Showing posts from 2012

Governor Idris Wada’s Auto-crash; the bullet proof SUV

It is now a well known fact that the governor of Kogi State was involved in a ghastly Motor accident on Friday 28th December. A careful look at the picture of the Lexus SUV he was travelling in and a statement credited to an anonymous family member on facebook who claimed that the vehicle was bullet proof brings me to the conclusion that the vehicle must have been travelling at quite a high speed and that the armour must be partial or something in the lower grade.
Understanding car armour (bullet proof cars)A bullet proof car is a defensive armour car that is designed to withstand some level or ballistics. Just as there are different grades of ballistics, so there are different level of vehicle armour. The common standard codes for car armour from the lowest to the highest are T4/B4, T6/B6, T7/B7 and T7. In recent times, even the T4 or B4 grades are equipped with run-flat tires. Something else to know about bullet proof cars is that while a normal SUV weighs about 1.5 – 2kg, its bullet …


I was moved to write this article after reading a report on a popular Nigerian news website about a Nigerian lawmaker who bought an alleged faulty Hyundai ix35 for his wife. The report can be read here Throughout the report, he kept referring to the vehicle as ‘Hyundai ix35 Jeep’. And that brought my attention to how wide spread and common it is for a Nigerian to refer to any car in the SUV class as a ‘Jeep’. You can hear someone say my friend just bought a jeep, only to discover well you see the vehicle that is is actually a Toyota highlander. It got me thinking what the source of this common misuse was. 
That took my mind back to the colonial and early post colonial days when the most common trucks on Nigerian roads (mostly among military personnel) were the Willys Jeep and early Land Rover models. These SUVs have the large wheels, high ground clearance a…

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about me My name is Salifu Gabriel, I am a car enthusiast with a background discipline in Engineering Design and Solid Mechanics,  and I run this blog.
about 101carsense 101carsense is a blog about cars and the automobile industry with focus on developing countries and Nigeria from the author's view. You can get simplifies articles, discussions and referral services to your local car dealers. Your contribution is welcome at any time through comments and e-mails.   Check here for my contacts and also read the privacy policy for this blog here.

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What informs an average Nigerian’s choice of what brand of car to buy is 'popular street opinion' which usually originates from Mechanic workshops. This is a wise choice for such decision making. But to understand the effect this decision is having on the Nigerian automobile market, you need to know what an average Nigerian Mechanic is made of. In advanced Countries (at least in 'who got what first') like Europe, Canada and the US where there are training centers like the Automotive training center Surrey, Jaguar Land Rover centers and other apprenticeship centers that are owned or supported by the brands they represent, technical information on new technologies can be handed down to apprentists by the very companies that introduced them. The situation in Nigerian is quite different. I refer to what we have as ‘inherited Technical skills’. This is a situation where an apprentice serves a master for a period of time, during which he is expected to acquire the skill of…

other car brands-page 2

Over the years, the mechanics themselves have discovered that the number of car brands and even models that they can successfully fix is narrowing down. This is a fact that they may not voice out but will be obvious if you go that ask for your mechanic’s opinion on buying any of those car models, say a 2002 Peugeot 406 over a Toyota Camry of same year. This is because, unlike the days of Peugeot 504,505 and Volkswagen Golf and Passat MKII or MKIII (second and third generation) cars when Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) and Volkswagen Group were operating their assembly and services factories respectively in Nigeria, the Peugeot 406 and other later models picked up some improved electrical systems. The mechanics never had the set up and opportunity to learn these systems to be able to manage them. The case is different for Japanese models like Toyota and Honda who have kept things very close to the basics especially in the Corolla and Civic models. Though their reason may b…

Air Conditioner Fuel Consumption

In early cars like the 70s Peugeot 504 and other cars before that era when car AC compressors were bulky and not very efficient, it is indisputable that using your car Air Conditioner while driving means parting with some extra liters of fuel. But we are in an era when car compressors are better built and lighter. That doesn't mean they don’t require power from the engine to be driven as is most noticeable at low rpm like when the car is idling and you switch on the AC. The noticeable drop in rpm is mostly due to inertia.

So, your glasses are down and your AC is off so you can save fuel. I bet the only place you are going to save that fuel in today’s cars is ‘in your head, not in your fuel tank’. If your glasses are down and you are driving at speeds in excess of 80km/h (about 55mph), the inside of your car will be working like a big balloon or parachute to pull your car back as air flows in through the windows. This way, the engine will be working harder than it should to keep t…

Ford Motors

Ford Motor Company in an American auto company founded by Henry Ford in 1903 and has its headquarters in Dearborn Michigan. Ford Motors is known for introducing what is today known as the Assembly Line. And it is known for its dominance in the SUV and pick-up truck segment which includes the Ford Explorer and F150 truck. Ford also produsces the well known Lincoln cars. The SUV segment in which ford is a major player is always hardly hit whenever there is a fuel crisis as users will start going for smaller and fuel efficient cars. This made ford motors to stop production of some of its unprofitable and inefficient models and also concentrate on its flexifuel vehicles which can run on pure gasoline and a combination of gasoline and ethanol. Facts about Ford Motors ·Initiator of the Assembly Line·Second largest auto company in the US and the fourth largest in the world·Posted the highest annual loss of $12.7billion in company history in 2006·Maker of the first hybrid electric SUV·Maker of t…

Best way to brake in an Emergency situation

If you have been driving for many years now or you owned or drove a classic car (say one from the 70s), you may have taken one or two old habits to your modern car. The mid 19th century was really a fun period for the automobile industry as many technologies such as power steering, antilock brake system, locking differential and others were introduced then.
Before the use of Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) , the proper way to break in an emergency situation is to step on the breaks as hard and safe as possible, then let go a little to avoid locking the wheels, then step on it again. You do this repeatedly until you’ve totally avoided the hazard or brought the car to a stop. If you step on the breaks and stay there, the break pad grabs the break disc so hard that the wheel locks (stops spinning), putting the car into a skid. This makes the driver loose his steering ability (he could be steering left but the car will be going in the opposite direction) as the thread on the tires only func…

Brief History of Infiniti

Infiniti is the Luxury line of the Japanese auto company Nissan. It was founded in 1989 with its present head quarters in Tokyo Japan. It mainly serves the US and other markets as its cars are not sold in Japan so it doesn’t form a competition for its parent company. Most Infiniti brands are based on a Nissan platform, except for the Fx series.
Infiniti’s design and performance cravings have earned it reference as ‘Japanese BMW’. Rumor has it that in 2001 after a series of poor sales, Infiniti executives swore never to take their eyes off BMW for design inspiration.
Understanding Infiniti’s naming systemInfiniti uses an alphabet followed by two letters in naming its cars. The alphabet indicates the class of the car while the two letters show the engine capacity. These are sometimes followed by a small letter x, s, or h to indicate all-wheels drive, sports tuned and hybrid cars respectively. E.g. Infiniti ‘G35s’. Common Infiniti models include the M35, G45, Fx50.

Latest Updates

News The 2013 VW Jetta hybrid
Something that is both acceptable and recommendable for the Nigerian driver.

New Articles Why Nigerians don't buy some car brands

Best way to brake in an emergency situation

AC Fuel Consumtion How much fuel does your car AC consume and why you should still use it anyway.
Brand HistoryRead brief Brand Histories of popular automobile companies like Nissan,InfinitiFord and others

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