Niagara Gazette

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April 4, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Notes from the America's Car Show newsroom

Niagara Gazette — EDITOR’S NOTE: The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom’s Corner will appear in Thursday’s editions. 

There have been some noteworthy happenings in the automotive world lately, so I thought I would cover a few interesting ones along with recent recalls.

Hyundai fuel cell vehicle in the works

Hyundai has become the world’s first automaker to begin regular production of a fuel cell vehicle. Hyundai began production of its ix35 Fuel Cell last month at the company’s Ulsan manufacturing facility. “With the ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle, Hyundai is leading the way into the zero-emissions future,” Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman, Eok Jo Kim said. “The ix35 Fuel Cell is the most eco-friendly vehicle in the auto industry and proves that hydrogen fuel cell technology in daily driving is no longer a dream.” The ix35 Fuel Cell, which emits only water vapor, can accelerate from 0-62mph in 12.5 seconds and top out at around 100mph. The ix35 Fuel Cell can cover 365 miles between fill-ups.

Misfueling — what to do if it happens to you

With all the diesel vehicle offerings coming on the market the rise in incidents of ‘misfueling’ may be attributed to this sales trend.

Traditionally thought of as running particularly noisy engines, diesel engines have been getting increasingly quieter and (particularly in the case of rental cars or second cars) it’s easy to forget you’re driving a car with a diesel engine. The high-pressure fuel pump in a diesel engine is very sensitive, and adding gas serves to strip it of essential lubrication. As metal grinds against metal without diesel fuel’s lubrication, the fuel (contaminated with loose metal particles) soon affects the rest of the fuel system. And the further the contaminated fuel travels, the worse the problem gets. Diesel engines are particularly sensitive and extensive contamination could necessitate the replacement of multiple costly parts.

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