The Road Ahead : February March 2012
KNOW YOUR CAR CONSUMER PREFERENCES AND tightening emissions i ions standards are helping drive makers to 'greener' technologies that reduce fuel consumption and emissions. A number of models, many European, now offer stop-start technology. And it looks set to become far more common. Basically, the system switches the engine off when the vehicle is stationary and quickly re-starts it when the clutch is depressed to select first gear to move off again, or in the case of an auto, when the brake pedal is released with a gear selected to drive away. The engine needs to be warm and there's usually a switch to allow the driver to turn the system off. The system can automatically modify operation to cope with varying airconditioner/heater and electrical system loads. One technology provider claims around five to eight percent reduction in emissions and fuel use based on new European test cycles. The technology can be applied to petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains. Different car makers adopt different technical approaches to their stop-start systems. Starters, charging systems and batteries are generally substantially different to a normal car, some systems also add another battery, another maker uses ultra-capacitors, transmissions can have specific modifications, and energy management systems are likely to be incorporated. Mazda's new Skyactive system with i-stop as used here on certain Mazda3 models takes another tack. Through a combination of changes to electrical and engine mechanicals, it effects precise control over the piston position during shutdown, then uses re- establishment of combustion to re-start the engine with a small amount of extra torque from the starter-motor. WITH JOHN EWING G G, G, G, G G G G G G G G G G G G G G RACQ VEHICLE TECHNOLOGIESS car questions Q. If I want to do my own oil changes, how can I dispose of the old oil? A. Waste oil can't be disposed of in your rubbish bin and should only be disposed of through proper recycling facilities. We recommend you contact your local council to find out what facilities are offered in your area. Your local transfer station is likely to offer collection for recycling for non-commercial quantities such as DIY servicing. MAKES YOUR DAY 59 FEB/MAR 2012 THE ROAD AHEAD ILLUSTRATION: RON MONNIER racq.com/idp also available in most RACQ branches. Apply for an IInternational Driving Permit through RACQQ before you fly Going on an overseas trip of a lifetime? To ensure your trip runs smoothly, make sure you get yourself an International Driving Permit (IDP). An IDP can assist you to rent motor vehicles in many countries without further tests or applications. It will provide you with the flexibility to drive for pleasure, convenience or in the event of an emergency. Even if you don't intend to drive when you're overseas, an IDP has a number of other benefits for travellers, including: • Being a commonly recognised form of photo identification, displayed in nine languages; • Providing an extra form of photo ID along with your personal details; • Providing a flexibility to communicate with multiple foreign authorities. Importantly, International Driving Permits are o nly available through RACQ in Queensland. Planning to drive overseas soon?
April May 2012