Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How Do Active Sway Bars Work?

How do active anti-roll bars work? How do electronic sway bars work? Active sway bars make use of an electric motor (or hydraulics) in order to provide additional torque to the sway bar when necessary, to prevent a car from experiencing high body roll. These roll bars make use of various sensors, steering input, and accelerometers to ensure the car body remains flat while cornering, improving handling and stability. Check out the video below!

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Anti-roll Bars -


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How Does A Variable Geometry Turbocharger Work

How variable geometry turbochargers (VGT), or variable nozzle turbochargers (VNT) work. Variable geometry turbos use vanes to alter the air flow path of the exhaust gases to maximize boost across the entire rev range. During low boost operations, the vanes create a narrow path to the exhaust turbine. As the revs increase and exhaust builds, an actuator rotates the vanes, increasing the area of the path to the turbine, and allowing for greater flow, thus increasing boost at higher RPM. Variable geometry turbochargers can make twin turbo charging systems obsolete.

Here's a quick video on how they work:

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fuel Efficient Cars - Explained

How is fuel economy maximized by design? What makes a fuel efficient car? There are many ways to increase the efficiency of a vehicle. This video will touch on vehicle mass, aerodynamics, drivetrain, wheels and brakes, and driving style as ways of improving fuel economy. 

The Shell Eco-marathon is a global competition where students design, build, and test vehicles with the goal of going the furthest distance using the least amount of energy. 

SEM Americas to be held April 9-12 in Detroit:

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Behind The Scenes - Outtakes with the Humble Mechanic

Engineering Explained and The Humble Mechanic are far from flawless. Check out what happened behind the scenes for the filming of a Volkswagen DSG transmission. 

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Humble Mechanic:


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How Does A DSG Transmission Work?

What is a DSG transmission? How does a direct shift gearbox work? A DSG transmission is a dual clutch transmission used by Volkswagen. A DSG uses two wet, multi-plate clutches to activate separate drive shafts which send torque via the even or odd gear sets. Because the gear sets are on separate shafts, this allows for preselecting the next gear, allowing for nearly instantaneous gearshifts without a total loss in torque. DSG tranmissions operate a lot like manual transmissions, but they are electronically controlled and thus the gear selection can be either automatic or manual, but does not require the use of a clutch pedal as this is all activated automatically. 

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Humble Mechanic:


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Premium Vs Regular Gasoline - Is It Worth It?

Five vehicles tested to see if premium gas actually performs better. Every vehicle is tested with both 87 and 91 octane gas, though all of the vehicles recommend using premium gas. There's a car from Europe, the US, and Asia. Some are turbocharged with direct injection while some are naturally aspirated and port injected. 

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

5 Best Cars from 2015 Detroit Auto Show - NAIAS

Best is relative, so I'll make it simple. These were the cars that I found myself going back to check out, as the first look simply wasn't enough. I'd be happy to have the keys to any, though it's doubtful I ever will (I need to reduce the cost of my taste). 

1. NSX - 3 electric motors and a longitudinal mid-mounted twin-turbo V6, and at least 550 ponies. This thing was breathtaking in the flesh. 

2. Ford GT - Thanks for the surprise Ford! 3.5L mid-mounted twin-turbo V6 with over 600 HP. Yes, and I'll take it in blue as well.

3. Toyota FT-1 - The Supra and NSX were always some of my favorites. This incredible successor ignites all of the boy-racer genes in my blood. 

4. Alfa 4C - It's been out for a bit now, and journalists have loved driving it. A pure drivers car making the statement that reduced weight makes for a better ride. Cars have gotten so heavy these days, so it's impressive and refreshing to see a sports cars weighing in under 2,500 lbs. 

5. Tank - Whatever, tanks are awesome. We'd all take it for a spin given the opportunity. This one's powered by a Cummins diesel that cranks out over 600 HP. The exterior is covered in modular explosives that project outward when contacted, preventing heavy arms from penetrating into the cabin. 

Special thanks to Shell for bringing me out, and letting me check out the Eco-marathon car (and ride along with Brad Keselowski!). The Shell Eco-marathon Americas will take place in Detroit this year from April 9-12, and is free to attend. See you there!