Seasoned car journalist turned blogger ROY LANCHESTER looks into the fascinating world of fuel injectors
If you are of a certain age, you will remember when all cars boasted the humble carburettor. I can certainly recall this simple yet complicated device with its various foibles and problems. It often needed adjusting, it was prone to causing trouble and it made an unreasonable PR man extremely angry when he discovered that I had removed it from the press demonstrator and swapped it for the lower specification one on the Peugeot 205 belonging to my then-wife. Funnily enough, until a few years ago I used to see that very same Peugeot still driving around town. Unlike my ex-wife, it looked in tidy condition for its age and I was technically allowed within 30 feet of it!
Nowadays the carburettor has gone the way of the wire wheel, the starting handle and the ability I have to borrow cars from Peugeot. What has replaced it of course is the fuel injection system. I bet most of us pay very little attention to this marvel of modern engineering. I must admit, I gave it very little thought and this situation did not change, even when I was invited to visit the British manufacturing plant of Akeisan Injectors. However, I later learned that lunch would be included and realised just how interesting fuel injectors are.
The Akeisan fuel injector factory is in Loughborough. I found myself ‘between press cars’ on this occasion, but the trip by rail simply flew by and required only three trains, two arguments and some help from my good friends Mssrs Whyte and Mackay. After the third argument of the day, resulting from a need to remind the Akeisan PR man that it was not his place to question how late I was nor what I smelt of, I was handed a useful USB stick containing a potted history of the company.
For example, did you know that Akeisan was founded in 1957 in Nagoya in the Aichi Prefecture of Japan and swiftly became a most valued supplier of fuelling systems within the vehicle industry of its home nation. The 1980s was a time of great expansion for the company with new factory facilities in the United States, Canada and Europe, as well as a growing customer base of many global manufacturers. The Loughborough plant was opened in 1987 and grew with the phase 2 expansion in 1998. It supplies fuel injectors, lines and pumps to OEMs in the UK and across Europe. Page 2 For more information please contact the UK press departm
Since it was now lunch time, I was delighted to be informed that we would not have to look at any fuel injectors since lunch was being served. This was where the good news ended, however, since I was then told that proceedings would take place in, of all places, the staff canteen! I reminded the unctuous PR gentleman that I was not staff, I was a journalist! His idiotic claim that it was ‘part of the experience’ was nothing to his frankly rude insistence that they did not serve wine. Mercifully, I had brought a bottle of pretty stout Malbec in my bag which I was hoping to keep for the journey home but which I regretfully uncapped in order to accompany the turgid lamb that had been plonked in front of me. It is a general rule that journalists such as myself ask the questions and PR lackeys answer them but today that could not have been further from the case as the press chap for Akeisan became quite the Jeremy Paxman, unreasonably harrying me with a barrage of nonsense: ‘Was it you that took all the notebooks from the meeting room?’, ‘Why have you got so many of our pens and a mug in your bag?’ ‘Where did you get that wine from?’ and so on. As if to compound the problem, he then insisted that they had a ‘strict no drinking’ policy on site and attempted to remove the welcome libation from my very hand.
Akeisan is an excellent company manufacturing many excellent and fascinating products, and I must in particular commend their excellent policy of not pressing charges, even when one of their employees claims to have been ‘assaulted’. The next time you drive your car, remember the fuel injection system it uses. It makes the use of carburettors seem like another world in which we all wore different clothes, you could drink without being bothered and Marie hadn’t left me.
Roy Lanchester is motoring correspondent for Folk Explosion! magazine and founder of the blog Over The Limit with Roy Lanchester. (blogmaker.com/freeblog/overthelimitwithroylanchester57)