Automobiles are motor vehicles that run primarily on roads and seat one to eight people. They are typically powered by internal combustion engines and have four wheels. They are the most common means of personal transportation worldwide. A car is a great way to get around town, go shopping, or visit family and friends. Whether or not you should own a car will depend on a number of factors, including your budget and lifestyle needs.
Choosing Between Public Transport and Owning a Private Vehicle
Many studies have predicted that the automobile will soon be replaced by other modes of public transport, especially ride-hailing or mobility-as-a-service apps. However, such predictions are often flawed and fail to take into account socioeconomic factors. These include the fact that most people value the autonomy and convenience offered by owning their own vehicles, even if these cars are a drain on their finances.
Having a car allows you to travel independently, without having to rely on the schedule of buses and trains. If you’re planning a day trip or a long vacation, travelling by car gives you the freedom to make stops along the way and spend as much time as you like with your loved ones. It also means you won’t have to worry about making it to your destination on time or about catching the next flight.
The car’s engine, transmission and exhaust system are designed to meet the emission standards imposed by governments and consumer demand. Emissions have been reduced by using computerized design to control fuel injection, spark timing, cylinder-to-cylinder distribution of air and fuel, choke operation, combustion chamber design, intake valves, nitrous oxide (NO x) reduction catalysts and exhaust gas recirculation. In addition, the location of the engine in the vehicle’s body is often determined by stability considerations. For example, the engine is normally located at the front of the vehicle to enhance its handling and stability.
Although the development of outstanding technical advancements in the automotive industry has made it possible to produce cars that are safer, quieter, and more economical, these developments have not been without cost. A study by Ward’s Communications Incorporated shows that the average price of an American vehicle rose $4,700 between 1980 and 2001, largely because of mandated safety and emission-control performance requirements.
Tampering and Vehicle Emissions
Many of the emissions reduction technologies in current light-duty cars are susceptible to tampering. A study conducted by the Automobile Club of Southern California shows that disabling catalytic converters increases HC and CO emissions by 475 percent and 425 percent, respectively. Disabling three-way catalysts increases NO x emissions by 175 percent. The amount of extractable particulate matter from diesel exhaust is also significantly increased by tampering with the system.
Other systems have been devised to monitor the tampering of these emissions control devices, but these methods can be costly and time-consuming to implement. The most reliable method of detection is through the use of exhaust gas analyzers to measure the amount of nitric oxides in the engine exhaust.