Most people have a very top line understanding and appreciation of all things car. But believe it or not, there are questions that even the keenest of car enthusiasts are too embarrassed to ask. We tackle the top 5 burning questions you will ever want to know about cars.
What is the difference between a diesel and a petrol engine?
The main difference between a diesel engine and a petrol engine is that petrol engines have spark plugs that are used to ignite the petrol. Diesel engines use compressed air to make the engine go. The heat from the compressed air, when sprinkled with fuel is what causes ignition in the diesel engine.
Diesel engines are typically found in larger vehicles, and the upside of a diesel engine is they produce the type of power that can push a heavy car uphill with lower revs than a petrol engine, which builds up revolutions to achieve their maximum power.
Typically diesel engines are excellent for towing heavy objects like boats or caravans because they power up instantly, from idle to acceleration. Petrol engines are more likely to be found in streamlined cars like hatchbacks and sedans.
What is a hybrid car and how does it work?
Hybrid vehicles are a seamless mix of the power of petrol engines combined with the efficiency of an electric motor. The beauty of a hybrid engine is the battery component recharges while you are driving, so you never have to recharge the battery before your next trip.
Hybrid engines alternate between petrol use and electric mode during the journey, so when you stop at traffic lights, instead of wasting petrol, the hybrid car switches to electric mode. Alternatively when you are travelling at high speeds, the engine switches back to petrol to use extra power.
<h2>My car has had a recall on a part. Do I have to get my car checked?</h2>
Yes. Car manufacturers will send you a recall notice and request you book your car in for an official analysis of the effected part. If you neglect to present your car for this mandatory check, you risk the local Road and Traffic Authority suspending your registration on your vehicle. Your car must be deemed to be roadworthy, and that means following up when you receive notice of an active recall or future recall.
If you haven’t received notice of a recall and you are concerned that your vehicle should be part of the recall, you can check with your manufacturer – for instance if you drive a Toyota, you can visit the Toyota Australia Recalls site to check.
How fast can you go in reverse?
If you’ve ever seen a Fast & Furious movie and longed to know just how fast you can drive when going in reverse, the answer is quite a simple one. Instead of risking your shiny new wheels and your no claim bonus on your insurance – allow us to answer this one for you. Cars are built with only one gear for reverse, and it is the equivalent of first gear. So in short, the highest you would be able to achieve if you were driving in reverse in a straight line would be approximately 30-40km/h.
I’ve lost my car keys. Can a locksmith replace a car key?
Car keys are quite technical these days, so if you lose both of your car keys, you may find yourself out of pocket for at least a few hundred dollars to get your dealership to replace them. Whilst the dealership can help with this, there are automotive locksmiths who can replace most keys. It might pay to make a few phone calls to your local locksmiths to see if anyone can be of assistance and get a quote first, as it could save you up to $100.
Written by Ken Mills Toyota