## The Countdown to Maker Faire Bay Area is On!

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Brian says of CarBibles.com

This is a cool site with all kinds of good car info

Indeed, There are lots of tips on improving your vehicle’s operation.

Some highlights:
Fuel efficiency

You go biking or skiing at the weekends. Great. When you’re commuting to work, that empty roof rack is adding aerodynamic drag to your car. More drag means more power to overcome it, which means worse mpg. Take it off when you’re not using it. Same goes for those ‘aerodynamic’ roof boxes – if you’re not using it, get rid of it. Yes they look aerodynamic but the fact of the matter is they do induce drag. And to be honest, they look silly. Hey – I know it means getting up and doing something rather than just routinely getting in your car and driving off but we’re talking about gas mileage here. mpg. Fuel economy. It’s all to do with money. Be lazy? Or save money?

Brakes

If you did any sort of physics classes when you were back in school, you might remember something called mechanical advantage. In its most basic form, mechanical advantage is the ratio of force-in to force-out in a mechanical system. Mechanical Advantage = Effort Torque/Load Torque.
For example a 20kg weight 1 metre from a pivot can lift a 40kg weight 0.5m from the pivot on the other side. The effort torque and load torque calculations are to do with force in Newtons and distance from pivot point. Hence torque is measured in Newton-metres, or Nm. A Newton is the amount of force required to accelerate a mass of one kilogram by one metre per secondÂ². On Earth, where acceleration due to gravity is 9.8m/sÂ², the force exerted upon a mass of 1kg is 9.8N (usually rounded up to 10N). Another popular notation is lbf.ft – pound-force-feet, commonly referred to as foot-pounds. 1 Newton-metre is equivalent to 0.737 foot-pounds.

Some of the sections have very good CAD models of the parts of systems. There is a lot more, some very thorough examinings of the transmission, suspension and just about every aspect of your vehicle. If you have any good car projects going or information to add, let us know in the comments.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

### Chris Connors

Making things is the best way to learn about our world.

View more articles by Chris Connors

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