With fuel prices across the nation exceeding $3 per gallon and continuing to rise, Delphi Corp. has introduced a technology that will help reduce refueling costs by increasing efficiency.
Delphi’s cylinder deactivation valvetrain technology can improve vehicle fuel economy by up to eight percent based on federal testing procedures. This allows drivers to extend the distance a vehicle will travel on a tank of gas, which ultimately helps cut consumers’ fueling costs.
"Fuel costs are increasing today and will most likely remain high," said Guy Hachey, president, Delphi Powertrain Systems. "Consumers are eager for better fuel efficiency, and cylinder deactivation is an immediate and cost-effective solution that allows customers to save at the pump right now."
Cylinder deactivation is an advanced valvetrain technology that deactivates up to half of the engine’s cylinders under certain driving conditions. For example, with an eight-cylinder gasoline engine, up to four of the cylinders cease to operate when there is a light load on the engine such as cruising on the highway. The system precisely closes the intake and exhaust valves on the targeted cylinders using electronically controlled hydraulic actuation, while disabling fuel and spark to those cylinders. Fuel economy is improved because the firing cylinders operate at higher load, reducing the pumping losses of the overall engine. When the driver needs full power, the system then reactivates all the engine cylinders.
Furthermore, drivers no longer have to sacrifice performance for fuel economy. Because cylinder deactivation is engaged only under light engine demand, drivers have full cylinder use during any situation when they may need it, such as in towing, pulling into traffic or accelerating. Unlike some other fuel-savings technologies, cylinder deactivation allows engine power to be readily available.
"Cylinder deactivation really is a win-win solution for consumers," said Hachey. "Drivers can cut fuel costs without cutting performance when they need it. Additional fuel savings can be achieved by pairing the technology with other Delphi products, such as adaptive cruise control, electric power steering or cam phasing."
For the 2006 model year, cylinder deactivation is available on the Pontiac Grand Prix, Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Chevrolet Impala passenger cars. Additionally, it is standard equipment on the 5.3L V-8 GMC Envoy XL and Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and optional on other engines.
Additional tech support for Delphi products can be found at http://go.delphi.com.