As the engine is the most important unit of a complete automobile chassis, it has had a major share of attention in its development and is far in advance of the rest of the machine as a result. Consequently, at least for the passenger-car engineer, improvements in the automobile as a road vehicle offer greater scope and reward than improvements in engines, particularly as all such improvements are reflected in direct proportion instead of being minimized by adverse operating conditions. The attitude has been common of not worrying about a fraction of 1-per cent loss here and there when such an enormous loss occurs at the exhaust pipe and radiator. Other varying and intermittent losses in the aggregate are not insignificant and, when multiplied by millions of cars, become millions of gallons of fuel and oil.
The author's aim is to call attention to some of these losses, with suggestions as to means and methods of correction. This includes a study of the effects of heavy greases, dragging brakes, relative motion of parts and tire sizes, all of which are discussed at some length.