Fake News and Your Car.
“Fake news” is the bread and the butter of the internet. Indeed, fake news has become a buzz term and for a very good reason. If you think about it, it’s nowadays very difficult to differentiate between what is the truth and what is not. It is simple and moreover, it is free to put information on the Internet. It takes research to know what information people post online is true and what is not. You may even at times go wrong in your research to determine the fact from the lie. Before you know it, a fake news post goes viral and everybody reposts it on somewhere as the holy truth.
Can it be proven?
It is the same with your car. Every story has a beginning. It then gets retold so many times that it becomes the truth, whether it can be proven or not. There is a lot of fake news that is spread about car operation, modifications, tuning, and optimisation. Even ordinary automotive news can be riddled with fake news, and you can read more about it here. There is some truth behind the following: “Fake news is like Margarine – easy to spread but bad for the heart.” Let us have a look at some of these Margarine stories.
The first fake news story is that you should idle your car’s engine in the morning to warm it up. Let’s just make this clear, if your car has a turbo, you must idle it first. Read our article about turbo care here to understand why. In any case, the idling habit comes from the 1950s, when Alfa Romeo first built their aluminum twin-cam engine. Because aluminum-hardening techniques (using silicone) didn’t exist back then, they used iron cylinder liners in the aluminum block. However, aluminum contracts more than iron when cold. As a result, the iron bores of the Alfa engine became distorted when cold. It only adopted the ideal round shape when at operating temperature, necessitating low engine speeds when cold. Idling the engine for a while would usually do the trick. Alfa decided to prescribe this practice in their instruction manuals, and it spread as common vehicle practice.
Today, idling a modern engine only increases wear and fuel consumption, except if your car has a turbo of course. So, if you have no turbo, then just get in your car and drive it. Use moderate revs and throttle openings until it is warm and it will be fine. There is no need to idle it as your dad and grandpa did.
Beware the additives
Some more fake news. Beware of news regarding petrol and oil additives. Likewise, beware stories of under-bonnet wonder devices that promise to boost power and economy by unrealistic percentages. You should treat any of these with the utmost of caution. Sadly, most of these do not work at all and may even damage your engine.
Although it was possible, 50 years ago, for any backyard mechanic to modify your car, it is not possible anymore. Back then they could take your engine apart. They could gas-flow the cylinder head, and put a “branch” on it to extract a lot of extra power. Some will admit that those were the days. The designs of engines nowadays, already offer excellent power and economy. Keep in mind that electronics control our cars in this day and age. It is therefore not a good idea to let just anyone have a field day with your car. Even if they promise you the world, do not fall for that. Only a professional should perform work on your car regarding changes to your engine. This must include a retuning of the engine’s control unit (ECU) in order to take full advantage of these changes.
Often, just fitting a Unichip piggyback computer to your car will bring about improvements in both power and economy. It will do this without even changing any of the hardware. Talk to us about optimising your car today, while keeping it reliable. Please, don’t believe just any fake news and big promises about car tuning and optimisation. With the Unichip, there is almost always room for vehicle improvement. Practice responsible car care. Become part of the Unichip family and buy your Unichip today. Click here to contact us.