Showing posts from 2013


On ‘popular but wrong’, I will be bringing you a few popular opinions on car tech with explanations why they are wrong. Catalytic converter
On this side of the globe, the catalytic converter has gained a very popular alias - ‘the Indomie’, after Indomie noodles because of the noodles like shape of the converter metals. In other worlds, it is simply called the ‘Cat’.
There is a popular believe and claim that the Cat/Indomie improves fuel economy, I.e. reduces fuel economy.  I say a big Wrong to that. The Cat is not designed to, and so doesn't improve fuel consumption. The Cat is designed to remove poisonous gases and elements like Carbon monoxide and Nitrogen from the exhaust gas. Thus, its main function is to reduce excessive air pollution. It does this by reacting with the gas as it passes through the exhaust pipe. Or more specifically, it facilitates the reaction, that’s why it is called a catalyst. One of the end products of this reaction is water which might be seen dropping …

The Effect of Brand Name: Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix

We love Toyota, we love Honda. But if its something else like a Pontiac or Subaru or even Opel, we say its a no go area around here (Nigeria). That's the power in a name.
The Pontiac Vibe and the Toyota Matrix are basically the same car made by the same person, and I can say for 'the same persons' at different times.
Something that shows how much we love 'anything' Toyota is how fast we around here accepted the Pontiac Vibe as soon as we saw the Toyota Matrix and were convinced its the same car. The vibe was a car you could hardly sell in Nigeria about 10 year ago (2002-2005), not for any other reason, but because its neither a Toyota nor a Honda. Maybe it would have been a little more successful then if it was a Mercedes or a VW. But Pontiac? 'whats that?
Then came the Matrix, an identical twin to the Vibe. You can't but notice the resemblance. People couldn't but ask if there were cousins. As soon as they were convinced they are not just cousins but …


I've itemized below some often ignored but very important practices that can be the difference between few and often visits to the repair shop.
 Get to know your car
You need to first of all know what car you have, what it is made of and what it is capable of. Basic information about any car can be gotten from a good car website on line, but the problem will be interpreting and understanding what you get. You can start from knowing the engine capacity commonly given in cubic centimeters (cc) and closely followed by the engine power given in bhp (break horse power). E.g. 1800cc; 140bhp. The higher these numbers are, the more power your engine should have (mostly at the expense of more fuel). So, that you drive a 2010 Honda Accord does not mean your car can drive exactly the same way any other 2010 Honda Accord on the road would. Same model year of cars come with different engines and body trim, hence, different performance. A car will perform well below its usual capacity if abusiv…