The Trusted Mechanic: A Driver of Economic Productivity

With the average American worker income going down

2013AverageIncome
and jobs going part time

partimeJobs

it is understandable that the average age  of cars on the roads is getting up there, 11+ years

AveAgeCar

and auto loans are going sub-prime.

AutoSubPrime

With these realities driving a “reliable car” to work to earn a living is a “must”.  Less car downtime means better income. That means most workers depend on their auto mechanic.  That means auto mechanics are not just simply auto mechanics.  Auto mechanics are an important driver of economic productivity.

One level above an auto mechanic  is  a “Trusted” Auto Mechanic.  The difference is transparency.  With 1996 or newer models cars have sensors all over it  a “Trusted” Auto Mechanic shows the car owner why a certain maintenance job needs to be done and explains how it affects car using that data.

OnlineData

Trust-worthiness is not a label one can slap on ones shop.  Trust is earned via transparency.

trustmechanic

A Reason to Tell your Boss Why You need to Work from Home

If that is an option …

Driving home from office today compared to yesterday shows something interesting.  Today, the ambient air temperature was generally around the 30+ degrees.  Yesterday’s ambient air temperature was around the 70+ degrees.

The glaring difference is that the carbon emissions is relatively higher when ambient air temperature is lower.   That means it is better to minimize driving in cold weather.  That would be a reason to tell my boss that I need to work from home on those days :)

Cold day:
30degrees

Warm day:
75degrees

Why I Don’t Like the 32 psi Tire Pressure

I have been used to driving around with 38-40 psi tire pressure since I got my 2012 Kia Rio SX.  It came with the default Hankook tires  with a max value of 44 psi.  Lately, I got new Michelin tires installed by COSTCO.  I did not realize the technician set all tires to the standard 32 psi.  Most dealerships and repair shops set car tires to this value.
tire
And this is what I got on the CO2 emissions graph – a spike up.  So I set it back to 38 psi  and the values trended down again.
CO2

My Trusted Mechanic is 160 miles away

car_mechanicMy trusted mechanic is in Richmond, VA. My test car is in Raleigh, NC.  But this is not a problem.  He can view my engine data online at Autotalky.com.  I do not understand most OBD2 parameters and what their trends mean, but, he helps me with it.

trust_fleetMy car is listed in his Trust Fleet which means he can view all my engine parameters that have been logged by Torque Pro and uploaded to Autotalky.com

O2SensorThis trend shows my Air-Fuel Ratio is trending lean which is what I wanted by using the simple bubbler.

OnlineDataThis view shows the O2 sensor value average for the last 50 trips … and trending lean.

So far, so good.  Thanks to my remote Trusted Mechanic.

The Simple, Wonderful Bubbler

The bubbler is useful in two major ways. First, it allows a controlled air leak to the air intake. This is good if the Air-to-Fuel Ratio is a little richer than needed. Second, it cleans the HHO-HHHN gases that comes from the GreenFuel Booster.

Tips:
In colder temperatures, add some amount of Methanol to prevent it from freezing.
Connect the bubbler output to the vacuum tube straight to the air intake bypassing the MAF sensor.

bubbler

This Pentek Clear Filter Housing is a popular choice.

Pentek-Bubbler barbed-hose

Car Data Analytics has Gone a Long Ways

When we started Hydrogen boosting in August 2008 we realized right away that the key to success was to understand how the car computer responds to it. The only way to do it was to understand the engine data logs, OBD2 (On-board Diagnostics) data logs generated during actual driving.

CarChip

We used CarChip used in 2008

That time we started using Carchip (US $99). It logged five selected OBD2 parameters at a time and created a simple text-based log file, manually downloaded using a USB cord. We wrote a java program to graph the data. It was crude but it helped get the test car to 48 MPG highway.

OBD2_Long

Later on came Bluetooth technology with the OBD2 adaptors.  But these adaptor were too long and clunky.  We started using that, too. Torque Pro was getting popular among car enthusiasts for engine data logging.  There were other data loggers but Torque Pro was more stable and reliable.
autotalky
Today there are lots of generic OBD2 adaptors all over the place.  eBay.com has themAmazon.com has them.   And for cheap .  We have our own version of the OBD2 adaptor that we have tested very well.

We also webified our java program that we used to view car engine logs. Now it has become Autotalky.com and it seems to have taken off by itself.  Drivers from more than 50 countries around the world use Autotalky.com.  Thousands of car engine data logs are uploaded monthly for viewing and proactive monitoring and diagnostics.  We are hoping that these drivers start testing out Hydrogen boosting to minimize emissions, too.
autotalky_new4

Booster is On. Highway drive on a Chilly Day.

Tested the booster today. Hydrogen injection was configured to bypass MAF sensor. 35 mile highway drive. cold ambient air at 52F.  Without the booster these conditions usually get approx 34 MPG on the car gauge.

Below are OBD2 data captured by Torque Pro and uploaded to Autotalky.com for viewing.

Red circles were previous intermittent booster turned on but Hydrogen injection did not bypass the MAF sensor.

Green circle was today’s drive.  Greenline indicates booster turned on with Hydrogen injection bypassing the MAF sensor.

O2SensorComparison
EngineLoad

Booster is “On” Initial Results

The booster has been turned “On” a few times to check if the ECU detects the Hydrogen generated from it.  As always, we recorded the logs using Torque Pro and loaded to Autotalky.com using Vehicle Owner app.

Initial results show that indeed the ECU detected it.  The O2 sensor shows a richer air-to-fuel mixture.

Time to turn the booster “on” all the time to see how the ECU responds.

gfboosterON