Torque Converter Operation Hybrid Engineering A New Chance For Less Contaminating Cars Top 10 Buying Tips For Buying A Car
The torque converter is one of the least understood components in an automatic transmission equipped vehicle. I will attempt to explain what it does and how it does it.
The torque converter has a few different functions.
We first need to understand that there is no direct link between the crankshaft and the transmission input shaft (except in the case of a lock up style converter, but we’ll talk about that later). This means that the first function of the converter is to connect the crankshaft and the input shaft so the engine can move the vehicle; this is accomplished through the utilization of a fluidic coupling effect.
The torque converter also replaces the clutch that is required in a manual transmission; this is how an automatic transmission vehicle can come to a stop while still being in gear without stalling the engine.
The torque converter also acts as a torque multiplier, or extra gear ratio, to help the car get moving from a stop. In modern day converters this theoretical ratio is anywhere between 2:1 and 3:1.
Torque converters consist of 4 major components that we need to concern ourselves with for the purpose of explanation.
The first component, which is the driving member, is called the impeller or “pump”. It is connected directly to the inside of the converter housing and because the converter is bolted to the flexplate, it is turning anytime that the engine rotates.
The next component, which is the output or driven member, is called the turbine. The transmission’s input shaft is splined to it. The turbine is not physically connected to the to the converter housing and can rotate completely independently of it.
The third component is the stator assembly; its function is to redirect the flow of fluid between the impeller and the turbine, which gives the torque multiplication effect from a standstill.
The final component is the lock up clutch. At highway speeds this clutch can be applied and will provide a direct mechanical link between the crankshaft and input shaft, which will result in 100% efficiency between the engine and transmission. The application of this clutch is usually controlled by the vehicle’s computer activating a solenoid in the transmission.
Here’s how it all works. For the sake of simplicity, I will use the common analogy of two fans which represent the impeller and the turbine. Let’s say that we have two fans facing each other and we turn only one of them on- the other fan will soon begin to move.
The first fan, which is powered, can be thought of as the impeller that is connected to the converter housing. The second fan- the “driven” fan can be likened to the turbine, which has the input shaft splined to it. If you were to hold the non-powered fan (the turbine) the powered one (the impeller) would still be able to move- this explains how you can pull to a stop without the engine stalling.
Now imagine a third component placed in between the two, which would serve to alter the airflow and cause the powered fan to be able to drive the non-powered fan with a reduction of speed- but also with an increase of force (torque). This is essentially what the stator does.
At a certain point (usually around 30-40 mph), the same speed can be reached between impeller and the turbine (our two fans). The stator, which is attached to a one way clutch, will now begin to turn in conjunction with the other two components and around 90% efficiency between the crank and the input shaft can be achieved.
The remaining 10% slippage between the engine and transmission can be eliminated by connecting the input shaft to the crankshaft through the application of the lock up clutch that was mentioned before. This will tend to lug the engine, so the computer will only command this in higher gears and at highway speeds when there is very little engine load present. The main function of this clutch is to increase fuel efficiency and reduce the amount of heat that is generated by the torque converter.
Another term that may be unfamiliar is that of a “high stall” torque converter. A high stall converter differs from a stock converter in the sense that the rpm is raised at which the internal converter components- the impeller, the stator and the turbine start to turn together, and hence, stop the torque multiplication phase and begin the coupling phase. The point at which engine rpm will stop climbing with the drive wheels held stationary and the throttle fully opened is referred to as “stall speed”.
The idea behind a higher stall torque converter is to allow the engine to rev more freely up to the point where the powerband begins, and therefore, enable the vehicle to accelerate from a stop under more power.
This becomes increasingly important when an engine is modified. Engine modifications such as ported heads, bigger cams, bigger turbos (in some cases), bigger intakes, etc. tend to raise the point where the powerband begins. For best performance, the stall speed needs to be raised accordingly to work optimally in conjunction with the given vehicle alterations.
In simple terms, for best performance, the stall speed should be raised at least to the point where the torque curve is heading towards its peak. As a rule of thumb, the stall speed should be set to match the rpm at which the engine is making at least 80% of its peak torque for a street driven vehicle.
As you can imagine, a vehicle that can accelerate from a stop with 80% of its peak torque will easily outperform an otherwise identical vehicle that can only launch at 50% of its available torque.
For a performance or “high stall” torque converter to produce maximum gains, it needs to be configured to the specific vehicle in which it will be installed.
Factors such as engine torque and the rpm at which it is greatest, differential gear ratio, vehicle weight, camshaft design, compression ratio, type of induction- forced or naturally aspirated, and a host of other variables all need to be taken into consideration. Be aware that the “off the shelf” type performance torque converters sold by some manufacturers are very unlikely to be optimized for all vehicles and their unique requirements.
For a long time, there is a agitating demand for fuel-efficient automobiles that are gentle on the wallet and kind on our fast, harmful surroundings. The automobile industry answered to this need by setting in motion hybrid cars and these cars were soon proposed as cars of the future. There has been a lot of growth in hybrid car engineering but the dream of Hybrid Cars converting the automobile industry has not been accomplished yet. The big car mass-producing companies like Toyota, GM, Ford, and Honda are all reacting to the process and putting their best foot forth for better technology and market economy in hybrid cars.
Sales Run Comparable To Progress in Hybrid Automotive Engineering
Many cars are now equipped with electric power steering that brings .05% – 2% better gas mileage in cars like the Honda S2000 and Saturn Vue. As a consequence, there has been a boost in sales of these cars. In 2002, approximately 30,000 hybrid cars were sold in US. In 2003, there was a big jump with Toyota alone selling almost 100,000 Hybrid cars. Year 2004 saw a new energy from the customers for new generation hybrid cars. They were sold off nearly right away and got outstanding adoration.
Hybrid Cars and the Related Industries
The greater approval and operation of hybrid cars, and for that matter, any new technological creation is not conditional on the manufacturer by itself. The entire industry has to back the move and allow essential support for its success. The automobile industry is finally gearing up for a must support to the hybrid cars.
Fuel cells are not very familiar these days, as they are very costly and replenishing them is a big job. By 2010, GM anticipates a lot to advance on the fuel cell aspect, which will be a positive movement for the hybrid cars.
The oil change industry need not worry with the current trend of Hybrid cars. All hybrids have a DC motor and require oil to lube the motor and keep it cool. These motors become heated up fast.
Basic Structure to Move Hybrid cars
Because we will have many hybrid cars on the roads, we will be required to make completing plannings for them. GM is going over the setting and planning to construct Hydrogen fuel stations with Shell. The version of each gas station would cost about $400,000. There will be a bunch of opportunities, as these modifications will take place. The auto repair industry will have to prepare anew for the hybrid cars.
We still believe Hybrid cars to be a field test product and believe them to have high operating costs. Even today, Hybrid cars are not considered to be in as big numbers as they were anticipated when they were inaugurated. The rewards of hybrid cars far outnumber and outweigh the troubles and should not let us neglect its eco-friendly nature, its fuel-efficient and oil-conserving qualities and an anticipation for an uncontaminated Earth.
1. Money: Make sure you know what is your budget. Never exceed the amount you can afford. For instance if your income is 50,000$ USD, you shouldn’t spend more than 25,000$ on the car because the car will may become a finical problem to you.
2. Personal need: Ask yourself what is the purpose of the car. Decide whether you want a 4 door sedan or a 6 people van. Look into what class and what kind car you want. If the purpose of the car is just purposely transportation, then don’t look into luxurious cars such as Benz or BMW. Or whether the car is for family purpose or personal love of car then you can decide whether you want a SUV or Sports Car.
3. Difference Brand: Once you decide what type of car you want. Look at different brands that has similar cars. For instance, if you are looking into the Lexus IS, also look into the Nissan G35, BMW 3 series, Acura TL, Cadillac CTS. You get the point. The reason why is because the price range from the same class can range from 30,000 to 45,000 which is a lot of money. Therefore, you should go test drive and find out exactly which car you want.
4. Buying it New or Used. After you decide what car you want. Start researching online on how much does the new car and the used car cost. Make you sure researching on many dealerships as well. You can save up to 1,000$ USD. Personally, I would like to buy a new car over a used car, but if there’s a good deal on used car, then you should reconsider and decide yourself.
5. Finance. Try to reduce the finance rate as low as possible to benefit you more. Try to look for the best plan for you and communicate with the dealer.
6. Communication with the Seller. Now this is the tricky part. Dealers usually jacked up the price of the individual car because they can make more money if they make sales. Therefore, to prevent spending extra money, you should do your homework by reaching how much your car is really worth and make offers to the dealers instead of them making offer to you.
7. Mileage. There no doubt that the price of gas will continue to go up. Therefore, it might be a good idea to consider how much you are willing to spend on gas. You want to find a good car with good mileage.
8. Insurance Cost. Different car also have different insurance rate even when they are in the same class. The insurance cost should definitely be a factor to consider when you are comparing with other cars.
9. Maintenance Cost. Maintenance Cost for cars also varies for different car. For instance Benz will charge over 100$ just for an oil change while Toyota may charge 25$.
10. Warranty. This should be the last thing you look at when you buy a car. Look at what the warranty covers and compare with it other car companies.
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