25 Sep 2023

History of the automobile

Mobility has always played a crucial role in

the course of human development. In al-

most every era, man has attempted to find

the means to allow him to transport people

over long distances at the highest possible

speed. It took the development of a reliable

internal-combustion engines that were op-

rated on liquid fuels to turn the vision of

a self-propelling “automobile” into reality

(combination of Greek: autos = self and

Latin: mobilis = mobile).

Development history

It would be hard to imagine life in our modern-

ern day without the motor car. Its emergence

required many conditions

without which an undertaking of this kind

would not have been possible. At this point,

some development landmarks may be worthy

of note. They represent an essential contributor-

tion to the development of the automobile:

 About 3500 B.C.

The development of the wheel is attri -

but to the Sumerians

 About 1300

Further refinement of the carriage with

elements such as steering, wheel suspen-

sion and carriage springs


Steam Buggy by Joseph Cugnot


Étienne Lenoir develops the gas engine


Nikolaus Otto built the first four-stroke

internal-combustion engine

In 1885 Carl

Benz enters the

annals of his-

tory as the in-

ventor of the

first automo-

bile. His patent

marks the be-

ginning of the

rapid develop-

ment of the


powered by the internal combustion engine.

Public opinion remained divided, however.

While the proponents of the new age lauded

the automobile as the epitome of progress,

the majority of the population protested

against the increasing annoyances of dust,

noise, accident hazards, and inconsiderate

motorists. Despite all of this, the progress

of the automobile proved unstoppable.

In the beginning-

ning, the acqui-

sition of an au-

automobile repre-

sented a serious


A road network

was virtually nonexistent; repair shops were

unknown, fuel was purchased at the drugstore,

and spare parts were produced on demand by

the local blacksmith. The prevailing circum-

stances made the first long-distance journey by

Bertha Benz in 1888 an even more astonishing

accomplishment. She is thought to have been

the first woman behind the wheel of a motor-

ized vehicle.

She also demonstrated reliability

 of the automobile by journeying the then

enormous distance of more than 100 kilometers

 (about 60 miles) between Mannheim and

Pforzheim in southwestern Germany.

In the early days, however, few entrepreneurs

– with the exception of Benz – considered

the significance of the engine-powered vehicle

 on a worldwide scale.

It was the French

who were to help the automobile to great-

ness. Panhard & Levassor used licenses for

Daimler engines to build their own automo-

biles. Panhard pioneered construction fea-

tures such as the steering wheel inclined

steering column, clutch pedal, pneumatic

tires, and tube-type radiator.

In the years that followed, the industry

mushroomed with the arrival of companies

such as Peugeot, Citroën, Renault, Fiat, Ford,

Rolls-Royce, Austin, and others. The influ-

ence of Gottlieb Daimler, who was selling

his engines almost all over the world, added

a significant impetus to these developments.

13 Aug 2023

Tire Pressure Inspection 

The pressure should be checked and adjusted as well as inspecting for signs of tire wear or visible damage at least once a month.

Tire pressure should ALWAYS be set based on cold inflation tire pressure. This is defined as the tire pressure after the vehicle has not been driven for at least three hours, or driven less than 1 mile (1.6 km) after a three hour period. Tire pressure may increase from 0.2-0.4 bar (3-6 psi) during operation. DO NOT reduce this normal pressure build up or your tire pressure will be too low.


Check tire pressure more often if subject to a wide range of outdoor temperatures, as tire pressure varies with temperature changes. This means that when the outside temperature decreases, the tire pressure will decrease as well. (Tire pressure changes by approximately 1 psi (7 kPa) per 12°F (7°C) of air temperature change) Keep this in mind when setting tire pressure in the off-season, especially in early spring and winter. Example: You installed a set of R16 wheels at the beginning of the winter season at an outside air temperature of +41°F (+5°C) and you set the pressure to 2.2 bar (32 psi). When the temperature will decrease to 14°F (-10°C), there will be insufficient pressure in the tires (about 2.0-1.9 bar (30-29 psi)). Therefore, regulate tire pressure as the temperature decreases. The correct tire pressure will be set when the average winter temperature in your area is set.


- Use a gauge to check tire pressure. Do not make a visual judgement when determining proper inflation. Radial tires may look properly inflated even when they are under-inflated.

- After inspecting or adjusting the tire pressure, always reinstall the valve stem cap. This will prevent moisture and dirt from entering the valve stem, which could damage the valve stem.

Improper inflation pressure can cause uneven wear patterns to develop across the tire tread. These abnormal wear patterns will reduce tread life resulting in a need for earlier tire replacement. Under-inflation also increases tire rolling resistance and results in higher fuel consumption.


Improperly inflated tires are dangerous and can cause collisions:

- Under-inflation increases tire flexing and can result in tire over-heating and failure.

- Over-inflation reduces a tire’s ability to cushion shock. Objects on the road and chuckholes can cause damage that result in tire failure.

- Unequal tire pressure can cause steering problems. You could lose control of your vehicle.

- Over-inflated or under-inflated tires can affect vehicle handling and can fail suddenly, resulting in loss of vehicle control.

Vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire inflation pressure is shown on the Tire and loading information label, located on the driver’s side B-Pillar, on the back of the fuel filler flap or in the glove compartment. In addition, the recommended tire inflation pressure is given in the Owner's Manual of your car.

This label showing the vehicle’s loading capacity, the original equipment tire size and the recommended inflation pressure for normal and high speed operation conditions. A lower tire pressure value is set if the vehicle is mainly operated with normal load and without exceeding speed limits. Increased tire inflation pressure (up to 0.2-0.4 bar (3-6 psi)) is set for vehicles that are operated with increased load or when driving on high-speed roads.

Also, on some models with factory sports suspension settings, a different inflation pressure for the front and rear wheels may be given. When replacing wheels or adjusting the tire pressure, ensure that the tire pressure is within the recommended range. Proper tire inflation pressure is essential to the safe, satisfactory and economy operation of your vehicle.


A higher pressure (by 0.1-0.3 bar (1-4 psi)) for the front wheels reduces understeer in a FWD models. On the contrary, there is oversteer in a RWD models, and for its partial compensation the manufacturer can set a higher pressure for the rear wheels.

Usually, to adjust the tire pressure car owners use an air compressor which is also used to control inflation pressure. According to tests of automobile air compressors, the readings of integrated pressure gauges of most compressors are overestimated by 0.1-0.3 bar (1-4 psi). Therefore, in order to properly adjust the tire pressure, it is recommended to inflate tires with the compressor or a pump above the recommended value by about 0.5 bar (7 psi), then connect a good quality pocket-type gauge to the nipple of the tire and release air as needed by pressing squarely onto the valve stem by the pressure gauge.

Useful tips for adjusting tire pressure

If you want to reduce understeer:

- add air to the front wheels;

- release air from the rear wheels.

If you want to reduce oversteer:

- add air to the rear wheels;

- release air from the front wheels.

If you need to transfer heavy cargo in the trunk:

Increase the tire pressure in the rear wheels by approximately 0,2 bar (3 psi).

Before a long trip on highways with good coverage:

Increase the tire pressure in the front and rear wheels by 0.2-0.4 bar (3-6 psi). This will reduce fuel consumption and improve the vehicle maneuverability.

Before a long trip on roads with poor coverage or gravel roads:

Decrease the tire pressure in the front and rear wheels by 0.2-0.4 bar (3-6 psi) to avoid a jarring and uncomfortable ride.


The fuel consumption will increase, and the maneuverability will decrease slightly.


Under-inflation can result in tire over-heating and failures, ABS and speedometer's problems. So do not decrease the tire pressure too much.

When stuck in mud, sand or snow:

Decrease the tire pressure in the front and rear wheels to 1.0-1.4 bar (15-20 psi). In this way you will significantly increase the contact area of the wheels with the ground, which can help overcome a difficult stretch of the road or clear a stuck car. When moving with such low tire pressure, try not to run into rocks or sticks to avoid damage to the tires. Drive slowly, keeping braking to a minimum and avoiding violent movements of the steering wheel. After overcoming immediately stop the vehicle and inflate the tires to the recommended pressure.


- Only the driver is responsible for the decision to reduce tire pressure. The decision must be commensurate with the situation in which the driver turned out to be.

- This recommendation is relevant only for the vehicles equipped with tires with a high aspect ratio (at least 55%). DO NOT decrease the tire pressure if your vehicle is equipped with the low profile tires - it will cause their damage.

Eric Maapeh
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