Author - hessamaldin

Low Rolling Resistance Tires: What You Need to Know

WHAT IS ROLLING RESISTANCE?

Car engines generate energy, much of which is eventually lost somewhere along the line. A great deal of that energy is lost in the engine itself and in the powertrain, but some energy eventually makes it to the tires and is used to move the car. Rolling resistance, then, is a measure of how much of the energy that actually makes it to the tires is then lost both to the friction of the road surface and to the process known as “hysteresis.” Hysteresis is the process by which the tire flexes as weight is placed on it, and then snaps back into shape as it rolls. The energy that comes back to the tire when it snaps back is, due to the laws of physics, always less than the energy that went into deforming the tire in the first place, so that the tire is losing some energy to the process of flexing at every moment it is moving.

As much as 30% of the energy that ends up making it to the tires is given up by friction or hysteresis.

Ultimately, all the energy provided by the car’ engine comes from the gas tank, and this is why trying to retain that energy is so important — the more energy that goes to moving the car, the better the car’s fuel mileage will be.

With gas prices spiking all the time and environmental consideration assuming increasing importance, fuel-efficiency is the new name of the game. As it is very difficult to reduce the friction in the engine and powertrain any further, this makes the tires one of the best areas available to try and get back some of that lost energy.

In years past, low rolling resistance tires meant having a tire with a very hard rubber compound and stiff sidewalls to reduce friction and flex. While this approach worked moderately well in reducing friction, it made for tires that ran like rocks and had very little grip. Nowadays, new tire compounding techniques such as silica-based compounds and alternative oils are changing the game yet again. Newer compounds are showing some very good rolling resistance properties, while also maintaining a pleasant ride and much more grip

RRF AND RRC

RRF and RRC are the two numbers most often used to evaluate the actual rolling resistance of tires. Rolling Resistance Force is essentially the force in pounds or kilograms required to rotate a tire at 50mph against a large steel drum, while the Rolling Resistance Coefficient is obtained by dividing the RRF by the actual load placed on that particular size of tire.

The process of doing so is rather ridiculously complex, and there are a couple of problems involved in using these numbers to compare different brands of tires. While RRF is pretty easy to compare, it does not take into account the size and load of the tires, and while RRC does take these factors into account, this makes it impossible to compare tires of different sizes. This is why tire companies most often market LRR tires by using fuzzy comparisons. Most often you will see a tire company claim that their tire is “20% more fuel-efficient than the competitor’s tire”, or “10% less rolling resistance than the previous tire.” I have said before and will say again that these numbers are generally either an average of RRC across the entire line of tires or a best-case scenario for a particular size, which makes clear comparisons difficult if not impossible.

In fact, my summer project has been to put several different LRR tires on my car for weeks at a time to get clear comparisons of one single tire size carrying an identical load, to give me a clear idea of the real-world differences between the tires.

FUEL EFFICIENCY

Present LRR technology will give the fuel-efficiency improvement of 1-4 mpg at best. While this does not seem like much, taken cumulatively over the life of the tires, it does begin to add up. There are, however some important issues to remember.

First of all, if you spend any time at all reading online discussions of LRR tires, you will inevitably see someone complain that their new LRR tires give worse fuel mileage than their old standard tires. There is a simple explanation for this – worn tires have much lower rolling resistance than new tires. When you put new tires on in place of old ones, your fuel mileage will always drop, regardless of how low the rolling resistance on the new tires actually is. The only fair comparison is between brand-new tires and other brand-new tires, or between tires worn to the same degree.

Second, when using low rolling resistance tires, there are two related factors that are easily as important to real-world fuel-efficiency as the tires themselves.

  • Motor Oil: Using the correct weight of oil in your car will cut down on engine friction, and this accounts for at least as much in fuel-efficiency gains as the tires.
  • Tire Pressure: Even slightly under pressured tires will quickly bleed away any fuel savings that one might gain from LRR tires. I find that if you want to get the best fuel savings from your LRR tires, it’s best to check the pressure literally every time you fill the tank.

All in all, LRR tires do appear to be an effective and useful new technology, for all that it seems to be in its infancy right now. With gas prices being what they are, it can often be a good thing to have tires that can save you a bit of fuel while they keep your car rolling.

How to check your vehicles suspension

Pay attention while driving.

The simplest way to tell whether you are having a suspension-related issue is by focusing on how the car feels to drive. The following symptoms may be caused by a faulty suspension system:

  • The car feels bumpier to drive – Particularly while driving slowly, your car will shake, bounce up and down or lean to one side.
  • You may hear squeaking noises as your car goes over speed bumps.
  • Your car may have more angle (roll) when going around sharp corners.
  • The car leans forward when you brake suddenly – Try accelerating and suddenly braking in an empty carpark, taking note of how your vehicle reacts. A vehicle with healthy suspension should be able to quickly re-balance itself whereas a vehicle with faulty suspension will shake back and forth.

Take note as to how your car handles turns. A vehicle with faulty suspension will struggle to turn as well as it used to. If you feel that your vehicle is not turning as well as it used to, a part may be worn in your suspension system.

 

Examine your vehicle from the outside.

Visually inspect the vehicle:

Park your vehicle on level ground. Exit your vehicle and check it from all angles. If the car is leaning forward, backwards or to one side, its suspension system may be damaged.

 

Measure the suspension differences in your front tyres.

Use measuring tape to determine the space between the top of your front wheel and the car’s chassis/body. Repeat this step with the other front wheel. Although a difference of a few centimetres is normal, a large difference could mean that your suspension is damaged and your car is leaning to one side.

 

Perform a “bounce test”

Apply downwards pressure to each corner of your vehicle, pushing the car’s panels towards the tyres. Let go of the car and observe the results. A healthy suspension system should allow the car to bounce back to normal. If the car bounces multiple times, it may be a result of worn shock absorbers. This test is effective for determining which corner of your vehicle is having suspension issues.

 

Driving safely with a damaged suspension system.

We recommend that you get your car’s suspension system serviced as soon as you can. If you can’t, we suggest you do the following to reduce vehicle damage and stay safe:

  • Avoid speed bumps, potholes and any other uneven terrain.
  • Brake slowly – gradually come to a stop at red lights, intersections and roundabouts. When you suddenly apply your brakes, you will be forcing the front of your vehicle downwards.
  • Avoid driving your car around tight corners. Take corners slowly to reduce strain on the vehicle’s suspension system.

OTR Tyre Recycling by Tytec

Tytec Recycling is a collaboration between Tytec Group and Green Distillation Technologies Corporation (GDTC).

Tytec Group for over 15 years has been providing OTR tyre logistics, storage, retreading, repairs and tyre solutions throughout Australia. Tytec Recycling now adds the final piece to the puzzle by providing the world’s first whole OTR tyre recycling process – offering for the first time a truly cradle to grave solution for OTR Tyres.

“Green Distillation Technologies Corporation” (GDTC) global award winning tyre recycling Technology Company and recipients of the Edison Award (Bronze) has invested with the Tytec group in an environmentally friendly OTR tyre recycling process that will be the first of its kind in the world. Our process enables us to recycle and reuse 100% of OTR tyres.

The entire recycling process is handled by the Destructive Distillation Plant. The Distillation Reactors with their continuous heating technology perform their amazing job of turning your OTR tyres into Reclaimed Steel, Diesel Oil and Carbon.

estructive Distillation Reactors

Whole OTR tyres are fed into the plants feeder chambers before being lowered into the distillation reactors which extract the oil from the tyre. The reactors are heated using the continuous heating technology. This heating technology reclaims and reuses oil and heat from the reactors reducing overall energy consumption and emissions.

After the distillation of the tyre they are lowered into the separation destruction chamber where the carbon and steel are removed and separated.

 

Advanced Technology & Reduced Emissions

The process of capturing excess heat, then reusing it in the heating chambers, allows the system to consume less energy, resulting in extremely low emissions.

All emissions are lime scrubbed to meet or exceed international EEA, EPA and DER standards and approvals.

The technology developed and utilised within our reactors allow them to operate at much lower temperature and pressure which requires less energy to operate, again helping reduce emissions.

Lower operating temperature and pressure have the added advantage of being safer for system operators and reduce wear and tear on the plant.

No part of the tyre is wasted

Diesel Oil

All excess reclaimed oil not used in the reactors is collected, ready to be refined into higher quality fuels.

Carbon

Carbons are used across a variety of industry sectors.

Reclaimed Steel

High grade steel used in OTR tyre radial body cords, belt packages and bead bundles is reclaimed during the process for high grade steel products.

Brake hose inspection tips

Brake hose inspection tips to spot the problem before it’s too late

There is no recommended replacement interval for brake hoses. That’s because brake hose conditions will differ depending on the vehicle, driver, and environment. Inspection is the only way to spot a problem before a brake failure.

Brake hoses should be inspected visually and with your hands. It might be helpful to have someone pump the brake pedal to spot a defective brake hose. Failure typically occurs at the ends of the hose. This is the place where a hose flexes due to suspension/steering movement. This is also where it is exposed to damage from debris and heat from the brakes.

You’ll need to replace the hose if any of the following signs are present:

  • Cracks– Try flexing the hose to expose cracks. No matter how small, shallow, or random the crack, the hose should be replaced.
  • Blisters or bubbles– Having someone pump the pedal will help spot this type of damage. The hose should not change shape. If even the smallest deformation is detected, replace the hose.
  • Leaks or stains– Brake hoses should never leak. A leak equates to lost braking force and becomes an entry point for air and moisture. Air in the fluid is bad because air is compressible. This increases the amount of pedal travel that’s necessary to apply the brakes, and may increase it to the point where the pedal hits the floor before the brakes apply.
  • Physical damage – Run your fingers along the length of the hose. A brake hose should be free of any irregularities.

  • Corrosion on the fitting– Most fittings are plated to prevent corrosion. If this plating wears away, corrosion can occur at an accelerated rate.
  • Corrosion on brackets or mounting hardware– Rust on the brackets can constrict a hose.

The Future of the Hose

What does the future hold for brake hoses? With efficiency of the engine becoming more important, the performance of the vacuum brake booster is coming into question. Engineers see the vacuum brake booster as a vacuum leak that can make the engine run rich or lean.

Without a booster, the transfer of force from the pedal to the caliper has to become more efficient. This could mean even stiffer and smaller-diameter brake hoses in the future.

Brake Hose Service Recommendations

  1. If the brakes have undergone extreme thermal shock, replace the hose.
  2. Always make sure the angle of the banjo fitting is correct. 
  3. Use a torque wrench on banjo fittings.
  4. Use new copper washers.
  5. When a caliper is sold, also recommend a new brake hose.
  6. Never let a caliper dangle by the hose.
  7. If you plan to clamp a hose to push the piston back or for a diagnostic procedure, clamp the hose in the middle, not near the ends or where it curves.
  8. If a replacement hose isn’t marked with the proper DOT and/or SAE-mandated marking that includes the date, manufacturer name and the letters “DOT,” send it back.
  9. If a hose on a vehicle does not have a torque stripe or other markings, it might be the original hose. Inspect it more carefully for damage.
  10. Don’t twist the hose. All replacement brake lines have a “torque stripe” or labeling information that should be straight when the hose is installed.

What Do the DOT Regulations Really Mean?

The brake hose is among the most government-regulated components on a vehicle. Any company making brake assemblies must be registered with the Department of Transportation (DOT), and all aftermarket bulk hoses, fittings and complete hoses must conform to FMVSS 106 and SAE J1401. These tests are demanding and often exceed what a vehicle experiences in the real world.

In a nutshell, the DOT standard says the brake hose must be flexible throughout a wide range of temperatures, while also having a predictable expansion rate so the pedal feel and ABS response are the same in winter and summer. It also specifies that the brake hose must be able to bend and twist at certain angles without collapsing, kinking, or bursting.

While FMVSS 106 and SAE J1401 do not specify construction or materials, they do outline a test procedure that completed hoses must pass.

These tests and standards include:

Markings: Each hydraulic brake hose, except for the originals, must have at least two clearly identifiable stripes of at least 1/16-inch in width, placed on opposite sides of the brake hose parallel to its longitudinal axis. These are called “torque stripes.” One stripe may be interrupted by the information printed on the hose. They are designed to prevent twisting during assembly and installation.

Whip testing: Brake hoses are continuously bent on a flexing machine for 35 hours at pressure.

12 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULDN’T SKIP AN OIL CHANGE

Regular car maintenance can be easy to forget. Every morning, we hop in the car to dash off to work, and the car just runs.
However, regular oil changes are important in ensuring the smooth operation of your vehicle. Here are 12 reasons why you shouldn’t skip your next oil change.

ENGINE WEAR

The oil in your engine lubricates the moving parts to reduce friction in the engine. When the oil is fresh, it lubricates at peak efficiency, and that reduces the daily wear and tear of running your engine.
As the oil gets older, it gets dirty. As it gathers dirt and metal filings, its ability to lubricate decreases, and your engine starts to wear out faster. The longer you wait to get your oil changed, the more wear there is on your engine.

POOR GAS MILEAGE

No one likes spending money on gas. Regular oil changes make sure your car is running at peak efficiency, so you can go farther on one tank.
As your oil breaks down, it makes the engine work harder. A harder working engine means burning more gas per mile. The longer you go between oil changes, the more gas you will burn per mile.

SMOOTH RIDE

If you haven’t had regular oil changes in the past, you probably notice a significant difference in how the car performs before and after the oil change. Once the oil change is complete, your vehicle runs smoothly and with more power.

MORE POLLUTION

An efficient engine is also a clean engine. The inner workings of a modern car engine are extremely intricate and finely managed by your car’s computer so it will get the best gas mileage and burn cleanly. When your oil doesn’t work the way it should, your engine will emit more pollution.

WARRANTY

New cars can come with an excellent warranty that might last up to a decade, depending on what kind of car you buy. You should check the fine print, however.
Most car manufacturers require you to keep up a regular maintenance schedule for the warranty to remain valid. If you skip too many oil changes, your auto manufacturer might consider your warranty void. That can cost thousands of dollars if there’s a problem.

RESALE VALUE

Most people don’t think about resale value when they buy a car. Eventually, however, they will want to sell their current car and buy a new one.
Scheduling regular oil changes will increase your car’s resale value, because the engine will perform better when you sell your car. You might get an even bigger sale price if you keep a detailed record of your car maintenance to prove how well you have cared for the car.

CAR INSPECTION

Most mechanics or oil change services will inspect your car when they do an oil change. They’ll look at the battery, the air filters, the brakes and whatever else they have on their list. Your mechanic can catch problems before they start, whether they see the early signs of a breakdown or just remind you that your air filter needs replacing.

MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

Every car has a suggested maintenance schedule that details when you should get an oil change, rotate your tires, flush your radiator and all the rest. When was the last time you looked at it? Never?

Your mechanic has. When you take your car for an oil change, your mechanic may remind you about any upcoming scheduled maintenance so you can keep your car running in perfect shape.

SEASONAL REMINDERS

An oil change can also be a good reminder to think about your car. Depending on how frequently your manufacturer recommends an oil change, you can use your oil change as a reminder to do seasonal maintenance. Use your fall oil change as a reminder to get your car ready for winter.

DEVELOP GOOD CAR OWNERSHIP HABITS

Habits are never independent of each other. When you build good habits in one area of life, it affects the others. When you keep up with your oil change schedule, it will make you more mindful of your car and how it works.

OIL SLUDGE

As your engine oil degrades, the engine temperature gets hotter. If it stays hot for too long, and you don’t change the oil, the oil can start to turn into a sludge. When you don’t change the oil for a long time, this can cause severe damage to your car.

CATASTROPHIC FAILURE

Catastrophic failure is when your car engine seizes up. This won’t happen if you skip an oil change or two, but it can happen if you make a long-term habit of missing oil changes.

Oil changes can seem like an inconvenience, but they are necessary for keeping your car running at its best. If you want your car to last a long time and to perform well, take the time to get the oil changed. If you don’t, it will cost a lot more in money and time down the road.

Latin Auto Parts Expo July

Latin Auto Parts Expo 

The Expo provides manufacturers and distributors direct access to the Latin American and Caribbean OEM, REPLACEMENT PARTS, AFTERMARKET PARTS, AUTOMOTIVE REMANUFACTURED PARTS, and TUNING markets in a warm and personal setting that forges long lasting commercial and personal relationships.

With its Duty Free Zone, Panama is a strategic location for the Expo. Panama has a stable democratic government that is business friendly and counts with a strong currency (us dollars are accepted). Panama is an international air and ocean hub enabling travelers and cargo to reach Latin America, the Caribbean and most of the globe.

The global motor vehicle aftermarket is estimated at approximately $395 billion. The Latin American and Caribbean markets have been growing at an impressive rate and the outlook is very positive for future increases in the new vehicle and aftermarket automotive parts industry.

The Latin America and Caribbean markets offer great business opportunities for the following products:

  • air conditioning
  • automotive lighting
  • LED lighting
  • electrical systems and batteries
  • electronic
  • cooling systems
  • friction and brake systems
  • GPS systems
  • undercar new and remanufactured replacement parts
  • HD sound and video systems
  • suspension and front end systems
  • engine and transmission parts
  • chemicals and chemical fluids
  • equipment and tools
  • diagnostic systems
  • hand tools
  • machine shop equipment
  • service and installation equipment
  • waxes and polishes
  • computer systems and software
  • paint and body
  • retail warehouse fixtures
  • high performance auto parts and enhancers

Show Hours & Events

Wednesday – July 19           10:00am To 5:00pm
Inaugural Ceremony           5:00pm To 6:30pm

Thursday – July 20              10:00am To 5:00pm
Conferences                        11:30am To 1:45pm

Friday – July 21                  10:00am To 4:00pm

Tire Rotation Instructions For Best Performance

Tires should be serviced periodically following the rotation patterns provided in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or as established by the industry. Using tire rotation as a preventative maintenance will equalize front-to-rear and side-to-side wear rates while enhancing wear quality and pattern noise.

Any minor 1/32″ to 2/32″ differences in front-to-rear tread depth between tires that might be encountered immediately after periodic tire rotations at 3,000-5,000 mile intervals won’t upset the vehicle’s hydroplaning balance and should not preclude rotating tires. For that matter, any differences in wear rates actually indicate that tire rotations should be done more frequently.

Tire rotation can be beneficial in several ways. When done at the recommended times, it can preserve balanced handling and traction and even out tire wear. Tire rotation can even provide performance advantages.

Many tire mileage warranties require tire rotation to keep the warranty valid. When should tires be rotated? We recommend that tires be rotated every 3,000 to 5,000 miles even if they don’t show signs of wear. Tire rotation can often be done with oil change intervals while the vehicle is off the ground. This can also be a good time to have your tires rebalanced if the vehicle has developed a vibration. It’s also a good time to inspect the tires for any damage, remove stones or debris from the tire treads, check for uneven wear by checking the tire tread depth and of course, checking your tire pressure.

Tire rotation helps even out tire wear by allowing each tire to serve in as many of the vehicle’s wheel positions as possible. Remember, tire rotation can’t correct wear problems due to worn mechanical parts or incorrect inflation pressures.

While vehicles are typically equipped with four tires, usually the tires on the front axle need to accomplish very different tasks than the tires on the rear axle. The tasks encountered on a front-wheel drive vehicle are considerably different than those of a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Tire wear experienced on a performance vehicle will usually be more severe than that of a family sedan. Each wheel position can cause different wear rates and different types of tire wear.

It is an advantage when all four tires wear together because as wear reduces a tire’s tread depth, it allows all four tires to respond to the driver’s input more quickly, maintains the handling and helps increase the tire’s cornering traction.

When your tires wear out together, you can get a new set of tires without being forced to buy pairs. If you replace tires in sets of four, you will maintain the original handling balance. In addition, our suppliers constantly introduce new tires, each of which improves upon their past product’s performance. If you replace your tires in sets of four, it allows you to experience today’s technology, instead of being forced to match yesterday’s.

Seasonal Changeovers Provide Opportunities for Tire Rotation

For drivers living in America’s Snowbelt that will encounter cold wintry weather conditions, seasonal changeovers to their winter tires and back will provide the opportunity for tire rotations. For drivers that run an average of 12,000-15,000 miles per year, pre- and post-winter tire changeovers represent two of their three annual rotations. All they have to do is rotate their summer tires once more in July to complete their annual preventative maintenance.

Four (4) Tire Rotation

What tire rotation pattern should be followed? The Tire & Rim Association has identified three traditional rotation patterns covering most vehicles (equipped with non-directional tires and wheels which are the same size and offset). The first being the “Rearward Cross” (Figure A); the second being the “Forward Cross” (Figure C); and the third is the “X-Pattern” (Figure B). The X-Pattern can be used as an alternative to A or C.

Today’s performance tire and wheel trends have provided the need for two additional tire rotation patterns.

  • The “Front-to-Rear” (Figure D) pattern may be used for vehicles equipped with the same size directional wheels and/or directional tires.
  • A “Side-to-Side” (Figure E) pattern may be used for vehicles equipped with different sized non-directional tires and wheels on the front axle compared to the rear axle.

If the last two rotation patterns do not provide even wear, dismounting, mounting and re-balancing will be necessary to rotate the tires.

Vehicles that use different sized directional wheels and tires, and/or wheels with different front and rear offsets with directional tires will require dismounting, mounting and re-balancing to rotate tires.

Five (5) Tire Rotation

While many vehicles are equipped with temporary spares that cannot be included in a tire rotation program, if the vehicle’s four wheels and tires on the ground match the spare wheel and tire (if non-directional and not branded “for temporary use”), they should be included in the tire rotation pattern. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire rotation procedures, or if not available, insert the spare in the right rear position at every rotation. Place the tire that would have gone to the right rear in the trunk as the spare until the next tire rotation.

  • On front-wheel drive cars with full-size matching spare, rotate the tires in a forward cross pattern (Figure F)
  • On rear-wheel or four-wheel drive cars with full-size matching spare, rotate the tires in a rearward cross pattern (Figure G)

Five tire rotation results in equally distributed use that will help maintain equivalent tread depths on all five tires throughout their life. When applied to many four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles, this is required to prevent driveline damage if a flat tire forces a new spare to be put into service with partially worn tires on the other three wheel positions.

Six (6) Tire Rotation

Vehicles with dual rear wheels and non-directional tires of the same type and size in all six wheel positions may use either of the following rotation patterns (Figure H and Figure I), keeping in mind the wear pattern and wear rate of dual rears are sensitive to significant differences in tread depth within the pair. If the vehicle has tires of a different type and/or size on the front and rear axles, they should only use the rotation pattern depicted in Figure I, rotating across the axle side-to-side, but not front-to-rear.

Studded Winter / Snow Tire Rotation

In order to achieve the best possible wintertime performance and longest lifetime from a set of studded tires, they should be rotated periodically to equally share the vehicle’s workload. Tire rotation will help all four tires maintain equivalent tire wear throughout their life in spite of the different driving demands experienced on a vehicle’s steering and non-steering positions, as well as its driven vs. non-driven axles. The resulting equivalent tread depths will help balance traction levels and handling characteristics, as well as help drivers get more life out of their set of four tires.

Tire Rack recommends rotating studded tires at the beginning of every winter season or every 4,000 miles, whichever comes first.

The rolling direction of studded tires should never be changed.

This can be achieved by rotating tires from front to rear on the same side of the vehicle.

It is also permitted to remount the tires inside-out on the wheels to allow them to be used on other side of the vehicle if uneven wear due to camber is detected.

Newest Fuel-saving Technique – Hypermiling

“Hypermiling” Could Save Drivers 40% Petrol

New fuel saving technique Hypermiling may have taken the motoring world by storm, but could be dangerous if used incorrectly by drivers.

Despite this, some of the techniques have been called controversial.

A statement on the Hypermiler website said: “Hypermiling, as with any other form of driving technique, can be dangerous if used on the wrong road and in unsuitable traffic conditions.

“Please always be aware of other road users and do not endanger yourself or others for the sake of saving a few miles per gallon.

“We encourage safe and considerate driving.”

What is hypermiling?

Hypermiling is a form of extreme energy-efficient driving, where the aim is to get the maximum amount of miles out of every litre of petrol.

Rather than spending money buying the most economical car, the idea is to drive your current car in the most economical way possible.

Hypermilers claim the techniques can help reduce fuel usage and costs by up to 40 per cent.

Hypermiling techniques

Drafting

Drafting is one of the main techniques used by hypermilers – and is one of the most controversial.

It involves sitting close to or slipstreaming behind the car in front. Estimates suggest it can save you as much as 40 per cent on fuel.

That’s because a large amount of your car’s energy is used up pushing the air in front of it out of the way – but if another car is doing that for you, then you need a lot less petrol to hold the same speed.

But there’s also no doubt it’s a safety risk, reducing your visibility and taking away time to react if the car in front brakes suddenly.

Switching the engine off

The second controversial technique sometimes used by the hypermiling community is driving with your engine off.

By turning off your engine (after you’ve built up speed, naturally) you undoubtedly save fuel, but you also lose your power steering, can’t accelerate away from problems and might well have your braking compromised too.

Fortunately, a lot of what the community advises not only works, but is simple and easy to adapt.

So here are the top tips anyone can use to save money on petrol and diesel.

Top money saving tips

Keep your car properly serviced: A well-maintained car is up to 10 per cent more efficient than one that has been allowed to fester in its old oil.

Get rid of unnecessary weight: Reducing weight is free and gains performance and economy, so take out all of the clutter from your car.

Smoother is better: The less pressure on the accelerator, the less fuel you’re using – avoid sharp braking (or let the engine slow the car naturally) and focus on the road ahead to keep your accelerating as smooth as possible.

More air, less petrol: Under-inflated tyres are less efficient, make sure yours are topped up to the manufacturer’s recommended levels.

Ditch the drag: Roof racks off when they’re not in use everyone. In fact anything removable sticking out of your car that you don’t need should ideally go.

Go slow, go long: Driving at between 50 and 60 miles an hour (80-96 kph) is generally the most petrol efficient way to get from point A to point B. It can save you up to 40 per cent fuel on journeys (and given traffic in Britain, probably not cost you any time).

No air con under 40mph (65 kph): Open a window instead. That said, if you’re going fast the drag of an open window uses more energy than air con, so switch to that if you need to stay cool (although ideally on “recirculation” mode).

Why is Bedding in Brake Pads and Rotors So Important

So, your vehicle has just been outfitted with a new set of brake pads and rotors. The old ones were starting to make an annoying sound and there was a noticeable decrease in your overall stopping power. But now that your new disc brakes have been installed, it’s up to you to break them in properly.

In the industry jargon, this is known as ‘bedding in’ your brakes. It’s an important process because it will help ensure your vehicle enjoys:

  • Maximum braking performance
  • Minimum vibrations and squealing
  • Long-lasting performance

THE BASICS OF DISC BRAKING

Whenever you step on the brakes in your vehicle, the pressure is transferred through your brake lines—which contain brake fluid—to your brakes. Most passenger vehicles these days tend to have a braking configuration comprised of front discs and rear drums. This is perfectly adequate for everyday driving needs, although some high-end performance vehicles will have disc brakes on all four wheels for extra stopping power.

For disc brakes, a caliper squeezes a pair of brake pads, one on either side of your rotor, which creates the friction required to stop your vehicle. A byproduct of this friction is heat, which is an important element of the bed-in process.

THE BED-IN PROCESS EXPLAINED

Bedding in your new brake pads and rotors (it’s also possible to resurface an existing rotor) involves the use of heat to transfer a fine layer of brake pad residue onto the rotor surface. This should be done gradually to:

  • Ensure a smooth, even coating
  • Prevent scarring on the pads and rotors
  • Remove impurities from the brake pad surface

Most brake pad manufacturers have slightly different guidelines for the initial bed-in-process. It usually involves a series of three or four medium stops from about 55 km/h to warm up the pads. This is followed by three or four harder semi-stops from about 70 km/h (down to about 10 km/h).

Your brake pads will become quite hot during the second phase, so it’s important not to let the pads remain in contact with the rotors between stops. This could result in an uneven transfer of pad material. Also, once your stop-and-go session is complete, it’s a good idea to let your brakes cool down completely.

DRIVER SAFETY WHILE BEDDING IN BRAKES

Ideally, you’ll want to find a quiet stretch of road where you can bed in your brakes. Throughout this process, it’s important to use common sense and to drive for road conditions. If you need to stop for safety reasons—such as avoiding an animal on the road—then stop.

Synthetic Out Performs Conventional Oil

In an independent evaluation conducted by AAA, the company found that synthetic engine oil outperformed conventional oil by an average of nearly 50%.

“Oil protects critical engine components from damage and AAA found that synthetic engine oils performed an average of 47% better than conventional oils in a variety of industry-standard tests,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of automotive engineering and repair. “With its superior resistance to deterioration, AAA’s findings indicate that synthetic oil is particularly beneficial to newer vehicles with turbo-charged engines and for vehicles that frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic, tow heavy loads or operate in extreme hot or cold conditions.”

While only a limited number of vehicles specifically require synthetic oil, all vehicles can benefit from using synthetic oil, AAA said. Additionally, switching from a conventional oil to a synthetic oil will cost the average driver $64 more per year, or an extra $5.33 per month, the company adds.

 

In a companion AAA nationwide survey of U.S. drivers, 44% are either unsure (27%) or do not believe (17%) that the more expensive synthetic oil is better for a vehicle’s engine. Reasons cited for regularly choosing the cheaper, conventional oil include feeling that synthetic oil is too expensive, offers no benefit, that the upgrade to synthetic oil is an unnecessary up-sell by a repair facility, or they are simply not offered the choice.

“It’s understandable that drivers may be skeptical of any service that is nearly twice the cost of the alternative,” said Nielsen. “While a manufacturer-approved conventional oil will not harm a vehicle’s engine, the extra $30 per oil change could actually save money in the long run by protecting critical engine components over time.”

AAA’s engine oil research focused on eight industry-standard ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) tests to evaluate the quality of both synthetic and conventional engine oils. The oil’s shear stability, deposit formation, volatility, cold-temperature pumpability, oxidation resistance and oxidation-induced rheological changes were all tested.