Natural gas to replace oil?
Here’s why there’s so much opposition to converting vehicles to natural gas – a very easy conversion – both at the factory and aftermarket.
Do you remember when, if your engine lasted 100k miles it was because it was an exceptional engine with exceptional care? (Not to mention that an unscrupulous car dealer probably hadn’t turned the odometer back.)
Car engines wore out quickly for a number of reasons up to about 25 years ago. However the number one reason was carburetors wasted gas and that extra gas ran down the cylinder walls washing the oil off causing excessive wear. It also washed away lubrication from the valve stems and guides.
Auto manufacturers liked that – they sold lots of replacement parts used in the repairs.
Then came along fuel injection. Fuel injection carefully measures and injects the gasoline only in the amounts that actually burn. The results were better mileage and engine life was more than doubled.
Now comes natural gas. Natural gas is not in liquid or vapor form when it enters the engine and burns completely. It doesn’t wash away any lubricant in the process because like air it is a gas, so the engine life again would more than double. The automakers don’t like that and neither do the independent part makers. Engines last – no parts are sold. Natural gas doesn’t need refining so there’s less chance for energy companies to mark up for big profits.
Other benefits (for the vehicle owner): Engine oil stays cleaner and so does the filter. When metal isn’t wearing there’s noting much getting into the oil. Oil changes went from 3000 miles up to 15000 miles when fuel injection replaced carburetors. It could more than double that if the vehicle was operating on natural gas.
If the vehicle owner has natural gas to their home, they could fill their car from a home station. No highway taxes to pay.
What’s the hold up with natural gas as a fuel for all vehicles including diesel trucks? Here’s the list:
Auto parts sales would drop significantly
Fuel suppliers would do a lot less refining
Fuel suppliers would sell a lot less motor oil
A loss of tax revenue collected at the pump
Profit, Profit, Profit all around