I want to buy my friend’s 2004 Honda City and convert it to CNG. It fits my total budget of Rs 1.5 lakh. Is this a good idea? Are there any other options?
AAA The Honda City will be fine with the CNG conversion, as long as the vehicle is in good condition. Petrol Honda engines from that generation don’t have any issues even after doing two lakh kilometres, even with average maintenance.
But before you decide to spend on the City, take it to a reputed third party service station and ensure that the engine is in good nick. Do a compression/leak down test which will tell you about the health of the engine. Fitting CNG will result in a loss of power, so it is important that the engine doesn’t have too many issues to start with. The clutch is likely to be worn out too if not replaced recently, but will not cost a bomb as long as you find genuine replacement in the spare parts market and have it fitted in a decent garage.
Given the bigger 1.5-litre engine, the City is a better choice for CNG conversion compared to cars like, say, the Esteem, which are underpowered to begin with. So just ensure that the basics are in place and you will be good to go.