Auto Customization

For many of us, our cars are our pride and joy. They’re an expression of our personality, chosen for a mixture of power, handling and design that signals who we are to the world around us as we move from home, to work and out to social engagements.

Almost everything about your car can be customised too, from your tyres up to your spoiler. Today, the car customisation scene is just about as big as it’s ever been. With a multitude of factory and aftermarket options available, it’s clear that, if you want it, you’ll never see another exact copy of your car on the road.

So, with an endless ocean of custom possibilities available, why let your number plate fade into the background?

Personalised number plates can be almost anything you want them to be, from versions of your name to references to your car, lifestyle or hobbies. A private number plate can transform your car and bring the fun back to driving, but what are the main reasons for buying one? Let’s take a look.

Reveal your Creativity and Set Yourself Apart from the Pack

Personalised registration plates are the perfect canvas on which you can reveal your creativity without turning your car into a sideshow.

We’ve all seen the impact that spectacular paint jobs and large, aftermarket body kits can have, but there is an easier way to set yourself apart from the pack – with a personalised number plate.

Whether you’re running a car commonly found on the road or want to celebrate the uniqueness of your motor, personalised registration plates make for a terrific option. Even better? Because you can create any word or abbreviation you like, your car can say anything it likes.

Let Passers by Focus on the Car, Not the Age

Cars get old, that’s just a fact. However, not all cars age equally. Design classics might see the years tick by like every other car, but their statement lines and outright quality shines through the ages.

With a traditional number plate, all passers by will see is when your car came out. With a personalised number plate? They’ll see your car for what it truly is – a thing of beauty.

Make a Smart Investment

Number plates might not seem like a good investment on the face of it, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Because each plate is totally unique, the value of your plate will remain a constant – just as long as somebody wants it from you.

Cars with custom license plates specific to the model often fetch more at auction, so don’t view a personal number plate as an expense; view it as an investment.

How the combustion engine works: by detonating hundreds of small explosions every second.

A piston glides along a cylinder, pushing and pulling. The piston pulls down air and gas in the intake stroke and fills the cylinder with the fuel for the fire. The cylinder is primed and the air-gas mixture is ready for compression. Compression creates massive potential energy.

The piston glides back up the cylinder, pushing the air-gas mixture hard and fast into a tiny space—compressing it down to 1/10 (or greater) of its original size (a compression ratio of 10:1). The gases are compressed during the compression stroke, smashing the molecules closer together and increasing the potential energy. Then comes the crescendo.

Spark. Ignite. Explosion. When the gases have been compressed and the piston is at top dead center (TDC), a spark flashes and sets the highly energized compressed gases on fire. Boom! The power stroke—the tiny explosion that propels all combustion engines.

The explosion pushes the piston back down and the crankshaft spins in unison. The energy moves the crankshaft and creates the power under the pedal. Finally, the piston glides back up the cylinder to eject the exhaust—the exhaust stroke—and clears the way for the process to start over. And over. Hundreds of times per second.

Your car’s engine sounds pretty smooth, but slow it down and it sounds like artillery fire—individual booms. An 8 cylinder car idling at 750 RPMs “fires” 50 times per second. That’s 50 power strokes each second while idling!

The basic process of the four-stroke engine is the same as it was in 1876 when Nikolaus Otto invented it. The only differences between an engine that powers the 2017 CTS-V with 640 horsepower (HP) and the 3 HP engine created in 1876: efficiency and capacity. It boils down to compressing air and gas into a tiny space, lighting it on fire and transferring that energy into mechanical motion. That’s all it takes to move the family minivan or James Bond’s Aston Martin.

The Four Basic Strokes: A Closer Look

The entire process only takes four strokes of the piston.

  • Intake Stroke
  • Compression Stroke
  • Power Stroke (Combustion Stroke)
  • Exhaust Stroke

Intake Stroke

As the piston moves down on its first stroke, the intake valve opens and allows the combustion chamber to fill with air and fuel. This creates a space ready to explode even without compression. But add compression and you create a lot of potential energy. It’s possible to add more fuel and more air during the intake stroke to create a more powerful mixture to increase horsepower but be sure to check your tuning if you do add performance parts.

Compression Stroke

When the intake stroke ends at the bottom of the cylinder, the compression stroke begins. The piston moves up and forces the air and gas into a tiny space. A 10:1 compression ratio will compress the air-gas mixture down to 1/10 the size of the compression chamber. The higher the compression ratio the more potential energy which means more power for your pedal. Compress for power. Note that higher compression ratios require higher octane fuels.

Power Stroke (Combustion Stroke)

The power stroke starts when the compression stroke hits top dead center (TDC) (or before top dead center, BTDC) and a perfectly timed spark ignites the gases. This moment is what the engine is all about. Getting the right gases (air-fuel ratio) ignited at the right time with as much energy as possible. The size of the chamber, the compression ratio, the spark, the timing—everything is to maximize the energy of the explosion and then transfer it to mechanical motion. The power stroke thrusts the piston downward propelled by the explosion leading to the fourth stroke.

Exhaust Stroke

On the piston’s second upward stroke, the exhaust valve opens and the piston pushes the burnt gases up and out of the exhaust valves. When your exhaust system is maximized, the pressure the piston encounters on its way up is minimal and the valve moves with less restriction which can give you power gains. Also, with a high performing exhaust system, the exhaust stroke is more likely to push all the burnt gases out of the chamber clearing the way for a clean intake stroke and a stronger power stroke. The cycle is complete and the piston and chamber are ready to begin again.

So What?

If you know how your engine produces power, harnesses that power, works more efficiently at keeping that power, then you’ll know how to make your engine perform its best. You can make cost-effective decisions on which modifications will give you the most horsepower return. To help with engine performance, you might consider an engine tune, a cold air intake, a performance exhaust, a performance intake manifold or even a supercharger.

Now that you know more about the four-stroke process, you will be able to determine how each modification affects each stroke. One mod may affect more than one stroke and give you more bang for your buck.

In today’s era, chip constitutes an important mechanism of your car and plays an interesting role in remapping the engine control unit (ECU) of your car. Mechanically, the main objective of ECU is to make smooth flow of air and fuel throughout your vehicle, generate high pressure and improve its performance in form of acceleration and fuel efficiency. Remapping the engine control unit completely changes the functioning of engine and facilitates you to determine its working according to your requirements.

Now the question might arise in your mind that why a person will need to remap the Engine Control Unit of his car, if he is enjoying its flawless drive without any issue. Well, an answer to this question can be to enjoy the hidden powers of his car. Being a layman, you must be unaware about the functioning of ECU, so it may be defined as heart of the engine installed in your car whose main function is to control the working different components while driving. The settings of these components are determined according to mechanism of the car so that it offers smooth performance to its driver.

This setting is basically determined according to climatic and driving conditions prevailing in different countries across the world. As most of the car lovers are normal drivers they do not pay much attention towards all these aspects while buying their favorite car, because their main requirements from their car are fuel efficiency and integration of contemporary features and safety features.

Whereas, on the other side there are car enthusiasts for whom a car means a device which they are entitled to use according to their wishes by using its all potentials. But, as those potentials are not configured in the car which they drive in their continent they are not able to enjoy its drive according to their wish. With remapping the ECU, today be redefining the settings of different components with help of a small chip they can get rid of this problem.

During the remapping the new chip or software is configured in the serial port of the car for rewriting the setting of engine with new code that are mentioned in the software. The process of remapping is almost the same for both petrol and diesel variants.

Benefits of ECU Remapping:

  1. Increase in Power and Performance: The remapping of ECU results an improvement power and fuel efficiency of your car. It would be interested to know that remapping of diesel variant offers much better results as compared to petrol variant. The rewritten ECU offers improved fuel efficiency, improved ignition timings and optimizes the overall performance of your vehicle.
  2. Enhances the Aesthetics of Your Car: The ECU remapping is not restricted only in determining the settings of engine but also refers to determining the settings of different components like exhaust system, braking system etc. Because to enjoy improved performance of engine it is mandatory that these components should also be compatible according to engine’s setting to offer better response.

Things to consider while remapping the ECU:

  1. Always prefer to buy the chip from the maker that offers substantial warranty on the software.
  2. Before installing the chip in ECU make sure that it is compatible to make of your car and its engine.
  3. It would be better to remap the car that is empowered with turbocharged engine in both petrol and diesel variants.
  4. Although remapping do not affects the insurance of your vehicle, but still it would be better to inform your insurance company about it, so that it might follow the instructions according to standards determined in your country.
  5. Before remapping, make sure that the other components of your car are also in good condition to response simultaneously to remapped settings.

As we move into the future there are more ideas and concepts reaching the drawing board in order to improve the way we live. We are seeing interesting car designs and, with it, remarkable modern wheel and tyre concepts.

  • Modern Tyre Concepts

Have you noticed that the modern versions of tyres have more geometric patterns with a stronger and bolder appearance? We are lucky that our generation is moving to a more practical state of living and considering every aspect of comfort and design before manufacturing.

We are also seeing more unusual colours coming into the picture. Why? Designers find different materials for reinforcement components. Then they use paint or resin which gives the tyre colour and a more attention-grabbing design structure.

Designers and engineers are also starting to find ways to get more air into the tyres. This might sound crazy considering how racers try to get their tyres as hot as possible. Certain tyres have not been designed to be in contact with such heat. So by adding such new features we might be saving our tyres from being replaced so often.

We are also seeing wheels are becoming wider, whether you have a high performance car or not. The first cars made had skinny little wheels that would wobble if the driver went a little too quickly along the brick road. These wider wheels give the car more stability on the road especially when taking corners.

  • Modern Wheel Concepts

Modern wheels resemble Ninja stars and mini blades. The wheels are less bulky using less alloy material. There are more spaces between the decorative spokes that add to the lightness of it.

We are also starting to see more colours being painted onto the surface. Some colours are matte which is different from the standard glossy paint. Other colours are metallic which create the appearance of a shimmer of sunlight bouncing of the wheels.

Angles are popular in modern wheel designs. Certain angles can actually influence the driving ability of the car. If the angle is facing away from the front of the car, then the wheel was designed to improve your aerodynamics.

We can also see that where the spoke starts at the centre of the wheel the metal protrudes slightly making it more difficult to remove the branded disc in the middle. These are valuable on backstreet markets so thieves tend to steel them and resell them. So the metal protrusion discourages such theft.

It is a good thing that wheels and tyres designs are evolving with the times. People always want to get a fresh new look that could potentially perfect our driving.