car tuning

25 Feb 2008

The ricer or Racer test.

Ricers are those kids who know little about style and subscribe to the "if it makes more noise it must be faster" philospophy. Although Typically aimed at Japansese cars the word has evolved to apply to any kind of tastlessly modified car.

The racer is the ultimate car enthusiast who drives with skill on our roads and only goes fast and pushes the limits on a race track. There are of course many categories in between but this survey will help to identify which classificiation you fall into.

Here is what I got - do let me know what your results are using the feedback section.

The Track day Racer
Congratulations you are officially a Track Day Racer. You shun all things glossy and shiny. You know a lot about tuning and performance cars. You would rather have a standard looking car with a highly tuned engine than drive anything that shouts "look at me!" You accept breakdowns and component failures as the price of trailblazing the cutting edge of car ownership.
Your average weekend will be spend underneath the car tweaking the suspension and tuning up the engine. Alternatively you will always attempt to be the first away at the lights, but only if you are up against something that looks it might be a challenge!

You have the reflexes and driving skills of a pro driver.

Because of your responses to the survey we can make the following, more detailed comments.

You are welcome to join TorqueCars as you enjoy many aspects of cars and driving. You can join here We feel that you would have a lot to contribute to our tuning forums and will certainly learn a lot. You do not enjoy general chat forums so our car specific topics are where you will spend most of your time.

We are sure you will appreciate our mpg calculator so you can now quote your exact fuel consumption and see how much you can save in fuel prices! You will also appreciate the fuel saving tuning and driving tips we have in our main articles section. You are the type of person who expects to get what they pay for. Quality over quanity is your mantra so have a read in our styling section and see which mods would be the most worthwhile. Our articles will help you to avoid making mistakes and purchasing the wrong modifications.

This personality profile report for you demonstrates that your main focus is on speed and performance. There is a lot more to driving than going fast in a straight line. When you learn to take the corners you will achieve a higher place of driving Zen. Perhaps you should look into drifting or track day driving rather than the drag strip.

19 Feb 2008

The pitfalls of car tuning.

Car tuning has become more than a popular hobby it has become a multi $1,000,000 industry. There is no shortage of parts available for every conceivable make and model of car. Sadly though many of the manufacturers' claims are far from the truth. A common ruse used by the car manufacturers is to show the performance gains of their products fitted to a high performance engine. On a 300 BHP car the parts may well deliver a power increase of 30 BHP but on a much smaller engine car producing just 76 BHP you would not be able to see a power gain in excess of a few BHP.

The problem there is more serious than this as some performance parts can actually reduce the performance of a car. At the very least the car ceases to become usable into normal everyday driving conditions. Tuning a car for the use on track is very different to tune in a car that is going to be a daily run around.

In everyday use you need a good balance of economy and reliability along with the performance gain. Four track use, reliability is not so much of an issue, as the car will typically be stripped down and rebuilt after each race, or a few times in each race season. The track car will also spend most of its life in the upper Rev band where most of the power gains are. An everyday car will spend most of its time in the low power band and will be moving slowly so heat buildup is to be avoided.

It's for these reasons that I started writing car tuning articles and posted them on TorqueCars. Having spent a lot of money tuning up a car I quickly learned that many performance parts were not performance enhancing and actually reduced my enjoyment of the car. TorqueCars take a look at the many advantages, disadvantages and benefits of each type of modification. Before buying a performance parts or modifying your car I would strongly recommend that you read some of the articles on TorqueCars and at least be a well informed purchaser.

7 Feb 2008

What is car tuning?

We often talk about car tuning without really defining what we mean. A few years ago it was little used apart to describe what a garage would do to ensure peak engine efficiency. Usually the car is put on a diagnosis computer which reads engine codes and helps the mechanic set the optimum timing for the engine.

Today car tuning involves much more than just setting the car up to its peak operating efficiency. Tuning will have the aim of maximising the power delivery of the engine far and above what the original manufacturer designed it to be.

This is acheived through the addition of aftermarket parts. Induction kits, performance exhausts, uprated suspension and even modifications like adding on a turbo or supercharger or doing an engine swap can be considered tuning in the purest sense.

Have a look at the tuning articles in the car tuning section of this site to get a deeper understanding of what car tuning involves. The best candidates for power gains are usually turbo charged vehicles which through a new computer timing map will offer power gains to the order of 30% or even more in some cases.

The general rule of thumb remains that the more you start with the bigger your return on ivestment will be. So tuning a small engined car will cost as much as the same modifications to a larger engined car but the power gain will hardly be noticed.

You will also need to keep in mind that performance tuning has hidden costs and shows up weaknesses elsewhere in a car. At the least you will be decreasing your servicing schedule intervals and at the worst you may break down more often.

6 Feb 2008

Car tuning and car styling

Regular readers may have noticed that this blog is no longer called Waynne's world. This seemed a little too vague for a blog which features on the cutting edge of car tuning and car styling trends. This blog is intented to support our main site TorqueCars - car tuning and styling

The title will allow a better and narrower focus for all future posts which will revolve around car tuning and car styling. I have a particular interest in driving from a pure fun point of view and will offer commentry as usual on the following areas of car ownership.

Legislation. Both passed legislation and proposed legislation with a look at the impact this will have on the driver.

Ownership of cars. This will include aspects of car maintainance and car care with tips and observations from my long history of car ownership.

Environmental. The green revolution is very much here and the motorist gets blamed for so many things. We will take a driver friendly view and report on trends and developments in the auto world which affect the environmental impact of cars.

While based in good old Blighty we will cover topics of interest to American, Canadian, Asian and Pan Europeans but will stick to the english language.

5 Feb 2008

Ban all the uneconomical cars?

Yesterday on the radio an ex oil company director was quoted as saying that he couldn't see any point of having a car which did less than 35 MPG. He called for an outright ban on all cars which returned less than 25 MPG across the European community.

On the surface of it it seems a sensible proposition and one of the environmental lobbyists will certainly applaud. However, if people want to buy performance car primarily for use on the track this would not be possible if this law were approved.

Drivers who run high performance cars which return 25 MPG or less typically use the car for leisure purposes at the weekends and infrequently and are not major contributors to carbon dioxide emissions. I really can't imagine a group of Ferrari enthusiasts standing around the bar and talking about the MPG that their car returns.

Legislation is already sufficiently tight and the manufacturers are continually pushing the boundaries of fuel economy trading of as little performance as possible. In fact back in the eighties Daihatsu produced a 1 l engine capable of propelling the car to 60 MPH in just 7.x seconds and was able to return of 30 MPG. The current high cost of fuel will more than regulate demand. To produce economical cars are manufactures often use lighter weight material and produce smaller cars which, TorqueCars, feel will increase the number of injuries sustained in traffic accidents.

4 Feb 2008

Old drivers vs young drivers.

The debate or you might call it the battle between the older and younger drivers continues at TorqueCars. Here are the two sides of the argument.

Young drivers feel that they are invincible take unnecessary risks and should be slowed down or restricted from obtaining a driving licence. Compulsory tests have been suggested as have tougher tests and raising the driving age to 20 years old.

Young drivers often gets tarred with the same brush, whereas in reality only a few drive recklessly and at dangerous speeds. Raising the driving aged 20 will not eradicate the problem just to move it to an older age group. And many young drivers take great care in perfecting the art of driving. Young drivers have generally faster reflexes and older drivers and what they lack experience that make up for with reaction times.

This is a difficult debates to pursue objectively, but as with most disagreements the truth generally lies between the two. Young drivers are inexperienced and it is often experience that teaches an older driver the dangers associated with taking risks behind the wheel of a car.
It is fair to say that's driving tests, particularly in the UK, a much tougher than they used to be years ago. There are many drivers in their seventies and eighties who have never taken a driving test and still failed to grasp the theory of how to use a roundabout or other complex junction systems.

Torquecars can certainly see the benefits of retests two rays general driving standards, particularly a theory test to appraise the drivers grasp of current legislation and modern road systems. We certainly see many of our younger drivers taking an interest in the debates on road safety and TorqueCars continues to promote the SAFE enjoyment of the car.

1 Feb 2008

I'm not a brilliant passenger.

I got a lift this morning to work (I know I had determined to walk more but hey it was really cold! Almost 4.5 degrees!) Here are the thoughts that ran through my head.

"Flipping heck the pedal on the right is progressive not just on or off!
Wow that was close, did the driver realise they were so close to that car.
Hmm, oncoming car. Slow down, sloooooooow. There still coming and we're heading straight for them. Phew I wondered what the pavements were for it was a good job they exist.
Whats that noise, oh yes it is the sound of alloy wheels scraping along the kerb. Is the driver deaf? Oh good were moving out a bit.
Ouch, do you have to aim for every single pot hole in the road.
Sit at junction and wait for a gap.
No don't pull out there's a car coming, oh well if you put your foot down it won't be too bad. Ummm accelerate - they are getting closer. Does this thing have an engine.
Ah traffic lights, slow up then its changing to red. No that's the accelerator. Phew that was close"

Then I get out and say, "thank you for the lift. It was much appreciated!" whilst shaking on the inside and vowing to walk next time. (Providing its not too cold or raining, I do have my price!)

Was I really too spineless to speak up? It is just me or do other people find themselves in this situation where out of politeness they have to bite their tongues?

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