Buying a car is one of those events which have a range of emotions depending on the kind of person there is. To the showroom staff, it is just another day at work. To some, it is another shopping experience [at least in the USA]; but for most of us, it is a lifelong dream. Right from saving up to buy the car of choice, to customizing the features that are needed before delivery; there is a good amount of planning that goes into this experience.
As mammals that have evolved over several thousands of years, we have an advanced brain which is said to be categorized into two broad functional areas. The left brain deals with the logical and analytical aspect of thinking, and the right brain is said to be responsible for the emotional and artistic aspects. Let me cut to the chase. I have been fortunate enough to buy a car in recent times and this post is about the internal conflict / synchronization between the two halves of my brain while I am in it.
Action: Press the unlock button on the car remote.
Left brain: Ok, the 40 bit pseudo random code is transmitted to the receiver in the car. This code contains information that tells the receiver to perform the unlock operation. The receiver uses the same pseudo random number generator as the transmitter, which keeps them in sync. Now that the code is recognized to be valid, the relevant actuators kick in and unlock the doors for me to enter.
Right Brain: That’s a brilliant blue exterior! Love those metallic blue grains that give the body a shine. Is the door unlocked, let me press it again to make sure. Yes, I can hear the doors unlock now. Yay! Time for another drive!
Action: Perform preliminary driving prep
Left brain: Fasten Seatbelt. Plug in the key, turn clockwise till you hear the click and the instrument panel comes alive. Check the dash for any warnings.
Right brain: The white dial on the black background looks gorgeous! So glad that I have an analog speedometer instead of a digital one.
Action: Start the car
Left brain: Step on the brakes. Turn the key clockwise to start the car. The intake valve opens up. Fuel enters the cylinder. Intake valve closes. Piston moves up, compressing the fuel. Spark plug ignites the fuel. Piston moves down due the energy generated. The momentum gained by the piston brings it back up, the exhaust valve opens to let the exhaust gases out. But wait, I am in the Parking gear [P], that’s all I have for now. But before I go I want to inform you that the wheels aren’t coupled to the engine yet via the gears.
Right Brain: The hum of the engine feels so good. Just the right amount of bass, just the right amount of vibration that resonates with my soul. <Goosebumps>
Left brain: Hey maybe you have Goosebumps because the frequency of the hum produced matches your resonant frequency! Point to ponder upon…
Right brain: Shut up!
Action: Start driving
Left brain: Step on the brakes. Shift the gear stick to Drive mode [D].Basic 4 stroke engine functionality going on. Crankshaft rotates transmitting power from the engine to the gear train. Gear train couples to the wheel to transmit the energy generated. Release the brakes. Step on the gas. Camshafts are responsible for timing the opening/closing of the intake/exhaust valves. Dual Overhead Camshaft [DOHC] engine has one camshaft for the intake valve and one camshaft for the exhaust valve which gives better intake/exhaust control to optimize the fuel consumption during idling and high speeds.
The transmission is Continuously Variable [CVT].So there are no discrete gears, we have gear cones instead of gears which means that the engine is at optimum RPM for a given speed at any point of time Cool isn’t it? 🙂
Right brain: DOHC with CVT, yeah! Just what I wanted! I have a car which uses a more precise timing control with a transmission suited for better mileage. Let me see if it gives a burst of speed when I need it. <Steps hard on the gas> <Car lunges forward> Duh, I don’t need a turbo! <Goosebumps> <Head blanks out>
A few seconds later – <Head clears>
This has been a relatively short journey in life. A few months ago, I never had the slightest idea that I would buy a car, especially the one that I had dreamed of owning in my teens. Being here is flattering and humbling at the same time. Flattering because I get to live this moment; humbling because I realize that I am standing on the success of my parents, forefathers and well-wishers. Many people have extended their support in making this possible, and the best I can do in return is to live the moment and cherish their relationships.
‘Accord’ingly, thank you Soichiro, it’s a Honda!