Morin Brothers Automotive

San Luis Obispo Auto Repair

(805) 541-2407
Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Monthly Archives: February 2017

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

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 a cable, there are two range sensors and a single redundant sensor to tell the computer how far down you have pushed the gas. The computer refers to its ‘look up’ tables and decides how much to open the throttle plate. Luckily for us there are redundant sensors and a ‘limp home’ mode that allows the car to be driven in event of a failure caused by an errant 44oz Coke. The Mass Air Flow sensor I replaced in the Volvo uses a precisely heated wire to tell the computer how ... read more

Categories:

Driving green

Bicycling as Transportation

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 like we have here in San Luis Obispo county, you can easily run errands and ride to work in less time than it takes to find a parking space. I began riding a bicycle regularly in my early forties, and have been a member of the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club (www.slobc.org) as well as several national cycling related organizations ever since. At first I learned a lot about cycling through trial and error, but when I began riding with more experienced riders I gained confidence, greater skill, and a ... read more

Categories:

Driving green