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Author Topic: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2  (Read 1424 times)

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zirk

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Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« on: 05 February 2018, 21:17:57 »

So picked up a little Corsa Van 1.2, the car derived van type, dont laugh its quiet a nippy little thing, its a LPG Dual Fuel badged, bought from a Company so high millage but tons of Vauxhall Service History, LPG wasn't working, hadn't been for a year or so.

Anyway, took a punt and Ive managed to get the LPG working again, it was an electrical problem, it runs sweet on LPG now under all driving conditions, but heres the issue it will run on LPG fpr about 2 miles and then switch back to petrol, run for a couple of more miles on petrol before switching back to LPG and so on and on.

Looking at some of the service history looks like its had a few attempted repairs on the LPG side in the past but not resolved, one of the comments made by Vauxhalls was, it was a LPG Pressure problem but they didn't resolve it?, armed with that info I then filled the LPG Tank up to see if that made any difference, it did, it made it worse, it was then still intermittent but needed to run a lot longer on petrol before switching back to LPG, say 20% LPG then the rest on petrol before switching back again.

let it run like that and noticed it improves as the Tank becomes emptier, to the degree it almost runs perfectly all the time on LPG when the Tank is almost empty before running out.

Any thoughts? Tank or Regulator pressure?, or maybe level sender is intermittently telling the system its out of LPG or something?

I do have another theory, that its nothing to do with pressure and the system is working as it should be and its possibly a temperature problem, in as much I guessing a full tank of LPG is a lot colder than a near empty one and its switching off LPG because the temperature is too low, ie the Vaporizer is getting too cold when running on a full tank of LPG?

So far all ive done is changed the Thermostat, no difference, the coolant seems to get up to temp as it should, be it a bit slow and the Vap does get warm, should it get really hot?, Heater gets hot, Ive also unplugged the Temp Sender on the Vap and that throws a fault and shuts the system down, so that kind of tells me thats working, looking at the pluming it looks like the Vap is plumed in parallel to the Heater matrix, so maybe next stage is to do a flush, but as said heater does get hot.

Any other ideas, or stuff I may have missed?. also thinking about re pluming the Vap in series before the heater, good or bad idea.
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Andy H

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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #1 on: 05 February 2018, 21:29:59 »

You don't mention cleaning/checking the filter(s) in the LPG lines - guessing there should be something in the vap (and maybe something in the tank :-\)
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Andy H

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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #2 on: 05 February 2018, 21:33:00 »

Also seems odd that it runs better when the tank has very little liquid in it :-\ I wonder if the pressure regulator in the vap is shagged
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zirk

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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #3 on: 05 February 2018, 21:35:57 »

You don't mention cleaning/checking the filter(s) in the LPG lines - guessing there should be something in the vap (and maybe something in the tank :-\)
No I didn't, did think about them, but i kinda ruled it out because when it it does run on LPG its perfect, tickover to full boot, but I will take it on board Andy.  ;)
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Kevin Wood

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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #4 on: 05 February 2018, 21:36:22 »

Is the engine running at normal temperature once warmed up? I.E. not overcooling?

I would suspect poor coolant flow through the vapouriser or maybe a problem with the vapouriser itself. Might be worth changing the filters as  a starter for 10.
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zirk

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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #5 on: 05 February 2018, 21:38:36 »

Also seems odd that it runs better when the tank has very little liquid in it :-\ I wonder if the pressure regulator in the vap is shagged
Dont know? thinking it might be the other way around though, ie craps out when the tank is low?  :-\
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zirk

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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #6 on: 05 February 2018, 21:44:11 »

Is the engine running at normal temperature once warmed up? I.E. not overcooling?

I would suspect poor coolant flow through the vapouriser or maybe a problem with the vapouriser itself. Might be worth changing the filters as  a starter for 10.
It seems to, once warm it sits at half way on the gauge (cant remember if thats 85 or 90 now), but its a few degrees before the fan kicks in, as I did some test by going for a quick run with the front grill(s) blocked off and made no difference.

Has been cold last few weeks though?
« Last Edit: 05 February 2018, 21:46:08 by zirk »
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zirk

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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #7 on: 05 February 2018, 21:55:39 »

Thanks, I'll get some filters ordered up and do a Heater and Vap flush just in case theres any crap in there.
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Andy H

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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #8 on: 05 February 2018, 22:29:48 »

The vapouriser doesn't need a particularly high temperature - (room temperature is high enough to turn liquid into gas). What it does need is a good flow of coolant.
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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #9 on: 06 February 2018, 06:29:42 »

After you have changed the filter, if it still acts up, Id be inclined to take it to a lpg specialist and have them check the pressure.
I had a Vectra dual fuel for a while, that kept switching back to petrol. It turned out the pressure needed increasing  :y
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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #10 on: 08 February 2018, 00:47:09 »

Had a bit of trouble with my mv6. You need to get the water to the reducer first then onto the heater. Worked for me.
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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #11 on: 10 February 2018, 11:26:08 »

Right... Is it a Koltek or Necam system? It’s certainly not a Vauxhall system as they never fitted it at the factory (despite it being an option) but fitted it at a UK place before delivery to the dealer.

Assuming it is one of the above mentioned systems it is slightly different and has a LPG “Distributor” instead of the injectors we know about. These are known to clog up and spares are hard to get hold of and very expensive - it’s often cheaper to fit a new system than to repair the existing! There’s loads of info on the LPG Forum, although you may have to look at cached pages.
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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #12 on: 10 February 2018, 13:10:46 »

You'll have a hell of a job finding anyone who can/will work on the Necam system if it's that. I had to track down the installing dealer on my old 3.0
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zirk

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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #13 on: 10 February 2018, 14:05:14 »

Right... Is it a Koltek or Necam system? It’s certainly not a Vauxhall system as they never fitted it at the factory (despite it being an option) but fitted it at a UK place before delivery to the dealer.

Assuming it is one of the above mentioned systems it is slightly different and has a LPG “Distributor” instead of the injectors we know about. These are known to clog up and spares are hard to get hold of and very expensive - it’s often cheaper to fit a new system than to repair the existing! There’s loads of info on the LPG Forum, although you may have to look at cached pages.
Yep LD it is a Koltek / Necam system, having done a bit more homework, it is the later type as fitted by Millbrook, apparently the later ones dont use the earlier Distributor type setup but a more modern Injection (so I gather), they switched around 2004, clue without lifting the bonnet is the older type had a Red Light square change over switch and the later ones had a smaller round Green Led switch?.

Only thing Ive done since posting is giving it a Coolant flush paying particular attention to the Heater Matrix and Vap pipes, its improved a lot but still not perfect, it will now run sweet on LPG full time with a half filled tanked of LPG, attempting to fill to tank up to full reverts back to the issue. So this week some more cleaning additives in the coolant and another flush in a week or so.

Im still thinking its a temp issue, or that could be a contributing factor, so maybe the next flush will tell a story. :-\

Dont really want to spending tons of cash on this getting it upgraded or fixed by a "So Called" LPG Dealer for obvious reasons, quiet pleased with the MPG on it so far though, will happily do 38+ running full time on LPG in stop start London traffic, obliviously a lot more on a run, its just at the moment running out of distance between half fill ups.  ;D

If the next flush doesn't improve things, Im tempted just to do a re plum job on the Vap and hose it in series before the Heater Matrix, just hope that doesn't kill my heater in this current weather.  :-\

 
« Last Edit: 10 February 2018, 14:07:02 by zirk »
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Kevin Wood

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Re: Strange LPG issue - Corsa 1.2
« Reply #14 on: 11 February 2018, 12:30:28 »

I'm curious as to why the tank level makes a difference. In theory, once the tank contains some liquid, it will be at the same pressure regardless of the level. Does the tank get excessively cold after a run on LPG?

Well, the coolant has made a difference, so that's a clue, in my book. Might be worth checking out how to clean the "heavy ends" out of the vapouriser, as it's possible that could affect its efficiency, making it over critical on coolant.

Also, worth jumping out and checking the vapouriser temperature when it switches back to petrol. If the vapouriser freezes up, the coolant passages will start to block, and it's a vicious circle.

Does it tend to switch back to petrol when under lots of load or when idling, or both?
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