Engine and Transmission

Timing belt in oil (BIO) overview


  1. Posted on September 25th, 2017 by Rob Marshall
  2. One of the driving forces in modern car development has been to enhance efficiency wherever possible, while reducing tailpipe emissions, including CO2. Some GEM members have questioned if some of these systems just pay lip-service to official emissions and fuel consumption data that have altogether less relevance in the real world. Automatic stop-start is one […]

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Level checks – heed the Max


  1. Posted on August 14th, 2017 by Rob Marshall
  2. While ensuring correct fluid levels is vital for year-round reliability, a useful reminder to help prevent a ruined summer holiday is to make sure that your car is in good health, prior to venturing on a long journey. Yet, while levels should not be permitted to fall below any ‘minimum’ marks, it is essential to […]

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Prolonging diesel injection pump life


  1. Posted on August 4th, 2017 by Rob Marshall
  2. I hope that you would not vote this blog as the most boring topic ever to appear on the Internet but, if you wish to reduce the risk of having to stump-up an eye-watering sum for a new replacement diesel high-pressure pump, you may wish to read on… Even the most disinterested car owner could […]

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Be wary of the killer modifications


  1. Posted on May 19th, 2017 by Rob Marshall
  2. A recent inquest that concluded the accidental deaths of a young couple has highlighted the dangers of adapting (or deactivating) car anti-pollution systems, in a bid to either increase vehicle performance, or reduce repair costs. Last December, the bodies of Tom Putt (20) and Nikki Willis (23) were found inside a Ford Fiesta ST that […]

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Fake car parts situation is getting worse


  1. Posted on May 16th, 2017 by Rob Marshall
  2. It appears as though the fake car parts scandal is worsening, since our last blog on the topic. In a worrying recent development, we have come across an honest motor trader getting caught-out, by receiving counterfeit shock absorbers through his well-established, trusted and reliable parts supplier. Thankfully, the technician noticed that there was a problem […]

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Practical problems of ditching diesel


  1. Posted on April 11th, 2017 by Rob Marshall
  2. Last month, the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, advised that drivers should, “Have a long, hard think about diesel.” While he did not think that diesels would disappear completely, his statement advised that city drivers, in particular, should buy a “low-emissions” car. Leaving aside the technical cases in favour of diesel engines and the very high […]

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Advertising Standards Authority acts on Diesel Particulate Filter removal


  1. Posted on February 9th, 2017 by Rob Marshall
  2. Ironically, while the Volkswagen Group is still bearing the brunt of the diesel-gate scandal, the aftermarket act of removing and/or disabling anti-pollution features on cars continues to be advertised openly. One of the most common of these procedures includes the removal of Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF – one of which is pictured) and tricking the […]

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Which is better? Timing belts or timing chains?


  1. Posted on January 11th, 2017 by Rob Marshall
  2. Popularised by overhead camshafts appearing on road car engines from the 1970s, the once durable last-for-life timing chain was replaced by an externally-mounted replaceable timing belt, which also synchronised the engine crankshaft movement with that of the camshaft, to ensure that the valves and pistons did not make sudden, unexpected and violent content. If you […]

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Diesel Particulate Filter introduced for petrols


  1. Posted on August 24th, 2016 by Rob Marshall
  2. Despite the heavy criticisms that have been directed at diesel engines in the past few years, the fuel still offers advantages. Recently, I liaised with a committee that influences the UK government’s air quality policies, which recommends the diesel scrappage scheme (of which I do not approve, as written here). I queried, if people scrap […]

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DSG gearbox tips


  1. Posted on April 11th, 2016 by Rob Marshall
  2.   Made popular by the Volkswagen group, the compact DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox, or Direktschaltgetriebe) was the first twin-clutch transmission to be released on mainstream sale from 2003. Other carmakers have developed their own versions, in collaboration with transmission specialists, so we shall call ‘DSG’ “Twin Clutch Transmissions”. Pictured is Ford/Volvo’s version, called Powershift – […]

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