ERC - a comprehensive approach
In theory, valve saver fluids could be the same for all types of LPG/CNG-powered engines, since it's the exhaust valves that are most exposed to the more demanding environment of gaseous fuel combustion (higher temperature, no lubricants included). However, tests conducted by ERC (Emissions Reduzierungs Concepte) proved that when it comes to direct petrol injection, intake valves also require extra protection provided by an external additive since they are not protected by additives contained in petrol. Petrol may actually contain them, but since it has no contact with intake valves, no protective particles build up to prevent premature valve seat recession.
More importantly still, petrol/LPG direct injection requires extra care and protection, too, since the injectors are located directly inside the combustion chamber and exposed to extreme heat as well as depositing of heavy combustion products. The latest member of the autogas additive family, the DI-LPG GasLube (which earned ERC its fourth consecutive INPRO award during the 2014 edition of the GasShow fair in Warsaw, Poland), has been composed to clean and protect the tip of the fuel injector apart from doing the regular valve saver job. The product, dosed into the engine by means of a Valve Protector kit (depending on the type of the autogas system, it may be applied either through the high-pressure fuel pump and injectors, thus also lubricating the pump, or into the individual channels of the intake manifold, like in vapour state injection systems), has been undergoing a long-distance test (conducted together with IAV Automotive Engineering of Berlin) in a Hyundai i40 GDI, having covered over 58 thousand km since the test began.
And even though it's still too early to determine definitive results, ERC expects the DI-LPG GasLube to perform outstandingly. The expectation doesn't come from self-conceit at all – the company had previously conducted a 130 thousand km long test with a Kia cee'd featuring an MPI-type autogas-powered engine, protected by ERC's GasLube Premium valve saver. After the test run was over, it was concluded that the car's engine's valve seats had not recessed at all and the valves hadn't worn out prematurely. If the new product lives up to its manufacturer's hopes (and in all probability it will), then drivers will have firm evidence that with appropriate protection, direct-injected petrol engines can run safely and reliably on autogas. Which is definitely good news, since soon enough there will be no other engines.
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