaner, greener and better fuel, there are a lot of doubts that one might face while purchasing a second hand CNG vehicle. Thus, in this article, we will look at the 5 things that you should keep in mind while purchasing a pre-owned CNG vehicle.
Check for CNG Endorsement on Registration Certificate
Getting a CNG cylinder retrofitted is a modification that is added to a manufactured vehicle. Therefore it is very important that carrying out a change in a vehicle’s fuel system is a legal and legitimate one. Even for vehicles that are factory fitted with a CNG kit, it is important that such fitment is a genuine one. The best possible way to know if the CNG kit fitment is legal, genuine and safe is to inspect the vehicle’s RC for CNG endorsement.
Since the government has authorized certain workshops to retrofit CNG kits in vehicles, only kits that are fitted by these authorized vendors are endorsed in the Registration Certificate. Moreover, a CNG kit that is endorsed in an RC is also eligible to be covered by insurance to provide relevant security in case of any accident. Thus, the first step before buying a pre-owned CNG vehicle is to check for CNG endorsement on the Registration Certificate, because an RC carrying a CNG endorsement is a guarantee of the CNG kit’s authenticity even if documents related to the kit are misplaced.
Analyze the Hydro-Testing history
Safety is the most important thing while purchasing a vehicle and it is even more important when buying a used CNG car. As per government order, every CNG kit must be Hydro-Tested for safety, integrity and reliability at a government authorized agency. This inspection must be done while getting the CNG kit fitted and shall be retested every three years.
Thus, whenever you are considering to buy a pre-owned CNG vehicle, make sure to ask for the CNG kit’s Hydro-Testing history to ensure that the CNG fitment is safe, secure and reliable, and also to know when you will have to get the testing done. In case the current owner does not possess the hydro-testing history available, look for CNG Compliance and Safety Plate that is often placed near the CNG filling space of a vehicle. This plate mentions the date of the last test and also the date when the current test would expire.
Make sure a sequential kit is fitted
CNG kits are primarily of two types. These include conventional kits and sequential kits. While the conventional set up provides for a basic alternate fuel system, sequential kits make use of digital ECUs and sensors to provide an advanced alternative fuel experience. Sequential kits reduce CNG lag, provides better mileage and does away with potential mechanical and technical difficulties that may arise with time.
Therefore whenever you decide to purchase a pre-owned CNG Vehicle, make sure you go for a vehicle that has a sequential CNG kit fitted. This way you will never face a prominent power lag, technical difficulties, and engine misfiring problems that are often associated with conventional kits.
Be sure to ask for a service record
The key to keeping a CNG car healthy and running is to ensure timely services and maintenance. While servicing is important for all kinds of machines, cars that are fitted with a CNG fuel system often require a little extra care. This is due to the overutilization of the car’s components such as air filter and spark plugs while using CNG as a fuel. When you buy a pre-owned CNG car, make sure to go through the service history of the vehicle and look for regular services of highly used components. After buying a used CNG car, remember to clean or replace these parts after running 10,000 km. This way you can not only have a better mileage but you can also ensure that your CNG car remains free from mechanical and technical issues.
Get a Thorough Test Drive
Last but definitely not the least is to get a thorough test drive of the pre-owned CNG vehicle you are looking to buy. Problems such as power loss, misfiring, non-calibration of ECU, Check Engine light, lack of fuel injection, problems in fuel changing are often associated with a vehicle that runs on CNG. Though these problems can be easily avoided through regular service and maintenance, if you ever face any of these issues during your test drive, make sure to avoid the vehicle and look for another vehicle of your choice.
Buying a CNG car can prove to be a value-oriented purchase. With timely maintenance, a used CNG car provides great mileage while costing a lot less to refuel. And with used CNG cars starting from as low as ₹2.60 lakhs in Delhi-NCR, buying a used CNG car is a great way to shift towards a more environment friendly driving experience.