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Auto/Truck/Other Transportation If you use it to get from here to there, this is the place to talk about it and how to fix it.

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Old 08-13-2015, 05:42 PM
MtnManJim Male MtnManJim is offline
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Default False Warning Lights

Disclaimer – I’m not an automotive mechanic or technician. I learned a little (just enough to get by) about automobiles back in the ‘60s, while as a teenager, I kept my own rattletraps running. But the facts of the matter are, I’ve never done much work on the insides of internal combustion engines or drive trains, and I know very little about the electronics of modern-day automobiles.
That said, through experiences (3 of them) I’ve learned that if you have a loose connection on the negative battery cable, either at the battery or where the cable grounds to your engine, you’ll get the most absurd indications (warning lights) you’ve ever seen. And more than one. The warning lights will often include the good old “Check Engine” light of course, but will possibly also include lights like the “Anti-Skid” control light, “ABS” brake light, “Parking Brake” light, “Low Tire Pressure” light, and “Battery” light.
If you get a couple, or a few warning lights, try cleaning and tightening the negative battery cable connections before taking your vehicle to the repair shop. Please don’t do what my wife’s and my friends from Texas did a few weeks ago. When Sid and his wife, Chris showed up at the restaurant for lunch after church that day, I noticed they were driving a brand new pick-up. I thought it was a Chevy, but my wife tells me it was a Dodge. Anyway, I started to tease Sid about driving all the way up to Idaho from Texas just to buy a new truck, when the one they’d had just a couple of days before was only a year old. That’s when Sid told me what they had done. It seems they’d had 3 warning lights light up in their one year old truck. They had a “Check Engine” light, an “Anti-Skid” light, and a “Brake” light all light up at the same time. So, they took the truck to the dealer in Pocatello. Surprise, surprise – the dealer couldn’t find the problem. And because they were 1,500 miles from home, with plans of visiting different friends and relatives in the area for the next 3 weeks, the dealer made our friends a “real good deal” on a new truck.
I didn’t tell our friends about the possible loose negative battery connection. And I hope they don’t see this. But you can bet I’m going to write a letter to the editor of the local paper about it. I won’t mention which car dealer it was – I don’t want to wind up in court. But I hope at least a few people will check they’re battery connections before taking their vehicles to the dealer the next time they get a warning light or two.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:00 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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The instances of false warning lights have decreased substantially over the years as systems are forced to become more precise to meet ever increasing government demands and picky consumers. Lights turn on more often now, because there is just more going on. A new vehicle can have 20 different computers on it all trying to communicate on tiny little wires with tiny variances in voltage. A loose battery cable could cause codes, specifically many modules will set codes for low voltage or communication also called "U" codes because without the proper clean voltage and ground, modules cannot communicate amongst themselves. Also throw in connector integrity and cleanliness because all these systems are becoming very sensitive to resistance. Add to that just plain bad parts whether it be a computer, a sensor, or wiring.
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:21 AM
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Good observations/comments about the sensitivity of electronic/computerized automotive systems.

To those of us who remember the good ol' days of points, condensers, carburetors and tune-ups every 6000 miles, does adding $15,000 worth of electronics really make cars run that much better or pay for itself in gas savings? Keep in mind that gas mileage has improved, not so much from the computers, but from the fact that cars are 2000lb lighter now than they were in 1965.

Thanks once again to BigBrother for taking such good a care of us.
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Old 08-15-2015, 04:32 PM
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Just me and I do have great disappointment that I can not use my timing light. and dwell meter but I have to say that the elctronics are what are responsible for the much better mileage in cars. While doc is right the cars are much lighter- the fact is they can be made much lighter and still have same performance because of the greatly improved engines performance with such things as variable camshaft timing , electronic fuel injection electronics etc. You could not have those lighter cars without that performance. That also why car don't go to the junkyard at 95-100,000 miles anymore. I would not call tha the good old days.
I like old things, But not just because they are the old way from " my time".
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Last edited by MissouriFree; 08-15-2015 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:38 PM
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I understand what you're saying, MO. In the olds days, only Ferraris and such got 1hp/ci. Now every crummy Kia does that. But the fact of the matter is, If you put all that electronic cr^p and fuel injection on a 1965 Oldsmobile weighing 6,500 lb, you'd only improve the mileage from 9 mpg to 14mpg. And in doing so, you add $10K to the price and eliminate the possibility of being your own mechanic and cheap fixes for the most part. All solutions involve trade-offs. I say this is a lousy trade, all things considered. Law of Diminishing Returns.
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:53 PM
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Doc now you went and made me look it up. A 1965 old 88 weight slightly under 4000 lb not near 6500 and had a 400 or 425 ci engine putting out a little over than 300 hp and best I can find got about 11 - 14 mpg.

For comparison a 2015 Ford Explorer weighs in at 4800 lbs has a 3.5 liter(214 cubic inches )
Engine putting out 290 hp and gets 24 highway mpg .
Certainly not weight but a combination engine and transmission all controlled beyond board computer getting various inputs from sensors. and a vehicle that that gets better mileage , runs cleaner and last much much longer .
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Last edited by MissouriFree; 08-16-2015 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 08-16-2015, 03:44 PM
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More gears in transmission for tighter RPM control as well as items like VVT, direct fuel injection, and tighter control of fuel going in based on emissions going out combine for better fuel economy, and decreased emissions. Throw in the recent trend of turbos on factory engines for increased volumetric efficiency and we have a formula for good mileage and great performance.
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Old 08-16-2015, 06:03 PM
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I'm not saying they don't get better mileage now. I'm questioning whether the added initial cost, repair costs, uncertainty (light bulbs don't warn you that they're about to burn out) and loss of independence to make your own repairs is worth it? And what would be the improvement in gas mileage just given the lighter weights?

Compare apples to apples: 1967 Impala= 4300lb; mpg ~15
2011 Impala= 3600lb; mpg ~21

Price of 1967 Impala = $3700 or 60% of median income
Price of 2011 Impala $27000 or 52% of median income (ie- median income has grown faster than price of cars)

As far as "cleaner air"- is 3 parts per MILLION CO (in the exhaust pipe) really any "cleaner" than 8 parts per MILLION? What a crock.
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:19 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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CO is not the only exhaust emission. You have NOx, CO2, O2, and hydrocarbons as well and previous to low sulfur diesel fuel SOx. Now, O2, is not a direct product of combustion but rather a marker for incomplete combustion specifically under rich conditions. NOx is what actually contributes to photo chemical smog and is the direct result of high combustion temps. Through EGR and later VVT we were able to run lean mixtures, or higher combustion temps, while maintaining low NOx emissions to combat photo chemical smog. Hydrocarbons are unburned fuel or in some cases oil that have made it through the combustion process to pollute ground water and the land along roadways. CO is one aspect of exhaust emissions but certainly not the only one. Also throw into your equation safety and power besides the MPG and emissions issue.
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc View Post
I'm not saying they don't get better mileage now. I'm questioning whether the added initial cost, repair costs, uncertainty (light bulbs don't warn you that they're about to burn out) and loss of independence to make your own repairs is worth it? And what would be the improvement in gas mileage just given the lighter weights?

Compare apples to apples: 1967 Impala= 4300lb; mpg ~15
2011 Impala= 3600lb; mpg ~21

Price of 1967 Impala = $3700 or 60% of median income
Price of 2011 Impala $27000 or 52% of median income (ie- median income has grown faster than price of cars)

As far as "cleaner air"- is 3 parts per MILLION CO (in the exhaust pipe) really any "cleaner" than 8 parts per MILLION? What a crock.
Not sure where you are getting you numbers but the heaviest 77 impala was under 4000 lbs ( a station wagon) if you are trying to compare apples to sole go to a 4 door stock engine which weighed around 3600. And as far as I ca find it got 18-20 mpg "highway" at best

Now the new Impala actuall it weighs more at 3700 lb with comparable engine. - w 223 ci. Yet it gets 29 mpg hey.

http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/chev...2014.tab1.html

Sorry strike two


http://www.oldride.com/library/1967_...et_impala.html
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Old 08-17-2015, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joejeep92 View Post
CO is not the only exhaust emission. You have NOx, CO2, O2, and hydrocarbons as well and previous to low sulfur diesel fuel SOx. .
Well, as long as you bring it up: we'll dismiss o2 & co2 outright. The fingerprint of co2 as a ghg on our climate is lost as noise in the record, and are you claiming o2 is a pollutant? You didn't mention H20 as an emission. Also not important.

Sulfur emissions have been reduced by restricting fuels, not by use of computers.

NOx is reduced in the exhaust gas by using expensive catalytic converters, the inappropriate discarding of which does, in fact, pollute the environment. They do run at such high temps and take such a long time to cool down after the engine is turned off, they continue to oxidize atmospheric N2 into NOx for quite a while- possibly producing more NOx than if they weren't used at all. We won't bring up the inconvenience of theft of the the converter (hi value of precious metals contained therein) while you're parked at the train station all day.

And now my favorite subject: no Pb gas: a) lower mileage, so you use more fuel (10%) and actually produce more pollutants driving the same distance. (b) lead in gasoline chelates any partially burned gasoline (short chain hydrocarbons) yielding a molecule too large to be absorbed thru your lungs, therefore essentially causing no physical harm. Unleaded gas provides no such protection. Absorbed short chain hydrocarbons are theoretically able to produce cancer. (Not sure they do in reality to any appreciable extent.)

While environmental lead levels have fallen to practically zero since leaded gas was removed from use, average IQ levels in kids have not changed even a single point.
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Old 08-17-2015, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MissouriFree View Post

Sorry strike two

Yer blind, ya bum!

I'm comparing numbers I got off from old car sites. Sorry, I didn;t copy the reference. You can look it up too. I was comparing average mpg #s for 1967 & 2011- roughly 25% lighter now and roughly 25% better mileage.

Just look around you. Cars are smaller today than they were 45 yrs ago. You don't find any cars that comfortably seat 6 anymore, but it was the norm back then.

Again, (typing slowly so you guys can understand): LAW of DIMINISHING RETURNS-- are these more expensive, inconvenient technologies really worth it?
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc View Post
Yer blind, ya bum!

I'm comparing numbers I got off from old car sites. Sorry, I didn;t copy the reference. You can look it up too. I was comparing average mpg #s for 1967 & 2011- roughly 25% lighter now and roughly 25% better mileage.

Just look around you. Cars are smaller today than they were 45 yrs ago. You don't find any cars that comfortably seat 6 anymore, but it was the norm back then.

Again, (typing slowly so you guys can understand): LAW of DIMINISHING RETURNS-- are these more expensive, inconvenient technologies really worth it?

So let's see:

First you hung you hat on hp per cubic inch wrong
Then weight again wrong
Now seating capacity - yet the explorer I showed you weighs more. And gets better mikeage AND seats more
And last twice as long. And cost less to drive and runs cleaner ..

And I might add can still be maintained. In your garage. Change plugs , change oil, clean throttle body. Change sensors. In old days you bought a timing light and dwell meter now you buy a code reader ( or go to autozone or oreilys for free). Warrenty. Much longer done up to 100k.
Inconvenient to work not if you try. ( most just throw up thier hand and give up ).. Same wrenches screwdrivers same sockets .
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Last edited by MissouriFree; 08-17-2015 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:09 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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Doc, I specifically stated the SOx is a product of high sulfur levels of fuel in the past. I also listed O2 not as a pollutant but simply as an emission. I should have listed H20 as well but then again Nitrogen should be included. As for the rest of your statement, the major creator of NOx is high combustion temps created by the lean fuel mixtures that have been brought by fuel injection. EGR reduces it by reintroducing exhaust gas into the combustion chamber, dead air with no oxygen lowers combustion temps. VVT lowers it by changing valve timing to keep some exhaust gasses in the combustion chamber after the exhaust stroke. This has done such a good job that EGR has started to be eliminated from vehicles. The catalyst only scavenges and separates what is left. As far as typing slowly, stick to what you are an expert at bub.

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Last edited by joejeep92; 08-18-2015 at 01:27 AM.
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