The Evolution of 4-Cylinder Engines

Four cylinder engines became popular in the 1970s and 1980s, primarily because of several major gasoline shortages.  Prior to that, American manufacturers traditionally offered V6 and V8 engines in their cars as American consumers were accustomed to powerful, gas consuming cars.

It wasn’t  until Toyota and Honda imported “econo boxes” into this country, starting in the 1970s, did American manufacturers realize that they had better change their thinking regarding engine size and fuel economy.  Toyota introduced the Corolla and Camry and Honda countered with their Accord and Civic.  The “sub-compact” Toyotas and Hondas all came with small block, lightweight 4-cylinder engines.

The Toyotas and Hondas were extremely popular, and, within a few years, captured up to 30% of the American auto market.  Their cars were in demand because they offered consumers an alternative from the large, heavy gas guzzling V6 and V8 cars that were the only cars on the market up until this time.  The imported Toyotas, Hondas, and Nissans were very reliable, low maintenance and, because of their small 4-cylinder engines, were much more fuel efficient and they were fun to drive!

Because of the tremendous sales gains of the imported cars in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, GM, Ford and Chrysler revamped their small car line-ups to compete.  Chevrolet introduced the Vega, Citation, Chevette and Cavalier.  Ford came out with the Pinto and the Maverick, while Chrysler offered the Plymouth Valiant.  What do these new American made cars have in common?  One, they were more compact in size and two, they all featured small displacement, more fuel efficient 4-cylinder engines.

Four cylinder engines have become more and more popular.  They are more refined and sophisticated and starting around the late 1990s and early 2000s, every manufacturer featured 4-cylinder engines as standard equipment in their sub-compact and compact models, and some mid-size and luxury models offered 4-cylinder versions as well. Keep Reading

Observations On Current Auto Exterior Design

Is it just me or have the auto designers gotten together and compared notes regarding auto exterior design?  Have you noticed that many of the major brands have incorporated similar design “cues”?

Design Cue 1:  Sculpted Side Body Panels

Upon close examination, you will notice that every auto brand – as of 2018 – has sculpted side body panels (doors).  Here is an example:

Design Cue 2:  Front End Styling

Lexus and Toyota emphasize the “radical” or “far out” front end design.  The 2018 Toyota Camry and Avalon have blacked-out front grills in the shape of a large “shark’s mouth”, giving the car a “mean”, almost menacing effect.  The 2018 Ford Focus, 2019 Hyundai Veloster, 2018 and 2019 Audi A6, 2018 and 2019 Audi A4, 2019 Chevrolet Cruz, and 2018/2019 Honda Accord are a few of the many models that tout this popular styling trend.

Design Cue 3:  Front Grill Design

The three and/or four section front grill is also an often used styling cue as seen on cars such as the 2018/2019 Honda Civic and 2018/2019 Hyundai Elantra and Sonata to name a few examples.  Another popular front-end styling trend is the “tapered” front headlights as seen on Nissan, Lexus, Toyota, Ford, Mazda, and numerous other brands.

Design Cue 4:  Sleeker Automobiles

Over the years cars have become sleeker and more aerodynamic in large part due to the federal government’s stringent fuel economy specifications.  Sloping hoods sharply angled front windshields, and sculpted body panels are a by-product of the government’s higher fuel economy standards.

Design Cue 5:  Elimination of the “Separate” Chrome Bumpers

Starting in the late 1970s and early 80s we have witnessed the elimination of the attached front and rear chrome bumpers.  Instead, auto designers have integrated bumpers so that they are “hidden” by smooth and curvaceous facades.  In doing so, safety has not been sacrificed as manufacturers have adhered to the federal government’s increased front and rear impact standards for slow speed impacts.

Design Cue 6:  Lowering of Vehicle Height

The lowering of overall height is another contributing factor to the overall sleekness of exterior auto design.  This lower body profile not only contributes to the current model’s sleeker appearance but also is a big factor in new car improved fuel economy because of lower co-efficient of drag.

Design Cue 7:  Aluminum Alloy Wheels

Aluminum alloy wheels are more attractive and more durable then the outdated plastic hub caps or wheel covers from years ago.

Design Cue 8:  Rear End Styling

Integrated rear-lipped spoilers have taken the place of “stand above” spoilers in many models.

Design Cue 9:  Dual Exhaust Ports

Many new cars come standard with dual exhaust and some have 4 exhaust outlets.  Exhaust pipes have been incorporated into the lower bumper area, which has been “blackened out”.

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Car Care

After-market car care products can always prove challenging when first buying your car. Choosing the right products for your car helps in keeping your vehicle in excellent conditions. After purchasing your vehicle, the logical step is getting and using the right tools and chemicals that give it a perfect shine. Car applicators, sponges, car vacs, brushes, dusters, and leather care products keep the interior looking its best.

There is a various advanced level of car care far beyond those old stand-bys. Polishing utilizing a gentle, high lubricity formula that’s easy and safe for all paint types is the best. The latest clear coats can be used on daily basis to remove grime, dust and loose contaminants. You can establish a relationship with a reputable car shop if you are not versed as to what products are right for your vehicle.

Establish a rapport and outline what you plan to do from a full-service overhaul, simple clean up or just minor detailing for fun. Either way, you should be able to find the best specialty and regular products for your car.

Tesla Roadster 2020

The Tesla Roadster 2020 is the world’s first all-electric premium gaming car, and the 2020 model shows you do not have to be eco-conscious. This high-end,  two-digit performance engine, is the best in its class. This is the second model year of the all-electric two-seater sports car. As part of the 2020 model, adjustments have been made to respond to some feedback from the 2019 model.

If you drive, you reach 227 miles in all-electric mode. As you approach the flush, you can recharge the batteries (which are lithium particles) with a powerful re-interface component. This process can take up to 3.5 hours. This car weighs less than 3,000 pounds. Has a 240p electric motor that pulls the gaming car up to 60mph for 4 seconds and is incredibly quiet in a purely electric state. The Roadster has a smoother look, a less appealing side, and a lighter look.

As a two-seater, the Roadster has your normal standard highlights, for example, 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels, high-power plug for 3.5 hours charging time, guided seat heating, sports leather Momo calf wheel, control window, and carport door opener, driving control, and stereo CD player with iPod interface. You can choose the same cow leather interior, Bluetooth, seven redesigned speakers, road and satellite radio, carbon fiber shaded rigid roof body, and smaller padding of large fiber material.

Ceramic Coating

Waxes provide superficial protection to the car’s surface, as they cannot shield the cars from scratches. Ceramic paint coatings give ultimate protection to your car. The revolutionary benefits of nano-particles are available through premium-quality ceramic paint. The nano-particles form unbreakable bonds with the car’s surface and the thick coating prevents the grainy molecules from scratching the car’s surface. This thick coating can thwart the attacks of damaging chemicals and can remain on the surface for many years. Unlike the car waxes, the ceramic coating can protect the glasses from any unsightly marks. It does not just offer paint-protection.

It provides all-around protection to your car. It is impossible to remove the scratches or swirl marks after the application of ceramic paint protection. The auto-detailer needs to apply layers of car-clay onto the entire car before polishing. It is essential to clay the glasses before the application of ceramic paint coating on these areas. The application of ceramic paint-coating is a manual application process and the auto-detailers use foam applicators to evenly spread the paint-coating. A few drops of ceramic paint-coating are used each time and the auto-detailer spreads the coating in a thin layer. It is essential to properly smudge the coating after each application to avoid clumping. The ceramic coating is applied in a similar fashion onto the windshield, lenses, hubcaps and other areas of the car. Keep Reading