Hooked on Hybrids
I'm looking for a Toyota Prius hybrid – second-hand due to funding. I'm
living in Perth, Western
Australia and am wondering if you can give me some
information regarding reliability, how the hybrid ‘thing’ works and what price
range I would be looking for - also if there are any other types of hybrids from other car brands second-hand.
With fuel continuing to go up in price and the want to be greener I would
appreciate any help you can give me.
See the articles Prius Progression,
The Affordable Hybrid,
The Toyota Prius Hybrid - Part 1,
The Toyota Prius - Part 2,
The Toyota Prius Hybrid - Part 3,
New Car Test - New Generation Prius
and New Car Test - New Generation Prius.
A review of the Honda Civic Hybrid can also be found at Honda Civic Hybrid
and the Honda Insight can be found Special Feature- Honda Insight.
We’ve got plenty of hybrid stuff to look at!
Can anyone help? I have been quoted about AUD$900 to turn off the airbag
light that has come in my car on due to moving the steering column up and down.
The price is to replace the complete airbag. Is there an alternative?
We recommend that you take the car to
a dealership specialising in your particular brand of car. They should be able
to run a diagnosis to pinpoint the problem and, hopefully, fix it for less.
However, you may be up for a complete replacement.
I'm sick of speed traps - they are, in most cases, revenue raisers. I have
been cited by the QLD Police Dept for warning drivers that they were entering a
speed trap. I was flashing my light. Any Ideas on how to fight this?
We’re not sure how to fight that one.
Can any readers help?
DPA Can Do It?
Re the DPA (Digital Pulse Adjuster)...
I'm wondering how feasible it would be to use one of these on the BA Ford XR6
Turbo to allow a little higher boost? Could it be done?
The DPA can be used to adjust the
boost pressure of any vehicle running electronic boost control that uses a
pulsed wastegate solenoid. However, on its own, it doesn’t get around boost cuts
or sophisticated closed-loop boost control systems. This will require some
research relating to your particular vehicle.
It’s not all about kWs...
I've just read Julian's latest Driving Emotion (Driving Emotion)
and I have to say I know exactly what he’s saying.
I've recently had my car on the dyno - just for curiosity’s sake - having
spent quite a bit over the last few years on modifications to intake, exhaust,
timing, filters, etc. The result - 71.4 rwkW. Yep, I can hear all the readers
laughing “HAW HAW HAW” right now.
But what do I drive?
A naturally aspirated 1991 1.6 litre Mazda MX5 - all 900-odd kilograms of one
of the most enjoyable motoring experiences I've ever had. Immensely chuckable,
near instant driver feedback and so
well balanced. I can't help but smile every time I turn the key and pull out of
So what if I don't have carpark bragging rights? I'll see you at the end of
the twisty stuff - I'll be the one with the huge grin on my face!
Re Telstar/626 Turbo Twins at Response...
Just a note on the Mazda MX-6/Telstar TX5/626 Turbo prices - you are a
little off the mark in expecting them to sell for AUD$6-7K these days. You will
be lucky to sell them for AUD$4-5K unless it’s a good condition MX-6 (the most
sought after model).
At that price they really are absolute
Could you tell me of any places in Perth,
Australia that do steering
conversions from LH drive to RH drive? I am having trouble locating someone to
Can any readers help?
I have read your articles on the Digital Fuel Adjuster (DFA) and modifying
the signal from an airflow sensor and would like to know what if any differences
there are if you have a MAP sensor instead.
Also how can you adjust closed loop air-fuel ratios if the oxygen sensors are
controlling the mixtures?
A one dimensional interceptor (such as
the DFA) doesn’t work as effectively on a MAP sensed engine as it does on an
engine that relies on an airflow meter signal. In a MAP sensed engine, there’s
almost zero manifold vacuum as soon as you hit wide-open throttle. This occurs
at ANY revs.
Let’s say you nail the throttle at
2000 rpm and wind the engine out to 7000 before up-shifting. In this event, the
MAP sensor will send virtually the same ‘full load’ signal to the ECU all the
way from 2000 to 7000 rpm. This makes it impossible to tune mixtures at specific
load/rpm points when using the DFA. Any load input changes that you make with
the DFA will be felt across the entire rev range. Sure, you might trim the
top-end mixtures to achieve greater power but you’ll probably be running too
lean at low/mid revs. See The Fueltronics AMFC
for an article where this problem has been encountered.
Closed-loop mixtures can be adjusted
with a(nother) DFA dedicated to intercepting the output of the engine’s oxygen
sensors. The DFA can be reconfigured to suit a 0 – 1 volt range, as commonly
outputted by oxygen sensors. Some experimentation might be needed due to the
irregularity of the sensor output as it passes 14.7:1 AFR.
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