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Old 12-15-2002, 09:26 AM
Posts: n/a
For those of you who might not know, Jay Leno is the epitome of a car nut.

I read in a Jay Leno column where he was talking to a very competent auto tech. The auto tech told him that computerized, fuel injection cars were absolutely no problem for him, but that his worry that someone would bring in a car with a point ignition and a carburetor!

Although I consider myself very proficient in troubleshooting and correcting carburetor and point ignition issues, I realize that this technology is as antique as a steam engine.

IMHO fuel injection is the biggest reason our engines now live for hundreds of thousands of miles. There is no raw fuel dribbling down the cylinders during cold starts or stuck choke situations. This raw fuel used to wash the oil off the cylinder walls and drastically shorten engine life.

If you look at this from a purely economic viewpoint, it's easy to see the advantage of modern engine control technology. To do this consider the life of most cars and engines being twice what it used to be, it is actually probably more than that, but for comparison, let's just consider double.

This means that you cut your cost per mile for initial investment in half. With point ignitions and carburetors, maintenance was constant. Points and plugs every 10,000 miles or so, carburetors constantly requiring adjustment or more often overhaul, etc.

We now have flame thrower ignitions that make plugs last 100,000 miles and even then you look at the old ones and wonder why you are replacing them. We don't overhaul or adjust carburetors. We occasionally see a check engine light, which more often than not means that we need to screw in a new O2 Sensor, big deal.

All that said, I enjoy messing with a carburetor and a point ignition, I think because I know that there are not a lot of people still around that can do it very well. But as far as my everyday transportation, I have gotten spoiled by driving cars that I drive for 50,000 or 100,000 miles doing nothing but changing fluids and replacing filters.

You all can have all the carbureted cars you want, and when you want them to run right, give me a call. On second thought, don't give me a call, my phone would be ringing off the hook and I would never be able to get any sleep.

Those carbureted, point ignition cars will require constant attention, so I hope you enjoy giving it.

My $0.02,
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