Watch How A Car Engine Works Under The Hood

Engine Parts

Most of us just press a button or flip the keys and instantly we hear the roar that brings the whole car to life. The engine is more than the tachometer and fuel gauge, you probably already know that. However, have you ever asked yourself what really goes on under the hood? Hopefully this crash course will enlighten you.

We are specifically talking of fuel based engines be on the lookout as we will have a video on electric engines soon. Basically, your engine works on fuel and turns it to motion. It does this through combustion, thus your fuel-based car’s engine is known as an internal combustion engine.

The process basically starts at your car’s fuel tank where it pumps petrol all the way to chambers in your engine. While in the chambers it is mixed with air, as the camshaft allow for air to flow in. With the aid of pistons the mixture is lit up, where an explosion sends the piston hard on the crankshaft. When all the piston hit the crankshaft, they turn it methodically, which results on your wheels turning. The exhaust or waste that results from this explosion goes through the camshaft all the way through the exhaust system.

There are engines of varying sizes and strengths. However, be careful, as precursor for an engine’s power isn’t necessarily in its size, which is usually in cubic centimeters (cc). When it comes to power there are two kinds; raw horsepower and torque. A big sized engine might produce more torque rather than horsepower. This can explain a lot, as trucks are able to pull heavy loads while exotic sports car are able to speed past most cars.

Hopefully, you’ll be more informed after reading this, however a better explanation can be found here, while a visual one can be seen below:

Watch The Cadillac Ad At The 88th Oscars

Cadillac Oscars

So much happened in the recent Oscars, but behind it all the event just doesn’t only give awards to the best of Hollywood, it also helps individuals and companies push their brands. Cadillac managed to secure the official auto sponsorship of the glitzy event last year and this year.

Cadillac this year continued with its, “Dare Greatly” marketing campaign from last year. This year’s theme is “Don’t You Dare.” Last year they used seasoned achievers like Steve Wozniak, Richard Linklater and Jason Wu. However, this year Cadillac changed tact and adopted a young cast of great achievers. Laura Deming, Easton LaChapelle and Flynn McGarry are all teenagers who have taken the world by storm. This kids have achieved so much in such a short time. They have been working individually and excelling in their different fields. We have a kid who is working on increasing our life spans while we have another who has made brain powered prosthetic limbs.

Being the luxury brand of General Motors, Cadillac has been finding it hard to compete with Japanese and German automakers who seem to have the industry to themselves. Cadillac has generally lost traction in the market as their models seem to have aged in the face of stiffer competition. However, this could be in part not its fault entirely as the industry has been moving at a very fast pace technology wise. We are moving into an age of the internet of things where all your devices are interconnected via the web. Thus, the current marketing campaign is meant to revamp and evolve its brand. Representing this “renaissance” of sorts are XT6 and CT5, which are at the core of this new advert.

As for the Oscars, congratulations to DiCaprio his part in the Remnants was great, however I feel that giving Idris Elba a complete snub with his performance of Beast of No Nation doesn’t resonant well with audiences. No wonder the likes of Will Smith and other black talents boycotted the show. Personally, I still feel the movie of the year had to be Mad Max Fury Road. No matter what the panelist had in mind, there was no movie that entertained me more last year. The Oscars should be warned another rival award show may stem from disgruntled actors and actresses.

Take a look at the non-orthodox and wittingly inspired Cadillac Oscars ad:

Watch The Original Land Rover Defender Scale Up a Dam

Land Rover Defender

We all sadly know that last year was a last hurrah of sorts for the beloved Land Rover Defender, as it was the end of its current production cycle. Thus, to celebrate this Richard Hammond reenacted this famous advert from 1995.

The advert looks more like from the 70s than the 90s. It looks really dated and feels more like a documentary than an advert. Now if you never so the ad it’s not a problem, maybe you didn’t watch TV as much back then or you were to young to register anything. However, for guys like Richard this ad could bring some nostalgia of forgotten youth.

The ad starts with a red Defender that goes off the main road in a hilly country. It manages to get on a river where it follows it and arrives at a dam. After arriving at the dam the driver of the 4×4 shoots a harpoon to the top of the dam and starts to scale the wall. The narrator kicks in and says, “Next time your late for work its worth remembering that nothing, that nothing, gets in the way of a Land Rover.” Upon reaching the top of the dam the Land Rover speeds away, as the narrator shouts out the company’s marketing campaign at that time, “The best 4 x 4 x Far.”

Now to sound old and cranky, I’ll talk of the good old days, when cars had to earn their butter. A car wouldn’t be a prop for a professional athlete, it would be the show. The Defender had to climb up a dam, while the Optima just had to sit still and look pretty, as somebody dunked over it. Today we have overweight cars like the Escalade that dare call themselves SUVs. No disrespect, the Escalade looks like a fat rapper who aggrandizes himself with pretention and bling. While the Defender feels more like a lean sturdy soldier on a mission.

The ad was performed with the help of invisible wires and other TV gimmickry, however it makes for good viewing. Watch the video here below:

Watch Blake Griffin Gets Airtime Over The Hood Of An Optima

Griffin Jumps Over Car

To be honest this year’s All Star Weekend Slam Dunk contest had to be the greatest in recent history. Credit goes to Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon for the brilliant show they put up this year. Sadly there wasn’t any cars involved this year, maybe will have to wait for Blake Griffin to try again. A dunk I’d really like to see next year would be someone jumping over a drifting car, or over a low rider, now that would be a sight.

However, let’s go back in time to 2011 where a car made it all the way to the NBA hard court. Coming up with the perfect assist the Kia Optima gave Blake Griffin the edge over Javale McGee. It was in LA at the Staples center where at the backdrop of a gospel choir singing “I believe I can fly,” Blake jumped over a Kia Optima with a two handed dunk. For a kid who grew up in Oklahoma this was a dream come true. As for Kia this was an unorthodox marketing strategy that will go down as one of the best in recent auto history. Obviously, it was Griffin’s night but Kia would feel well accomplished with the free ad space they got out of this.

If you are wondering what an Optima is, well it is a small family car that is made by the South Korean auto maker Kia. It uses a varying four cylinder engine that manages to churn out 178-254 hp. Simply put, this is a great car known for its reliability and efficiency.

Well, to be honest of late the slam dunk contest has been on a low ebb with even one of the commentators suggesting the three-point shootout should be scheduled in as the last event in the All Star Weekend. However, with what happened this year I’d think there is much we can expect from the contest.

Glance over below to watch Blake Griffin’s extraordinary dunk:

Get A Different View With Head Up Display

Head Up Display

Today’s world may have been that difficult to envision in years gone by. Everything today including your windshield has become a canvas where information can be displayed at any time. Imagine a world where you always have your eyes on the road, you never have to look at the center console to know where your going. Don’t only imagine that, but also imagine you don’t need to look at the dashboard to know how fast you’re going. It doesn’t even stop there, you can also have video calls while driving. Welcome to the new world of the Head Up Display technology, where the possibilities are endless.

We have the military to thank for Head Up Display, which by the way is also known as HUD. Thus, the military have given us the internet and also HUD. Back in the 1940s the Royal Air Force was facing some challenges with its night air pilots getting their targets right, as they kept glancing down. From then on a more permanent solution was sought after where pilots would always have their heads up, and this eventually lead to as having HUD.

HUD was too good a technology to be exclusive only to planes and the automobile industry which is ever on the prowl for new innovations adopted it. Today the technology is being adopted in an even greater rate by production cars. Basically, HUD is used to display the speedometer, tachometer and navigation. The technology has also made its way to motorcycles, where there are HUD helmets. However, I still think we are at the infancy of HUD, and I think it’s only a matter of time before Android Auto and Apple CarPlay get into the mix. The three German giants BMW, Mercedes and Audi must be musing over it, hopefully we will soon have HUD in the same breath as the Knight Rider series.

Watch how HUD works in a car below:

Best Top Gear Moments As We Know It

Top Gear

Top Gear has had a remarkable history and is now the world’s most watched factual TV program. The main reason for its popularity is the humor and the almost unpredictable nature of the stunts they employ on the show.

Top Gear’s history didn’t start this millennia as some would think, it actually begun in 1977 where it was a mundane nondescript show. However, a marker in its history, when things really changed for the show was in 2002, where Jeremy Clarkson with the help of Richard Hammond and Jason Dawe relaunched the show. However, in the subsequent season James May replaced Jason Dawe. It has been like that for 22 season now and they have given us some of the best automotive stunts and laughs ever.

Sadly, Jeremy got in a clash with one of the producers last year and his contract with the BBC wasn’t renewed. This had John May, Richard Hammond and executive producer Andy Wilman making a stance that they wouldn’t go back to work at the BBC without Jeremy. Thus, the quartet did not renew their contract and are now signed by Amazon Prime. However, the Stig remained even though he lead a protest that had a tank drive by the BBC headquarters with a petition. Jeremy and co have lauded the freedom and budget they have received from their new employers.

As for what’s been going on at the BBC they have hired Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans to host the show. However, befor Matt’s appointment there were rumours that Chris was having a horrendous time shooting. Rumors aside, Matt’s addition has been lauded by most, especially with his comical background where he stared in the sitcom “Friends.” The 23rd season of Top Gear will be aired this May 2016, it will be interesting to see how it squares of with the Amazon Prime show. I have great respect for Matt but to be honest I am rooting for Jeremy and co.

Now let’s relive some of the greatest moments of Top Gear when it was totally British:

Watch As Richard Takes The Defender Up A Dam

richard hammond dam climb

For your motoring contentment there is no show quite like Top Gear. When it comes to car shows it is at the top, no doubt about it. However, with Jeremy and co, going over to Amazon Prime it will be interesting to see how the current setup of Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans will fare. As for the last season of Top Gear with our favorite triumvirate, there is one moment that stood out for me, and this was Richard Hammond paying tribute to the Defender.

If you are still in the dark, the Defender is currently out of production, its run ended this January 2016. We are currently waiting for its new design in somewhere in 2018 or 2019. There are rumors circulating that it is going to feature a totally revised look, which my rub some 4×4 purists the wrong way.

Back to Hammond, he went vertically up on top of the Claerwen Dam in Wales, while seated in a 64 year old Land Rover Series I. This was to recreate a famous ad by Land Rover that ran in 1995 where the Defender went up a dam. However, there was a lot of TV gimmickry on that one. Thus, this time Hammond wanted to do something real, as a true tribute.

The Defender would use a powerful winch which was hooked to its very own engine. It was a tense and nervy climb for Hamster, who had spurts of panicky cursing all the way to the top. To be fair this dam was a lot steeper and bumpier than the one used on the ad. Just to express its steepness there was a moment where the front wheels of Hammond’s Defender became suspended in the air.

There had been complaints of the show starting to stagnate of late, however this was a very good stunt. Probably, my best stunt from Top Gear in recent history.

Shooting of the stunt was back in September 2014, while the episode was aired out in February 2015 if you missed it, catch it here below:

Watch The Apple CarPlay In Action

Apple CarPlay

We have already covered Android Auto here, now we want to take a look at the competition, Apple CarPlay. As always Apple never to be out done by its longtime rival Android developed the Apple CarPlay.

Similar to Android Auto, Apple CarPlay is displayed as an icon on your infotainment system’s screen. Access with your phone is achieved via the means of a Lightning II cable, however wireless will be available in the future. To get this app it you either by a new car that comes with the software straight from the factory or you can buy for far less a head unit from either Pioneer, Kenwood and Alpine.

Once plugged in you’ll discover that the Apple CarPlay has a minimalist approach. Actually, to be fair this approach is really for your own good, the less distractions the better, as you can keep your eyes on the road. For the core of this app you’ll get Apple apps for messaging, phone, navigation, music and a couple of third party apps like Spotify and CBS News. Answering your calls and texts will be a cinch, however you won’t be able to do the same for emails and other social messaging options. Most of everything you do on the Apple CarPlay will be done with voice commands. Thus, if you have an accent or a raspy voice this could be really quite arduous for you.

When going head to head, Apple wins when it’s Siri vs. Google Now, but loses when it’s Apple Maps vs. Google Maps. The real advantage with the CarPlay in this early days is that it is a lot faster than Android Auto. All in all car safety wins, as more eyes will be on the road then on touchscreens, meaning we have safer roads. Also, both apps are free of charge, try getting some of the advanced safety features for your car from a dealer and see the huge bill you’ll get.

Watch below as the CarPlay is in action:

Watch How Android Auto Works in your Car

Android Auto

Mobile platforms seem to be out to dominate the world of electronics. Now with the internet of things arriving, everything from your TV to your microwave are all interconnected into one network. Mobile platforms have taken over smart TVs and the next frontier seems to be cars. Apple have CarPlay and Android have Android Auto.

Since I am an avid Android user we shall start with a review of the Android based mobile platform. Apple CarPlay users will get a future article that’s a promise. Android Auto is available in new car models like the Hyundai Sonata. However, if you have an older model or a non-supported vehicle, you can opt for Pioneer head units that are priced starting at $ 700. Newer Pioneer systems have the ambidexterity to support both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Android Auto is a mellowed down version of the Android OS that is meant to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel. With the use of voice commands you are able to get things done with the least effort and the outmost safety.

The app supports phones that are running on Android 5.0 Lollipop. However, just because you got Lollipop doesn’t mean that it will work automatically, as phone compatibility isn’t universal to all phones. Another problem is that Android Auto is a bit slow. Android on your car isn’t as fast as compared to Android in your phone. However, considering that it’s still finding its feet, Android Auto it will only get better.

Android Auto as a system is quite simple and doesn’t have as many features as its mobile version. Probably, this is to make sure that you are less distracted and more focused with where you are going.

Basically, all features can be broken down to this category:

  • Home
  • Apps
  • Maps
  • Music
  • Communication
  • Voice

As for the comparison between Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. On the basis of Google Maps alone Auto is better, however both are similar and really don’t have any differences at all.

Enough of the fine print, now watch below how Android Auto operates in your car:

Watch The Top 5 Car Tech Flops Of Recent History

Top 5

Well in recent history the German giants have been on the fore front of innovation and coming up with cars that can wake you when your drowsy and park themselves while you hop off to handle business. Cars and tech haven’t had that much of a great history together, however today technology seems to have found the right note with cars. A car company like Tesla, and with Google and Apple getting in the mix, technology now looks extremely lucrative to automakers.

Most of this technologies were way ahead of their time and they flopped because they didn’t work smoothly as expected. However, some of these car tech flops have transformed to better contemporary technologies. Here is a list of what you are about to watch:

  • Hidden Headlights – They had a good run but are now replaced with sleek looking LED headlights.
  • Digital Instrument Displays – Were disastrous to run and maintain. Today, they have given way to LCD screens.
  • Brake by Wire – Mercedes as always in the forefront of innovation. Unfortunately, when they introduced this technology the brakes seemed to lag. However, today they have experienced a renaissance of some sort as technology has evolved further in this digital age.
  • Cylinder Management – This is where an engine would turn off its cylinders so as to consume less fuel. It would then reactivate the cylinders as need be for more power. At their introduction technology was limited and the cars fitted with this had problems. Today all you have to do is take a look at the Bentley Flying Spur V8 which turns to a V4 when needed.
  • iDrive – That nob was quite irritating at its introduction. However, a couple of years later and BMW’s iDrive innovation is a norm throughout most cars. Also, today’s iDrive is far much better.

Take a look as CNET’s Brian Cooley goes through this list: