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Autogas is the common name for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) when it is used as a fuel in internal combustion engines in motor vehicles.

Automotive type LPG autogas is made up of mainly propane and butane, both gases are formed when crude oil is refined or is found in a natural state when crude oil or natural gas is extracted from the ground.

Autogas is where gas is used to power a vehicle instead of petrol or in combination with diesel.

New vehicles can be manufactured to be powered by dedicated autogas, or vehicles can be converted to autogas subject to vehicle manufacturers specifications, by authorised autogas installers.

Many people choose to use autogas as it has fewer emissions compared to petrol and diesel and, generally as it is more economical to operate.

It is a statutory requirement for an autogas container to be inspected and recertified for continued service life every 10 years.

Safety first

Autogas differs significantly from other types of liquid petroleum gases that are commonly used in domestic appliances such as barbeques and heaters. It is essential that only autogas supplied from a service station be used in motor vehicles that run on autogas.

Use only licensed installers

It is essential to ensure that all autogas installations and repairs are conducted by an appropriately trained, qualified and licensed person. If you have concerns over an autogas installation or you want to check the qualifications of an installer, call Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

An autogas cylinder should never be filled beyond 80% of its capacity and be fitted with an automatic fill limiter that is designed to shut off liquid flow once capacity reaches 80%. This is a safety feature to allow for expansion.

The dangers of leaks and spills

Liquid petroleum gas is heavier and denser than other similar gases, meaning that leaked or spilled gas tends to flow to a low spot and cumulate. This creates a very dangerous situation that must be carefully managed. NSW Fair Trading recommends that in the event of spilled or leaking gas you contact the emergency services for advice. 

Liquid petroleum gas does not have a natural odour and an impurity is added to allow consumers to sense the smell of gas. If you detect a gas odour it is important to take immediate action to prevent an explosion or fire.

A motor vehicle with a gas leak should not be left in an enclosed space such as a garage, but instead could be pushed to a well ventilated area. It is important to not start the motor vehicle as a spark could ignite the gas, creating a fire or leading to an explosion. NSW Fair Trading recommends contacting the emergency services for advice and assistance in relocating a vehicle to enable the gas to disperse without entering any buildings, basements or drains that are located at a lower level than the vehicle.

LPG vehicles to be identified

All vehicles powered by autogas must have a metal plate affixed with a reflective label (LPG) attached permanently to the front and rear number plates. This enables the emergency services to quickly identify if the vehicle is fitted with autogas in the event of an incident or collision and take the necessary safety precautions.

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