I read your blog about the problem in BMW. I have a 2009 BMW 535i X drive with turbo. The car just ran out of warranty and has 45000 miles only. My car started having engine problems last week. First, the BMW said it needs new spark plugs as they were dirty. That cost me $740 dollars. That did not work. They said it needs new fuel injectors. That was another $2100 dollars. (Read More…)
Engine downsizing is all the rage. Making the engine smaller increases fuel efficiency, reduces emissions and cuts vehicle weight. With ever tightening fuel economy legislation in the United States and CO2 emissions regulation in the European Union, mainline manufacturers are turning to turbochargers like never before. In 2009 just 5% of cars sold in America sported turbos, and that 5% consisted largely of European brands like Volvo and BMW with a long history of forced induction. By 2013 that number had more than doubled to 13%. Honeywell expects the number to rise to 25% in the next four years and the EPA tells me that by 2025 they expect 90% of cars sold in America to sport a turbo engine. With turbos becoming so ordinary, what’s a turbo pioneer like Volvo do to keep a competitive edge? Add a supercharger of course.
I have a piston slap question for a friend at work. She drives an ’11 Mazda CX-7 2.3. For over a year she has had an issue with fuel in the oil. Enough that the oil level has been as much as 1″ above the full mark on the dipstick as a result (oil level was checked after service, and frequently between services). This is noticed within weeks of service/oil change. (Read More…)
I’ve heard from maintenance shops and oil additive producers that DI engines, especially Audi and BMW, have severe problems with carbon buildup in their valve systems. Might be good to chat about this and also poll readers to see if other vehicles have the same issue. Thank you. (Read More…)
Once upon a time, in a country known as America, SUVs roamed the land with large-displacement inline 6s, optional V8s, and locking axles. Nobody had heard of a “cute ute.” Of course, gasoline was also under a buck a gallon. Today the landscape is different. While the last energy crisis caused entire vehicles to downsize, the response to the latest energy “crisis” (and government pressure) has been to downsize engines while leaving the rest of the vehicle intact. Case in point? The Ford Edge EcoBoost. No, this isn’t the 3.5L fire-breathing twin-turbo you’ve heard about before, this is the all-new 2.0L engine that puts the Eco in EcoBoost.
“Ask an Engineer” is hosted by Andrew Bell, a mechanical engineer and car enthusiast. Andrew has his MASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and has worked on Formula SAE teams, as well as alternative fuel technologies in Denmark and Canada. Andrew’s column will explore engineering topics in the most accessible manner possible.
I’ve got a 2007 BMW 335 which has a direct injection system. Although I enjoy the car, it has been through three fuel pumps in 35,000 miles and BMW has thankfully extended the warranty on the fuel pump to 100,000 miles and seven years. The benefits, however, are extraordinary. This engine gets excellent fuel mileage and makes fantastic power. So tell me why DI systems are so difficult that mighty Honda has yet to take the plunge! (Read More…)
I’m a long time reader, but not much of a poster. Anyway, I currently own a 2009 SEAT Leon (bought new, I’m from Mexico if you wonder how I got this car), which is basically a 5th gen VW Golf in drag, 1.8 TSI engine and 6 speed manual, 32k km in the odometer (about 20k miles) almost 100% of city stop and go traffic. Currently, there’s nothing wrong with the car, but today I took it to the dealership for the vehicle emissions tests (all good) and looking at all the services that they provide I found this: Engine Carbon Build Up Cleaning with Hydrogen, so I ask the service representative what it was, in he basically told me that a machine is connected to the fuel system of the car and they feed it with hydrogen and keep the car running for about half an hour, and that should remove all the carbon build ups in the system.
Reading this and other forums I learned about the propensity of major carbon build in the valves, regarding the direct injected engines, so I found this interesting. Googling this cleaning system, I rapidly found about it: OxyHydrogen Engine Carbon Cleaning, although I just barely read about using it in scooter engines.
Then it came to me!! Ask Master Sajeev about it!! So I’m wondering if you ever heard of this system and if it’s really effective in removing carbon build ups, or if it is a bad idea to ever think about it. Dealership charges about $50 to perform this service by the way….
BYD made a big splash a few years back when it became the first Chinese automaker to develop a highway-capable plug-in vehicle. That announcement brought a flurry of publicity and a Warren Buffett investment in the firm, but has yet to translate into real plugin sales success. Now, BYD is making a big splash again, by announcing another first for a Chinese automaker: an in-house, stratified-injection, all-aluminum turbocharged engine with a dual-clutch transmission. The 1.5 liter engine creates 178 lb-ft of torque from 1750-3500 RPMs, according to a BYD release, putting “[power] equivalent to a 2.4 liter gasoline engine” through “an advanced 6-Speed Tiptronic dual-clutch design” transmission. BYD insists that the drivetrain’s technology was developed in-house, but some may point to the firm’s ties to VW as a source of the know-how in China’s first modern engine.
When Autoweek asks the R&D boss at an alt-drivetrain leader like Toyota what the future of its powertrain development looks like, one tends to hope for something revelatory in his answer. Instead, we get
In the next five years, the general trend is downsizing of engines and the use of turbochargers. Another development will be direct fuel injection.
Gosh, really? So Toyota is going to follow automakers like Fiat and Hyundai (not to mention the entireindustry) when it comes to spotting and adopting engine technologies like gas direct injection (GDI) and strategies like downsizing and turbocharging? With a late start on EVs as well as the suite of ICE-improving technologies, Toyota had better hope that hybrid sales stay strong… and that its hydrogen technology is affordable by 2015. Otherwise, there are plenty of other firms ready to lead the industry…