Two Japanese innovations that changed autos forever
Yesterday, I talked about a technology that could potentially change auto manufacturing forever; one that is being spearheaded by Mazda, a Japanese company. That made me think about the innovations that the Japanese have contributed to gasoline cars - two of which radically changed the life expectancy of our automobiles forever.
I'm talking about full-flow engine oil filtration and gear-reduction starters. These two things have made the cars we drive today live longer and with far fewer service requirements than did cars of just a few decades ago.
So although American and European automakers have done most of the work (and deserve most of the kudos) for the rapid evolutions in engineering that have brought us to today's modern vehicles, these two innovations from Japan deserve a place in history as engineering that literally changed the world - and for the better.
Full-flow Engine Oil Filtration
Unless you are familiar with maintenance on classic vehicles, you are likely not aware that up until the mid-1960s, most oil filtering systems for automobiles were bypass filters, which only filtered a small percentage of the oil as it circulated, the idea being that over time, all of the oil would be "cleaned" eventually. Today, this idea has seen a resurgence, but mostly as an add-on to the current standard of full-flow oil filtration.