A question often heard is: Is vehicle propane conversion safe to use? The answer is that propane use in vehicles is very safe as long as you don’t have any leaks. The design of propane tanks is such that they crack and release the propane gas in case of an impact. They are designed to avoid a blow up and the walls of the vehicular propane tanks are also much thicker than gasoline tanks and can withstand extreme pressure and shock.
A complete vehicle propane conversion kit includes the fuel controller, valves, actuators, electronics, and the software needed to convert a vehicle to propane operation. There are two types of conversion kits on the market. The first one is an “Open Loop System”. This system does not control electronics and no feedback is provided to the controller on how well it is performing. The controller uses prior calibrations to determine what to do. The second one is the “Closed Loop System”. This system has an electronic sensor that provides continuous feedback to the fuel controller on how well it is performing, thereby "closing the feedback loop." Closed-loop conversion kits are generally more expensive than open-loop kits.
With few modifications to the engine, virtually any gasoline engine can be converted to run on liquid propane gas. Vehicles can be equipped to operate on propane only (dedicated conversion) or to switch between propane and gasoline (dual-fuel conversion). Propane tanks are designed to fit in the trunk of the car.
When considering a vehicle propane conversion kit, it is important to estimate the payback on your investment. This depends on the how much you use your car, the existing fuel economy of the car, the cost of the conversion kit, and maybe what the resale value of the car will be after the conversion. You can expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500 for a conversion kit. This includes the installation.
You have to realize that the heavy propane tank will add some weight to your car, and thereby adding a little to the fuel consumption. However, you will recover that cost over time, as you will save up to 30% on the cost of fuel. Also, many states offer tax incentives to encourage the use of environment friendly fuels. This will reduce the cost of operating a liquid propane gas-powered vehicle even more.
Most manufacturers of vehicle propane conversion kits provide warranties, and some states have laws requiring that warranties have to accompany the sale of conversion kits. Make sure you check carefully what type of warranty is offered, and what it covers, before deciding on what propane conversion kit you will buy.