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What is the future for the combustion engine?

Vehicle owners, workshops and vehicle manufacturers are seeing issues with Gasoline Direct Injected engines that cannot be put down to one fault. What’s behind the problems and what are the consequences? More importantly, what’s the solution? GDI specialist Phil Ellisdon of ASNU delivers his findings within a three-part series. In this final article, Phil focusses on GDI injector servicing.

If we believe all the talk from the media, by 2035 there will be no more gasoline engines in production. Well, if that’s true, why are GM spending $900 million on four engine plants for three new small block V8 combustion engines for GDI applications? GM, like other automakers, are facing stricter government fuel economy standards and pollution limits starting in the 2024 model year.

Why are Mazda investing in new engine GDI combustion engines? Why have Toyota announced they are no longer investing in battery technology and investing in combustion engines but for Hydrogen?

A quote from Toyota’s CEO: “This new engine will destroy the entire EV Industry”. See the Toyota video:

So, is EV the future?

On a recent trip to California, where I visited a number of ASNU owner’s workshops, I asked how they were finding business. Considering the number of Tesla’s they have on the road there, they explained that most were government subsidised company vehicles, but now the non-business purchaser of an EV is in many cases finding it to be a false economy. A good example of this is the cost of a tyre for a Tesla being $1,000 each! With what is normal for many in the Los Angeles area, where an 80 mile and 2+ hour trip to get to work and the same to get home is common practice, tyres can soon wear down.

Tesla have introduced the Model 3 Long Range. This model uses the LFP batteries with Chinese cells, which are cheaper and do not require Cobalt, (which is difficult to obtain) but carries some Human Rights baggage. But there lies the problem, these batteries are not so good in cold weather. This may be OK in California but elsewhere, certainly not in some states in the USA, certainly not in some areas of Europe. No one really knows but they seem to keep trying to find battery solutions. So, is EV really the future? Where will it be in 10 years?

Knowledge is King

The future is still looking healthy for the Gasoline engine, but many workshops need to step up their knowledge on GDI vehicles. This is something we are experiencing all over the world now, where GDI is now hitting the aftermarket. Countries like Iraq, Libya, Eastern Europe, and the Far East all have GDI vehicles now, but in many of these countries the fuel quality is very poor and causes issues with the GDI injectors that only removing and correct testing and servicing can resolve.

In Thailand, for example, we have many workshops where some have two or three ASNU systems. Some of these shops post on our ASNU Facebook page with the results of serviced injectors, as do many of our ASNU machines owners; sharing experience and information. With distribution and sales in over 60 countries worldwide, ASNU get information on all the various vehicles with GDI that they share with other ASNU owners in the largest network of Fuel Injector Specialists in the world. As they say, Knowledge is King.

So, what is the future for the professional workshop? First, let’s define one. If we grade garage workshops on a scale of 1 – 10, where would you rate your garage?

Let’s go back to basics: A Gasoline vehicle requires three elements: Air, Fuel, and Ignition. This is nothing new – Suck, Squeeze, Bang and Blow. Nothing has changed since the creation of the combustion engine, only the way and the quantity of the three elements are supplied. Diagnosing their performance is the critical challenge workshops now face, testing and measuring vehicle components in millivolts, milliamps, milliseconds and millilitres. But without training and the correct equipment, how can they do this?

To correctly test, diagnose, repair and service a Gasoline engine a workshop must be able to test ALL these components correctly and accurately, otherwise how can they be sure they are all working to the correct specification? Two out of three is not good enough. As an example, a Gasoline Injected engine, GDI or port may have any of these customer complaints and issues with: Starting, idling, engine performance, fuel economy, driveability, exhaust emissions, coil pack failure, Lambda failure, catalyst failure, engine check light illumination. If anyone reading this can claim they can resolve any or all of these combustion related problems without checking the injectors, I am happy to prove them wrong. Those that know me know I am right, they know an ASNU is the best and can correctly diagnose and correct combustion related problems.

So, let’s do a proper Good Garage Rating. On scale of 1-10, I would say a workshop requires the right equipment and the correct training to be able carry out all of the required diagnosis and repairs. If you have not been trained or do not have the correct equipment then you cannot diagnose and resolve these combustion related problems. So where do you grade your workshop on a real Good Garage Scheme? Maybe between 1 – 6? In the UK, there are a number of workshops that are correctly trained and equipped that I would class as 10/10. I know who they are and so do they.

So those reading this and wanting to be in the elite grading will firstly question my authority to make such a statement. Visit our ASNU website to understand why with over 33 years as market leader worldwide, I believe I can make these claims

Below is evidence of engine damage caused by the injectors not performing correctly and that is only caused by the lack of attention paid to the injectors. This resulted in the engine requiring a very expensive engine rebuild. The owner ignored the warning signs, so did the workshop, most likely because he did not have the equipment to carry out the correct diagnosis. Pouring a couple of cans of fluid into the fuel is not a repair, pressure flushing the system with a chemical is not the answer either. Chemicals go one way out and as quick as possible.

Ignore this advice at your peril, it’s only to help you maintain the quality of your business and reputation. 33 years selling one system, approved by Bosch, used by Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, GM, Opel and more, we must be doing something right. Even TV’s ‘Wheeler Dealer’ is recognising cars need their injectors serviced, take a look:

About Autotechnician
Autotechnician is a magazine published nine times a year, delivering essential information to independent garage owners and technicians in the UK. Delivered both digitally and in print, autotechnician provides readers with technical, training, business advice, product and news, allowing our readers to keep up to date with information they need to run and work within a modern workshop.
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