Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Modern Mod Myth Busted

Modification options for today’s engine enthusiasts are a dime a dozen. Rewind about a decade and alterations to your vehicle meant slapping “Brembo” and “Momo” stickers on your car and calling it a hieroglyphic because you saw it in “The Fast and the Furious”. In addition to this the most common modification was attaching spoilers to cars that struggled so much to reach 100 kmph, that a woman in labour would show pity, so drag and downforce were never really the criterion.

Now that motorists can afford considering performance as a parameter, custom air filters are the modification of choice. However, they have given rise to the myth that-
performance air filters=a drop in fuel economy.

Before I go on to explain any further let me state. THEY DO NOT!

K & N or Pipercross are the famous brands for this customization. What they simply do is allow more air to enter the engine chamber. Think of your standard issue Internal Combustion Engine {ICE} as a human being. Let's name him Derp. When Derp exercises in a clean environment that is rich in juicy oxygen he is able to perform faster and for longer without tiring. Essentially Derp burns more fat, because he milks every calorie for all the energy it can give him & thus he runs a larger distance i.e. high efficiency.

The equation is the same for your air filter and engine. A performance filter lets in more air, stops more dirt hence giving you an efficient air-fuel mixture. To put it simply, each drop of fuel is burnt to its maximum potential thereby getting more power/distance with minimum wastage, so your fuel efficiency actually improves by 2-4%. Then why do people assume that a performance breather makes your car go from a sipper to a gulper? The answer is, when you make these modifications your rpm gauge goes north. Your throttle response is better, you accelerate faster and everyone thinks they’re Vettel or Rossi. Since the machine performs better, the driver instinctively drives faster.

The same goes for exhaust changes. Vehicles always give you goose bumps at higher revs, so you land up shifting at nothing less than 3000rpm. Drivers want to listen to their cars roar louder. An asthmatic car enjoys its new inhaler and the person at the wheel reaps the benefits, but eventually after driving faster and revving more they land up blaming the modification they made rather than the alteration in their driving style.

If you want to save fuel go ahead and fit that filter or install that exhaust, it just helps your engine inhale/exhale better, but drive normally and lead yourself not into temptation if you want stay away from constant fill ups. Remember, you can read up on all the tips and tricks in the book, but your driving style will always play a bigger role in your vehicle’s behavior than anything else.

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