Foul Fiero

With all of the concern about indoor air quality (IAQ) these days, you may have noticed a foul odor emanating from your Fiero's air conditioning. It may smell like a locker room, and it doesn't just smell bad, it may be hazardous to your health. The air entering into your car, when you operate your car's A/C, passes over the A/C evaporator (the cooling element). When you operate the A/C, water condenses around the evaporator coils. Moisture vapor can also collect in the ducts of the system once the car is no longer running due to the cool surfaces of these components relative to the outside air. This moisture collects airborne pollutants such as dust, dirt, pollen, spores and germs. It also provides an environment for bacteria, dust mites, and fungi to grow. These nasty critters create the bad odor that blows out of your dashboard vents.
Many newer cars are equipped with micro filters that catch pollutants from the air before it enters the car. However, the odor from thriving bacteria and fungi will still remain. There are two ways to combat this problem. There are commercially available products designed to cleanse the HVAC system. The products are generally sprayed into the exterior air intake vents and inside the interior vents. For maximum effectiveness, this should be done annually. In conjunction with this, it is advisable to leave the car open when parking after using the A/C. Leave the sunroof open or crack the windows to allow air movement through the car. Adequate ventilation prevents the environment from becoming favorable for the growth of odor causing and sometimes-harmful bacteria and fungi. (Source: autopia)

Combating Rising Gasoline Prices

Just as many of us bring our Fieros into the light of day to enjoy cruising around, the cost of fuel begins its assent into the stratosphere. The Midwest, of all places, was subjected to the highest gas prices in the nation last year. In the Detroit area we had to pay $2.50 or more for regular (87 octane) unleaded. The rumor was that gas prices were to top out at $3.00 per gallon this year, but thankfully, that didn't happen! There is one way to combat high fuel prices. Don't buy more octane than you need.
Many people believe that "premium" gas is the best gas you can put in your car. Premium simply means that it has the highest octane rating, and the highest unit cost. Octane is a measurement for a gasoline's ability to resist premature ignition. What this means to an engine is an ability to resist knock, rattling and pinging resulting from premature ignition of the compressed fuel-air mixture in the cylinder.
Most gas stations offer three gasoline grades; regular at 87 octane, mid-grade at 89 octane, and premium at 92 or 93 octane. Some stations offer and economy grade at 85 octane. The rating is required by law to be posted on the pump. It is usually a yellow decal next to each grade. The misunderstanding about octane is that the higher the octane, the more power, performance, smoothness, and fuel economy will be realized. Premium gas does not have any more potential energy than regular grade. The octane grades are designed to accommodate various compression ratios of various engines. High compression engines found in performance cars require a fuel that burns at a higher temperature. Use of a lower octane in these engines will result in diminished performance due to premature ignition prior to the piston reaching its full upward movement and thus less than full compression, resulting in less power. Premium fuel used in an engine that is not designed for high-octane gasoline results in unburned fuel, excess carbon build-up and fouling of the plugs. The result is an engine that is actually less efficient.
Our Fieros, with stock engines, are designed to operate using regular unleaded gasoline. So not only do we have fuel-efficient cars that are fun to drive, we also get to pay the least amount for gasoline. Keep the extra change to buy some Fiero parts! (Source: autopia)

Bad Habits Die Hard

We all like to think we are Steve McQueen in Bullet as we traverse the countryside in our manually equipped Fieros. It sounds great and provides some satisfaction that we have more control over our cars than those driving slush boxes. We love to downshift. But downshifting to slow a vehicle is a bad habit. Realistically you should be using your brakes to slow the car. Downshifting is appropriate when selecting the proper gear to exit a curve or turn, or when attacking a steep grade. However downshifting to slow a car results in additional wear on the clutch, transmission synchronizer rings and crankshaft. Clutches and transmissions are expensive to repair, with a clutch replacement costing in the $600 to $1,000 range. Compared to the replacement of the brake pads, the savings may be enough to make you 'brake' a bad habit.

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