Modern Engines


Modern Engines are just amazing. You can now get the same output power from a smaller turbo charged modern engine as you would get from a bigger older, naturally aspirated engine. The fuel economy is better and the environmental impact is reduced using technics like EGR. It is also important to mention that these engines run at high efficiency levels and have very little tolerances in their design.

These in principle are a better option compared to their older naturally aspirated 6, 8, 10 and 12 cylinder counterparts. They are a giant leap in technology and that brought us the benefits we just spoke about. That advancement in technology comes at a price though. When new, the modern engines are a pleasure to own and drive. Problems usually start at around 5yrs or 100k km, sometimes even earlier.

Unlike previous generations of engines, that were built to outlive their owners, modern engines are built to comply to stringent environmental laws and compete in power versus fuel economy race. This creates a situation where maintenance on these engines is crucial, expensive and complicated to an extent. Replacement parts are generally more expensive and have a shorter life span. Replacing these parts is also another expensive challenge, since these modern engines are very tightly packaged to maximize the usage of space in the engine bay.

Fellow mechanics and technicians who work on modern vehicles will tell you that in some cars, replacing a thermostat could require an engine to be dropped from the car to gain access to it. This translates to more labor costs for the owner, even though the component that is replaced costs just a few rands. It then becomes an interesting decision to make when buying a car. Pay a lot in the beginning and buy the car new with motor plan, or buy it cheaper used and spend more money on maintenance to get it up to the standard it was designed to be at?

What are your views on modern cars, what is your strategy when buying a car?