Thursday, December 13, 2007

Know It All: True or False?

Park your car outside during the winter not in a garage. Leaving a car outdoors slows the chemical reactions of road salt and ice on the chassis. Those reactions eventually cause rust. Cars kept in a garage, where heat and humidity are higher than they are outdoors, tend to rust more quickly.

False: There are several reasons why this is a myth:
1) In the first place, not all areas of the country are subjected to road salt, and don't have the problem to begin with.
2) The temperature differential between a garage and the outside air is not significant enough to make a difference in how fast rust will occur.
3) The temp differential between inside a garage (even if unheated) and outside is easily significant enough to cause the engine to suffer from a colder startup cycle. The colder the engine when starting, the more wear it will undergo.
4) Ditto for the extra warm-up time required by leaving the vehicle outside. This also wastes gas and causes more air pollution.
5) Removing snow and ice from an uncovered vehicle leaves scratches on the finish.
6) Freezing rain damages door seals, rubber components, and trim molding.
7) Uncovered vehicles suffer more from UV damage from the sun.

There's never any need to put any additives in diesel fuel.

False. While they add a few more dollars to operating cost, fuel additives can reduce some of the risks to your engine (and bottom line) that can result from untreated fuel, according to Peter Van Benthuysen of the Shell Oil Products Technology center. The risks can result in increased
fuel consumption and repair costs

The risks are as follows:
1) Water contamination form fuel storage and handling. Water can cause injector failure, with metal debris going into the combustion chamber and damaging the pistons. In cold weather, water forms wax crystals, which can block fuel lines. Additives stabilize the water in the fuel, preventing it from accumulating in sufficient quantities to cause problems.
2) Injector nozzle deposits upset the spray pattern, causing poor atomization, power loss, engine knock, and increased fuel consumption. Fuel additives have detergents that can clean up injector deposits.
3) Modern low sulfur fuel has less lubricating quality than previously. Fuel additives also improve fuel lubricity, preventing premature fuel pump and injector wear.
4) As an added bonus, some fuel additives have cetane improvers. Higher cetane numbers mean better engine performance, better cold starts, more power and better fuel economy.

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