Common car sensors and what they do

Crankshaft Position Sensor: A crank sensor is an electronic device used in both petrol and diesel engines to monitor the position or rotational speed of the crankshaft.
Oxygen Sensor: An oxygen sensor (or lambda sensor) measures the proportion of oxygen (O2) in the air-fuel mixture. O2 sensors make modern electronic fuel injection and emission control possible by helping determine in real time if the air–fuel ratio of a combustion engine is optimal.
Throttle position Sensor: Throttle Position Sensor reports the gas pedal position to the car’s computer, aiding in the calculation of proper fuel/air mixture in the engine.

Mass Air Flow Sensor: All cars take air from the outside and pass it into the engine through the air filter. The airflow sensor measures the amount of air entering the engine.
Intake Air Temperature Sensor: The Intake Air Temperature sensor (IAT) monitors the temperature of the air entering the engine. The engine computer needs this information to estimate air density so it can balance air air/fuel mixture
Fuel injector: Fuel injection is a system for introducing fuel into automotive engines. On diesel engines, fuel injection is a necessity, whilst on petrol engines fuel injection is an alternative to the carburetor.
Vehicle Speed Sensor: Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) measures the speed of a vehicle’s wheel rotation
Manifold Pressure Sensor: The manifold pressure sensor (MAP sensor) provides pressure information of the air intake into the engine
Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor: The coolant temperature sensor is used to measure the temperature of the engine coolant of an internal combustion engine. The readings from this sensor are then used to adjust the fuel injection and ignition timing.
Turbocharger/Supercharger: A turbocharger, or turbo increases an engine’s efficiency and power output by forcing extra air into the engine combustion chamber

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Why people won’t buy cars online

A quick look at the used car industry in the past decade will tell you that there haven’t been many radical technological changes in the ways transactions happen in this market. Apart from a % of transactions moving online and few management and marketing tools being introduced for dealerships, there hasn’t been much change in the way decisions are made for buying/selling a used car.

With the internet becoming the primary channel for leads, information asymmetry between the seller and the buyer has become a rising concern for web portals selling these cars. The question that we must ask ourselves is, that despite being comfortable doing majority of our daily purchases online, what’s stopping us from purchasing a car in a few website visits/app sessions?

Let’s first take a quick look at how technology supporting the used car ecosystem has evolved overtime.

● First we had classifieds portals opening up and big dealerships going online
● Then came dealership management systems to make overall management easier
● We had car inspection providers come up, to allow these platforms to offer more information for customers
● Very recently we saw analytics platform and competitive intelligence platforms coming in to offer insights on what’s the right way to go

The general, albeit reluctantly accepted, trend has been to offer more and more information to the customer. But, are we giving them enough information, are we being transparent enough that we enable the customer to make his/her decision on the spot? I believe that if we were doing a good job here, then low customer trust wouldn’t be one of our biggest problems.

Coming back to the question at hand, why don’t people complete the purchase faster? The answer is simple- car sellers lie. When we sell our old cars, we want to make as much money as we can from it. Nothing wrong with that, but this often leads to people hiding critical information about the car. This, in fact, is one of the biggest reasons behind the success of platforms such as Carfax and Autocheck. They’ll expose a vehicle’s entire history to you and provide you with that extra bit of comfort.

This leads me to my next question- is the information provided by Carfax and Autocheck enough?

If it were, why do they recommend that you get a mechanic to check the car out thoroughly? That’s because these platforms, while being excellent sources of a car’s history, cannot tell you how the car is doing right now. And objectively speaking, the car’s current health & performance should be all that matter for a prospective buyer.

But with cars becoming smarter and more complex, the skillset of car mechanics has expanded, and so has the technology needed to inspect cars. Earlier, a 10 minutes’ inspection and a 5 minutes’ test drive were enough for a buyer to put a price on the car. But with advancements in underlying technology that makes cars run, we perhaps need more sophisticated, yet faster ways of assessing a car.

That’s what we are doing at CaRPM. Helping used car buyers and dealers get a snapshot of a car’s health in a 2 minute inspection. With the help of our OBD dongle and self-serve mobile application, we’ll tell you about the engine problems it has currently, what problems can you expect to occur and also notify you of the engine parts that need to be replaced. You get all this data in a nice PDF that can be shared with your customers as well!

What if you want to do a full inspection instead of just inspecting the engine? With our full 360º inspection application, we enable our partners to do a bumper to bumper inspection in 20 minutes. This includes photos, exterior checks, OBD based engine and electricals check and much more!

If you think that it’s high time you adopted a faster and comprehensive inspection technology, drop us a line at fix@carpm.in or just comment below, I’ll get back to you at the earliest.

Do let me know what you think in the comments below. 🙂

This is how you beat the odd-even scheme

Delhi-odd-even

Wondering how you’ll manage in the January cold without your car every alternate day? Below are a few tips to help you game the system:

  1. Work from home every alternate day– This rule gives you the perfect opportunity to do what you always wanted, laze around. If your boss says anything, ask him/her to pay for your cab ride.
  2. Stay in office– You won’t get a better chance than this to suck up to your boss while some folks follow Tip #1. Stay at office and spend some quality time with your boss.
  3. The name’s Bond, James Bond– Yup. Take a leaf out of Mr. Bond’s book and do this:
  4. Hide in the trunk of a lady’s car and save your hard-earned money. Totally non-creepy and won’t get you into trouble either*.*We take no guarantees as to what physical/mental/any other damage might follow.
  5. Keep calm & trust Nehru Place– The same place where your childhood computer was fixed every time. The wonderful folks there have started selling fake number plates to help car owners overcome the odd-even problem. If that’s not “seizing an opportunity”, we don’t know what is.
  6. Guys,buy a wig (maybe a couple of oranges?) and drive away. Hey, if Gutthi can do it, you can too.

If none of the above work or if you aren’t up for a dare, then visit delhi.carpm.in and find yourself a commute partner for your daily travels.

Disclaimer: This is intended solely for entertainment purposes. Readers are advised to use their own discretion while commuting.

 

 

Car Insurance – Here’s how to buy!

 

car insurance

Car, your commuting wonder, is one of the possessions that make your life simpler. Hence, it deserves the best insurance so that when you drive, you drive carefree. Buying online insurance for your car may seem like an easy option but in the e-world you might feel stranded after seeing so many lucrative offers. Consider the following factors before purchase your insurance online:

  1. Compare car insurance online: Shopping around for auto insurance can pay you back- literally.
  2. Car insurance quote: Do check the details of the insurance quotes offered by various providers. The final car insurance quote must have the option of voluntary excess, personal accidental coverage, legal liability coverage, breakdown coverage and coverage for personal belongings /audio equipments.
  3. NCB benefit in car insurance renewal: No Claim Bonus (NCB) is a discount that is offered if you do not make any claim in the existing policy year helping you to avail discount on your next premium.
  4. Don’t Reduce – Raise: Choose add-on covers to ensure that a customized need based solution for your vehicle is put together, like personal accident cover for co-passengers.
  5. Get things handy: In case of an existing vehicle, keep your RC and previous policy papers handy to fill details, apart from your debit/credit card for online payment. In case of a new car, after booking the vehicle, obtain details like engine number and chassis number, etc. for purchasing an online policy.
  6. Provide the valid information: When buying online car insurance policies provide the valid information to avoid hassles at the time of claim.

Shop smart and do your research.

4 tips to keep you healthy & your car clean!

car wash

Airborne contaminants, microbes and other sickly elements abound in both new and pre-owned vehicles. Our germs are traveling with us and everybody that travels in that car carries their germs and leaves them in your car. See these sickly elements found in your car –

  1. Bacteria – Study on microbes and cars, showed that the dashboard is the most germ ridden area of an automobile. Bacteria were also found predominantly around the coffee holder and change slot. Tip: Give the whole interior a good vacuum clean.
  2. Allergens – Allergens, including dust mites, mold reside in the dashboard and floors of many vehicles. Tip: Regular interior vacuuming and sanitizing.
  3. CO – In the summer–on congested roadways, cars can become a repository for carbon monoxide. Tip: During heavy traffic, adjust the air conditioner’s settings to recirculate indoor air.
  4. Chemical Toxins – Benzene is a cancer causing toxin or carcinogenic. Preliminary research indicates that vehicle upholstery, car dashboards, and air fresheners emit the chemical. Tip: Open the window for 10-minutes before turning on the AC to release the toxin.

Some ways to keep your car clean –

  1. Use disinfectant wipes to clean the interior of your car on a daily basis.
  2. Avoid eating in your car.
  3. Shampoo your carpets and seats on a regular basis.
  4. And last but not least, remember that your car has to be treated like an extension of your home and no one likes a dirty house!

With very little effort, your car’s interior will sparkle and protect you from bugs, coughs and sneezes.

6 things to do for your car before winter sets in!

However difficult it might be to believe, it’s already November! Winter’s Coming! If you haven’t done it already, there is still time to make sure your vehicle is well-equipped for whatever Mother Nature has in store for us this year. Here are a few winter specific maintenance tips –

  1. Take your car in for a tune-up – A tune-up will help keep your car running longer and may save you money by detecting potential problems early.
    car-tune-up
  2. Check your battery – This is important because your car’s battery can be severely weakened by the cold. Aside from the battery itself, check the charging system, cables, terminals, fluid and belts.
    car-battery
  3. Check your engine oil – You should also get your car’s oil changed! Because of the cold temperatures, thinner oil is better for your engine. Make sure you check that the transmission, brake and coolants are filled to proper levels.
  4. Inspect your tires – Your tires are the last defense mechanism between you and the oak tree. Winter is not the time to get cheap about your tires, so take the time to check the tread depth. Also, be sure to check your tire pressure.
  5. Protect your windshield – Inspect your wipers to make sure they are able to completely clear your line of sight. Make sure your washer fluid is full, and keep extra fluid in hand for long trips.
  6. Keep an emergency kit in your car – Basic medication, toolkit, torch with extra batteries, jumper cables come handy incase of emergencies.

Although winter seems to be approaching fast, don’t let it catch you off guard! Install the CaRPM app to see how your car performs during this winter.

Drive Green – There’s too much pollution already!

With Delhi witnessing its most polluted day today, we thought it would a good idea to talk about eco-friendlier driving, a few small changes in our driving habits that can help us keep our city air a little bit cleaner.

drive-green

Whether you see it as helping the environment, or just a good way to save fuel and money, here are some simple-to-follow tips on how to drive greener:

You can start right before you get in the car

  • Ensure that your car is serviced regularly so that it operates at its optimum efficiency level. Don’t forget to change the air filter and fuel filters at regular intervals.
  • Ensure that your tires are always properly inflated, as it reduces drag along the road.
  • For better fuel economy, remove all unnecessary weight from the trunk of your car, including your roof rack when not needed.
  • Plan your route before traveling to take the most direct route to your destination.

While driving

  • Practice safe driving and try to avoid sudden stops & accelerations.
  • While waiting for someone or while stuck in traffic, turn the engine off! Longer idling also leads to higher CO2 emission.

traffic-light

You do not necessarily have to own a hybrid to be a “green driver”. These simple tips can help reduce any driver’s carbon footprint.

To see just how good you are as a driver, download the CaRPM app and compare your driving skills against those of your friends. Track your car’s fuel economy, decode your Check Engine Light & do much more through CaRPM.

Share this with your fellow drivers and make your driving experience richer and greener!

What is OBDII and what it means for your car?

What is OBD?

On-board diagnostics (OBD) refers to a vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability. All the data from a car is stored in the car’s Engine Control Module (ECM) and can be read through its OBD port. The OBD port is located near the driver’s seat & there’s no need to open your car’s bonnet. Inexpensive Bluetooth scanners, available on any e-commerce websites, can be used to read this data. If you want to know the location of the port in your car, just comment below and we’ll show you where your port is.

OBDII-port-location

Why is this data useful?

We all want better fuel economies for our cars, right? Using these scanners, we can get an accurate picture of our car’s fuel economy, how much is it, what are the things reducing it etc etc. Not only this, if you car’s check engine light comes on, you will know exactly what the problem is and can ensure proper service from the mechanic.

Fuel economy sample chart

How can I use this?

All you need to do is get a scanner and download the CaRPM app. It shows you how your car is doing in real time, if it has has faults that could lead to breakdowns and how its health is varying per trip. You can buy a scanner either from eBay, Amazon or just comment here and we’ll ship one to you. Download the CaRPM app here.

CaRPM home screen

Share this with your fellow drivers and make your driving experience a richer one.

5 car accessories that make your life easier

In the age of ever advancing technologies, there are quite a few handy accessories that can make your driving experience a lot more comfortable.

1. Mobile Phone Holder

We spend 2-3 hours daily in our cars and during this time, we invariably have to use our phones, be it for navigation or texting. An inexpensive mobile phone holder can make it a lot more convenient for us to use our phones.

mobile holder

2. First aid kit

You never know when you might need to clean and cover a wound. Having a few simple items in a first-aid kit can keep the early onset of infection at bay. Keep a first aid kit in the trunk of your car, or under the passenger seat.

first aid kit

3. Flashlight

In case you ever face a breakdown on the road, a flashlight can come in handy. Whether for checking the underside of your car or ensuring you aren’t stuck in complete darkness, it’s certainly a useful thing to have.

flashlight

4. Bluetooth FM modulator

Who wants to spend thousands on new car stereos when spending just a few hundred rupees for a modulator will do the trick. FM modulators are small frequency enhancing devices which transmit music from your ipod, MP3, or other music playing device to the receiver in your car stereo. It works like a small radio station right in your car.

FM modulator

5. Gear Lock

With car thefts on the rise, having a gear lock can provide your car with added protection. A gear lock basically prevents anyone from changing gears, so unless someone has a key, they can’t drive away with your car.

gear lock

Found this information useful? Share this with your friends & family.

What’s the Volkswagen scandal and how it affects Indians

As discovered in a study in the US, Volkswagen had introduced a software in its Type EA 189 engines that enabled them to pass emission tests. But on the road, these cars emitted pollutants up to 40 times above what is allowed. Basically, the software recognizes when a car is being tested and switches on the car’s emission controls. But when the car is on the road, the controls are switched off and this results in increased pollution.

car-emission

Which cars in India are affected?

In India, Volkswagen sells Polo, Polo GT, Cross Polo, the new Vento sedan, and Jetta. Out of these, the 1.5-litre turbodiesel Polo and the Vento use the Type EA 189 engines.

What happens if my car is affected?

For now, Volkswagen hasn’t clarified if Indian cars have been affected or not. In case they are, Volkswagen may recall these cars to modify the software. As the violation involved enabling emission controls during testing, but turning them off under normal conditions to improve performance, the software update might impair a car’s performance and fuel economy.

Why should I care?

Because if you own a car, Volkswagen or any other, ensuring that it meets emission standards is your responsibility. Indian cities are already amongst the worst polluted cities in the world and if we want to continue living here, it’s up to us to maintain a clean environment.

How can I check if my car is compliant?

You can drive up to your nearest Petrol Pump, most of them have Pollution Check Centers which can give you a Pollution Under Control Certificate. There are over 388 centers for petrol/CNG vehicles and 273 centers for diesel vehicles in Delhi NCR.
You can also give us a missed call at 9717356939 or mail us at fix@carpm.in to get your car checked. While we aren’t authorized by the Govt. to hand out P.U.C certificates (nor will we), we can certainly come over and thoroughly test your car to check its performance. We’ll also give you a detailed report of your car’s overall health, and decode your car’s Check Engine Light if it’s on, all completely FREE!

Do share this with your friends who have a Volkswagen or a badly performing car!