BMW cars deliver great driving pleasure, but are sometimes a big expense in terms of fuel. There is the possibility to convert your BMW to run on LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas) and save some bucks. Most BMW models are possible to run on liquefied petroleum gas.
Benefits of putting LPG on your BMW
The most commonly converted BMW models to LPG are the E36 328 and E30. With a 70-liter toroidal tank that you fill up to 80 per cent for safety concerns, you can get around 250 miles.
When you convert your car to LPG gas, you can run it on gasoline as well, if your LPG gas runs out. That allows your car to cover double the distance if needed, without stopping to refuel.
In terms of performance, there is a very slight loss, but it is nearly unnoticeable. Also, while running on LPG, your car would be a bit quieter than usual. It burns cleaner. In addition, if you need to pass another car quickly, you can always click a button and switch to gasoline.
The car will always start on gasoline first, so make sure you always have some in your tank. Otherwise, you won’t be able to start your BMW, regardless of how much LPG you have in the tank. It needs gasoline for engine lubrication, as it is the natural fuel for the car.
Some vehicles can be preconfigured to start on LPG gas, but this generally means it still needs gasoline until it reaches a high enough temperature to automatically switch to gas. This will usually take less than a mile at standard speed.
Depending on the state or country you’re in, LPG can save you almost half of the transportation expenses you would usually pay when running on only gasoline. For people who drive a lot, you can save up to $10 or $20 per fill up, which is a substantial amount.
It is possible to buy a self-install kit, but you need to be very adept at configuring cars to do it safely. It is better to visit a mechanic who knows what they’re doing.
What are the most common BMW models on LPG?
More often than not, the most commonly seen BMWs that are running on LPG are the 325, 328, 525 and 740. There seem to be older BMWs (10 years+) on LPG gas as well.
You will rarely see a brand-new BMW converted to LPG. Although the initial investment of $1,500 – $3,000 would quickly be paid off. Depending on how much you drive, that can happen in less than a year.
Is there a downside to installing LPG on your BMW?
Honestly speaking, to have a large 70-liter tank in the trunk is not something most people would want. It takes up more than one-third of your luggage space, which can be a problem if you’re travelling with your family and have a bunch of suitcases.
Additionally, some shopping centers prohibit the entrance of vehicles running on LPG in their covered garages.
There is also a small loss in performance. Some BMW owners have reported that they couldn’t reach the same top speed on LPG as they previously did when they were running on gasoline. But this is understandable and you give up a bit of performance for the economy. BMW on LPG is still quite fast.
Although your LPG tank will only be 70 liters, you can only fill it up to 56 liters, which is pretty much the same as your gasoline tank.
Running a BMW on LPG specifics
When running on LPG, you should never fill your tank more than 80 per cent full of the total capacity of the gas tank to avoid pressure. If you find any leaks while you are refueling, immediately visit a mechanic that’s specialized in LPG replacement and technology.
If you have a leak, you should be able to smell the scent of gas. If your car smells of gas, that means either it is leaking, or you are running on more than 80 per cent of the tank and you’ve overloaded.
Depending on your car’s model, the geographical location you are in, and the capacity of the gas fuel system you want to be installed, the price can greatly range.
For instance, in most US states, you can find get an LPG doughnut tank system installed for between $1,500 and $3,000. The UK average price is around £1,500 (approximately $2000).
LPG system brands
When you have decided to take the leap and switch your fuel system, stick with a renowned brand that others have used in the past and can give you feedback.
Romano kits are the most common and popular, which means the spare parts are very easy to come by.
Is running your BMW on LPG safe?
Liquefied petroleum gas systems are usually safe due to the very thick walls of the tanks that are installed. They are equipped with very advanced fuel pumps, fuel lines, and an injection system that avoids leaks. The thick walls of the tank handle any sort of conditions, especially the internal pressure of the gas tank, which is around 8 bars.
How much money can you save if you run your BMW on gas instead of gasoline?
Depending on the prices of LPG and gasoline in your country, you can save more than 50 percent of your transportation costs. For example, you don’t need a lot of services for the gas system, aside from the initial cost of installation, which varies between $1,500 and $3,000.
After that, you would save around $1,500 per 6,000 miles on average. This means, if you drive a lot, the system could pay for itself in less than a year.
Does running your BMW on LPG increase fuel consumption?
When you run your car on LPG instead of gasoline, the fuel consumption is increased, on average, by 5 to 7 percent. On the other hand, liquefied petroleum gas is much cheaper than actual gasoline, and you would save for the remaining difference between the prices.