Motoring corner : “Engine Capacity and Driving”

Normally, we see vehicles with all sorts of figures tugged onto their boots or bonnets; e.g. 1.5SE, 280SEL, 4.0 V8, etcetera.  In earnest, what do these inscriptions tell us? There are many things that we normally take for granted and some of such topics continue surfacing now and again such that, it is difficult for some people to quite understand what they actually mean. Let us try demystifying some of the terms that are commonly used in the motor vehicle sphere. Normally the engine capacity is referred to as 1.6 or 1.8 or 2.0 or 2.5 litre engine, what do we mean by engine capacity? 

Normally, we see vehicles with all sorts of figures tugged onto their boots or bonnets; e.g. 1.5SE, 280SEL, 4.0 V8, etcetera.  In earnest, what do these inscriptions tell us? There are many things that we normally take for granted and some of such topics continue surfacing now and again such that, it is difficult for some people to quite understand what they actually mean. Let us try demystifying some of the terms that are commonly used in the motor vehicle sphere. Normally the engine capacity is referred to as 1.6 or 1.8 or 2.0 or 2.5 litre engine, what do we mean by engine capacity? 

This is used to explain the displacement of air or volume needed to fill all cylinders of that engine.  Simply put, if you put all the pistons at the bottom of the engine and poured say water in the cylinders, the amount you would require to fill all the cylinders is 2 litres for a 2.0 engine capacity. In other words each cylinder requires half a litre for a 4-cylinder engine.
 
The other difference that should be observed is the EFI (electronic fuel injection) or the naturally aspirated carburettor. The EFI is latter high-tech advancement in the motor vehicle industry. If you take two vehicles with the same engine capacity, one with EFI and the other with a carburettor, the choice should be the EFI because it is definitely more economical. Though, the devices for calibrating an EFI are not as many as the technicians who can repair the carburettor. Even when diagnosing fuel related faults, there is more trouble shooting in an EFI. 
 
The manual (lever-shift) transmission has its own experience especially for new drivers as compared to the automatic transmission. The automatic transmission will normally decide when to change gears while the lever shift leaves that choice to the driver. Where two similar vehicles with the same engine are automatic and the other manual, the manual will have a better fuel consumption.

However, with the ever increasing traffic jams, the fatigue is higher in a manual transmission. Also wear and tear of the components like the clutch disc, clutch pressure and the release bearing will be higher. The cost of replacements can therefore be foregone by the convenience of an automatic transmission.
 
Nearly 2 decades ago, the common practice was driving a rear wheel drive. Selling a front wheel drive was a very difficult task. Today, most of the dot-com drivers do not even know that such vehicles exist, saves for trucks. Such vehicles are still many but given an option, the front wheel drive has several advantages over the rear wheel drive.

The FWD will easily get out of any mire as compared to the rear wheel drive. Also, because the engine and final drive are near each other, the amount of materials used is less, giving it less weight to carry and thus lower fuel consumption other factors being equal.

The stability of a FWD is also enhanced by the weight in front. That said, the stress of this weight is born by the front wheels. If you consider wear and tear, you have to frequently rotate the tyres otherwise you will have to buy front tyres more frequently. The front wheels brakes also take a fair beating.  It should be recalled that the same vehicle can give different drivers different performance.

The reason is because different people race differently, change gears differently and at different speeds, even the braking is different. Therefore, several human factors can influence the reaction of many major vehicle components and their life span!
 
motoringcorner@live.co.uk

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