An advertisement for the new Cadillac claims that the car...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1995

Dear Tom and Ray:


An advertisement for the new Cadillac claims that the car is capable of travelling 50 miles without engine damage even if it lost all of its coolant. The Cadillac saleman said that this is the result of a sophisticated system that he is unable to explain. Can you explain it?
John

TOM: A sophisticated system that he is unable to explain. Are you sure he wasn't talking about the pricing system, John?

RAY: Cadillac's emergency mode works by monitoring the temperature of each cylinder. That's what you're concerned about when the car is "overheating."

TOM: When a cylinder gets too hot, the computer shuts down the fuel injector to that cylinder to let it cool off. Then, when it's cool enough to operate again without damage again, that fuel injector is turned back on. So at any time, you could have, say, four cylinders running, and the other four cooling off. And that's enough to keep the car going in an emergency. How many do you want, anyway? Honda got by on four cylinders for years.

RAY: And look at my brother's '63 Dodge Dart. Even on its best days, it runs on only three.

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