motormouth bob Weber Q: I am sporadically receiving a check-engine code, P0014, on my 2013 Chevy Malibu that has only 30,600 miles on it. The issue is to replace the variable camshaft timing solenoid. Can you explain this a little and does it have to be addressed immediately? J.A., Cetronia, Pa. A: The cam timing solenoids rotate the camshaft a bit to change when the intake and exhaust valves open and close. This improves performance and fuel economy, especially on small engines. Gearheads of the past would actually swap out the camshaft to change the performance of their engines for racing purposes. Swapping out the solenoid is much easier and cheaper. Your engine will continue to run, but not at its best until you replace the solenoids. Q: I recently became the owner of a 2008 Chrysler Crossover and am told to use premium gasoline. Is today's non-premium gasoline as high in octane as premium was in 2008? Can I use a non-premium fuel and not affect the operation of the car? J.P., … [Read more...] about Motormouth: What does camshaft solenoid do?
Variable valve timing solenoid
Q: I have a 2010 Nissan Sentra 2.0-liter. My "Check engine" light came on and the code indicated that my variable valve timing solenoid was the issue. It had been about 6,000 miles since my last oil change, and when I was braking, the oil light was coming on, telling me I was due. I then noticed my typical 25 miles per gallon was down to 20. I went to get an oil change, as I read that low oil or very dirty oil can cause the VVT code to light up. The light did indeed go off after a day or so, and that same day I ran to the emissions center to have the car checked. It passed the inspection, but since then, my MPG has been staying at around 18-19. Any suggestions on what I can do to boost the MPG back up to about where I was? G.A., Lake in the Hills, Ill. A: The first thing we would do is zero out the MPG history in your car's memory. Start with a clean slate and you may find that your current fuel economy numbers are better. Keep in mind that most cars' fuel economy is poorer in areas … [Read more...] about Motormouth: Sentra is drinking more gas than usual
Truck Yeah The trucks are good! The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is the only full-size pickup in America offered with a four-cylinder engine. But it’s not your old S10's Iron Duke under the hood—no, this 2.7-liter turbo is sophisticated, employing some cool modern technologies that help it produce more power than most naturally aspirated V6s, while still managing okay fuel economy. I didn’t have a long time to speak with Chevy about their Silverado’s 2.7-liter engine, since I was there reviewing two trucks in a single day (the Silverado and the ZR2 Bison), but the 2.7-liter turbo’s assistant chief engineer, Kevin Luchansky, did agree to walk me through the engine’s coolest bits, and I wasn’t about to deprive readers from the hardware you all deserve to see. The upshot is that this thing’s got lots of advanced fuel-savings technology bolted to it. Things like a 600-Watt electric water pump, whose output is—unlike a conventional … [Read more...] about Here’s a Close-Up Look at the 2019 Chevy Silverado’s Four Cylinder Engine
Parts arriving broken or weeks late. Horrible customer service. An office where employees were spied on with cameras. These are just a few complaints from former employees and from hundreds of car enthusiasts who have done business with major Euro auto parts supplier ECS Tuning. With the company having recently bought another giant in the industry, Pelican Parts, an entire car community now worries that it’ll be forced to contend with a dysfunctional retailer just to keep vehicles on the road. “ECS is the Comcast of German car parts,” a post by a member named Logan Carey reads on the 5,800 member-strong Facebook page titled “Why I Hate ECS Tuning.” With 136,000 Instagram followers, ECS is a big name in the European car community, especially online. But as much as the internet has helped ECS expand, so, too, has it bitten back. The Comcast comparison is just one of many posts written by apparent ECS customers displeased with the company, which opened its … [Read more...] about Spying on Employees, Screwing Buyers: What Went Wrong at One of America’s Biggest Euro Parts Companies
Oil is the life blood of an engine, and this is especially true of the Fiat 500 Abarth's MultiAir engine. With its MultiAir valvetrain technology, the sophisticated engine is a marvel of engineering and ingenuity. The intake valves are operated by electro-hydraulic solenoids giving the engine infinitely variable valve timing -stroke by stroke - cylinder by cylinder. The engine is tuned to deliver maximum fun to drive characteristics meaning great low end torque along with substantial high rpm horsepower. This is done while achieving excellent fuel economy and the required low emissions. The proof is the Fiat 500 Abarth's engine has a specific power output of 117 bhp/L, beating the 114 bhp/L for the Mazda Speed 2, 113 bhp/L for the MINI S and 100 bhp/L in the VW GTI and still manages to be the most fuel efficient performance car available in the US. Surprisingly, maintenance on the high performance Fiat 500 Abarth engine is kept to a minimum: oil and filter changes every 6 months or … [Read more...] about Fiat 500 Abarth Oil Change