Engines built with 'Nikasil' liners

Important notice

In the mid 1990's problems arose with BMW and Jaguar engines built with 'Nikasil' cylinder bore linings.

Both BMW and Jaguar found it necessary to replace many thousands of their V8 (and only in the case of BMW, some 6 cylinder) units with the more traditional steel or cast iron lined engines, all at thier own huge cost.

High Sulphur Petrol (HSP) sold in the UK market (until late 1998) was the cause of Nikasil liner breakdown. It will attack and corrode the Nikasil liner and has a cumulative effect, i.e. if the engine has ever been run on high Sulphur Petrol, damage may already have been done and premature bore wear may result.

LPG, on the other hand, has an extremely low Sulphur content (lower than the 'Low Sulphur' Petrol sold today) and cannot possibly be the cause of Nikasil liner damage. In this way, having a car LPG converted cannot cause liner breakdown in a Nikasil engine. Any damage will be due to the earlier use of High Sulphur Petrol.

If one of the earlier Nikasil engines were to develop a problem of this type (normally manifested as rough running at idle or difficult cold starting, both due to loss of compression) after LPG conversion it is likely that the manufacturer / seller / insurer/ guarantor will refuse to replace the engine under warranty and blame LPG conversion, an argument which is completely misguided and bound to fail.

Go LPG do not want to end up in the middle of a dispute between any owner, seller, insurer, guarantor or manufacturer. For this reason we DO NOT convert cars built with engines having NIKASIL liners unless they have been replaced with the steel or cast iron lined unit or (alternatively) the owner agrees to sign a disclaimer removing any future liability from Go LPG.

To be absolutely clear on this, the onus is wholly on the part of the OWNER to make sure that the engine does not have Nikasil liners or sign a waiver. We cannot know all of your car's history and rely on you to make sure this is the case. If a car is brought to us for conversion it will be assumed that the owner has carefully checked on the engine's status beforehand and satisfied themselves that it has steel or cast iron liners and is prepared to sign a waiver removing any future liablity from us.


Jaguar straight 6 and V6 engines never had Nikasil liners, there is no need to worry about the problem.

Jaguar V8 cars built after 10.43 hrs. on 18th August year 2000 (from engine No. 0008181043) do NOT have Nikasil liners - The use of Nikasil in the V8 engine was discontinued at this time. Jaguar cars fitted only Steel or Cast iron lined V8 engines in all 4.0 and 3.2 litre cars after that time and date (although opinions seem to vary on whether Steel or Cast Iron was used).

If your car was built after that time or engine number you may forget about Nikasil.

1999 - 2000 Cars

This is where things get a little more complicated, and often misunderstood.

As established above, HSP was withdrawn from the UK fuel market before any 1999 cars where built. Although these cars were still fitted with Nikasil engines ( the change to steel lined engines took place on August 18th 2000 at 10.43 am ) they could not have had any of this problem petrol in thier tanks, therefore they could not have suffered any resulting liner damage. Further, they cannot suffer when run on today's low Sulphur, post - 1998 fuels.

Although caught unawares by the unexpected effect of HSP on Nikasil liners, Jaguar and BMW were neither foolish nor careless in adopting the Nikasil system. There were more reasons than cost saving which convinced them it was a good idea.

Nikasil liners reduce friction between the pistons and their bores, resulting in a more efficient engine, and it is worth considering that many hundreds of thousands of Nikasil lined engines have been made (and been in use) since that time. These are fitted to motorcycles, chainsaws and other utility items, running on the same fuel as your car, but don't suffer any ill effects.

Quite simply, if you have a 1999 onward Jaguar or BMW engine with Nikasil liners, you can forget all about the Nikasil issue, it can't have been damaged and you actually have a slightly more efficient engine because it has less piston / liner friction than a steel lined engine would have.

Owners of 1999 to pre 18th August 2000 built cars can also forget about the Nikasil problem for the reasons shown above.

For more on the XJ8 and the Nikasil issue, click this link - Jaguar V8


Recently we have had several people owing or buying cars converted elsewhere ringing us up for more information on Nikasil lined engines.

We are not a free helpline and have NOTHING to add to this already clear item provided free for public information.

Please do not abuse this privilege by phoning and making us repeat what has already been said here.

If you need more on the subject, visit the Jag Lover's or similar forums where you will find reams of it.

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