About the Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris is a mini semi compact car sold by Toyota since 1999. Toyota Yaris replaced Toyota tercel Toyota starlet. Toyota Yaris was formerly called. Yaris is also called Vitz, Platz,Belts) in Japan, Vios in Asia region and Echo in Australia and North America.

The name Yaris means charm and beauty. The number of Toyota Yaris models  that have  been sold is  over 8.71 million since 2020.

Toyota Yaris is usually shipped in 3 / 5 door hatchback models, 4-door sedan models, and 2-door coupe models.

The Toyota Yaris is equipped with compact straight four cylinder engine that is best known for its fuel economy. In fact one of its engine models, the 2NZ FE engine won the engine of the year award in 2000.

About Solar Cars

Solar powered car to be commercially available in 2022

A solar powered car is a type of vehicle that is powered by solar panels. It is an electric vehicle that is powered by solar cells fully or partially. A car that is powered fully by solar cells will not be equipped with a battery. A car that is partially powered by solar cells will be equipped with a battery. The battery is a rechargeable one that helps to regulate and store energy from the solar cells.

Solar powered cars are still in their experimental stages and have not been commercialized for public use. 

Solar cars that will be rolled out commercially in late 2022 will be partially powered. 

Rechargeable batteries will complement power that is produced from the solar cells. What it means is this, a solar powered car will be equipped with a battery, this battery can be charged by the sun powered solar panels and more, by the battery’s electric charger plugged  to an electric outlet.

The amount of charge produced by the solar panel is only complimentary. A 6 hour charge of the battery by the solar panels can only produce 8 -10kilowatt-hour of power. This power can only move the solar car for about 50 miles or 80 km. 

The battery that comes fitted with a solar car has enough power to move the car about 400 km on a full charge.

This means that it will take about 30 hours of good sunlight for the solar panels to fully charge the fully discharged battery, whereas, using the battery’s electric charger, the same process will take under 2 hours.

Facts about the Electric Car

Electric car

Electric Cars refers to cars that are propelled by electric motors using battery power only. These types of cars don’t have internal combustion engines such as the petrol and diesel powered engines.

Some electric cars still come fitted with internal combustion engines, but only for emergency use.

Electric cars are growing in popularity as these types of cars now enjoy about 9% of the market share in car sales.

Electric cars are Green,but are still more expensive than their internal combustion counterparts, although they are expected to be much cheaper in the long run due to lesser maintenance costs.

Some facts to know about  Electric cars.

Car Weight

Electric cars generally weigh more  than their internal combustion counterparts, this is due to their large battery sizes. Electric car batteries weigh more than 25% the total car Weight.

Battery

Electric car batteries are large and powerful. These batteries can hold about 60kWh of energy, enough to  power a whole house for 2 days, in fact they can be connected to the power grid to provide extra power during peak periods.

Recharging

Recharging time for electric cars to reach full charge can be up to 2 hours using charging stations. although it can take 15 minutes to reach 80% of full charge . If you are charging at home, charging overnight can bring your car from 0 to full charge using it’s standard charging device. You can also charge your electric car with an ordinary wall socket but  charging will be very slow.

Mile range

Most modern electric cars can travel over 200 miles ( 321 km)  on a single full charge. The Tesla model S long range plus can travel up to 390 miles that is 627km on a single full charge!

Control

The car control and gear structure is similar to that found in petrol/ diesel powered cars although the electric car does not necessarily need to adopt this structure.

Cost

Price of electric cars starts from around $30,000. Much costlier than it’s internal combustion engine counterparts.The battery is part of what makes electric cars expensive. As the batteries become cheaper, so will be the cost of these cars.

Environmental impact

Electric cars do not emit dangerous and volatile gases that harm the environment as internal combustion cars do, these cars also have very quiet operation, meaning no or minimal noise pollution.

Safety

Electric cars are very safe to drive. They have a heavier body structure which is an advantage. During accident situations they are likely to receive less damage and protect the occupants of the car.

However, they can catch fire like their internal combustion counterparts. This can happen in event of an accident or fault or a problem with the battery.

Forecast

The electric car is the future type of car that will dominate and eventually face out internal combustion engine cars.It has been predicted that by 2030, more than 30% of car driven around the world will be electric.

How a Car Engine Works

car engine showing pistons and crankshaft

The piston

The piston is the powerhouse of the car engine. The piston moves up and down. When the piston travels to the end of its range whether up or down, it is called a stroke.

A car engine is equipped with 4 or more pistons. The movement of these pistons is transferred to the wheels of the car which enables it to move.

For car engines, 4 strokes usually completes the engine circle enabling power to be transmitted to the wheels. 

exploded view of a car engine

The four stroke cycle, how it works.

First stroke; intake.

 The piston descends, sucking an air-fuel mixture into the cylinder .

The valves open allowing fuel – mixture into the cylinder

2nd stroke; compression

With all valves closed the piston comes back up,  compressing the fuel and air  mixture 

3rd stroke ; internal combustion

An electrical spark from the spark plug ignites the compressed fuel and air mixture inside the cylinder causing an internal combustion. The resulting combustion forces the piston to the bottom of the cylinder again.  A connecting rod transfers 

this power to the crankshaft which in turn transfers power to the wheels which enable the car to move.

4th stroke; exhaust. 

The piston comes back up,  pushing the burnt fuel and air  mixture out through the

open exhaust valves and the exhaust port.

The pistons and connecting systems

For smooth power delivery,  A car uses at least 4 pistons. These pistons take turns to fire the engine.

 Camshafts  are  specially shaped 

cams that  push spring-loaded valves open in turn.  

Cam gears and a timing belt or chain 

links everything to the crankshaft.  The crankshaft translates piston power from the engine to the wheels.  

It has counterweights to balance against the 

pistons for perfectly smooth revolutions.

The engine block holds the crankshaft 

and cylinders, and the cylinder  head holds valves, ports, cams, etc.

A geared flywheel sits at one side of the  

crankshaft for connection to a transmission.

The basic car engine has four cylinders 

arranged in a single row.  But there are many other possible configurations, including six, eight and 12 cylinders.

 Systems that support the internal  combustion process.

Air intake system

Air comes in through an air filter,  and then into the intake manifold where it mixes with fuel before being sucked  into individual cylinders through intake ports.

Fuel injection system

The fuel pump carries gas from the tank,  through a fuel filter, to the engine 

where fuel injectors emit a precisely 

timed spray of gas into the intake port.

Cooling system

Engines get very hot during operation  and 

require a cooling system. The cooling system  basically consists of a radiator, water pump and cooling channels. Cool water from the radiator is pumped through cooling channels that go around the hot cylinder blocks, cooling the engine in the process. This hot water then passes through the radiator and is cool again for recirculation.

The radiator has a network of small tubes and fins. As hot water passes through these tubes it is cooled with the aid of fins and radiator fans.

Electrical system

This is a complex system that basically consists of the battery, fuses, wiring , coils, spark plugs, and the alternator.

The battery provides the initial electrical connection that enables the car to start. The alternator is like an electric generator. Once the car engine starts running, the alternator basically charges the battery and generates the electricity required for the whole car to function properly

 lubricating system

Just like the cooling system, the engine lubricating system basically consists of , engine oil, oil storage,  oil lubricating channels, oil filter and oil pump.

The oil pump keeps oil properly 

pressurized and flowing.

It pumps the motor oil  to lubricate, cool,  clean, prevent corrosion of the engine.

The oil filter keeps oil clean from contaminants.

Exhaust system

The exhaust manifold collects gases 

from multiple cylinders into one pipe. 

Exhaust flows through the catalytic converter, which captures toxic chemicals in engine exhaust. And then out through a muffler that reduces exhaust noise.

Good driving practice for manual transmission vehicles

Manual transmission

Press the clutch pedal down fully will shifting gear, and then release it slowly

Do not rest your foot on the pedal while driving; it will eventually damage the clutch system.

Do not also use the clutch to hold the vehicle when stopped on an uphill grade. Use the hand or parking brake instead.

Upshifting too soon or downshifting too late will cause lugging and possible pinging.

Regular reviving the engine to maximum speed in each gear will cause excessive engine wear and high fuel consumption.

Sometimes it may be difficult to shift into reverse. Anytime this happens, first put the transmission in neutral, release the clutch momentarily and try again.

Facts about Engine Oil Consumption

Pouring fresh engine oil

Functions of engine oil:

Engine oil has the primary functions of lubrication and cooling the inside of the engine. The engine oil inside of a car engine is similar to blood inside of a human being. If the engine oil inside your car is not well taken care of, the engine will not last.

Engine oil consumption:

It is normal that an engine should consume some oil during a normal working process. The reasons for engine consumption are as follows.

Oil is used to lubricate pistons, piston rings and cylinders. A thin film of oil is left on the cylinder wall when a piston moves downwards in a cylinder. High negative pressure generated when the vehicle is decelerating sucks some of this oil into the combustion chamber. This oil as well as some part of the oil film left in the cylinder wall is burned by the high temperature during the combustion process.

Oil is also used to lubricate the stems if the intake valves. Some of this oil is sucked into the combustion chamber together with the intake air and is burned along with the fuel. High temperature exhaust gases also burn the oil used to lubricate the exhaust valve stems.

The amount of engine oil consumed depends on the viscosity of the oil, the quality of the oil and the conditions the vehicle is driven under.

More oil is consumed by high speed driving, frequent acceleration and deceleration.

A new engine consumes more oil because it’s pistons, rings and cylinder walls have not become conditioned.

Importance of engine oil level check

One if the important habit of vehicle maintenance is to keep the engine oil at the optimum level. This will keep the engine in optimal working conditions. It is essentially that the oil level be checked regularly. At least chect the engine oil level everytime you refuel your car.