Everyday is “Earth Day” at The Driving Machine, a designated SCC Bay Area Green Business
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
It will be Earth Day soon, April 22nd. Have you thought about what you can do to make the environment better? Here are a few simple and easy ideas.
Sow some seeds and grow a tree.
Plant some drought resistant plants in your yard.
Put out some ladybugs in your garden and pull some weeds, rather than using an insecticide or herbacide.
Make a decision to eat local and eschew veggies and fruits that have traveled for thousands of miles from another continent.
Compost those veggie and fruit peels.
Always consolidate your errands so that you don’t have to be driving extra miles – better yet – walk or ride a bike to errands when possible.
There’s Carbon in BMW’s Future
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
Source: Automotive News
German-car manufacturing giant BMW is thinking forward with the introduction of its new, carbon fiber i3. It hit consumer markets on Nov. 16 in Germany and will enter showrooms across the United States in the beginning of 2014.
If you walk into the BMW factory in Washington State today, there are thousands of fine, white threads laced around an almost mile-long course. These strands are stretched, toasted and then singed black to create carbon fiber. This hair-thin material is light yet tougher than steel, enhancing both safety and vehicle longevity.
BMW Attempts to Build the World’s Best Electric Car for Cities
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
As other car manufacturers raced to be the first to come out with a 100 percent electric car, one manufacturer, BMW, was notably absent from the fray. However, the automobile giant now has made it clear that it not only has been designing a car that will be fully electric but also will be the best electric city car on the market.
Fire Season Auto Care
Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Fire season in the West is here.
If you find that you have been driving in an area where the air is full of smoke, you will want to be sure that you change your air filter more often. It does not take too much contamination to cause your gas mileage to drop. If you have been driving in that dirty air and your gas mileage seems to drop, it could be a sign that the air filter is clogged with debris.
BMW ActiveE – electric city driving
Thursday, February 10th, 2011
The variants on electric cars keeps growing, as BMW leaks a few more details about it’s ActiveE car to be leased, (only about 1000) in the U.S. next fall. It is based on the 1 Series and actually seats passengers in the rear vs. batteries in that space. It will have a lithium ion battery that will travel 100 miles on a charge and we are hearing that top speed will be about 90 miles per hour.
Carbon Sensitive Check Engine Light? You are not alone
Thursday, June 17th, 2010
Not sure if you have thought about it lately, but the “smog” pollutants coming out of your BMW tail pipe are a tiny, tiny, fraction of what they were in the early 1980’s. In fact BMW and most cars have become so clean, that with our current technology, who knows if it even can get much cleaner. That’s until we all go MINI e, but we’ll save that for another post.
The emphasis these days is more about the gases, vs. the actual pollutants coming out of your BMW exhaust system. We are talking CO2 which used to be considered a harmless and inert gas. The same CO2 that is absorbed by plants. It’s still a harmless and inert gas, (in …
Let the Sun Shine In
Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
The Frankfurt Motor Show was the site of many new and exciting innovations related to energy and fuel savings. A German company introduced a plastics- based solar panel module than can be used on the dashboard and rear window shelves, and perhaps the roof or trunk top. One downside of the glass based solar panels for vehicles currently, has been the weight. The company,Proof Design and Innovation Management, claims a 50% weight reduction vs. standard solar panels.
New composite plastics are being researched, developed and will be a part of the quest to lighten vehicle weight, whether we like it or not. These plastic-based solar panels,(with a silicon based gel layer), can be integrated into various materials, …
Green Tires, Expensive Tires?
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
Rolling Resistance tires may be the next big thing in the effort to reduce emissions. Tires are rated according to this additional newer measurement standard. Of course, this is another item that will probably add cost to your new tires, as well as the tariff that was implemented in September ’09, on tires being imported from China, (often from U.S. tire makers). So now you have your speed ratings, load limits, rolling resistance and more to consider when you purchase tires.
Always keep your tires inflated properly to get the best mileage. Unfortunately, due to the extended service intervals, this is one area that an individual may not be checking every two weeks as BMW suggests. So, it happens once …
Smog test alert – keep your nose clean
Saturday, October 24th, 2009
Well, by now, we are sure that most of you have heard about the busts of the seven smog shops in our Bay area, (and also in L.A.). The techs are charged with what is called “clean piping”, where they use the emission readings from one car for another.
Emission testing has become sophisticated enough that basically Sacramento can tell when one car is on the dyno and a completely different car is being read at the tail pipe. This is a science, after all. Duh!
The report that we read said that the techs were charging about $200 cash to “pass” what was really a “failed” car. Not sure what if any, criminal charges that the drivers may face, but the …
Holy Smoke – give my BMW some breathing room
Thursday, October 8th, 2009
A few posts ago, we reminded anyone driving in the area of the wild fires to be sure to get their air filters checked. It’s probably a good time to mention some other air flow components that affect your BMW or MINI’s performance.
Mass-airflow sensors, typically referred to as MAF sensors and the Positive Crankcase Ventilation or PCV valve both affect your BMW and/or MINI performance and they are directly related to air flow. The PCV valve was one of the earliest emission control devices and it does a great job of reducing engine hydrocarbons, (when it’s operating properly). Either one of these components, if they are not working correctly, will illuminate your check engine light, (or the service engine soon …