With the BS-6 regulations coming into effect, there are confusions and doubts rife among the car owners regarding the fate of their prized cars. So, here’s clearing some of the air by explaining to you the difference between BS-6 ready and BS-6 compliant cars.
BS-6 compliant cars are the ones that have been made that way from the onset. Their emission levels match the new regulations, and they are compliant with the new BS-6 fuel that has been distributed now to all the major Indian cities..
BS-6 ready engines are the ones that are mainly BS-4 engines, but these can be upgraded to make these compliant with the emission norms associated with BS-6 norms & can run on BS-6 fuels. Now, you must be worry whether your BS-4 cars can be used after the BS-6 regulations come into effect from 1st April 2020. The answer to that is: yes, you can run your cars on the roads as usual. According to the authorities, the BS-4 cars that were bought before 31st March 2020 will stay operational for the entire period of registration. Both BS-4 and BS-6 are emission norms that set the maximum permissible levels for pollutants emitting from a car or a two-wheeler exhaust. Compared to the BS4, BS6 emission standards are stricter than before. While manufacturers use this as a chance to update their vehicles with new features and safety standards, the biggest change comes in the form of stricter permissible emission norms.
If there is nothing wrong with your car, then the engine should start up right when you turn your key. In the background, there is a whole bunch of other things that happen at the same time to help your car get started. The Electronic Control Module makes the ignition coils deliver power to the spark plugs. There is a gap in the spark plug that makes a spark in your engine cylinder. It ignites the fuel and makes the piston go up and down. The engine starts spinning after this which makes the wheels turn, and you drive away.
Ignition coils are basically copper wires that are wrapped around an iron piece. There is usually an ignition coil for each spark plug. So, like there will be six coils for six cylinders. Now, speaking of ignition coils, when they start failing your engine begins making startling noises, and the check engine light starts flashing. A tired and old spark plug can lead to the failure of the ignition coil.
Thus, it is important to carry our preventive maintenance of the spark plugs, and change them on schedule. Besides, ignition coils cost way more than the spark plugs. Having a bad ignition coil can drastically affect the Electronic Control Module. Repairing the Electronic Control Module can be really expensive. Thus, ignition coils are so important for your car. But, to make sure that the ignition coils are in proper working condition, you need good spark plugs.
Thus, though both premium ignition coils and premium spark plugs are important for your car, the latter is slightly more significant. Besides, buying premium spark plugs will cost you much less and it will also help in keeping the ignition coils healthy for a long time.
As a car owner, you would not want to see your check engine light turned on. After all, it is a warning that is meant to tell you that your prized car needs repairs or services. The check engine light usually comes up to indicate that there is something wrong with the emission system of your vehicle. The light usually goes on when the oxygen sensors of your car start malfunctioning.
How does oxygen sensors help in fuel economy?
Oxygen sensors are the part of your car’s emission system. A car might have one, two, or even four oxygen sensors, depending on the engine model and type. Generally it is fitted with two oxygen sensors one is before catalytic convertor (exhaust system) and one is after. It is an oxygen concentration sensor which measures the residual oxygen content of the exhaust gas and then transmits a signal to the engine control unit in the form of an electric voltage. The oxygen sensor voltage allows the control unit (ECU) to detect whether the mixture is too lean or rich. If the mixture is too rich, the control unit reduces the quantity of fuel in the A/F ratio and increases it if the mixture is too lean.
One thing all of the oxygen sensors have in common is that they age and eventually become contaminated. An aging oxygen sensor is slower to respond to changes in the air/fuel mixture, which hurts fuel economy, performance and emissions of your engine.
The engine basically runs lean when fuel ratio is less in air fuel mixture. And, on the other hand, the engine runs rich when fuel ratio is high in air fuel mixture. Both of these conditions are bad for the car because it leads to engine damage and reduces fuel economy. The oxygen sensor helps in keeping the emissions in check, and thus, saves your fuel.
The introduction to new emission standard i.e. BS-6 (Bharat Stage-6) by the Indian Government, has a lot of characteristics and norms to be followed by the vehicle manufacturers. One of the most significant ones from them is OBD. OBD stands for On-Board Diagnostics and is performed with the help of a few sensors that are installed on board for running diagnostics, thus the name. In other words, it is the vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability. It gives the data about various systems of the vehicle and provides useful insights in case of malfunction. This data can then be used to pinpoint the point of error which then can be fixed directly instead of finding the fault separately. It uses a set of pre-installed codes that denotes which is the type of error that is present.
In addition to this, OBD can also be used alongside other various handheld devices and other scan tools which can then share the data across for further insight into the issue. Emission testing is also done with another computer setups. The testing computer can query the vehicle’s onboard computer and verify that there are no emissions that do not comply with the guidelines and make sure that the emission of the vehicle is permitted as per the manufacture year of the vehicle since all the vehicles that are registered before the application of the new regulation are exempted from the BS-6 norm and have to comply with the BS-4 regulation.
The Onboard Diagnostics can analyze a variety of emissions including the sulphur traces in the exhaust fumes (that should be no higher than 10ppm as per BS-6) and a few nitrous compounds that exit the engine and are released into the atmosphere from the exhaust.
The new emission standard, BS-6 is right around the corner. This means as the BS-6 ready vehicles start to hit the road, the gas stations should be ready for them too. BS-6 vehicles do not run on the BS-4 fuel, instead, they need BS-6 grade fuel. Most of the pollution exiting the car exhaust is more in correlation with the fuel that is being used and a relatively small role is played by the engine. So let us discuss how this new type of fuel is different from the BS-4 grade fuel and how does it help in achieving lower emissions.
One of the key differences in the BS-6 fuel is that they have a much lower amount of sulphur in them. This means there will be fewer gaseous compounds of sulphur will be escaping into the atmosphere, about five times fewer for both petrol and diesel vehicles. The newer fuel will also have a different octane number. This brings up the question, what is octane number? The octane number of gasoline provides a measure of the fuel’s ability to resist auto-ignition, which can cause engine knock and damage the engine. The octane number of the BS-6 grade fuel is at par with the fuel that is Euro-6 grade. Euro standard is similar to BS emission standards and is practised in all the nations that are a part of the European Nations (EU). A better octane number means a better performance of the engine as well. Due to this relation of octane number and the performance that the engine is able to deliver with, the fuel used for racing and aviation purposes have a very high octane number as well.
The new BS-6 (Bharat Stage-6) regulation by the Indian Government is aimed to combat the ever-increasing air pollution in the country. This regulation will be applicable from April 1, 2020. The new BS-6 ready vehicles will release a significantly lower volume of harmful gases with the help of BS-6 grade fuel. Now the question that arises, is this applicable on petrol and diesel vehicles both or are their certain exceptions? The answer is yes, this norm is applicable to both diesel and petrol vehicles. One of the major changes that this new stage makes is the reduction of sulphur being used in the fuel as well as the sulfurous gases being released from the exhaust. Since these gases are pumped out from all vehicles, it will be applicable to all of them, diesel or petrol, two-wheelers or four.
The permitted emission of the sulfurous particles is now 10ppm (10 parts per million). This is in line with the Euro-6 emission that is the norm in European Union (EU). A reduced sulphur trace also means better performance for the engine, while still doing less harm to the environment. For both petrol and diesel i.e. gasoline-based fuels, the octane number for the BS-6 grade fuel is also going to increase. Octane number is a measure to calculate the efficiency of the fuel that is determined in a lab with various testing methods.
Next thing that is to be followed by both petrol and diesel vehicles is the OBD and RDE. This is the major benefit of this new regulation. OBD refers to onboard diagnostics. This means that a bunch of sensors that are loaded onto the BS-6 vehicles run a diagnostic on the exhaust fumes to make sure the emission levels stay within the prescribed limits. On the other hand, RDE is Real Driving Emission which is to be used on all vehicles, enabling real-time tracking and analysis of the emissions.
BS (Bharat Stage) emission standard is the standard that is prescribed by the Indian government for the automobile manufacturers to adhere to. As per this standard, the exhaust of the vehicle can only emit certain harmful gases to a limit, in order to keep the damage done to the environment as low as possible. The list of the gases that are monitored vary with each stage of the standard and sometimes even include the amount of Oxygen from the exhaust. Currently, the BS in practice is BS-4 and its successor BS-6 is to be applicable from April 1, 2020. Beyond this final date, vehicles that are built with BS-4 compatibility will no longer be able to register. The upcoming BS-6 is substantially better than its predecessor since the BS-5 is being skipped altogether.
A vital difference between BS-6 and BS-4 is that BS-6 contains five times fewer sulphur traces, which means that less amount of sulphur dioxide (SO2) which is a major pollutant. Sulphur Dioxide is not only harmful to the environment but can also mix with other substances and form sulphuric or sulfurous acid which themselves are a hazard alone. Another gas whose emission is to be reduced in BS-6 is NOx. One incredible thing about BS-6 is that they bring OBD (onboard diagnostics) into the picture. The OBD unit can identify likely areas of malfunction by means of default codes stored in system. There are provisions for diesel vehicles as well to ensure a better way to combat pollution in addition to the general norms. Apart from this fuel injection system in two wheelers will also be introduced by manufacturers.
BS-6 ready engines do not achieve all of this on their own. They need BS-6 grade fuel to function in the way they are intended to and to keep the emissions to the minimal.
Spark plug is a device which creates an artificial bolt of lightning in the combustion chamber of an engine. It transmits the high voltage electricity to ignite a spark which further fires the air and fuel mixture in the combustion chamber of the engine. This spark starts the combustion process which eventually powers our cars and motorcycles.
A good spark plug results in the smooth start of the engine along with the better fuel economy which eventually results in the longevity and good health of the engine. Nowadays there are different kinds of spark plugs available in the markets to choose from i.e. copper, platinum and Iridium spark plugs.
Copper Spark Plug
The copper spark plug is the most commonly used spark plug as it is the cheapest among the three. In copper spark plugs the outer material used is nickel-alloy which wears down easily because of the high pressure and the high heat generated in the cylinder of the engine. This wear results in the fouling of the spark plugs because of this they have a short life span.
Platinum Spark plugs
Platinum has a higher melting point than the nickel-alloy. Also, it is harder which is the reason it maintains its sharp edge for a longer time than the copper spark plug. Another advantage is that it easily handles high heat which increases the overall life span of the spark plug. Platinum spark plugs comes in two varieties – single platinum spark plug and double platinum spark plug.
Iridium spark plugs
Iridium has higher melting point and it is stronger than platinum which provides it superior wear characteristics. Also, iridium spark plugs feature a thin wire center electrode which conducts electrical energy better and increases the firing efficiency. Because of all these qualities, the life span of iridium spark plugs are more than the platinum spark plugs.
Health of the spark plug is directly linked to good engine performance. Nobody wants his or her car’s engine to be in a bad state. But we often see that many people ignore the health of spark plug and this way they don’t get the best of their car’s engine. A failing or bad spark plug leads to problems with cold-starting and misfires while accelerating. This also leads to a drop in the fuel economy.
Ideally, spark plug should be checked and replaced as per the recommendation by automobile manufacturers, but in general it should be checked on regular basis because the life of a spark plug is somewhere depends on the way and style of driving. Apart from this, the life of spark plugs also depends upon the material spark plug is made of. To be precise, copper spark plugs have the shortest life span when compared to iridium spark plugs, which lasts for a longer period and delivers a superior performance. Therefore, replacing a spark plug after certain time period is a wise decision and has other benefits as well, such as:
Improved fuel economy
A faulty spark plug causes misfiring and drop the fuel economy. With the replacement of new spark plug, this fuel is saved, eventually leading to better fuel economy.
A faulty spark plugs does not allow the proper combustion process to take place, resulting in the harmful emissions, which ultimately leads to air pollution. Therefore, to keep the environment clean, spark plug should be changed accordingly.
Smooth engine starts
In the morning, everyone wants a hassle-free ride to their destinations. A healthy spark plug makes sure that your engine starts in the first self only, leading to a smooth and peaceful ride. Say good-bye to the jerky starts by replacing the ageing spark plug.
Increased life of the engine
A healthy spark plug ensures proper combustion process to take place smoothly and effectively, which in the long run increases the life of the engine.
A cozy blanket, woollen hoodies and a cup of hot tea are how we care for ourselves in the frost season but the spark plug in your vehicle needs just a bit more love. The dip in temperature can result in poor performance of the engine of your vehicle. The optimal range for the working of your vehicle stays constant even if the surrounding is cold and getting to that optimal working temperature against the cold is often the reason that engine functions in an unintended manner.
One of the common issues associated with winters can be sudden acceleration bursts, loss of power in the engine and taking a long time to start to name a few. This is one of the reasons why using the genuine spark plugs for your vehicle is recommended to avoid this issue as much as possible. Lower temperatures take away from the efficiency and power of the battery of your vehicle and battery is what the spark plugs use to generate the spark that starts the combustion engine. Due to constant use, the intended gap of the spark plug might change and this issue is not always easy to spot in summer season but the winter season can highlight this problem. If the spark plug gap is ideal then the vehicle will not take as long of a time to start as it would if the gap has increased.
If the start attempts fail, it can fill excessive fuel inside the engine which can result in fouling and ultimately hindering the working of the spark plug. This usually happens in a cold start and if the occurrence is frequent, getting the battery and the spark plug checked would be a good idea.
Regardless of the reason, it is always recommended to let your vehicle warm up before you start using it to let the engine reach its optimal working temperature.