Articles from SRT-Tom

  1. Dual Clutch Transmissions

    Most drivers know that cars come with two basic transmission types- manuals, in which the driver changes gears by depressing a clutch pedal and using a stick shift, and automatics, which shifts using clutches, a torque converter and sets of planetary gears. But there's also something in between that offers the best of both worlds- the dual-clutch transmission- also called the semi-automatic transmission, the "clutchless" manual transmission and the automated manual transmission. In the world...
  2. What is a CVT Transmission?

    Some say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. But the innovative continuously variable transmission (CVT), which Leonardo da Vinci conceptualized more than 500 years ago is now replacing planetary automatic transmissions in some automobiles. Since the first Toroidal CVT patent was filed in 1886, the technology has been refined and improved. Today, several car manufacturers, including General Motors, Audi, Honda, Hyundai and Nissan, are designing their drivetrains around CVTs. Cars with...
  3. Pro Stock Record Holders

    Pro Stock quarter mile drag racing times have dramatically decreased over the decades, since the class was established in 1970. This has been the result of tremendous advances in technology. To determine who is the fastest competitor, forty-nine years ago, NHRA instituted the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The champion is determined by a point system where points are given according to finishing placement and qualifying effort. The season is divided into two segments. After the first 18...
  4. Common Tire Safety Myths

    Having TPMS means I do not have to check my air pressure unless the warning light comes on. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is designed to provide a warning of low tire pressure in order to avoid tire failure. It will not monitor and sustain the recommended air pressure. In fact, the TPMS warning light is not required to come on until the air pressure is 25% below the vehicle’s recommended air pressure. This means that you still have to periodically check the pressure with a...
  5. Spark Plugs

    A spark plug is a device for delivering electric current from an ignition system to the cylinders of an engine to ignite a compressed fuel/air mixture. A spark plug has a metal threaded shell, electrically isolated from a central electrode by a porcelain insulator. The central electrode, which may contain a resistor, is connected by a heavily insulated wire to the output terminal of an ignition coil, coil pack or magneto. The plug has an electrode than is well insulated from heat and cross...
  6. Fuel Delivery Systems

    A carburetor was the common method of fuel delivery for most US-made gasoline engines until the late 1980s, when fuel injection became the preferred method. This change was dictated by the requirements of catalytic converters and not due to an inherent inefficiency of carburation. Basically, a carburetor consists of an open pipe through which the air passes into the inlet manifold of the engine. The pipe is in the form of a venture- it narrows in section and then widens again, causing the...
  7. Crash Test Dummies

    A crash test dummy is a full-scale anthropomorphic test device (ATD) that simulates the dimensions, weight proportions and articulation of the human body during a traffic collision. Dummies are used by researchers,automobile and aircraft manufacturers to predict the injuries a person might sustain in a crash. Modern dummies are usually instrumented to record data, such as velocity of impact, crushing force, bending, folding, or torque of the body, and deceleration rates during a collision....
  8. Featured

    Tire Speed Ratings

    Tire speed ratings first originated in Europe in the 1960s, as a way to make sure increasingly faster vehicles were equipped with appropriate safe tires. These early speed ratings set the foundation for the current speed rating system used by the DOT and tire manufacturers. Every tire approved for highway use by the Department of Transportation comes with a particular speed rating. The speed rating is a letter corresponding to the maximum safe speed at which a tire can be driven, as...
  9. How the EPA Tests Vehicles for Mileage

    Fuel economy for vehicles (city, highway and combined) is measured under controlled conditions in a laboratory using a series of tests specified by federal law.The results are displayed for the consumer on the "new car window sticker." Estimating MPG with Laboratory Tests In the laboratory, the vehicle's drive wheels are placed on a machine called a dynamometer. The "dyno" simulates the driving environment much like an exercise bike simulates cycling. Engineers adjust the amount of energy...
  10. What is Hydroplaning?

    The term hydroplaning is commonly used to refer to the skidding or sliding of a car’s tires across a wet surface. Hydroplaning occurs when a tire encounters more water than it can scatter. Water pressure in the front of the wheel pushes water under the tire, and the tire is then separated from the road surface by a thin film of water and loses traction. The result is loss of steering, braking and power control. Rubber tires have tread (grooves) that are designed to channel water from...
  11. How Long Do Tires Last?

    The average life of a tire is determined by the conditions a tire is exposed to throughout its life - not measured in calendar years. Temperature changes, sun exposure, storage conditions, usage, and maintenance schedules all contribute to the rate at which a tire ages. It is impossible to determine a tire’s exact life expectancy, because there is no way to account for the level of influence any one of these factors may have on a tire. However, you can defer to the vehicle and tire...
  12. Entertainment Systems- from AM Radio to Bluetooth

    Over the past 97 years, “entertainment systems” in cars have evolved from primitive 6-volt dry-cell AM radios to high-tech Bluetooth units. It is interesting to take a look back to see how technology has changed over the years. Here is a brief, illustrated chronology of these devices: 1922: First radio in a Car The first radio (“Marconiphone”) appeared in a Daimler car at the Olympia Motorshow in England. 1927: First Radio in Mass-Produced Car The “Transitone” radio appeared in a...
  13. Uses of WD-40

    WD-40 is truly a versatile product. It was created in 1953, by three technicians, at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company who were searching for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. Its name comes from the project that was to find a “water displacement” compound. They were successful with the 40th formulation, thus Water Displacement #40, or WD-40 was born. Initially it was purchased, in bulk, by the Corvair Company to protect its Atlas missile parts....
  14. How Do Navigation Systems Work?

    Getting lost while driving, or stopping at a gas station to ask for directions, has become a thing of the past. With GPS in your car’s navigation system, in the portable navigation device on your dashboard, or in your smartphone, it is easy to pull up a map and see where you are, or get directions to where you are going. GPS makes you safer, routes you around traffic delays and helps you find nearby services. GPS (Global Positioning System), a technology we now take for granted, started...
  15. Spare Tires

    If your Challenger has a compact spare tire, it can be negatively impacted by lots of conditions, from heat, exposure to UV rays, and even time. It is recommended that you check your spare every time you have your tires rotated, approximately every 6,000-8,000 miles. When inspecting your spare, check for: proper air pressure signs of aging damage excessive wear Spare tires age like any other tire. Even if your spare tire never sees any use, it is still affected by the passage of time. As...
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