Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Witch Doctor 01, Feb 24, 2013.
Well iot dose have one of the basics... bullets, beans, bandaids, and Beer...
Although I have no need for a beer tap (I don't drink alcohol), when I was in Germany last spring I discovered two things:
Beer is a food group in Germany.
They have some very cool vehicles that I would love to own but they are not sold in the US. Some of which are made by the big three.
Its a shame that our own US auto companies cannot sell their own products here. They had some very nice diesels I would love to own.
Same goes for other makes from other countries. Toyota produces some really tough Diesel Tacomas, Sold over most of the globe but not in the US. The come with a true snorkel system for water and dust problems. Oz has the most I have seen with Mexico second.
I have seen quite a few vehicles in Mexico I would love to have, but Germany was a virtual toy store.
Never been to OZ, but its on my short list. Will probably have to wait till I retire.
It really irks me that all our do nothing regulations keep our own companies from selling thing our citizens want to buy. Its clearly not because they are unsafe or unwanted.
Heck they even have headlights that work over there.
One of the problems with diesel availability in the US is the on-board diagnostics OBD) requirements that are imposed by the California Air Resources Board. A company can't sell an on-highway vehicle engine that doesn't meet their OBD rules which are quite extensive (California Code of Regulations 1968.2 and CCR 1971.1) which are about 250 pages long each. Jeep had a diesel in thier Liberty for a couple years 2005 and 2006 but only modest sales volumes and OBD-II regs that substantially increased for 2007 essentially killed it.
The cost to comply is huge and some things are technologically very difficult. The demonstration testing for a certification is about $2 mil just for the testing and requires an EPA 1065 certificed test cell (very expensive). I know that the software in one manufacturer's 2010-12 engine was over 60% dedicated to the OBD stuff. Some of this makes good sense and from a customer perspective it reduces risk of engine damage and improves servicing. Some just adds costs and risk of false indications of a failure.
The US EPA also has OBD regulations that pretty much match California but they have a provision in their rules that if it certifies in CA then it is good for the rest of the country. About a dozen other states say to sell in their state one has to be CARB certified with the OBD system. Manufacturers often talk internally about a 37 state product and certifying it with the EPA and skipping CARB and about a third of the US market but interestingly the EPA doesn't even know how to do an OBD certification in part because they never have done one. Also their rules unlike CA don't have provisions for coming up a little short and paying a fine per vehicle, and it is extremely difficult to comply 100% with 600-700 requirements for the diagnostics.
So, sadly, CARB runs the show as to what on-highway engines and vehicles make it into the market here in the US. As an added bonus their OBD burdens for hybrid vehicles over 14,000 pounds are presently in the process of completely killing any hybrid trucks and buses starting in 2014 (they know this and refuse to budge.)
So for all you non-Californians, the granola state injects more than just Diane Fienstein into your lives. Your tax dollars at work.
Sad to say but this is still the case in many Gasoline software systems. VERY few have a full system of monitor and feed back systems.
FWIW this is the case in the Toyota Tacoma. The O2 sensors can indicate a lean or rich settings and the replacement can cost hundreds of dollars for parts alone. Only "Due diligence" by a good Engine Tech will discover that accumlated dust insulates the mass air sensor. This is part of the injector control system and if the resistor sensor is insulated by dirt then the injection controls will be incorrect. End result is that the O2 sensors do in fact indicate a rich burn in the read out system/check engine. Trouble is that the code from the computer does not have a way to collect data and record the degradation of the front end of the system. This all occurs because loop feedback checking circuits or not in the design, either physical or software.
I think you might be surprised just how much is there. The OBD regulations mandate that for any emission related component inclusing sensors or actuators it must have full diagnostics on it. Further, any sensor or actuator used as part of the diagnostics for an emission related component or system must have full diagnostics. And those diagnostics require not just checking if the circuit to the sensor is open or shorted or something, but is the value the sensor providing in the ball park of being correct (rationality diagnostics.)
So, for an example, the OBD system is required by CARB to detect misfire and an engine may start getting misfires when running out of fuel. So, fuel level is often used as an input to the misfire diagnostic that turns it off when fuel is very low. But CARB then reguires a diagnostic on the fuel level sensor to detect if it is working correctly and not incorrectly reading low fuel all the time thus turning off the misfire diagnostic all the time. Misfire detection is getting so tight that there is a technology called ion-sensing being employed more and more. When combustion takes place, the burning gases in the cylinder are at such a temperature that they become electrically conductive. So after the plug fires, then a couple hundred volt signal is applied to the plug and a current will flow through the burning gases and this can be measured by the electonics and make determinations about the quality of the combustion. This stuff is very complex for electronics, the software and the emisson control recipe.
The MAF sensor and O2 sensor are required to have a full suite of diagnostics for each. Often O2 is also used to auto correct the MAF sensor readings. There are numerous closed loop and signal conditioning routines for all kinds of stuff. There are routines that correct for minor machining variations on the teeth of the gear used to provide engine position on the crank and camshafts. There are closed loop routines that correct the variations for each of the fuel injectors. There are diagnostics required to determine how much fuel an injector is actually shooting into the engine and uncorrected variations must be detected prior to this variance having an effect upon the emissions exceeding a certain percentage. If there is a catalytic convertor the conversion efficiency must be monitored and a degradation detected before the emissions exceed an increase of 50%. If there is a turbo high or low boost must be detected as well as a slow response where boost doesn't increase quite as fast as it normally should. If the engine employs exhaust gas recirculation the controls and diagnostics must detech high flow, low flow and slow response to flow change commands for EGR. And it goes on and on and on and on....
Again, some of this stuff is good and some is just complete nonsense, but you can't convince the engineers at ARB of that and they write the rules and grade the manufacturer's product for compliance. (I have been on the manufacturer's side of this crap for several years).
No doubt, I have been on the user's side of this since Tube Technology was King and it was normal to pot, paint or otherwise cover up the items sourced or their design purpose even to the point of false I/O, especially on Balck Ops gear.
About ten years ago, a friend of mine went to Germany (he was a VW mechanic) and promptly bought a mechanical diesel crew cab, flatbed VW truck. He then went to the expense of shipping it across the pond, and had to wait almost a year for it to clear customs.
I don't think there was a week that went by without him getting a call about some problem or having to make a call to clear something up. Needless to say, he eventually recieved the truck, but stated that he'd never do that again; it wasn't worth it. Supposedly, there are only three of these trucks in the US, and he had one of them.
I asked him once why we don't see the Ford Ka for sale around here. He said that they wouldn't pass safety tests. I couldn't imagine driving a car like that (or a smartcar) on the highway that's dominated by tractor-trailers. You would get flattened, and the truck wouldn't even know they hit anything and keep going.
I do believe one of BMW's largest plants is in the United States. In the spirit of making cars, BMW is more American than most auto makers. Great cars.
Agree great cars, but a pain in the butt to work on.
If an american engineer can design a component that is stamped out of sheet metal that takes one open end wrench and a screwdriver to remove, the German engineer will redesign it to be machined out of a solid block of aluminum to aerospace tolerances and need four special tools, and a laptop to do the same job. The German part will look better though
Looks like some kid pissed in the beer...
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