The engines in modern vehicles are quite different than what they used to be. Newer engines have technology that will help use less fuel while also having more power. Older engines had four or five speed transmissions, but engines today have seven or eight speed transmissions. The more speed the transmission has, the better it can work with the engine power to make the vehicle run efficiently. The engines used today can be partnered with CVT’s, or Continuously Variable Transmissions, which allows an infinite number of gear ratios. Hybrid cars are powered by battery packs. This allows the engine to generate extra power when it is needed, such as accelerating hard.
The engines today have technology that helps them work smarter and more efficient. There is a system that allows some cylinders to shut down when they are not needed, which is called cylinder deactivation. The cylinder deactivation helps everything run more efficiently and uses only the fuel it needs. When the engine works harder, it ends up wasting more fuel in the long run. Although modern engines produce more power, they are smaller. Some 4-cylinder turbo charged engines will produce more horsepower than older V 8 engines.
The engines used today are much more complex than in the past. They have several safety features and accessories that need to be powered when the vehicle is operating. An example is Stop-Start engines that turn off when sitting at a stop sign. The modern engines also have technology in place to make them more efficient. They have direct injection technology that mixes the fuel and air before it is put into the cylinder. This can improve efficiency of the engine by up to 12%.
Some engines are turbo chargers. When these operate, they use compressed air from the exhaust system. They will compress the air that is used in a combustion cycle. Doing so will lead to a more efficient combustion as well. Cylinder deactivation and variable-valve timing are also technologies that allow the engine to use only the fuel that it needs. When a car uses fuel only when its needed, not idling, it will increase the efficiency as you drive.
New engine designs require different maintenance. Most engines run full synthetic oil and are using thin viscosity oil, like 0W20. While you can go longer between oil changes with synthetic oil, too often people are going way past time when their engine oil should be changed. We are seeing a lot of problems in engines with less than 100,000 miles burning oil, sludge and carbon build up.
At Robinwood, we have developed custom maintenance services for today’s newer engines. Problems can be avoided down the road when you choose to put a custom maintenance plan in place early on. Many new car dealers offer Free Maintenance packages on new cars for the first 30,000 miles. A lot of these package are the bare minimum of service which can lead to problems once the engine warranty expires. Sometimes “Free” is not always better. Bottom line - Preventive Maintenance saves you money.
To help keep your vehicle and engine in the best condition, make sure to schedule an appointment with us at Robinwood Automotive!
Happy 4th of July! May God continue to Bless America.