Cylinder Deactivation is set to be the new ‘buzz word’ when it comes to new cars. It may sound a little technical but it really is easy enough to understand.
If you think of Cylinder Deactivation as ‘Cylinders on Demand’, you’re pretty much half way there.
Cylinder Deactivation refers to a method used to create a variable in the supply of power, created by an engine, dependent upon the conditions and the vehicle’s requirement.
Manufacturers are only too aware of a buyers desire for more fuel-efficient cars. We hate filling the tank up as much as the next person but with cylinder deactivation, set to be introduced in to more and more vehicles along with other fuel efficiency methods, is great news for our wallets and also the environment.
Most vehicle engines consist of multiple cylinders, anywhere from 2 to as high as 16. Valves at the top of the cylinders control the amount of fuel that is allowed to enter each cylinder. Fuel that is injected into these cylinders along with air is then compressed, which results in an explosion to create energy and enable motion.
Cylinder Deactivation will kick in most commonly when a car can identify that it is ‘cruising’. When it recognises this cruise mode, the car will then limit the amount of cylinders it delivers fuel to, cutting the amount of fuel being used when it isn’t required. When the car then next identifies that it requires a boost of speed the cylinders will then in turn be fed fuel and used again.
The car’s computer system cleverly identifies when Cylinder Deactivation is safe to use. It will identify whether the conditions are safe in order to prevent it kicking in at a time where it would be unsafe for example going around a traffic island where the engine may require a boost of speed to leave the roundabout.
On UK roads you’re most likely to find such technology on models throughout the VW Group. Although Mercedes have also dipped into the technology Volkswagen remain the frontrunners in terms of Cylinder Deactivation.
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