Electronic Fuel Injection

Did EFI Make NASCAR Engines More Reliable?

In 2012, NASCAR moved from carburetors to Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI). This made people like me happy because my friends who denigrated NASCAR as hopelessly outdated and behind the times have one less argument to use against me. There were […]

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Childers, Rodney

Estimating Fuel Mileage

Last week at New Hampshire, Kevin Harvick easily had the most dominant car, but failed to win the race. They ran out of fuel with three laps to go and finished 21st. The #4 team […]

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Cooling

Engine Issues at Talladega: Vapor Lock, Gas Cans and Oil Coolers

An usual number of teams “ran out of gas” or had engine troubles during the Talladega race. The TV analysts had some ready answers for what might have caused these problems. Their extemporaneous theories tend to elicit sighs from engine builders, who know that problems can rarely be diagnosed at the track – and even more rarely by someone who hasn’t looked at the car.

A wonderful aspect of blogging is that we’re not called to have answers on the spot like the television broadcasters and we have the leisure of time. Let’s examine some of those theories. […]

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Electronic Fuel Injection

The Truth about Cell Phones, ECUs and Car Control

It didn’t take long after Brad Kezelowski pulled out his cellphone during the 2-hour-long Daytona red flag for the conspiracy theorists to leap into action.

The argument goes like this: Cellphones should be banned from the car because a driver could use his specially prepared cellphone to a) change the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and/or b) transmit data from the car back to his crew chief during a race. We will not address the suggestions that the driver could use the cellphone to talk secretly to the crew chief during a race because anyone who has been in a race car or worn a helmet knows that’s just plain dopey. […]

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Electronic Fuel Injection

Engine Maps Explained

In my last post, I detailed how the relays in the ECU system allow the system to flip to a default engine map. This lets the team keep running, even when something fails, and it decreases the chances of the ECU doing something that blows up the engine. Here’s a short explanation of what exactly an ‘engine map’ is and what it does. […]

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Childers, Rodney

Phoenix: Relay Race?

The race at Phoenix was the first non-restrictor-plate race. A number of drivers experienced engine-related problems, leading some media outlets to start blowing the “EFI problems” horns as loudly as possible. Mark Martin, the pole sitter, was an unfortunate casualties of a “flipped circuit breaker”. One of the most interesting exchanges to me was a series of tweets and a radio interview with Mark Martin’s Crew Chief Rodney Childers (@rchilders55) in which Childers repeatedly said it not “an EFI problem”, the radio commentators persisted in saying that it was. […]