Yes, even though my degrees are in CS and EE, even I don't think that
EVERYTHING has to be controlled with electronics and software! It is
like the headlights on my 03 Dodge minivan. They are controlled via the
BCM rather than directly switched like my 96 Plymouth minivan. There is
a noticeable delay between flipping the switch and having the lights
change from low to high and back. I'm not really sure that having the
computer dim the headlights is really progress, especially when there is
a detectable delay. They either should use a faster processor or go
back to a relay.
I assume the Sonata is controlled by computer also, but I haven't
noticed any significant delay in the dimmer switch, unlike the throttle
which has a noticeable delay and then too much gain once it begins to
move. It also seems to be rate sensitive. It feels, to me anyway, that
the faster I move the throttle the faster it responds, but not linearly
with speed as one would expect. It seems that moving the throttle twice
as fast gets 3-4 times the rate of RPM increase.
Presumably, the lower compression results in better durability.
Realistically, this powertrain has been around in the U.S. since 2001
(only since late 2003MY in the Santa Fe) and there have been a few
improvements in that time, mostly in the transmission and throttle
controls. This makes it difficult for me to make any kind of experiential
conclusion in terms of real long-term reliability. In my opinion, there
have been very few serious problems, but I've also seen more issues than
I'd like with the variable intake and throttle motors. I'm currrently
replacing the block in an XG because of an issue with coolant in one of
the cylinders, but this is also the only vehicle with this powertrain that
I've seen with such a serious engine issue that wasn't owner-induced.
That may well be true (at least theoretically), but with gasoline at
$2+/gal (and almost certain to at LEAST double over the next decade)
it's going to take an awful lot of increased durability to even come
close to offseting that extra cost due to decreased fuel
efficiency...especially considering how long most engines go now days
without any significant maintenance anyway. Add in the fact that my
new powertrain is warranteed for 10 years and I fail to see the benefit
of sacrificing mileage (especially when the vehicle is newer, smaller
and ligher) for some potential reduction in engine cylinder wear.
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