Police forces trial all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Ford Mustang Mach-E police car concept

Ford has unveiled Mustang Mach-E police concept at the Emergency Services Show in Birmingham, following several requests from forces around the country to evaluate the pure electric SUV.

The Metropolitan Police Force has already appraised the standard Mustang Mach-E and has now requested a full test of the marked concept. Also waiting for an opportunity to try the new 999 vehicle are the Sussex, Surrey, South Wales, Dyfed Powys, Devon & Cornwall and Police Scotland forces.

The initial concept is a demonstrator Mustang Mach-E Standard Range AWD (all-wheel drive). Subject to testing of this model, Ford is planning to offer Extended Range versions of its RWD (rear-wheel drive) and AWD versions. The extended battery types would give the police even greater range, and therefore versatility and capability, for police operations.

Instant and super-quick acceleration – the new Mach-E is capable of 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds (GT version) and 111mph – will be a useful weapon against crime for any police car, but the Mach-E will offer the forces one of the most economical and environmentally-friendly cars on their fleets.

The conversion of the original Mach-E was carried out by Ford’s long term partner to the blue light industry, Safeguard SVP, a specialist constructor based in Essex.

Among the equipment fitted to the concept car are bespoke mounting pods and brackets to ensure suitable locations are found for operational use, with minimal damage to the vehicle. All lighting is LED with very low power consumption to reduce current draw from the vehicle’s 12V power system.

Meanwhile, the 999 livery is a first-off design which utilises high specification material to maximise day and night visibility requirements.

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New E10 petrol perplexes a quarter of motorists

Gareth Herincx

4 days ago
Auto News

One-in-four drivers are still in the dark about a new greener fuel now available at pumps, according to RAC research.

More than a quarter of drivers (27%) are yet to check whether their car is compatible with E10 petrol which arrives at forecourts this month, with a similar proportion (24%) unaware that the new fuel is being introduced to replace E5 as the standard grade of unleaded petrol.

A blend of petrol and ethanol, the Government says E10 could cut transport CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road. The ethanol used is made from materials including low-grade grains, sugars and waste wood.

However, a small number of older vehicles, including classic cars and some from the early 2000s, will still need more expensive E5 super unleaded fuel, which is why it remains as an option.

Engine damage could be caused to cars incompatible with the new fuel. If you’re in any doubt, check if your vehicle can run on E10 petrol using the Government’s simple online tool.

Of those drivers surveyed who know their main car is not compatible with the new E10 fuel, the impact of the cost of having to fill up with super unleaded instead – which can cost around 12p more per litre than standard unleaded – is the single biggest concern, cited by 59% of respondents.

Around half (53%) are worried about finding forecourts that sell E5 super unleaded in the first place, while a fifth (20%) fear mistakenly filling up with E10.

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iCarsoft CR MAX – The Best Automotive Diagnostics Tool Around?

Diagnosing faults in a car back in the old days was a chore and a half. More often than not, you’d have to look straight into the depths of the engine bay. Sometimes, you’ll tear apart entire units and components just to find out that the problem isn’t even there. Thankfully, electronic wizardry has made life that much easier now, especially when you have tools like the iCarsoft CR MAX.

As an OBD reader for automotive diagnostics, could the CR MAX be the best of the bunch? If we take appearances into account, it doesn’t look all that special. But once you peer deep inside, that’s when you realise that there’s a majesty in how it analyses data and error codes. iCarsoft’s latest multi-brand diagnostics tool could be plugged into vehicles by any one of 40 different brands.

From sports cars to lorries, vans to pickup trucks, it can scan quite a lot of them. For £379.00, that sounds like a great deal, no? Well, let’s take a peek and see what else it can do…

Could it stand out in a market that already has a bunch of excellent OBD diagnostic tools? If we….error codes.

As iCarsoft’s latest multi-brand diagnostics tool with a 7-inch LCD capacitive touchscreen & 1024 x 600 quality displays, it can scan through vehicles made across over 40 different marques, from sports cars, vans to pickup trucks. For £379.00, that sounds like a great deal, no? Well, let’s take a peek and see what else can make this device any special…

The Basics

First and foremost, what can the iCarsoft CR MAX diagnose? As an OBD reader, we’ll need to better understand the limits of what it can – and can’t – scan. Thankfully, it looks like most of the bases that you’ll ever need your OBD scanner to do is covered here. This benefit is multiplied by the fact that the CR MAX could be plugged into so many different models and makes of automobiles.

Since it’s an OBDII device, the iCarsoft CR MAX’s many capabilities as mentioned earlier is thus easily compatible with most vehicles dating back 20 years. Up top, you’ll interface with the CR Max using its responsive, crisp, and clear display. Underneath, there are OBD functions that you’ll be familiar with from other OBD scanners.

One significant upgrade compared to previous iCarsoft devices and similar OBD readers, the CR Max has OTA functionality. This means that the data and diagnostics could be updated in a flash, all thanks to automated over-the-air updates. No longer would you need to plug it into a computer for its library of codes and tests to be refreshed. There are a few other extra tricks up its sleeve, too.

For example, there’s the Freeze Frame system. With this, you can take a snapshot of the vehicle’s operating parameters when, say, the emissions control fails. By screenshotting every variable when the issue occurred, it makes it easier for you to point out the cause. There are also built-in tests for the Evap system, O2 sensors, and more.

  • I/M Readiness – A tool to check if the car’s emissions systems are working properly.
  • O2 Sensor and Evap System – There are tests and diagnostics for each.
  • Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) – You can relearn the throttle control valve values.
  • ABS Bleeding – It can release air from the ABS braking system to restore performance.
  • Injector Coding – Relearns the injector control parameters.
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) – Reprogramming for testing or replacement.
  • AFS Head Lamp Reset – Rotate, recalibrate, or keep your adaptive headlights in place.
  • Air Suspension – You can reset or recalibrate the electronic air-ride suspension.
  • Steering Angle Sensor (SAS) – Recalibrate or relearn.
  • Oil Warning Light and Check Engine Light – Reset, as well as resetting the service mileage.
  • Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) – You can activate or deactivate them for servicing.
  • Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) – Regeneration control to clear away any soot.
  • Battery Management System (BMS) – Register a new battery.
  • Gearbox Reset – Relearn the ECU and TCU on how to better monitor your driving style.
  • A/C Service – Recalibrate the air-conditioning control systems, such as the mass airflow sensors.
  • Air Filter – Tools for relearning the filtration system after a service or replacement.
  • Fuel Pump – Activation function for when you get a new one.

More Special Service Functions

Plus, there are detailed OBD relearn coverages for each vehicle stored in the CR MAX. This includes detailed on-screen relearn procedures to help expedite the process. Here are just a few examples:

  • ‘Gearbox Reset’ to reset transmission adaptive learning DIY, get ECU & TCU worked together by monitoring your driving pattern.
  • ‘A/C Service’ for recalibrating the air-conditioning control units, such as the mass airflow system.
  • ‘Air Filter’ servicing to relearn the filtration system following a replacement.
  • ‘Fuel Pump’ activation function to relearn it when you get a new unit , bleeding of high-pressure fuel circuit ,check Fuel quantity
  • ‘Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)’ to relearn the throttle control valve values .
  • ‘ABS Bleeding’ to release air from the ABS braking system to restore performance.
  • ‘Injector Coding’ to relearn the injector control parameters.
  • ‘Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)’ programming for testing and inputting TPMS sensor replacement .
  • ‘Head Lamp Reset’ to rotate or recalibrate the adaptive headlights, or to keep them in place.
  • ‘Air Suspension’ relearn for the systems to reset electronic air-ride suspensions.
  • ‘Steering Angle Sensor (SAS)’ calibration and relearn.
  • ‘Oil Warning Light’ or ‘Check Engine Light’ reset, or reset the service mileage.
  • ‘Electronic Parking Brake (EPB)’ deactivation and reactivation for servicing.
  • ‘Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)’ regeneration control to clear soot.
  • ‘Battery Management System (BMS)’ to register a new battery.
  • Engine adaption (ECM) for routine maintenance of engine modules like reset or delete the adaptation values, calculate fuel consumption.
  • Transmission adaption (TCM): for routine transmission maintenance like reset adaptation values, adjust the oil level.
  •  Body Stability (BSC) for routine maintenance, reset or delete the adaptation values, start-up the unit.

The Ease Of Use

Through the modified Android operating system, you can have quick and easy access to all of the CR MAX’s functions. It’s no harder to use than your smartphone, making it an approachable device, even in the hands of a novice. As with any OBDII reader, you could, of course, read and clear out error codes. As for the former, the CR Max lets you view the data in a number of different ways.

You could have your intel be presented as a simple text, through graphs, or as a simple analogue output. The information could be streamed live, as well. On top of that, you could use the built-in recording tool to record the live diagnostics data pulled from the car. With a swipe here and a tap there, you’ll soon end up browsing through an entire vehicle’s subsystems and directories.

Other types of data can be pulled in, too. For example, think about examining a vehicle’s service or MOT history. Or, you could scan the vehicle’s VIN to understand more about its past life, and how it was made. As a whole, the only thing the iCarsoft CR MAX can’t do is auto-magically fix your car for you.

Otherwise, it contains anything you need in an OBD reader, and more. If you need a do-it-all OBD reader, the CR MAX is certainly worth a look.

EV owners urged to choose correct replacement tyres

Home / Auto News / EV owners urged to choose correct replacement tyres

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Owners of electric vehicles (EVs) should pay close attention to the tyres they choose when the originals need replacing, warns TyreSafe.

Increasingly, advises the UK road safety charity, tyres fitted are specifically designed for use on EVs and can be significantly different to the ‘normal’ tyres motorists are familiar with.

Fitting the wrong type of tyre could result in loss of range, extra noise, accelerated wear and the risk of failing while being driven, which could result in a serious incident.

TyreSafe has released detailed advice for EV owners in the ‘About Tyres’ section of its website, tyresafe.org.

Four reasons why correct EV tyres matter

There are a wide range of factors which are important to choosing the right tyre, which the vehicle manufacturer has already taken into account when fitting the originals at the factory.

  1. The vehicle’s weight is just one as it influences the amount of air pressure required to keep a tyre in its optimal shape along with the stiffness of its sidewall and even its centre section. EVs are well-known for being heavier than their petrol or diesel equivalents, so an owner must be aware of their tyre’s load rating when a replacement is needed as well as maintaining the recommended tyre pressure at all times.
  2. Another consideration is the impact tyre choice can have on an EV’s range, due to its ‘rolling resistance’. A tyre should have the least rolling resistance as possible, however, as always, a balance needs to be struck as grip is essential for safety when it comes to braking. Minimising rolling resistance while providing adequate grip seems like a contradictory requirement but this is a key performance characteristic for EVs to ensure maximum range.
  3. The tyre also needs to be robust as EVs produce maximum power from standing. This places high demands on the rubber compound, which needs to be of the right mixture of components and have the appropriate tread pattern to provide a lifespan comparable with petrol or diesel vehicles.
  4. The amount of noise the tyre produces as it travels over a road surface is yet another example of the possible adaptations which could make tyres for EVs different to those of a petrol or diesel vehicle. As EV motors produce very little noise, the quiet cabin environment is one of the big attractions of these cars, which could easily be ruined by the wrong choice of tyre.

“Tyres are an extremely sophisticated piece of technology, which we all too commonly take for granted,” said TyreSafe’s Stuart Jackson.

“Choosing a like-for-like tyre will allow EV owners to enjoy the full benefit of the electric car revolution and reduce the risks of an incident.”

Tags Audi e-tron GT Electric Car electric vehicle Electric Vehicles EV Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 tyes Tyresafe

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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Revealed: UK’s Top 10 used cars

Gareth Herincx

4 days ago
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Sales of second-hand cars are rocketing in the UK, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The amount of used cars changing hands more than doubled in the last few months. Year on year, the market grew 108.6% in the second quarter – that’s a near-record 2,167,504 second-hand vehicles.

The boom is being driven by various factors including pent-up demand after successive lockdowns, a global chip shortage that has dented production of new vehicles and people remaining wary of public transport as they return to work.

UK’s Top 10 used cars

  1. Ford Fiesta – 94,206
  2. Vauxhall Corsa – 73,366
  3. Ford Focus – 72,105
  4. Volkswagen Golf – 69,582
  5. Vauxhall Astra – 56,189
  6. BMW 3 Series – 48,849
  7. MINI – 48,140
  8. Volkswagen Polo – 40,372
  9. Nissan Qashqai – 35,897
  10. Audi A3 – 34,888

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