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Warranties and Aftermarket Alternative Fuel Systems

Ford Transit Connect with TransTech Energy LPG Conversion

Ford Transit Connect with TransTech Energy LPG Conversion

Alternative fuel technology is growing at leaps and bounds throughout the United States as the result of state and federal incentives to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  When looking into alternative fueling systems, it is critical to use an aftermarket conversion system that is properly tuned and installed.  Although, vehicle dealerships are beginning to see more new vehicles coming in for warranty service that have completely new fueling systems, some do not know how to handle the technology.  Unfortunately, some dealerships will immediately “deny” or “void” a warranty claim purely on the fact that there is an aftermarket fueling system on the vehicle.  They often take this step before doing any testing or even if the fueling system couldn’t even impact the warranty issue, such as a transmission problem.  This is usually due to lack of understanding for aftermarket parts and factory OEM warranty procedures, but in these cases, the driver is protected per a federal regulation called the Magnusson-Moss Consumer Act.

The Magnusson-Moss Consumer Act of 1975 explicitly protects consumers from a manufacturer requiring “branded” or “factory” parts to maintain a warranty.  This allows the consumer to add any aftermarket part or component to a vehicle without loss of the manufacturer’s warranty.  The Specialty Equipment Manufacturing Association (SEMA) has played a key role in educating the automotive aftermarket of this provision of the Magnusson-Moss Act.

Even with the protection provided in the Act, if an aftermarket part directly causes the warranty issue and damages a component of the engine, such as the catalytic converter, the manufacturer does not have to honor the warranty.

OEM/factory manufacturers, including Ford’s LPG trucks, GM’s LPG vans, and Blue Bird’s propane school buses, are actively producing dedicated alternative fuel vehicles that run on Icom’s Liquid Propane Injection Technology through a factory aftermarket up-fit of their gasoline engines.  These system components have all been through rigorous OEM testing and meet detailed OEM specs for use on these vehicles.  These vehicle are typically ordered with  “CNG/LPG Ready” engine options that come with upgraded intake valves to handle the added temperature increases of vaporous injected fuels.   This has dramatically helped dealerships understand this technology and has removed some of the uncertainty that technicians have expressed in the past.  Additionally, The factory manufacturers have also helped the alternative fuel industry by sending out Technical Service Bulletins (TSB’s) to their dealership networks that further detail how to service these engines.  As an example, consider the Ford Q-185 Service Bulletin: LPG Fuel System Conversions guidelines.  The document helps explain to dealers and service technicians how a vehicle with the alternative fuel options installed on the engine (Ford’s 6.8, 5.4 and 2.0 engines) retain their OEM warranty.

Special thanks to David Kennedy of TransTech Energy for his insight and expertise in preparing this posting.

About TransTech: TransTech Energy is offers aftermarket Bi-fuel Propane AutoGas Hybrid systems to up-fit a vehicle fleet using the same Icom OEM components that the vehicle manufacturers use on their dedicated vehicles. These systems allow your existing fleet to run off of clean Propane AutoGas using OEM components to inject liquid propane into the engine.  TransTech Systems are specially tuned for each vehicle and engine ensuring ideal engine performance.  For more information, please visit www.TransTechEnergy.com/AutoGas.

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 21, 2011 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I am glad to see Amerigas promoting Autogas. I have over 60,000 miles on my Bi-Fuel propane conversion system on my pickup truck and have not had a single problem with the system. One minor challenge is that unless you spend a great deal of money on the gauge, propane is a very difficult fuel to accurately gauge because of how it expands and contracts due to temperature. I have found that the best way is to estimate how many miles per tank full and track it that way. My system is a Bi-fuel system which helps offset that concern since it will automatically switch over to gasoline if I run out of Autogas (propane).
    I am happy to answer questions about my system, email me at randyf@driveonpropane.com if you have questions.

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