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Journeys : October November 2009
Buying a new or used car has never been easier. autoSEARCH Tasmania will: • Find the type of vehicle you require • Arrange a discounted RACT Vehicle Inspection, if required • Negotiate a special ROADSIDE cardholder's price, including your trade-in • Arrange a manufacturer's or dealer's warranty on most vehicles sold. This independent service is free to RACT ROADSIDE cardholders. Statewide 0418 123 060 Hobart 6231 9992 Launceston 6334 3965 autoSEARCH autoSEARCH ding preventative health specialist "Hearing loss should ated early" Dr. Ross Walker -- lead Medical research has proven that early intervention assists the treatment of hearing loss and lets patients enjoy life to the full. FREE Hearing facts newsletter If you or your partner would like a copy of the latest edition of this informative newsletter please call now. We care about your hearing 1800 057 220 Professional advice about your hearing health Garry McDonald tackles hearing loss head on Dr. Ross Walker says "Why suffer in silence" Vicky's Aussie mum has y VICTORY! new lease on life 1800 057 220 Hobart - Launceston Devonport - Kingston Beach Visiting Service across Tasmania www.audioclinictas.com.au When I mentioned to a colleague that I was driving a V8 Holden Calais V with AFM, he jokingly responded, "Don't all cars have FM radios these days?" As if we needed another motoring acronym, this one has been developed in response to these environmentally-con scious times. Holden has introduced their Ecoline range of vehicles, engines and technologies. These include turbo-diesel and direct-injection petrol engines, all using leading-edge technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Ecoline range also introduces AFM -- Active Fuel Management -- on the Holden Calais 6.0L V8. Under certain operating conditions, AFM allows the V8 engine to run on four cylinders. In the world of modern vehicles this isn't new -- various manufacturers have had a range of engines r unning on reduced cylinders for quite a few years, but until now Holden hadn't dabbled in the technology. In motoring terms, Holden's 6.0L V8 engine is a bit of a dinosaur. It doesn't boast multiple overhead camshafts, variable valve timing or direct injection. Just loads of cubic inches to provide boundless amounts of torque for effortless cr uising on the highways or easy towing of the boat or caravan. The trade-off, of course -- more frequent visits to the bowser and more CO2 emissions. That's where AFM can help. How does it work? Tech-heads, read on. Valve lifters, operated by the engine's camshaft, lift a pushrod that operates the valves in the cylinder head. In an AFM engine, special lifters are installed in cylinders 1, 4, 6 and 7. The hydraulically-operated lifters have a spring-loaded locking pin, moved by oil pressure. For deactivation, hydraulic pressure dislodges the locking pin, collapsing the top portion of the lifter into the bottom and removing contact with the pushrod. The bottom of each lifter rides up and dow n on the cam lobe but the top doesn't move the push rod. The valves don't operate and combustion in that cylinder stops. During reactivation, the oil pressure is removed, and the lifter locks at full length. The pushrods and the valves operate normally. Four solenoids, managed by the computer, control oil flow to the lifters, activating and deactivating the valves. The injectors feeding the deactivated cylinders are shut down electrically by the computer during deactivation. AFM's response time varies with oil temperature, but is always measured in milliseconds and AFM in operation is virtually unnoticeable. As this system is activated by oil, it is vitally important to ensure the cor rect oil is used, and it is regularly changed according to the ser vice schedule. What does all this mean from the driver's seat? Put the foot down and you still have that fantastic power (260kW) and torque (517Nm) to keep you firmly planted in your seat. At the bowser, official figures say the combined cycle will net you 12.6L /100km. I effortlessly m anaged 9.1L /100km out on a highway cr uise, but if you spend too much time in the hustle and bustle of suburbia, be prepared for numbers in the high teens. Darren Moody Life on the move October / November 09 34
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