Autogas is the common name for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) when it’s used as fuel in motor vehicles.
Automotive type LPG autogas is made up of mainly propane and butane and both gases are formed when crude oil is refined or is found in a natural state and extracted from the ground.
New vehicles can be manufactured to be powered by autogas, or can be converted to autogas. Many people choose to use autogas as it has fewer emissions compared to petrol and diesel, and is generally more economical to operate.
An autogas container must be inspected and recertified for continued service life every 10 years.
Autogas is different from other types of liquid petroleum gases that are commonly used in domestic appliances like barbeques and heaters. It’s essential that only autogas supplied from a service station is used in autogas motor vehicles.
Use only licensed installers
All autogas installations and repairs must be done 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, contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20.
An autogas cylinder should never be filled beyond 80 percent of its capacity and should be fitted with an automatic fill limiter that is designed to shut off liquid flow once it reaches capacity. 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. 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’s 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’s important to not start the motor vehicle as a spark could ignite the gas, creating a fire or lead to an explosion. We recommend contacting emergency services immediately that if there is a spill or leak.
LPG vehicles to be identified
All vehicles powered by autogas must have a metal plate with a reflective label (LPG) attached permanently to the front and rear number plates. This allows emergency services to quickly identify if the vehicle is fitted with autogas and take the necessary safety precautions.