Posts

  • Engine Oil Takes on New Roles in Engine Management

    Monday 19 June 2017

    Engine oil now operates camshaft timing and other vital functions effecting power, fuel economy, and emissions. Car manufacturers have been trying to vary the camshaft timing of the intake and exhaust valve openings for years. While it became common place on racing car engines in the 70’s and 80’s no major manufacturer had been able to reliably incorporate it into production engines until Alfa Romeo introduced it on its fabled two liter twin cam four in 1982. Even then, its performan... read more

  • Ford recalls 230,000 2013 to 2015 vehicles with the 1.6 L GTDI (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) engines

    Monday 10 April 2017

    Affected vehicles equipped with 1.6-liter GTDI engines include: 2014 Escape – Louisville Assembly Plant, Feb. 12, 2013 to Sept. 2, 2014 2014-15 Fiesta ST – Cuautitlan Assembly Plant, Jan. 22, 2013 to May 27, 2014 2013-14 Fusion – Hermosillo Assembly Plant, Feb. 15, 2012 to June 6, 2014 2013-15 Transit Connect – Valencia Assembly Plant, June 13, 2013 to Dec. 14, 2014 Apparently these cars and trucks are prone to coolant leaks, and in spite of the fact they have a tempe... read more

  • Intensive Electronic Engine Managements Yields Lower Emissions, Greater Reliability, and Superior Fuel Economy

    Monday 06 February 2017

    I replaced a Mass Air Flow sensor on a Volvo 850 yesterday. The diagnostic protocol I completed before condemning a $350 part reminded me once again how computers have taken over every aspect of engine management, up to and including “drive-by-wire” systems that actually control the throttle in response to inputs from the gas pedal, engine speed, gear range, etc. In other words, when you press on the gas, there is only an electrical connection to the engine from the pedal. Instead of... read more

  • Bicycling as Transportation

    Monday 06 February 2017

    The greenest form of transportation is attached to the bottom of your legs- your feet! The ‘carbon footprint’ of walking is about as small as it gets and it has the additional benefit of being healthy as well. However it takes time, and unless you only have a mile or less to go, getting around by foot can consume a large part of your day. Riding a bicycle, on the other hand, is a lot more efficient. Its’ carbon footprint is equally modest, and in small, relatively level cities... read more

  • Giant Air Bag Recall - What's the Deal??

    Monday 01 December 2014

    Giant Air Bag Recall What’s the Deal?? A Japanese company, Takata, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of automotive safety products, including the air bags supplied to a huge number of cars. Cars and trucks manufactured by BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM (non-GM made cars only), Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota are included. Most models affected were manufactured between 2000 and 2008. For a complete list and to see if there is a current recall on the air bag in your car... read more