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Unread 03-25-2008, 10:17 AM   #1
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Hi..

Okay.. I admit it, I simply suck at cars, I really don't get a lot about them. Unfortunately, I am the nerd, I was good at computers, math and physics, but even my first moped I f-ed up completely....

Therefore, I really need I ask a very noob question to you guys (please be gentle with your replies, I can take the harassment, but no wedgies or that toilet head flushing thing)....

So.. I need to buy a new car soon, my old one (Rover 216i from 97) crapped out... something that I blew the head gasket and f-ed up some cylinders. I only paid 3500 CHF for the thing and it needed to be repaired for 2000 CHF. Me with my math skills, figured, that aint worth it...

Therefore, I need to get a new car, brand spanking new or less than 1-2 years old with some dealer warranty still on it.

But here is the issue, what size engine to choose, 1.2, 1.4 or 1.6. So far, as I can see, the larger the engine, the more horsepower. I lived in an area with mountains and big hills, so my mind says more horsepower the better. The logic behind that is, if you need to pull/push something up a mountain side (like me+1 and a car) that is measured in Newtons, Newtons can be recalculated into horsepower and the more horsepower you have the more you can pull up. Physics.. simple enough, or not...

But apparently no - and this is where I get lost - it also depends on the car and some of "the stuff" it offers. My fiancé, who's father is a home taught auto mechanic, told me, that its not only about the horsepower, but couldnt really explain, what else it was.

My logic makes sense to me: You need force to push/pull you, force is measured in Newton or Horse Power, the more you have the more you can push/pull.

What is it I am getting wrong about this.... ????? Can you explain it to me?

btw...I am looking to buy a Nissan Note, since the family is expanding and I had it as a rental for 1.5 months and it was a pretty good car for my needs.

Regards, Peter-Noob-DB

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Unread 03-25-2008, 10:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterDB View Post
Hi..

Okay.. I admit it, I simply suck at cars, I really don't get a lot about them. Unfortunately, I am the nerd, I was good at computers, math and physics, but even my first moped I f-ed up completely....

Therefore, I really need I ask a very noob question to you guys (please be gentle with your replies, I can take the harassment, but no wedgies or that toilet head flushing thing)....

So.. I need to buy a new car soon, my old one (Rover 216i from 97) crapped out... something that I blew the head gasket and f-ed up some cylinders. I only paid 3500 CHF for the thing and it needed to be repaired for 2000 CHF. Me with my math skills, figured, that aint worth it...

Therefore, I need to get a new car, brand spanking new or less than 1-2 years old with some dealer warranty still on it.

But here is the issue, what size engine to choose, 1.2, 1.4 or 1.6. So far, as I can see, the larger the engine, the more horsepower. I lived in an area with mountains and big hills, so my mind says more horsepower the better. The logic behind that is, if you need to pull/push something up a mountain side (like me+1 and a car) that is measured in Newtons, Newtons can be recalculated into horsepower and the more horsepower you have the more you can pull up. Physics.. simple enough, or not...

But apparently no - and this is where I get lost - it also depends on the car and some of "the stuff" it offers. My fiancé, who's father is a home taught auto mechanic, told me, that its not only about the horsepower, but couldnt really explain, what else it was.

My logic makes sense to me: You need force to push/pull you, force is measured in Newton or Horse Power, the more you have the more you can push/pull.

What is it I am getting wrong about this.... ????? Can you explain it to me?

btw...I am looking to buy a Nissan Note, since the family is expanding and I had it as a rental for 1.5 months and it was a pretty good car for my needs.

Regards, Peter-Noob-DB

Your question is a bit confusing but I'll try to answer it as best I can. The other thing you need to be concerned about is engine torque, which is basically the force applied to turn the crank shaft. I would say personally higher torque is actually more important than high horsepower. I doubt that any modern car you buy will have no problem getting you and one other person up a hill. If you are looking at the Note the diesel version is the one to get. Its a little more expensive but gets great fuel economy (55mpg avg), and because its a diesel it has high torque. Specs for the engine were 1.5L 86HP, 200N of torque. Higher torque also means the vehicle will accelerate faster at lower engine RPM's
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Unread 03-26-2008, 10:27 AM   #3
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Hi DMAN,

Sorry, for not keeping the question simple enough, let me refrase it:
"Does the engine size, i.e. 1.2 1.4 1.6, really matter, if you need to get up a mountain or hillside?"

You mention, that torque also comes into play, but it does not really matter these days. However, why then sell different engine sizes? Plus, even with the cars, that I have been looking at, they never mention the torque on the cars?

As for choosing diesel here in Europe, unless I drive more than 30.000 kilometers per year, its not worth it due to taxes. And, diesel and normal unleaded are roughly the same price across Europe now.

Regards, Peter

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Unread 03-26-2008, 03:28 PM   #4
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Hi

Any engine size will get you where you want to go. The difference is how fast and how long.

Smaller engines use less fuel, but are slower and may not last long term if run at high speeds for extended periods.

Bigger engines use more fuel, but are more "fun" to drive, and generally last longer for extended highway use.

So if you are just going to putter around and not going to put a lot of high speed miles on it, the smaller engine will do fine.

In North America Horse Power is all that matters, lots and lots of horse power. Torque is just getting noticed.

Simply put, Torque is what gives the car a push right from the start. (think Pit Bull) Horse power gets it moving fast. (think Grey Hound)
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Unread 03-26-2008, 04:03 PM   #5
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1.2L! WOW thats small. Bigger displacement typically means more power or more potential for power, but that also depends on the design of the engine (compression, cam, etc). Horsepower and Torque both play big roles. A 1.6L is never going to make much torque. Ive seen 400hp Hondas make like 200-something torque. Bigger engine with more cylinders make more torque than horsepower a lot of times (mine does).
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Unread 03-27-2008, 04:57 AM   #6
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Mr Car Guy: I think now I am getting around to better understanding this. Actually, to a level, that my previous view on the matter, is due for some re-thinking.

LS1Z28> 1.2L might be small, but compare, that to the Daewoo Matiz, which is a 0.8L and a regular small family car here in Europe.

In general here in Europe the fuel consumption is more a point of concern, than horsepower or looks (expect maybe when looking at the upper-class, euro-douchebags, italians and spaniards).

Taken the new VW BlueMotion line, 3.8L for 100 KM (that's circa 1 gallon to 62 miles). My old beat-up Rover 216 gave me 7L per 100km (1.8 gallon per 62 miles) and most average cars gives you the same of slight more here at the moment.

But our fuel prices are also much higher than yours (and have been for years), current price at current exchange rates: 1 gallon of unleaded 95 octane circa 7.30 USD (price is here in Switzerland 1.85 CHF per liter at this moment).

Hence the reason for going to low fuel consumption engines.

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Unread 03-27-2008, 07:59 AM   #7
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Well the high fuel prices in Europe is probably why over 60% of the vehicles over there are diesel based. The new diesels coming from Mercedes, VW and Audi are low emissions due to an additive they've come up with called AdBlue which is a biodegradable substance that is sprayed in small amounts into the catalytic converter. In the hot exhaust, the solution breaks down into ammonia, which then splits into nitrogen and hydrogen. So the emissions are very low, probably even lower then most petrol (gasoline) based cars. Diesel engines also tend to last a long time, my father has over 800 000 km on his jetta, and he doesn't really take good care of the car imo.
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Unread 03-27-2008, 06:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterDB View Post
Mr Car Guy: I think now I am getting around to better understanding this. Actually, to a level, that my previous view on the matter, is due for some re-thinking.

LS1Z28> 1.2L might be small, but compare, that to the Daewoo Matiz, which is a 0.8L and a regular small family car here in Europe.

In general here in Europe the fuel consumption is more a point of concern, than horsepower or looks (expect maybe when looking at the upper-class, euro-douchebags, italians and spaniards).

Taken the new VW BlueMotion line, 3.8L for 100 KM (that's circa 1 gallon to 62 miles). My old beat-up Rover 216 gave me 7L per 100km (1.8 gallon per 62 miles) and most average cars gives you the same of slight more here at the moment.

But our fuel prices are also much higher than yours (and have been for years), current price at current exchange rates: 1 gallon of unleaded 95 octane circa 7.30 USD (price is here in Switzerland 1.85 CHF per liter at this moment).

Hence the reason for going to low fuel consumption engines.
Haha, yea i know most cars' engines over there are small. But damn, 0.8L! Whats that have like 50hp? That couldn't even get a couple people up a hill. Gas isn't cheap over here, but i know it's crazy expensive over there. Over here getting 17 miles per gallon is totally worth it to me with my car (it gets 17-18 city, 27-28 highway, but i average 17 because i don't drive it easy). It's at 3.30 USD right now near me for Regular which is 87 octane. It's been 4.18 USD for Premium in Hawaii and Cali. We don't even have 95 octane here except at drag strips. Premium is 91-93 octane here. Premium is usually .20 USD more than Regular, although i have seen it .40 USD more in places.
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Mods: Longtube headers, 3" ORY and Catback, Cutout, SLP Lid, K&N Filter, Stage 2 Clutch, and Pro 5.0 Shifter
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