Computers provide luxury, power

I am often asked why we need all the electronic controls in our cars. After all, they don’t always work well during our winters, they are expensive to fix because we can no longer do the work at home and it just doesn’t seem right to do a tune up with a laptop instead of […] Read more

Toyota deals with fall from grace

Toyota’s vehicle recalls have been well documented in the news. Unfortunately for consumers and Toyota Canada, most media outlets do not understand that Canadian Toyotas and their accessories are different than American Toyotas. In addition, reporting suspected problems is different in each country. In Canada, recalls are not initiated until the company can prove it […] Read more

Nitrogenated gasoline: snake oil or the real deal?

When Shell began advertising nitrogen enhanced fuel, I was skeptical. It’s not as if we’re short of nitrogen on our combustion chambers because nitrogen makes up roughly 78 percent by volume of the air that we breathe. Because of the way nitrogen be-haves in the combustion chamber, automakers spend plenty of money making sure the […] Read more

Transmissions find balance between fuel economy and power – Getting Around

Automatic transmissions were three-speed hydraulic units about two decades ago. Then came electronic controls and lock-up torque converters, all of which were developed in the name of improved fuel economy. Exotic cars of the day, such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, began to use four-speed automatics. Today, four- and five-speed automatics are common and light duty […] Read more

Electric car making a comeback – Getting Around

One of the most amusing points about the development of electric cars is that in the early years of the automobile industry they were seen as a convenience. Clara Ford, Henry Ford’s wife, had an electric car, as did Alice DuPont of Dupont Motor Cars and General Motors. The reason was simple. Gasoline engines were […] Read more

Disc brake calipers: sliders vs. squeezers – Getting Around

If you have to resort to mathematical formulas, you’ve lost your audience. Well, brake systems are all applied mathematics, whether it be fluid dynamics, hydraulics or thermo- dynamics. Suffice to say that when you push the brake pedal you unleash an impressive series of actions. I became interested in brake systems when the brake pedal […] Read more

Rear disc brakes vs. rear drum brakes – Getting Around

There is a saying that the table is round. In the case of brake systems on pickup trucks, this means that what fell from favour a decade ago is back. In case you haven’t read the specifications sheet for the new Dodge Durango, Dakota, some Ram pickups, or the sheets on 2006 Silverado-Sierra trucks, drum […] Read more