Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Importance of Car Computers and the Engine

Almost all modern cars these days cannot run without a car computer. It is an engine control module, a very important part of every vehicle. Without it, the car would be dead. So why are car computers and engine control modules important?

You must understand that an automobile is a complex matter. It is composed of a lot of sensors and these sensors go through these car computers. This is why computers are important, because it is the way to know if there is something in the auto that does not function well.

Take for example the fuel injection in a car. The one that regulates and monitors this function are the computers. If the fuel intake of a vehicle is not in its proper state, the most probable thing to happen is either it will consume too much and therefore be not so fuel efficient or it could consume too little and the car won’t run properly.

Computers and engine control modules also take care of the ignition timing. You see here that when a fuel is injected, the next thing to do is to ignite it. So without computers to maintain the timing of fuel inject and ignition, what will happen is an imbalance and the car would not run.

Car computers and engine control modules are very important because it gathers all the data necessary for a car to run at its best. It will help you get better mileage and it will also help you increase the power of your engine.

Another thing why car computers are important is because it will help you be an environmentally friendly citizen. Why? Because computers can help you decrease the emissions of your car.

So if you think there is something wrong with your car, better check the car computer. Now, when there is a need to get a replacement of these computers but you are on a low budget, then you might want to consider getting a pre-owned computer. There are many out there that sell high quality pre-owned computers.

Do not try to compromise the performance of your vehicle. Taking care of your automobile will keep you safe at all times. You cannot just neglect problems that may cost your life or others.

Engines and Drivetrains Explained

Where do they go and what does it mean?

Mid-engined

Lotus EliseWhile the majority of cars have their engine over the front wheels, which allows better carrying capacity, mid-engine cars offer a more favourable weight distribution. The engine usually sits just in front of the rear axle, behind the passenger compartment. This usually means that mid-engine cars are two-seaters as the engine intrudes into what would be used for the rear passenger space. The advantages include better handling, better braking (because the rear wheels have more weight over them), improved acceleration (where they’re rear-wheel drive as well), and a smoother ride. Because the engine is not directly facing into the wind, vents, air scoops, and additional radiators may have to be used to keep the engine cool. Common mid-engined cars are Ford GT, Lotus Elise, Porsche Boxster and Ferrari 355.

MR, MFWD and MF

Almost all mid-engined cars are rear-wheel drive (MR), though some are four-wheel drive, like the Bugatti Veyron, and one or two were even mid-engined front wheel drive (e.g. Citroen DS).

FMR

McLaren Mercedes SLRA front-mid (FM) engine sits just behind the front axle, and combined with rear-wheel drive gives a better weight distribution than a front-rear (FR) car, where the engine is over the front axle. Examples include the Maserati Quattroporte, Mazda RX-7, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and Dodge Viper.

Rear-engined

Porsche 911 CabrioletThe Porsche 911 is the most developed rear-engine rear-wheel drive car in the world, having had over 40 years of incremental iterations to hone its engineering. Rear-engined cars are where the centre of gravity of the motor is behind the rear axle. They’re notoriously difficult to make stable because the engine acts like a pendulum, meaning once that back end steps around it’s more difficult to control than an excited puppy.

Front-engined

Toyota CelicaFront-engined, front-wheel drive cars (FF) are the safe choice for the average motorist. They understeer when pushed hard, and they give more room in the cabin because the cars don’t need a transmission tunnel through to the back wheels. Most family cars are FF.

Toyota SupraFront-engined, rear-wheel drive cars (FR) are the choice for many a sports car and muscle car. Common cars include the Toyota Altezza (Lexus IS200), most BMWs and Mercedes saloons/sedans, and the Corvette Z06.

Four-wheel drive (4WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD)

4WD School BusFWD gives the ultimate grip, but saps engine power with all the extra moving parts. Some cars have viscous centre differentials so that power is channeled only to either the front or rear unless they start to skid, then the diff apportions more power to the other wheels.

An Integral Part of the Engine

There is something so rewarding about rebuilding or remodeling an old car. Generations of fathers, sons, mothers and daughters have worked together and spent a great deal of time working in the garage together to reconstruct an old car from the ground up. It is extremely satisfying to see something come to life right before you, to take a collaboration of old metal and make it into an operating car.

The difficulty that many begin to have in construction usually takes place once the process get to the motor. There are many crucial components to a motor, but some are less obvious than others. Many people are at least somewhat familiar with the idea of a cylinder, or a piston and piston rod. These are terms that are often heard in automotive shops and on repair bills. Many have at least some idea what these mean. But there are some engine parts that are a little more obscure.

A Crosshead is one such piece. A crosshead is usually a large piece of metal and is shaped like a T or a cross. There are openings at each of the four corners, and the inside of the crosshead is hollow. The crosshead serves several functions, and is most often seen on the largest of motors. The basic idea of the engine is that the piston moves up and down according to the combustion that takes place within the engine. The piston’s movement also impacts the crankpin, which in turn moves the crank and begins the motion of whatever the engine is designed to move.

The movement of the piston and the crank also generates a great deal of side to side movement on the engine. This can create a lot of extra wear, and can reduce the life of the engine quite extensively. The crosshead operates by reducing the side to side movement of the piston and eliminating a great deal of the friction that can cause a great deal of the problems associated with engine wear.

A crosshead is basically used to guide the motion of the piston and the crank/crank pin so that the motion is more fluid and does not move side to side. An additional benefit with be the added efficiency of the engine. Because the force is no longer lost from the side to side movement, the engine can work completely going forward.

There are many components to a successful car rebuild, but the most important component is the knowledge and education that will be required to put the whole thing together.

Deadly Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make When Buying An Engine

#1 – Ordering An Engine Without Checking If It’s Been Tested…

This consists of dyno testing, compression testing, oil pressure testing, and leak down.

#2 – Ordering An Engine Without Asking If It’s Got A Warranty…

The length of the warranty isn’t as big of an issue as making sure you at least have some type of warranty– even a thirty day. The reason for this is to make sure the engine runs properly after being dropped into your car.

#3 – Not Asking What Shipping Costs Will Be…

Just because you’ve been quoted a price, doesn’t mean that will be the total price. Most companies who sell engines will give you a quote that sounds great, but when actually making the purchase they will tack on another $150 – $400 or more.

#4 – Shipping To A Residential Address…

Shipping to a residential address will be a much higher shipping cost in almost all cases. Always ship your engine to a business address when possible.

#5 – Not Specifying If You Need A Long Block Or A Short Block Engine

Let me explain the difference between a long block and a short block engine so you understand why this is important.

Long Block – a long block engine is the actual block with cylinder heads, all accessories from old engine must be used unless otherwise approved by your ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified mechanic. All new and rebuilt engines may require you to use your existing accessories off your old engine (alternator, starter, oil pan, alternator, intake manifold, exhaust manifold, power steering pump, and the air conditioner compressor ) unless you negotiate otherwise during the purchase of your engine.

Short Block – a short block engine is part of the engine block located above the oil pan, but under the head gasket. A flathead engine will have the valvetrain and the cam included. The overhead valve engine will not include the parts mentioned above. A short block is in most cases ordered to ungrade the bore, piston, or water jacket. The assembly will usually include the crankshaft installed balanced along with the main bearing. A short block is no good when it warps or cracks.

#6 – Not Asking If There Is A Core Charge…

Don’t be surprised to be hit with a core charge when getting ready to place your order. This is another fee that is seldom brought up until you’re ready to place the order. Although this charge is refundable, it may surpass what you can afford. These charges can be $100 to $1,000 or more. The core usually requires the block and heads intact and there is to be no cracks on the blocks or heads.

#7 – Not Asking What The Estimated Arrival Date…

In some cases the company you purchase an engine from could be buying your engine from a different state. Not only can this cost more in shipping fees, but you may be waiting weeks before delivery. Always follow up to track your engine. If they tell you they can’t give you a tracking number but it’s on the way, be advised: this usually means the engine hasn’t been shipped at all.