Monday, July 26, 2010

WattStation will charge electric cars using smart grid tech

General Electric announced that they will  have the WattStation, or new electric car charging station. The time it takes to charge a 24 kWh battery is reduced by two thirds. For home and commercial use the WattStation could be used for. Source for this article – WattStation will charge electric cars using smart grid tech by Car Deal Expert.
Using technology for the WattStation
Smart-grid technology is used with the WattStation charging unit. Extra energy is delivered to areas of high demand with the two way digital control smart grid has. Combined with superconductive transmission lines, the smart-grid tech can pull the additional energy required to charge batteries quickly.
WattStation – will it work?
A battery can be charged in four to eight hours with WattStation as outlined by General Electric. Usual charging times, depending on the electric car, are between twelve and eighteen hours. While some car battery makers are working on reducing that charging time, most nevertheless take at least twelve hours.
Electric car battery issues
The biggest challenge with most electric cars is simple – getting enough power to run the vehicle takes a when. No matter what the battery is made with, it still will take time to charge. Only so much power can be given at once by electric transmission systems and lines. WattStation supposedly found a way to fix this problem.
Is WattStation something buyers are interested in?
Car makers have always been frustrated with electric cars. While there seems to be great support for electric cars in the market, they nevertheless remain a niche product. Buyers would rather use gas cars with the questionable battery technology and long charging times. GE hopes that, combined with new cars and better battery technology, the WattStation will encourage buyers to make the leap to electric.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Toyota Claims Steering Defect Not A Defect

Toyota claims Matrix steering defect is not a defect
The 2010 Toyota recalls gained no small amount of attention, but here’s something you may have missed: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was paying close attention to nearly a billion 2009 and 2010 Toyota Matrix and Toyota Corolla automobiles. Steering was the question. Auto Blog reports that Toyota has gone on record as saying that the potential safety defect isn’t really really a defect. Toyota is prepared to fix it for free, but do not feel the need for a recall. Post resource – Toyota claims Matrix steering defect is not a defect by Car Deal Expert.
Toyota Matrix power steering can suffer locking or drift
Shockingly, reports of Toyota Matrix and Corolla power steering units causing drift of freezing totally don’t register as safety defects with the automaker. What would seem like a safety defect to most is a “customer satisfaction” issue according to Toyota PR, despite 437 complaints, 11 injuries and 18 accidents. That did warrant a Technical Service Bulletin from the brain trust to Toyota dealers, says AutoBlog. If the report’s prescription of checking tire pressure and alignment don’t do the trick, then and only then will a new power steering unit be put in.
AutoBlog indicates that the GM Matrix clone the Pontiac Vibe may have comparable difficulties with power steering.
No recall means more money in Toyota’s pocket
If Toyota is allowed to go with not recalling the 2009 and 2010 Toyota Matrix or Corolla, they’ll save money and stay away from having to report to regulators. However, the NHTSA can have to agree with Toyota’s assessment of the “non-defect”. At this time, they’re still investigating. Toyota would rather keep away from a PR nightmare. A new forced recall would tear down any gains the embattled automaker has made since early 2010.
More info accessible at these websites

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Replacing Your Timing Belt Could Save Costly Repairs

A very essential element  of some car engines, the timing belt (aka cam belt), controls your vehicle’s valve timing. The timing belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft, which controls the opening and closing of valves necessary during the internal combustion process. It turns the water pump in some engines.Some engines use a timing chain insteed of a belt. Wikipedia says the first car to use a timing belt was in 1945, and the timing belt first went into mass production in 1962 with the German Glas 1004 car. It hit The US with the 1966 Pontiac Tempest, and also the 1966 Vauxhall introduced the modern-day use of the timing belt with the four-cylinder overhead cam design that is common to most cars today. Auto manufacturers suggest the timing belt be changed at regular intervals, so it is wise to consult your owner’s manual and keep accurate records.

Make this practice of changing the belt regular
All automotive belts are significant to an engine’s proper function, and also the timing belt is no exception. It’s made of rubber, so it’s relatively inexpensive. It can also snap without warning. Depending upon whether you’ve the “interference” type of engine , a snapped timing belt can cause the engine pistons to bend the valves, which requires the head to be removed. That’s an costly repair procedure, so have your timing belt changed regularly. As the timing belt is generally covered up and not very easily visible, it is typically a good idea to have a trained professional perform the inspection and replacement.

How long will a timing belt last?
It will all depend on the manufacturer. It could be about 10,000 miles for a belt tension check, or as much as 100,000 miles before total replacement. If there’s any doubt, preventative maintenance is better than trying to wait until it snaps and the valves warp. If you drive hard and live in a warm climate, you will probably have to change the timing belt more often, as excessive heat causes rubber to crack over time. Exposure to oil or antifreeze can also wear down the rubber, so if you have a leak, you’ll want to inspect the belt. Since the cost of a new water pump is relatively low compared with the cost of having a mechanic go in and check the timing belt, I suggest just replacing the water pump at the exact same time that you replace the belt.

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