Downsizing is wrong

ER Classics Desktop 2022

We were recently at a serious engine overhaul company. Contrary to what we thought, the lion's share of the work there did not come from 'our', traditional, angle. The owner of the company even said: “Downsizing is no good. I would never buy a car after 1990. Or it should be a Korean. After that time they used 'old' Japanese technology for a while.

Small powerhouses

With the engine blocks with almost no displacement but with a serious power that for some years now have become the norm to replace the more spacious in their dimensioned seated four- and six-pits of 'Vroegah' (Mazda is a sensible exception there) everything revolves around maximum efficiency. The digital results are impressive, but if we can believe the specialists, the risks in terms of reliability are not small. The engines must be economical and clean and at the same time deliver high power. This is possible, no problem at all, but it is at the expense of sustainability. It all started with the arrival of the catalysts and the lean burn engines with their deadly hot spots. And that with two tons it is 'game over' for many such engines? We should keep that in mind when purchasing an occasion. It is not very durable, moreover.

Then and now

In the 1970s, an 1.2-liter engine was completely high-tech when it supplied 60 hp. If you opened the hood you could see all service points and reach them immediately. There was workspace under the hood. Today you can no longer find an engine with the same displacement with less than 80 hp. With turbo these engines often even easily deliver more than 100 hp. And yet should they be more economical and reliable? All faith has its limits.

Een brug te ver

In summary, all those problems with downsizing due to components that appear to be too light in practice, a high load on those components due to the most efficient possible combustion and optimum performance, and the fact that car manufacturers under pressure of environmental legislation no longer have the time to sufficiently implement new technologies. To test. As a result, new solutions are brought to market too early and therefore there is only time to correct errors 'afterwards'. Timing chains are often carried out too lightly, a problem that in particular drivers of Volkswagen, PSA and BMW products will recognize.

Change more oil, replace spark plugs more often

Furthermore, it appears that the 'stretched' oil change intervals and contamination due to short journeys are also a blow to the downsizing technique. A basic advice to replace spark plugs in accordance with the 'old-fashioned' times, to replace the oil and filter annually and in any case not to make short journeys. But hey, we already took the bike for those short journeys. The smarter use - or switch off - of the stop-start system can also extend the lifespan.

But then again: Under the hood of a modern car, it looks like a place where every mechanic wants to stay away. The only part that is usually easily accessible, that is the plug to read the system.

Perhaps one day we will also have to go to The Hague in an angry pillar. Then we can go better with our classics. That gives less chance of breakdown and is more sustainable.

Downsizing is a weakness and LPG is environmentally friendly
And that is an 1900 cc BX that steps over four tons



Give a reaction
  1. So true this. If something sounds too good to be true, it is just that. Metal is still metal, no matter how hard it is. And if you use all the tolerance that is mechanical, then the quality goes down. It's that simple.

    Everything for the emission and consumption figures. Where car builders used to do a lot from emotion and conviction, now it's all about politically correct and shareholder value. The car is more than ever a means to. The emotion is limited to the design and that also proves to be quite difficult.

    In addition (and also because of that, I think) the younger generation never looks under the hood and wants to know at most about how much horsepower and what the acceleration is. The Playstation and Apple content is what matters today.

    The first owner often manages without too many problems. Moreover, there is a lot of private lease, so the dealer keeps the misery out of sight with replacement transport and no bills. But the real shit is for the occasion buyer.

    With cars I dare to say that it was not that bad early… indeed. I drive nice and fat young timers while that is still allowed.

  2. I miss too much nuance here. There is no mention of the substantial increase in weight due to safety features, which are particularly beneficial to the occupants of the vehicle itself, but are detrimental to the rest. And according to the serious accident this weekend in Kortemark, these are not necessarily cyclists or pedestrians, but equally modern light vehicles. It would be a formidable idea to prohibit all safety features on the belt so that drivers no longer think they are invulnerable.
    Furthermore, (I quote) "well: we already took the bicycle for those short journeys." perhaps for the Netherlands, but certainly not for Flanders, where the habit is maintained of driving 150 meters to the bakery by car, and also idling there.
    With a lot of common sense, LEZs were not necessary, but yes: the power of a car today is inversely related to the intelligence with which the car is used.

      • Dear Dolf,
        Your message is on time. I was just planning to buy a used Peugeot 2008 with 25000 km, but I also had my doubts because this type initially caused wear on the camshaft chain. So I keep on heating up with my Peugeot 305 Automatic from '86. Just like an engine like that Citroën BX. I'm not even ready for 3X around the clock, so I can go ahead a bit. Note, 1 on 14 on the main road and practically no oil consumption. How do those French linkmels do that?

        • Nice stove in your 305, I would say!
          My “daily driver” is a 205 from 1997; there is almost never anything wrong with it.
          Just continue to pamper (read: maintain) and she will last for years (there is now 178.000 km) on the counter.

          Also striking: it hardly rusts.

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