Remember when gas used to cost 99 cent a gallon? Not to date myself, but I do. I was just a young teen and could not drive yet. But for some reason I have a very clear memory of the gas station on 95th street near Stony Island having unleaded for only 99 cent per gallon. Oh how I wish that were still the case. Here in the Chicago area right now the average price of gas is $3.14 per gallon. It costs roughly $53 or so to fill up the tank on my SUV. And this is actually a good price! Not too long ago gas was over $4 per gallon. That is crazy! But because of this some are looking for ways to change technology so that we don’t have to spend quite so much on gas.
The below guest posts tells us some of the reasons that gas innovations are changing.
Hybrid and electric cars are now more common. It is easy to declare that the gasoline-drinking internal combustion engines have seen better days. Yet the traditional vehicle is far from bowing out; after all, most cars today are still powered by the gasoline engine. Hybrids, electric, and alternate fuel cars still only comprise less than 5 percent of the market. And they still cost quite a bit more than a traditional car. Still, manufacturers of gasoline-powered cars recognize the need to keep up with ever-advancing technology. Here are five of the latest innovations that have kept the gasoline engine alive and kicking:
Variable Valve Timing:
Perhaps the most well-known technology of recent times concerning internal combustion engines is variable valve timing, or VVT. According to Work Horse Power, a provider of parts for a Waukesha engine, each gasoline engine has a set of valves, which open to let in a certain amount of air-and-fuel mixture, as well as let out the exhaust gasses. The “timing” refers to the length of time that the valves open; this factor, along with the valve “lift” (how much the valves move), determine the level of efficiency from the engine. Manufacturers have used the VVT concept to make their vehicles more fuel efficient and reduce emissions. Honda has the most popular VVT system—with its patented variable valve timing and lift electronic control, or VTEC.
Most cars run on four-cylinder engines, which provide reasonable fuel efficiency. However, larger and more luxurious vehicles use bigger, six- and eight-cylinder engines, which are usually designed as V-6s and V-8s, respectively, due to their V-shaped cylinders. These machines consume considerably more gasoline than four-cylinder ones. As a result, some manufacturers rely on cylinder deactivation, which temporarily turns off some of the engine’s cylinders in situations when the car does not need as much power. Essentially the technology makes V-6s and V-8s achieve the fuel efficiency of four-cylinder ones. Note that cylinder deactivation—also known as multiple displacement, displacement on demand (DOD), and variable cylinder management—is not used on four-cylinder engines, not just because of the lack of necessity, but because it sharply reduces its level of performance.
Turbochargers and Superchargers:
While the four-cylinder engine is tops when it comes to fuel efficiency, it loses to the V-6 and V-8 in terms of power and performance. Thus some automakers—most notably Volkswagen and Audi—use turbochargers and superchargers for some of their four-cylinder engine-powered vehicles. These fans increase the amount of compressed air that is injected into the cylinders. The result is an increase in engine power, thus allowing the manufacturer to use smaller engines without worrying about performance. While a supercharger gets its air from the engine, a turbocharger—also referred to as a turbosupercharger—gets air from the engine’s exhaust.
Direct Fuel Injection:
With direct fuel injection, gasoline engine-powered cars can perform better with lowered consumption of fuel. Years ago, cars used the multi-port fuel injection system, which is characterized by injecting fuel into the port and mixing it with air, then pumping the mixture into the cylinders. On the other hand, direct fuel injection involves a direct injection of fuel into the cylinder. The main advantage of this system is more precise timing and shape of the fuel mist, which results into higher compression ratios and more efficient fuel intake.
This article is contributed on behalf of Work Horse Power, your number one choice when looking for affordable Waukesha replacement parts. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!