I read a lot about LPG vaporizer freezing over on cold starts and the need to start on petrol until the engine has warmed up a bit. I've read that some electronic LPG systems on newer cars will only allow 20 starts on LPG before the system is locked until a technician resets it.

However, when I start my 30 year old car on LPG, the vaporizer gets only slightly colder than the surrounding air. That car has 1.6 L engine with carburetor. Lovato LPG system has the cold start (red) button, which enables really easy starts, it only takes one or two turns for a completely cold engine.

On the other side, that car works horribly bad on petrol (I know I have to wait for it to burn the previous fuel when switching to another one, the main switch has neutral position). The mixture is way too rich, the car doesn't start well and stall easily. On LPG it works perfectly.

So, my question is, how bad is it to start on LPG considering that the my vaporizer gets only slightly colder and that I drive very carefully for the first few minutes? The previous owner of this car never used petrol, so I guess cold starts on LPG can't be that bad in terms of shortening the life of LPG components. My other question is - would I be able to start the car in cold weather (-10C, 14F)? I know that Butane has boiling point of about 0C, so it would be Propane only for a few minutes.

Thanks in advance.

  • Welcome to the site. Can you tell us a little bit more about the system? Like what brand/model it is? I know you're asking about generically what's up with your system, but knowing what you're using and how old it is as well as any other pertinent facts could help to answer your question. Commented May 4, 2017 at 20:33
  • It's Lovato, not sure about the model (AR 77561 probably isn't the model number), I'll check tomorrow. I'm not sure when it was installed, I bought the car recently, but I guess it was 4-5 years ago.
    – user28513
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 20:58
  • Could it be the car was 'tuned' for LPG, sacrifying petrol usability?
    – JimmyB
    Commented May 13, 2017 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


Few years late: maybe a 40 years old car may struggle running on petrol, my current and also my last gas car have absolutely no issues when starting (on petrol), it's almost un-noticeable the only thing you can hear is the click of gas valve.

So there's just no need on modern car to start on gas: it will begin on petrol then switch to gas in less than a minute once the engine is ready. At least my current car and my last behave this way.

Last time I had to start on cold (-20°C), few years ago, the car started perfectly on petrol then once it tried to switch to gas (radiator fluid was warm enough) I had the beep informing me that there wasn't enough pressure, so it kept running on petrol until conditions allowed gas to kick-in again.

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