Monthly Archives: April 2017

How To Fix Car’s Oxygen Sensor

If your car’s “Check Engine” light is glaring at you, it’s probably because the oxygen sensor is malfunctioning. That’s right, the oxygen sensor. It’s a little device that’s a mystery for most drivers but its misbehavior is the problem that most commonly triggers a Check Engine light, according to CarMD.com, which sells an automotive diagnostic tool and provides repair information. The oxygen sensor unseats the formerly most common Check Engine light culprit: a loose gas cap. There are fewer reports of that problem because savvy motorists have learned to fix it themselves and consumers now buy new cars with capless gas tanks. But don’t despair. Replacing your car oxygen sensor will keep you from wasting money by burning extra gas, and the repair isn’t horribly expensive. We know this firsthand. We had to replace the O2 sensor on our 1996 Lexus ES 300, the subject of our Debt-Free Car project, and it wasn’t as much of a hassle or expense as we had feared.

After the dreaded Check Engine light appeared in our Lexus, we plugged the CarMD device into the car’s computer to read the error code. In our case, the code was P0135, which meant that the oxygen sensor in “bank 1” was malfunctioning. It was surprising to learn that something was wrong with the car, since it still seemed to be running fine. Even though a car seems to be behaving normally, a faulty oxygen sensor will cause the engine to start “gulping down gas,” says Kristin Brocoff, director of corporate communications for CarMD.com. She says this problem can cause up to a 40 percent reduction in fuel economy. Sure enough, when we checked our fuel record for the driving we did while the Check Engine light was on, our mpg had taken a hit.

The oxygen sensor, developed in the early 1980s, is an essential part of the car’s emissions control system, says John Nielsen, director of engineering and repair for the American Automobile Association (AAA). The sensor is about the size and shape of a spark plug and protrudes into the car engine’s exhaust stream. It determines if there is a lot or a little oxygen in the exhaust, so the engine can make adjustments to the amount of fuel being used in the engine to run at maximum efficiency. Oxygen sensors in older cars fail for a variety of reasons, according to Bosch, a leading manufacturer of auto components. In some cases, sensors are fouled by gasoline additives or oil from worn engines. Newer oxygen sensors can last 100,000 miles if conditions are right, but often problems occur sooner. After we plugged CarMD’s diagnostic device into the Lexus’ onboard computer port, we connected it to our desktop computer. It accessed a database of information about this engine code and how to have it repaired. Among other things, the report included an average estimate just to buy a new oxygen sensor: $168.82.

At the first sight of a Check Engine light, most owners of new cars that are still under the factory warranty would simply make a beeline for the dealership’s service bay. But car owners on a budget might want to go the do-it-yourself diagnosis route to save money. By using the CarMD device, or any engine code reader, drivers can learn what the problem is, and the skill level required to fix it, before attempting the task. Modern cars have two to four oxygen sensors, Nielsen says. A V6 engine, such as the one in our Lexus, has one sensor in each exhaust manifold and one after the catalytic converter. The sensors simply screw into place, but reaching them can be a problem for do-it-yourselfers. Additionally, since the exhaust subjects the sensor to extreme heat, it can “seize” and be tough to unscrew. A new sensor comes with anti-seize compound to apply to the threads, but the compound should never be put on the sensor itself.

Automotive Industry

Growing Automotive Industry

The global automotive industry has been growing constantly. Technologies such as connected transport, smart driver experience, improved battery management systems and better fuel efficiency are reforming the automotive industry. Automotive manufacturers are required to work in uncertain conditions with increasing complexity as a result of wide range of products available to the customer, changing technologies, increasing pressure to innovate, environmental concerns and globalization.

Simulation-based engineering

Engineers are constantly under pressure to develop products that are future-proof. Hence, it is vital to bring the right expertise together that can combine multiple engineeringdisciplinesto handle challenging applications that lead to faster production. Simulation-based engineeringhelps develop the products in a risk-free environment. This is a faster and more cost effective way to test the products when the expectations are high and failure can be disastrous.Simulation is the key to shorteningtime tomarket as it will accelerate the workflow from design to prototype.

A thermoelectric cooler application is one of 50 app examples available with COMSOL Multiphysics. The user may test different geometries, thermocouple configurations, and material selection in order to determine the ideal cooler option for a specific configuration or an optimized design for best performance. Researchers working within the automotive industry have used COMSOL Multiphysicsto study corrosion in automotive parts found in car paneling, for example. Simulation helpsresearchers investigate electrochemical reactions on the surface of the rivet, analyze decay in sheet metal, and understand the effects of geometry in the corrosion process.

Multiphysics for everyone

It’s important to support the experts who often have to serve the entire organization while covering a diverse range of simulation needs,by bringing simulation to a larger group of people. The latest version of COMSOL Multiphysics and its Application Builder provides simulation experts with the tools needed to turn their detailed physics and mathematical models into easy-to-use simulation apps for use by everyone in their organization and beyond.

Designers can easily build a simplified interface based on their model in order to let anyone in the product development team test different operating conditions and configurations. Given how competitive the automotive industry is, building simulation apps for an entire team will allow designers to maketheir expertise easily available and free up resources to develop new concepts.

Autonomous Commercial Vehicles

The commercial vehicle industry has undergone significant developments since the world recovered from the economic recession. Specially, the global truck industry which is developing at a very fast pace in terms of growing profit pools and acceptance of game changing market trends such as “Telematics” and “Autonomous Driving”. However, like many infrastructure dependent trends, the growth and acceptance of autonomous driving in commercial vehicles is different in developed economies of US & Europe as compared to emerging markets like India. After the revolution of driverless cars, commercial vehicles are next in line. That is the next logical step. In fact, Daimler has already launched its first road approved truck for autonomous operation in US. Daimler says “This is a truck which the driver can finally let go – at least of the steering wheel”.

In April this year, about a dozen trucks from Volvo & Daimler completed a week of largely autonomous driving across Europe, the first major exercise on the continent. In opinion of the Industry experts, this trend might take another 10 years to reach a point where autonomous trucks are operating on public roads (the developed nation’s roads to be precise). This is a trend which is more dependent on the legislative system, policy issues and government approvals than the advancement of technology.

India as we know is a country enriched with a huge potential in IT & analytical skills. A large portion of R&D and technological development can be taken over by India. However, we might not have the best suited legislative system and an open public opinion about such developments. Experts suggest that to begin with, the agriculture sector can be explored as an early adopter because of two major reasons. First, the vehicles will operate away from other human beings so it ensures safety of people around. Second, there is always a need to address food supply issues for the growth of economy.Moreover, the technology involved in modern tractors is very much similar to the modern cars.

This reasoning makes complete sense as to why India’s Mahindra Group, the largest tractors producer globally, has started with R&D to develop autonomous commercial vehicles including driverless tractors. Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahindra Group believes that “The tractors that operate autonomously could change the future of food production” . “Autonomous commercial vehicles operating on public roads in India” is a concept that seems unrealistic for India but isn’t that what we thought about many technologies some 15 years ago. Who thought the navigations systems could ever work on Indian roads, but, look at us now. We are dependent on them for every trip that we take.

Largest Automobile Manufacturing Companies

The automobile (automotive companies) sector has mushroomed over the years into a mature and well established industry. Innovation and manufacturing of vehicles has helped the industry to grow into a profitable one. Automobile companies have contributed significantly to the development of the world’s economy by creating jobs paying lots of taxes and earning loads of foreign exchange. There are several automobile manufacturing companies in the world that produces vehicles in a large quantity.

1) Tata Motors:
Tata Motors is the Asia’s largest and 17th largest automobile manufacturing company in the world. This company is known for its production of cars, trucks, vans, coaches and so on. Tata Motors record the highest sales and is widely popular across the country in 2017. This company is passionate about anticipating and providing the best commercial and passenger vehicles globally as well as the best customer experiences. Tata Motors can be found on and off-road in over 175 countries around the globe. Cars, buses and trucks of Tata Motors roll out at 20 locations across the world, seven in India and the rest in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa and Indonesia.

2) Honda Motor Co Ltd. Company:
Honda Motor Co Ltd. Company is a world leading automaker and the largest motorcycle producer in the world. Its motorcycle lines feature everything from super bikes to scooters, with the company also being dedicated to the production of personal watercrafts and ATVs. The models of this company include seven luxury vehicle models as well as SUVs and others. Within its lines are also Honda Power products and machinery such as snow blowers, tillers, lawn mowers, outboard motors and portable generators. Engine quality, durability and economic fuel consumption are the main reasons why customers prefer Honda machines.

3) Maruti Suzuki:
Maruti Suzuki had brought a big revolution in the automobile industry. This is one of the old companies that expertise in the field of production of cars. This company has manufactured cars such as Alto, Omni, Estilo and so on. The total annual production capacity of this company is about 14, 50,000 units. Maruti Suzuki works with a mission to provide a car for every individual, family, need, budget and Way of Life. For this, it offers 15 brands and over 150 variants ranging from Alto 800 to the Life Utility Vehicle Maruti Suzuki Ertiga.

4) Toyota Motor Corporation:
Toyota Motor Corporation is one of the top most automobile manufacturing companies in the world. This company designs, manufacturers and markets various automobile product ranges from SUVs, minivans, luxury & sport utility vehicles, trucks and buses among others. Toyota Motor Corporation has other vehicle manufacturing subsidiaries which include Daihatsu Motor for the production of mini-vehicles and Hino Motors for the production of buses and trucks. Toyota car engines are fixed with either combustion or lately the hybrid engines such as the one in the Prius.