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| Customers often think that computer diagnostic tools have made diagnosis quick and easy; the truth is that while they help, there is still much troubleshooting and testing to be done after the computer reports some trouble codes. In this video master mechanic Bernie Pawlik shows a check engine light diagnosis and what it takes to get your auto repair done right.
Citroen is a French automobile manufacturer. Founded in 1919 by André Citroën, it was the one of the world’s first mass-production car company outside of the USA. Since 1976 it has been part of PSA Peugeot Citroën, and its headquarters is on rue Fructidor, in Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint-Denis, near Paris. The brand celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2009.
Originally a mass-market car maker with relatively straightforward designs, Citroën shocked the world in 1934 with the innovative Traction Avant, the world’s first mass-production front wheel drive car (1934–57). Other significant models include the H Van (1947–81), the 2CV (1948–90), the DS (1955–1975) and the CX (1974–91).
The Citroën Traction Avant (French pronunciation: [tʁaksjɔ̃ʔaˈvɑ̃]) was an innovative front wheel drive automobile produced by the French manufacturer Citroën. About 760,000 units were produced from 1934 to 1957.
The Traction Avant, French for "forward traction", was designed by André Lefèbvre and Flaminio Bertoni in late 1933 / early 1934. While not the first production front wheel drive car – Alvis built the 1928 FWD in the UK , Cord produced the L29 from 1929 to 1932 in the United States and DKW the F1 in 1931 in Germany – it was the world’s first front wheel drive steel monocoque production car. Along with DKWs 1930s models, the Traction successfully pioneered front wheel drive on the European mass car market.
The Traction Avant’s structure was an arc-welded monocoque (unitized body). Most other cars of the era were based on a separate frame (chassis) onto which the non-structural body ("coachwork") was built. Monocoque construction (also called Unit Body or "Unibody" in the US today) results in a lighter vehicle, and is now used for virtually all car construction, although body-on-frame construction is still suitable for larger vehicles such as trucks.
This method of construction was viewed with great suspicion in many quarters, with doubts about its strength. A type of crash test was developed, taking the form of driving the car off a cliff, to illustrate its great inherent resilience. 
The novel design made the car seem very low-slung relative to its contemporaries — the Traction Avant always possessed a unique look, which went from appearing rakish in 1934 to familiar and somewhat old fashioned by 1955.
The suspension was very advanced for the car’s era. The front wheels were independently sprung, using a torsion bar and wishbone suspension arrangement, where most contemporaries used live axle and cart-type leaf spring designs. The rear suspension was a simple steel beam axle and a Panhard rod, trailing arms and torsion bars attached to a 3-inch (76 mm) steel tube, which in turn was bolted to the "monocoque".
Since it was considerably lighter than "conventional" designs of the era, it was capable of 100 km/h (62 mph), and consumed gasoline / petrol only at the rate of 10 litres per 100 kilometres (28 mpg-imp; 24 mpg-US).
The original model, which was presented on 18 April 1934, was a small saloon with a 1303 cc engine. This model …
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BMW Group will present the new, electrically-powered MINI E to the global media for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Show on 19/20 November 2008. 500 MINI E vehicles will then be shipped to the US states of California, New York and New Jersey for testing with private and corporate customers.
The development of the MINI E underlines BMW Group’s commitment to reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in road traffic, without compromise to the driving experience. The 500 cars bound for North America will offer BMW Group the opportunity to evaluate ownership potential for vehicles supplied with an electric power supply. BMW Group aims to begin series production in the medium term of all-electric vehicles as part of the company’s Number ONE strategy.
The cars will be delivered to customers on a one-year lease with an extension option. Monthly lease installments will cover any required technical service including all necessary maintenance and the replacement of wearing parts. At the end of the lease, all of the automobiles belonging to the project will be returned to the BMW Group’s engineering fleet where they will be subjected to comparative tests.
MINI E specification and performance
The MINI E’s electric drive train produces a peak torque of 220 Nm, and power is delivered to the front wheels via a single-stage helical gearbox. This unique engine and transmission arrangement powers the MINI E seamlessly to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 95 mph.
Based on the current MINI Hatch, the car will initially be available as a two-seater. The space normally inhabited by rear passengers is reserved for a lithium-ion battery.
When in use in the zero-emissions MINI, the battery unit combines high output with ample storage capacity and remarkable power output. The lithium-ion storage unit will have a maximum capacity of 35 kilowatt hours (kWh) and transmit energy to the electric motor as direct current at a nominal 380 volts. The rechargeable battery is made up of 5,088 cells grouped into 48 modules. These modules are packaged into three battery elements that are compactly arranged inside the MINI E.
The energy storage unit’s basic components are based on technologies proven in power supply units for mobile phones and portable computers. The MINI E’s lithium-ion battery can be plugged into all standard power outlets. Its charge time is strongly dependent on the voltage and amperage of the electricity flowing through the grid. In the USA, users can recharge a battery that has been completely drained within a very short period of time using a wallbox that will be supplied as standard with every MINI E.
The wallbox will be installed in the customer’s garage, enable higher amperage, and thus provide for extremely short charging times. Wallboxes fully recharge batteries in just two-and-a-half hours. Only lockable garages or similar buildings will qualify as power stations for the MINI E.
Driven by electricity: zero emissions at minimal cost
A full recharge draws a maximum of 28 …