Friday, August 28, 2015

Why you should never drive with under a quarter of tank of fuel

Motoring advice from the Daily Mail.

 Why you should never drive with under a quarter of tank of fuel

‘Running out can cause a lot more damage to diesel engines,’ says Ray Sparrow, a mechanic for nearly 40 years whose garage, Autowork, is in Salisbury, Wiltshire. ‘The bills can run into thousands. That may be good news for a garage, not for the driver.’

Without getting too technical, the seals, pumps and injectors in a diesel engine can be damaged by the engine drawing just on air, rather than a rich, oily mix of diesel and lubricant. ‘You may just get away with it,’ says Mr Sparrow, ‘but you’ll be causing expensive problems down the line.’

Petrol engines fare a little better running on empty, and are less likely to suffer severe damage. But there is little to be complacent about — even if you do have petrol in the boot, or get some from a garage, you may find the car still won’t start.
The likelihood is that air will have built up in the system, stopping the fuel moving from tank to engine and, in that case, you will need a mechanic to ‘bleed’ the system, much as one has to bleed a malfunctioning radiator at home. The net result is that you’re not going anywhere fast.

Also, by relying on fuel from the bottom of a petrol tank, you risk clogging up your filters and pumps with sediment. ‘Think of it as the bottom 10 per cent of a bottle of decent red wine,’ says Mr Sparrow. ‘It’s not the stuff you want to drink, is it?’
Modern cars will suffer worse than a jalopy. As Mr Sparrow says, newer car systems are more sensitive and the tolerances much tighter.
This is what to do if you still find yourself running on vapour.

Try to drive as ‘fuel-efficiently’ as possible. Maintain an even speed of around 40-50 mph if it’s legal, and avoid sudden braking and acceleration. Look at your rev counter, and try to pick a gear that keeps the engine running between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm.
Don’t be tempted to freewheel; you can’t accelerate and could end up with points on your licence if caught by the police for not being in control of your vehicle. Moreover, most modern cars use less fuel when they are in gear as long as the accelerator is not depressed. This is because when you put the car into neutral, it will go into ‘tick-over’ mode (as if you were idling at some traffic lights), which uses more fuel.

Turning the car off when stationary will save fuel but only if you stop for more than a minute. Starting a car uses the equivalent of about a minute’s worth of fuel with the engine at 2,500 revs.

Best of all, remember the Jerry can. Those spare five litres may not only save your face, but also the cost of your next holiday.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Movie of the night - The Stunt Man 1980

Good movie, even though not a car movie per se, and I am into car movies, if only for purposes of this blog, but it has the seal of my approval all the same.

I have it on a DVD myself and currently watch it for about 15-20 minutes on my large TV before going to bed each night.

There is something to see for everyone. 

Apparently, it is a multi-layered thing, with multiple "meanings" (if there's such a thing as "meaning" in movies).

Quite a bit of action too, not too many cars but still a Duesenberg or two but also WWI aeroplanes and small helicopters are there.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Man keys Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Volga wants to be a Mercedes-Benz in Uzbekistan

Nice Volga GAZ-31105 all made up to look like a Mercedes-Benz (and even better).

But, in my biased view, the Volga is sooo much better than any MB... so much better in fact that this treatment couldn't spoil it. 

Picture courtesy Central Asia Rally

Friday, August 7, 2015

Life Tips on Twitter - Happiness Challenge

Daewoo: Power of Dreams

Interesting internet meme photo...

... allegedly showing how "everyone" is copying the designs that Daewoo came up first with.

In every joke, there's a grain of truth.

Especially when you consider that almost all of Daewoo's designs were done by Guigiaro.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Hunter S Thompson's Rules for Driving Fast.

Here's a quote from the Kingdom of Fear by Thompson... which I am reading now incidentally.

No 1 - Make sure yr. Car is Functioning on all Mechanical & Electrical levels. Do not go out on any road to drive Fast unless all yr. Exterior lights are working perfectly.
There is only failure & jail very soon for anybody who tries to drive fast with a broken headlight or a broken taillight. This is automatic, unarguable Probable cause for a cop to pull you over and check everything in yr. Car. You do not want to give them Probable Cause. Check yr. Lights, gas gauge, & tire pressure before you drive anywhere.

No 2 - Get familiar with Brake pressure on Yr. Machine before you drive any faster than 10 mph. A brake drum that locks up the instant you touch the pedal will throw you sideways off the road & put you into a fatal eggbeater, which means you will Go To Trial if it happens. Be very careful of Yr. Brakes.

No 3 - Have no small wrecks. If you are going to loop out & hit something, hit it hard. Never mind that old-school Physics bullshit about the Irresistible Force & the Immovable Object. The main rule of the Highway is that some Objects are more Movable than Others. This occurs, for instance, when a speeding car goes straight through a plywood billboard, but not when one goes through a concrete wall. In most cases, the car going fastest sustains less damage than the slower-moving vehicle.
A Small Wreck is almost always both Costly and Embarrassing. I talked to a man tonight that said he had been demoted from Head waiter to salad boy when he had a small wreck in the restaurant parking lot and lost all respect from his fellow workers. “They laughed at me & called me an Ass”, he said. “I should have hit the fucker at seventy-five, instead of just five,” he whined. “It cost me $6800 anyway. I would have been maitre d' by now if I'd crewed it on and just Mashed the bastard. These turds have made me an outcast.”

No. 4 - (This is one of the more Advanced rules, but lets pop it in here while we have the space.) Avoid, at all costs, the use of any drug or drink or Hubris or even Boredom that might cause you to steal a car and crash it into a concrete wall just to get the rush of the airbags exploding on you. This new fad among rich teenagers in L.A. is an extremely advanced technique that only pure amateurs should try, and it should never be done twice. Take my word for it.

No 5 - The eating schedule should be as follows: hot fresh spinach, Wellfleet oysters, and thick slabs of sourdough garlic toast with salt & black pepper. Eat this two hours before departure, in quantities as needed. The drink should be Grolsch green beer, a dry oaken-flavored white wine & a tall glass of ice cubes & Royal Salute scotch whiskey, for the supercharge factor.

Strong black coffee should also be sipped while eating, with dark chocolate cake soaked in Grand Mariner for dessert. The smoking of oily hashish is optional, and in truth Not Recommended for use before driving at speeds up to 150 mph in residential districts. The smoking of powerful hashish should be saved until after Yr. return from the drive, when the nerve ends are crazy and raw.