With the latest G20 BMW 3 Series out, it’s a better time than ever to talk about the extensive history of BMW’s beloved compact sedan. Initially incepted in the mid-1970s, the BMW 3-Series was built and marketed as a sport-infused compact sedan. However, with such an enduring and persistent demand for the BMW 3 Series, generation after generation, it is quite a testimony to BMW’s consistent engineering brilliance.
In June of 1975, the first generation of the BMW 3 Series was born, the E21. Borrowing design cues from the gorgeous BMW 2002, the E21 remains a design classic. It was initially only available in a sleek, coupe body. Propelled by a selection of four and six-cylinders, and intriguingly, the adoption of the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection for the 320i and 323i models translated to a relatively surprising efficiency. It was an enamoring little guy, garnering accolades such as ‘the world’s best sedan’, and shifting an all-time high of 1.4 million units worldwide. Intriguingly, the lower output models (316 and 318) had single round headlamps, while the rest received twin headlamps. Cabriolet ‘Baur’ models were available in limited quantity too.
With such impressive sales, the E21 had a slow phase out, it’s not until 1983 before BMW finally halted productions. Introducing the all-new BMW E30, which still had the defining round headlamps and boxy styling. The big change made here are significant body strengthening over its predecessor and the introduction of the four-door and wagon or touring body styles. It was still a big hit, but the headline here is the E30 M3. It’s not just a performance enhancement, it was a total redesign with new body panels, widened track and comprehensive rehash of the suspension. It’s motorsport success also graced us with the homogenization specials, the Evo 1, Evo 2 and Sport Evolution variants. While the E30 M3 only had 4-cylinders to work with, it was certainly no slouch with its impeccable dynamism.
While the E30 continued production, 1990 was the debut of the BMW E36. Forsaking the classic styling, BMW finally made the move to modernize the BMW 3 Series. While it can be argued that it isn’t quite the stellar looker, it was a marked improvement in multiple measures. A new, proper Z-axle rear multi-link setup combined with a 50/50 weight distribution tidied up the uncouth ride noticeably. The new E36 model was centric on inline-6 engines, and fortunately, the new M50 DOHC 24-valve inline-6 engine was plenty robust and brawny. In fact, in its 325i form which also came with VANOS after 1993, Car and Driver timed it at around 7.0 seconds for a century sprint. The sweet sonorous yet smooth inline-6 note paired with contentious performance and smooth ride made the E36 an immaculate cruiser.
BMW 3 Series
In the very late 90s, BMW released the next encore – the E46 3-Series. Boasting an arguably improved aesthetics, it was yet another hit. Mechanically it was largely unchanged, albeit with more weight-cutting and body stiffening. The 328i model was replaced by the 330i in a mid-run face-lift and offered a lot more grunt along with it. It was undoubtedly stupendous to drive, but the E46 M3 really took the limelight here. It really shifted the M3’s focus from a sleek darty coupe to a muscular brute that preserves the 3-Series’s driving quality. And then there’s the frankly ludicrous ‘race-car with a license’ M3 GTR that enjoyed prominent feature in the 2005 Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
With a major skip in model numbering, the 5th generation E9X BMW 3 Series was introduced in 2004. The 2006 335i model also marked BMW’s first attempt at a turbocharged 3-Series in the pursuit for better efficiency without forgoing performance. The E90 models also brought along with it run-flat tires. Most importantly though, the E9X models may look vastly different, but it still preserved, even improved on the 3-Series’s renowned handling with unmatched steering feel and ride thanks to a further revised rear-axle multi-link suspension. The E92 M3 was particularly adored for its very high-revving 4.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8.
Finally, the sixth generation F30 3-Series. Made public in 2011, the F30 3-Series dialed back on the throttle. To meet ever-stringent emissions, BMW opted for extensive usage of small-displacement turbocharged engines, while cutting weight to offset for the power loss. The interior was upgraded to bring it up to par against competing models, but the driving dynamics still remains. Interestingly, the 335d with its twin-turbocharged inline-6 diesel engine would outrun an E93 M3 with the V8 in a dash to 62 mph.
Of course, the F30 3-Series is now going to fade out as BMW announces the G20 3-Series. However, if there’s one thing that’s for sure, people love the BMW 3 Series for its enthralling driving experience. In a world where sportiness is currently dominant, BMW already has a head start, and it’ll be curious to see how would they orient the endearing BMW 3 Series.
Audi E-Tron – eminently, the automotive climate is rapidly shifting. From around eighteen years ago, hybrid powertrains were just beginning to gain traction in the form of the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. And since then, the world has attempted pure electric vehicles many times. But in just 15 years, EVs are now an actually viable option and are seemingly threatening internal combustion as a method of vehicle propulsion. With that, even long-established companies are eagerly adopting electric power, with Audi being one of them.
More specifically, the Audi e-tron. It’s a four-wheel-drive SUV, a popular genre of cars, but at the same time also powered purely by electric motors. But to really top the headlines with your EV nowadays, you do have to pack some resemblance of innovation, which the e-tron does, let’s walk through it.
Aside from the camouflage that the e-tron dons for the press, it’s actually a largely conventional-styled Audi SUV. Following Audi’s modern design language that we’re accustomed to, it’s sharp and sleek, with no real indication of its silent nature. As crisp and well-defined its lines are, Audi also says the shape is sculpted to minimize drag.
Powered by two electric motors that output a combined 350 hp and 414 lb-ft of torque, the e-tron runs on a different kind of four-wheel drive system from your regular Audi Quattro. This powertrain can also ‘boost’ to 402 horsepower propelling the e-tron from 0-62 mph in under 6-seconds, a remarkable feat for an SUV that will no doubt be portly.
Providing the fuel is a 95 kWh battery that’s also capable of sustained 150 kW DC fast charging that nearly brims the charge in just 30 minutes, surpassing even Tesla’s venerated supercharger network. It can also be charged on a more sedate 11 kW pace at AC charging stations that can double to 22 kW with Audi’s optional on-board charger.
That said, ever since the inception of the Audi e-tron, the headline story is the exceptional recuperation ability of the vehicle itself. With an intelligent electrohydraulic braking system, the recuperation system can determine the amount of regenerative braking to utilize, and the driver can pull the ‘shifter paddle’ behind the steering wheel to demand even more severe regent braking if desired.
The braking is done entirely via wire, which means that the car can also ascertain whether if you need the hydraulic brakes dependent on the pedal input. If it’s a bit of a panic situation or if you require heavy braking, the hydraulic brakes kick in for better response. This system is so efficient in fact that it’s said to contribute about 30% of the e-tron’s range. And if you’re on an especially elevated terrain such as Pikes Peak and rolling down, it can muster about 1 mile of range for every mile you travel down. And you’ll largely be relying on the regenerative braking which reduces the brakes’ temperatures and wear.
Of course, since the e-tron isn’t truly fully unveiled and released just yet, we can’t truly be certain on how it compares to others of its segment. Right now, the two other obvious contenders are the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X. The Jaguar I-Pace is undoubtedly one suave looking brute that’s more performance-centric. Right now, the I-Pace seems faster but offers less range and charges at a slower speed, and it’s also more akin to a ‘coupe crossover’ than an actual SUV.
The Model X, on the other hand, is Tesla’s first endeavour into the SUV market. It’s a genuinely practical 7-seater SUV that’s also capable of shaming an Audi R8 in its P100D trim. It also offers more range, but charges at a slower pace even with Tesla’s supercharging station. And it also boasts the ‘Falcon Wing’ rear doors, if that enthrals you.
What the Audi e-tron offers though, I reckon, is probably one of the most cutting-edge regenerative braking system, and Audi’s established build quality and German-tier fit and finish. It also has a solid EV infrastructure. That said, to truly know how it’ll compare against its competitors though, we’ll have to wait until early 2019, which is the e-tron’s projected production date.
Porsche 911 Carrera
Porsche 911 Carrera- If we’re talking about automotive icons, Porsche is undoubtedly a marque that won’t be forsaken. And the reason is plain and simple in 3 letters – the Porsche 911. Being one of the longest running sports car nameplates to exist, it was quite an engineering marvel back then in the 1960s, yet it remains to be plenty competent even when pitted against contemporary super cars.
Over 5 decades ago was the inception of a concept that Porsche itself would never expect to be so enduring. As a successor to the Porsche 356, the original Porsche 911 was known as the Porsche 901 and was meant to be a more practical variant of the 356 with an extra set of seats. Hence the ethos of a ‘daily sports car Porsche so keenly touts. While the original interpretation proved to be lacking in guts, Porsche and the crowd found the optimum to be the air-cooled 207 horsepower 911 Carrera RS, which was both lightweight and suitably zestful with an exhaust note that nothing else can quite match.
Of course, after the original Porsche 911 was the introduction of a variant often hailed as the ultimate 911 – the Porsche 930. Certainly, the melding of a turbocharger with a rear-engine rear-wheel drive sports car also conferred it the notorious title of the ‘widow maker’. While its acceleration prowess was unparalleled; the extreme turbo lag and frankly mercurial road demeanor translated to a capricious mistress to tame. However, it provided the predicate to some of Porsche’s finest Group 4 and Group 5 racing cars, notably the Porsche 934 and 935.
Following the initial success, about 3 decades of the same generation later in the late 1980s, Porsche finally released a major update: the Porsche 964. It’s an endeavor to modernize the 911 to bring it up to date for the recession. It was the first time any 911 utilized power steering, ABS, airbags and also marked the launch of the 4-wheel drive Carrera 4. And just 5 years after the 964, Porsche debuted the 993. Widely regarded as the best rendition of the air-cooled 911s, It also brought us the GT2, an even more fickle car than the 930 to domesticate.
But that was the last air-cooled generation. As 1998 rolled along, Porsche migrated to water-cooled engines and a significant exterior update. Purists, of course, scowled at such a move, but it was inevitable in the pursuit of performance. Known as the 996, people hated how it looked inside and out which prompted a vital face lift in 2001 to the 996.2. But people commented on how it lost its ‘soul’. A new model was introduced in 997 which was styled with cues to the classic 911, with the 997.2 following 4 years later along with the PDK dual-clutch automatic.
It’s not until the 991 in 2012 that Porsche made another controversial switch – electromechanical steering. While it originally compromised the extremely precise and communicative steering, the latest representation of the 911, the 991.2, refined it to a degree that most find it agreeable. However, the 991.2 was bestowed with another potentially contentious change itself: a total migration to turbocharged power. While turbochargers used to be reserved for the fastest 911s, it has now trickled down to even the humble 991.2 Carrera. It’s an understandably unavoidable step towards the future with increasingly stringent emissions law, and I think it’s one that pushes the 911 further towards the ‘daily sports car’ ethos. The delivery quality of power may be vastly dissimilar, but it’s still a great engine in its own regard.
So, why do the crowd covet the 911 so much? Even in its latest iteration, the 911 Carrera remains a valid option for those who value the driving experience more. The answer is simple, it is the quintessential sports car. The 911 Carrera isn’t a trailblazer, but its cornering finesse remains peerless. People love the shape of the 911, which isn’t found anywhere else other than the Volkswagen Beetle, and they adore how Porsche has made such a daft idea that is locating the engine at the rear function with spectacular results. The exhaust note of a flat-6 is also distinctive, a trait that many love.
Of course, the purists dote the classic 911 Carreras, but I reckon the latest 911 Carrera deserves a mention too. Porsche has never made the 911 Carrera so fast that it becomes scary, and instead offer limitless traction reserve, a darty responsive chassis, slick driver inputs and generous daily accessibility. And perhaps most importantly, Porsche still offers many 911 variants with a proper H-gate manual transmission, a perk that’s increasingly scarce to find nowadays.
You can certainly find cars with a much more impressive specification sheet nowadays for the same money for a Porsche 911, but then you won’t end up with a Porsche 911. If you want a Porsche 911, there really is no other alternative out there quite like it.
What Are Brake Calipers
Brake calipers are an important component of your car’s braking system and play a vital role in slowing or stopping the vehicle. The majority of cars these days have disc brakes, if not in all the wheels then in the front wheel for sure.
The brake caliper contains your car’s brake pads and pistons. Its job is to slow the car’s wheels by making friction with the brake rotors. In a disc-braking system the car’s wheels are connected to metal discs, or rotors, that spin along side the wheels.
The brake caliper fits like a clamp on a wheels’ rotor to prevent the wheel from turning once you step on the brakes. Once you push the brake pedal, brake fluid creates pressure on pistons inside the brake caliper, forcing the pads against the brake rotor and decelerating your car.
Types of brake calipers
Brake calipers come in two types — Floating (Sliding) and Fixed. Floating calipers function in relative motion to the rotor, moving in and out as per the rotor’s motion. They house one or two pistons only, located on the inboard side of the rotor. The piston pushes the caliper when the brakes are applied. This in turn enables the brake pads to create friction on both sides of the rotor.
Fixed calipers, going by their name, are stationary. They have pistons on the opposite sides of the rotor. In some high end cars, fixed calipers also have two or more pair of pistons on the opposing ends, often known as pots.
While fixed calipers are more costly than floating ones, they are more performance oriented. This is why fixed calipers are found in most of the sports and supercars as they do a wonderful job in stopping cars at a fast speed.
Maintaining your brake calipers
When you apply your car’s brakes, there is a substantial amount of heat generated inside the braking system. This not only wear and tears the system but also weakens or in some cases breaks down the seals of the caliper.
On the other hand, if you don’t take your car for a spin regularly, there are chances that your calipers might rust, get contaminated or even start to leak brake fluid! While all these are a bit hard to notice at first sight, here are some tell tale signs that your car’s brake calipers need to be checked at once:
- Your brakes make a squeaking or grinding noise when applied,
- The antilock braking system (ABS) warning light turns on your dash,
- There are sudden jerks while applying brakes,
- Your brake pedal is either too soft or too hard,
- You need to constantly pump your brakes for them to function,
- There is leakage of brake fluids around the engine or wheels.
The key to maintaining brake calipers is replacing them immediately if any of the above mentioned symptoms show up. They can be bought as new parts or even as good quality second hand or replacement parts. Almost all private garages offer you replacement brake calipers with great quality, safety and durability.
Self Driving Cars – For the past three to four decades, humans have constantly imagined a future of autonomous flying cars. While our automobiles are yet to take off to the skies, we have very nearly arrived to the future where self driving cars will be the norm. As we had our first well-publicized fatal accident involving a self-driving Volvo car, we have more questions about mobility staring at us than ever before.
One of the first questions that pops in our minds with respect to the recent accident is that who is to be blamed for this? Is it the driver or is it the AI that ran the vehicle? While a lot of articles claim that it was the woman who jumped in front of the car with her bicycle suddenly, the possibility of her life being saved had the Uber been driven by a human cannot be ignored.
Some other unanswered questions that arise are why couldn’t the autonomous car avoid contact with the pedestrian? Was it because of a failure in the sensors or with an AI? Did the human driver take the appropriate measures to avoid a crash?
In a thought experiment by TedEd, the ethical dilemma of a self driving car is explored in depth. Let us assume, you are enjoying your Sunday meal in a fully autonomous car. Suddenly some heavy goods in a truck right in front of you fall down. On the left of your car is a biker wearing a helmet and on the right is a biker without a helmet. What should your car do in such a situation? Should go ahead and bang into the truck or should it slide left and crash into the biker with the helmet? Or rather, go right and collide with the careless biker without a helmet? If we bang into the one wearing a helmet, are we punishing him for following the rules? If we collide with the one without helmet, then we are not following the principle of minimizing harm!
If the car was driven by a human, any decision made would be considered as an instant reaction and not a deliberate pre-programmed decision of an AI. If any of the persons involved in the accident is killed, should it be considered a premeditated homicide? In any case, the fate of an accident is predetermined much earlier by programmers and policy-makers. Who is to be punished in such a scenario?
This is not to say that autonomous cars don’t have any positives. They are certain to reduce human errors while driving which shall bring down the number of accidents considerably. Moreover, it reduced the unproductive hours spent driving which can be utilized for other chores sitting in your car. Also, platooning by self driving cars can reduce traffic congestion greatly, which in turn will reduce the endless hours spent travelling daily.
Thus, before moving ahead into a world full of self driving cars, we need to maneuver through some of the moral questions and answer them keeping in mind our ethics and technology!
The Toyota Supra story
Toyota Supra – An all-new Toyota Supra sports car is just around the corner having been previewed at the recently concluded Geneva Motor Show alongside the GR Supra Racing Concept. As per leaked statistics, the new Supra will be powered by a 3L 6-cyl engine, generating 335bhp at 5500rpm and 332 lb-ft torque. It can reach 0-100 kph in less than 4 seconds. While the car is set to arrive in 2019, there is already plenty of buzz generated about Toyota’s re-born model. We explore why…
The Toyota Supra was built on the spoils left behind by the company’s other sporty looking coupe – the Celica. First introduced at the 1970 Tokyo Motor Show, the Celica competed directly against Ford’s Mustang! By 1978, Toyota brought in a more powerful version of the Celica in its home market named the XX. The following year, the Japanese carmaker brought the Celica XX to American shores. However, in order to make the brand stand apart from a Mexican beer of the same name, the car was renamed as Celica Supra!
Fans wouldn’t revere the Supra as one of Toyota’s greatest sports vehicle if the original model hadn’t created several successors. The first-generation car’s greatest achievement in racing was, by Toyota’s own admission, performing speed car duties in the 1979 US Grand Prix. The pace cars didn’t want to post sluggish acceleration numbers so Toyota supercharged the straight-six to double it is horsepower output.
The second gen Toyota Supra was introduced in 1981. Back then, it became the first car with computer navigation in its home country. In America, Toyota Supra Miami was run by a 145bhp 2.8L engine and styled by the ‘trendy’ designs of the 80s!
Supra in Europe
In 1982, Toyota decided to penetrate the European market with the Supra. While initially, only France and UK were targeted with limited production numbers, the car later expanded to Sweden and Switzerland as well. Interestingly, Australia and New Zealand were also major markets for the Supra in the 1980s.
By the time the third gen Supra was introduced in 1986, Toyota had completely differentiated the Celica from the Supra. The latter was known as A70 came with features like ABS electric suspensions! Also available as an option from the third gen onwards was the removable top, which interestingly found mixed reviews among the enthusiasts.
Engineers forced the turbocharged six-cylinder’s outcome to 270hp for the Turbo A, a model created to homologate the automobile in competition series like Japan Touring Car Tournament (JTCC), Western European touring car series and even the World Rally Championship’s Group A category. Toyota highlights the limited-edition Supra 3.0GT Turbo A was the most effective Japanese development car at that time, with 0-100kph in less than 5seconds, off to a high acceleration of 270kph.
The 90s and all that JZ
In the 90s, Toyota’s now famous JZ engine was used for the Supra, which further enhanced the car’s power. This made the Supra Toyota’s most expensive car across all lineups in the Americas. While it wasn’t a volume driver vehicle even then, it had its cult following usually among the cream section of buyers.
The fourth gen model took four years to build, making it better than its predecessors in every way possible. The Turbo model of the same was considered faster than the Porsche’s 911 Carrera, reaching 0-100 kph in 4.6 seconds!
By 1995, the Supra debuted at the Le Mans alongside the likes of McLaren F1 GTR and Ferrari F40. At the turn of the millennium, the Supra managed to steal hearts of millions of racing and movie enthusiasts by making an appearance in the blockbuster movie, The Fast and the Furious! The following year in 2002, Toyota officially announced the end of production of the Supra, having discontinued the model in the US in 1998 and two years earlier in UK.
Over a span of 24 years, Toyota managed to sell 594,000 units of the Supra globally!
In the contemporary time, your car is almost entirely dependent on a central computer. This central computer accepts information from all around the car and processes them to calculate what to do next. Without that single computer, your car will basically stop working. So, what feeds that computer information? That’ll be the countless car sensors littered all over your car.
What is the purpose for sensors?
If you aren’t particularly keen with cars, you may not realize just how many sensors a modern car has nowadays. You can get a rough grasp by turning on the ignition and seeing just how many lights shine through the instrument cluster. They serve a very simple, but noble purpose in your vehicle, and that is to ensure optimal performance and safety of your vehicle. All those oil temperature gauge, coolant temperature gauge and fuel level gauge you see on a daily basis depend on various sensors.
Should a sensor report that something has gone awry, you’ll be immediately notified by the loathed bright yellow check engine light. Fortunately, with the advent of scanners and standardized engine codes, it’s less of a guesswork nowadays. While there are some sensors your car will run without, some car sensors, if faulty, will either cripple your car or just stop it from running entirely.
Some of the most crucial car sensors are found within your engine bay. That includes the crankshaft position sensor, which is absolutely critical to a modern engine’s operation. The sensor feeds the position and rotational speed of the crankshaft to the computer. Alongside the cam position sensor, the computer figures out a suitable ignition timing and fuel injection map.
Other than that, the coolant temperature sensor is also very important for an engine’s operation. It not only feeds real-time coolant temperature information to the computer, but the computer also bases the engine’s operation on the reading. While carbureted vehicles used to struggle with cold start, modern vehicles with fuel injection can enrich the air-fuel ratio on engine startup to aid with cold start. It’ll also idle your car higher, and the car will run on a fixed map until it warms up.
If you’ve opened up the bonnet of your car, you may have also noticed something protruding out of your exhaust manifold. That’ll be the oxygen sensor. This is particularly important to maintain an acceptable engine efficiency, as the oxygen sensor feeds your computer information of the unburned oxygen present in the exhaust. This information, in tandem with information from multiple other sensors, such as the manifold absolute pressure sensor and throttle position sensor, will tell the computer what ignition timing and how much fuel the engine needs. Typically, at cruising conditions, the engine will run entirely based on the sensors, rather than a set table, this is known as closed loop operation. In this mode, the engine will attempt to run leaner for efficiency.
Therefore, vehicle sensors are very important to a car’s operation. Nowadays, you can find sensors all over your car, even things as trivial as the headlamp and tail lamp can run off a sensor. The thing is, as vehicles become progressively more complex, more and more sensors will be added, therefore, it’s best that you realize just how important they are. The dependence on sensor can be frightening to some, as more electronics can translate to a less reliable car. However, when done right, cars can run on an efficiency we’ve never imagined possible, and efficiency is the name of the game in the future.
Why You Need To Pay Attention To Brake Maintenance
Car Maintenance is Important
Brake maintenance and Car maintenance are some of most important and simple things you can perform to keep your car running strong for years. People often overlook it, and then they scratch their heads wondering just why their usually stalwart ride has been letting them down recently.
Nothing Like Your Brakes
Keeping an eye out for your engine oil, making sure your air filter is clean are common maintenance routines. But perhaps one of the single most important aspects for both safety and longevity are your brakes and brake maintenance. If there’s one thing you should go all out for, it’s brakes.
You don’t want to save money on brake maintenance. Why? Well, because, like tires, they’re the few components that actually keep you on the road and off that tree over in the distance. You will fail car inspections if your brakes aren’t in top notch condition, and many people don’t really keep an eye out for their braking system.
Usually, you can know the state of your brakes via braking feel or listening carefully. For mild cases, you can hear a squeaking noise, signifying damaged brake lining, or uneven rotors. It can increase the rate of wear on the pads. If you hear a gnarly metal grind, chances are your pads are beyond worn. This will ruin your rotors quickly.
Those are minor issues; it may not be all sunshine if you fail to notice brake lining deterioration early on. It can cause your car to drag to one side, possibly due to contamination or uneven lining. If air gets into your brake linings, it’ll reduce your braking efficiency, and in serious cases your pedal can be to the floor just to keep your car from rolling.
The frequency that you need to service your brakes depends on where your car is driven. A car roaming around an urban jungle dealing with daily stop-and-go traffic will require brake services sooner than a car cruising on the highway or country every day. It’s not all black and white, but pads and shoes should be replaced between 20,000 and 60,000 miles. You may want to get your rotors machined every pad change as well.
Normally, you wouldn’t have to replace brake calipers, since brake caliper damage being quite uncommon. You should perform a brake fluid flush according to your vehicle’s manual, or every 2 years/30,000 miles. It’s a smart move to inspect your brake system often, including the brake lines. It can be periodically, e.g., every 10,000 miles, or just have your mechanic scrutinize it every oil change.
If you don’t know your way around a spanner, let the professionals deal with it. With that said, brake services aren’t rocket science. With a small toolkit and ample research, you should be able to perform pad replacements yourself. For any enthusiasts, it’d be a piece of cake.
Brakes in top notch condition should be silent and feel responsive once you depress your brake pedal. Of course, there’s the world of high performance pads, aftermarket rotors, braided brake lines et cetera. If you bring your car to a track day, you may be looking at pad replacements within months.
Brake maintenance is crucial in preserving drivability. What’s the point of, say, a 400-horsepower BMW M4 if everyone can hear your brakes squeaking from miles away and you can barely stop the car? You may be surprised at how much a set of high-quality pads can change your car’s characteristics too.
Cabin Filter and Air Filter what is the difference? Are you wondering why is your car suddenly chocking when you let your weight on the gas pedal? And what’s with that strange odor in your car every morning? Also, windows tend to get foggy quite a lot, for some reason.
If any of the above sound familiar, then it’s probably time to check and replace your car’s air and cabin filter. Let’s have a look at both of them and see what it’s all about and why you should often replace cabin and air filters.
Air filter lets your car breathe
In order to run, an engine needs two main elements: air and fuel. Mixed together and then ignited, these two generate mechanical power through combustion. Here’s the thing: outside air isn’t just oxygen, and any other impurities will reduce the efficiency of the burn inside the engine.
This is where your car’s air filter comes into play. Its pores are large enough to allow air molecules to go by unharmed but small enough to catch most of the dust and debris. Impurities get stuck into the air filter so they don’t go through the intake and reduce combustion efficiency.
However, as it accumulates dirt and dust, an air filter becomes less efficient at letting clean air going through – it gets clogged like a drain pipe. If you feel like your car is not properly responding to acceleration, the reason might be a clogged air filter. Your car is suffocating, and you need to get her to breathe. Buy a new air filter and replace it either at home or in a professional service unit. Then, fresh air will reach the engine and really spin the wheels forward.
Cabin filter let you breathe
If the air filter allows your car to breathe, cabin filters make sure you also get a fresh air charge. Think about it this way; the inside of a vehicle is a rather sealed environment, and unless you keep windows down, there’s little fresh air getting in.
Usually, fresh air is drawn from the front of the vehicle. However, since it first passes directly through or near the engine bay, air tends to catch various smells or get cluttered with dust. A quality cabin air filter stops dust from reaching the inside of the cabin and setting on shiny surfaces while letting fresh air reach your lungs.
Similar to a combustion air filter, a cabin filter will also get clogged with time and won’t be as effective in stopping odors and dust from reaching your car’s cabin. Another annoying effect of a cluttered cabin filter is that, since less air gets inside, windows will tend to be a lot foggier, especially during the cold seasons. This could affect road visibility and make you less secure on the road.
Replace your cabin or engine air filter with a compatible one as soon as you notice any of the effects mentioned above. Air filters are some of the least expensive car parts you can get. This is why you can ensure fresh air for you and your car without making a whole in your budget.
You get to your car ready to face the road ahead to work or just for a casual drive. You put the key in the ignition, turn it, but nothing happens. Or, the engine cranks but doesn’t for the love of God, start. What is there to be done? First of all, these are the signs of ignition problems.
Let’s go together through a series of car ignition problems, how to diagnose and how to do ignition repairs on your car. We will look at the most common ignition problems of today’s cars and give a brief insight on how to fix them.
Engine won’t crank
If you turn the key in ignition and engine doesn’t crank – no sound comes from under the hood, the issue is most likely coming from two places:
- The battery is dead
- The starter motor is faulty
To check whether the battery is dead, get a multimeter and connect its ends to each pole of the battery. If the voltage is lower than 9V, then you are most likely needed to replace the battery. Make sure to choose a car battery that has enough CCA (cold cranking amps) to get the car started properly. Another way to check whether the battery is dead is to try starting your CD player or headlights. If the CD player doesn’t start or the headlights don’t turn on, again, the battery is most likely at fault.
The starter motor is the part that actually cranks your engine to allow it to start its 4-stroke cycle. If the start motor is at fault, it will usually not crank at all, only giving out short metallic clicks. While on older models, starter motors can be repaired by auto professionals, it is better to replace it with a functional component.
Engine cranks very slowly
When the engine cranks so slowly that you can count the revolutions, it does by hearing the sound, the battery is probably at a low voltage. This happens when you forget to turn off the lights or when the battery discharges because of wear.
In the first case, just jumpstart it using cables and let it idle for a few dozen minutes so it will recharge. Otherwise, a worn battery must be replaced adequately.
Engine cranks but won’t start
There are cases when the engine will crank just fine but will fail to actually start. In this situation, it is most likely that the starter and the battery are NOT at fault. Instead, the spark plug ignition system may cause the engine not to start. Here’s what can happen.
First of all, power might not reach the distributor cap. The wire between the battery and the distributor may be seized, cut, or the connection might have come loose. Replacing the cable is the solution in this case.
If the cable’s good, then you might want to check the spark plug wires that go from the distributor cap to the spark plugs. However, the engine is likely to start if just one or two cables are malfunctioning, but will idle roughly and might also stop after a brief period of time.
Most modern vehicles come with an anti-theft mechanism that won’t let the engine start if you are using the wrong key or try to bypass the starting mechanism. There is a magnetic coil around the ignition hub that reads the data from a chip inside the OEM key of the car and compares it to the value stored in the ECU. If the data doesn’t match, the engine will crank but won’t start.
Sometimes, due to corrosion or major deposits on the magnetic coil, it might fail to detect the chip and thus prohibit the engine from starting even though you are using the right key. In such cases, the coil needs to be replaced and the key chip reprogrammed.
Given the above situations, you should now be able to quickly identify possible causes of your car’s ignition system not working properly. Don’t forget to ask for specialized help when dealing with electric current, to avoid injuries or further damage to your car.