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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Experience Of Having NGV in the Car.

In the days where gasoline prices are very high in Malaysia, i thought maybe I can share my experience with NGV system installed in my car once before. Maybe my experience may be able to offer an alternative to reader's problem with high gasoline prices.
After the first major oil hike in Malaysia, I took the bold step of installing NGV into my Proton Waja. I thought maybe I can share my experience with fellow readers in case you’re interested to install one in your own vehicles.

It started out with my meeting an acquaintance in Johor Baharu, when I went on a business trip there. He drove a Proton Perdana and he had installed an NGV system into his car. He says, he is savings a lot of money with the system. He even says that he doesn’t face much difficulties as he had adapted to the system.

He also proposed that a good place for installing the NGV syste, Malaysian Tractors in Puchong. As soon as I got back from Johor Baharu, I went straight to Malaysian Tractor and brought by Proton Waja automatic for Mr Lau (I think his name was) to see. He told me that they do Proton Waja as well because they’ve done NGV for Proton Waja taxis before this. I was relieved.

Normally, NGV system are installed in carburator system and very few in fuel injection. The prices are also significantly different.

So, I took out my savings and set an appointment with Malaysian Tractors in Puchong. I can’t remember the date, but I do know it was on a Friday. I remember sending the car to the MT workshop and then going to the office after that by taxi. They told me that it will take about one day to finish, and my car would be ready the same day by 4 o’clock.

At two o’clock I got a friend to send me to a nearby bank, and I draw out a Banker Cheque for the amount. I can’t remember the amount, but I think it cost me about RM5k+. I do not feel like carrying 5k in cash. I told Mr Lau I will pay Malaysian Tractor with Banker Cheque and my reasoning for it, and he agreed.

So at 4 o’clock my car was ready and I picked it up after paying. I was told I can get a 25% reduction for my car’s road tax, but I have to go to PUSPAKOM for an inspection before I can do that. And true enough, when it was time to renew my road tax, I went for inspection and I got a large reduction in my road tax.

I noticed in the new NGV system, there is a big tank placed in the trunk of my car. And at the driver’s seat, there is a switch where I can press anytime I want to change from NGV to Petrol. But, when I start my car, it will start in the petrol mode, but after moving a bit, my car will shift to NGV automatically. Apparently, the NGV does not have enough strength to make the engine turn.

I went to the Petronas Dagangan website and printed out a list of all Petronas stations that offers NGV. I keep the list in my car. In fact, the reason why I opted to add NGV is because there is an NGV station close to my house and my office. It’s very important for u to consider this particular factor. If there is no station near your house of office or both, it’s not advisable to add NGV to your car.

The downside of NGV in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia is that there is very few stations offering NGV. You will have to keep in mind where these stations are and plan your trip properly.

After taking my car from Malaysian Tractor, I went straight to the station near my house, which is the Subang Airport station. I filled up full tank and it cost me RM 8.00. After driving I discover that for a full tank of NGV, I can get about 130km to 160 km. In short, it’s about one day’s drive. Yes, I was forced to fill up everyday.

In the first 3 days, I noticed my car chugged when on NGV, but when I shift to Petrol it was OK. I brought the car back and Mr Lau says that since my car is second hand, he suggested I change all that is related to my ignition system i.e. air filter, spark plugs, spark plug wires etc. So I spent another RM1300 to install a new ignition system. I discovered the performance of my car improved on NGV and the chugging problem disappeared.

Mr. Lau told me that combustion of NGV is of lower-powered type. Therefore, your engine will operate at lower power compared to when it runs on petrol. That’s why when you start you will have to start on petrol.

Once the chugging problem disappeared, I started life as an NGV car owner. I have to line up with taxis. It was weird that in the long lines of taxis, I was the odd silver Proton Waja. I made friends with taxi drivers and discovered a lot of things. In fact, I use my taxi friends for information on just about anything, from JPJ registration, where to get good deal on body repairs, where to buy cheap spare parts for Proton Waja, where to get second hand parts etc. They even gave me contact details of parts sellers which they claim can get good deals at.

I was saving. Basically, before the NGV I was spending about RM 850 per month of gasoline alone. But with NGV, I basically spend RM8x30 days = RM 240 plus a full tank of gasoline = RM 60. A total spending on gasoline+NGV= RM300. I make a savings of RM 550 per month. I will be able to recoup my investment in about 8 months.

I noticed that the amount of NGV you get also varies with station. In stations like Subang Airport and KLIA, the pressure of gas is strong and u get more litres when u pump. But stations like Sri Hartamas, you be getting 2 liters less.

I also learned the timing to fill up. Your biggest problem will be lines of taxis. So, avoid filling up in the morning because that’s when they fill up for NGV. The best is to fill up at night before u go to sleep. That’s when there’s almost always no line. Sometimes when I work late, I will stop at the stations and fill up before I go home.

Also, I am also lucky as my wife is from Melaka. Each time I go “balik kampong”, I will fill up at Subang Airport station and enter the PLUS Highway at the Subang exit. From there, I will move all the way and exit at Senawang. After the Senawang tol, I will go straight and then at the bridge, I will exit towards Rembau. Go straight and the NGV station is on my left. After filling up, I will then move an exit at Air Keroh. About 10 minutes from the Air Keroh tol, there is another NGV station and that’s where I fill up.

When coming back to Kuala Lumpur, normally I will take the Alor Gajah exit and I will move directly to the Senawang station. After that I will exit Subang and fill up there.

Entering Kuala Lumpur is a big problem. Downtown Kuala Lumpur have few stations, i.e. Kampung Baru, KLCC and Jalan Ampang. But the number of taxis are just too many. I rarely fill up in Kuala Lumpur except if I really have to. At the KLCC station, normal queue takes about 30 minutes. In Kampung Baru is worse. Even if I fill up in Kuala Lumpur, I will choose KLCC because the pressure is better.

At first the savings was very good. But, unfortunately, my savings were slashed significantly when UMNO/BN decided to raise the rate of tol.

I was also told that the engine using NGV is much cleaner and level of clogging is also reduce significantly thus making our engine life longer. Your emission is also more environment friendly.

In conclusion, the savings from NGV is significant. The problem with NGV is the low number of stations. While driving my NGV car, I must’ve heard Najib Tun Razak promised to increase the number of NGV stations twice. I drove for about one year and I didn’t see any increase in the number of NGV stations at all.

I really believed that the savings from subsidy that the government had cut went to cronies and corruptions. It was not spent on increasing access to alternative energy as the government could’ve done.

I finally let go of the car as I went overseas for a new job. If I ever come back to Malaysia I will use an NGV car all over again now that I know how.

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  1. hi,

    Thanx for sharing that with us. Very enlightening indeed esp for those of us who have absolutely no idea how significant the effects of using NGV can be :)


  2. This is a most useful and informative post!

    May I post an extract of your post and publish in my website and direct my readers to read your full post.

    fyi, we publish selected blog posts of the day to help give multi perspective viewpoints to our readers.

    Thank you.

  3. Yes AL, you may. With all my compliments.

  4. It's great know the perks and benefits using NGV. We are is covering NGV related issues to benefits all Malaysian drivers.

  5. Dear Car Standard,

    I am very happy to share my experience with your website.

  6. Hi,

    I was wondering if u know of any car shop in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, which can do this NGV change. I have a 1.5 wira auto which is 12 yrs old with a carburetor system. Also cab u pls supply me with a link of Petronas NGV station. Thanks



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