My neighbor's Chevy Silverado pickup truck is parked along the side of his house and has not moved for weeks. It's running crappy. He replaced a sensor and for a while the truck ran fine. But only for a while. The man is Mexican and speaks broken English so I'm not sure what sensor he is referring to. Something that monitors and adjusts air flow, and somehow its getting clogged by dirty fuel (??) or otherwise just breaks, and the engine runs too rich. The problem started after running out of gas and adding gas from a can that may have had old gasoline in it.
Trying to help, I go online and poke around for known issues with 2006 Silverado fuel systems. What I find is a long list of possible causes, a sea of acronyms such as MAF, FLS, PCM, EFI, and forum postings by guys who spent up to $1,000 swapping out components to try and make their internal combustion engines run properly.
Most of the wailing and gnashing of teeth stems from issues relating to smog controls. That's what all those sensors are there for. They are trying to mitigate the pollutants coming from the tailpipe. The pollutants still come out, but there's fewer of them if the sensors are working.
Of course we all know that. But just getting a glimpse of my neighbor's problem, and why he is just parking the vehicle in lieu of shelling out the bucks to diagnose the issue, reminds me once again of the incredible simplicity of the electric motor. I'm sure that Martha Stewart considers electric motors in cars a "good thing". Not that anyone would care what Martha thinks about anything these days.
But along with all the collective truisms of western culture that in fact are true... like these:
Don't step on Superman's cape.
No good deed goes unpunished.
Charlie Don't Surf.
An apple a day....
... we might want to add this one:
Electric motors don't pollute