Article will continue after advertisement

You know how you meet someone who confidently talks about cars for hours, while knowing nothing about them? This article from the Federalist is that person in written form.

The article is nominally about how catalytic converters are actually bad. He attempts to weigh the environmental benefits of reducing harmful emissions versus the negatives of precious metal mining. His argument as a whole gets sunk, though, when he clearly doesn’t know how anything related to cars works.

The author, Rich Cromwell, starts off by telling us what a catalytic converter does:

“The converter takes regular exhaust, mixes it with excess gasoline sent in by the fuel pump so it can burn, and burns it, thus eliminating most pollutants.”


What? No. He seems to be suggesting that fuel bypasses the engine and is dumped directly into the exhaust like some sort of afterburner. How would that help emissions? How would it not set the car ablaze immediately? So many questions.

From there he jumps into the impact of mining for the precious metals used in the converter which is absolutely terrible for the environment. However, following his cat design, how do metals like platinum and palladium aid in burning dumped fuel?

Then he discusses decision making processes and how he didn’t want unneeded safety features when buying a car. Then he went out and bought a Volvo. Great decision making there, Rich.

Now, before he pens a love letter to the V8, he explains how engines work:

“For this discussion, we only need to know the basics about cylinders. Inside them are pistons, and those pistons pump oil into the crankshaft. The more cylinders, the more pistons, the more power.”

Again, what? I don’t know where he found this source, but it should have been pretty easy to tell it wasn’t a good one.

On to the V8. While he is correct that eight is the most American number of cylinders, he misses the mark just about everywhere else. He says a V8 is inherently more powerful than a V6. Ask the owners of 5.0 fox body Mustangs what they think about the power in the new v6 Ford GT, or a Nissan 370Z for that matter.

But, while those idiots in Washington thought the V6’s would be more efficient, Rich knows better.

“If you drive like an actual human being, perhaps even hurtling down the interstate at speeds just a smidge above the posted limits, with the plain V6 you quickly discover you’re gonna need to mash down that gas pedal to pass.

Now guess what that does. If we’re talking about my wife’s current V6 or previous V6, it means her fuel economy was and is worse than mine, and she doesn’t drive as fast as I do.”

Just the fact that he thinks MPG’s are only affected by top cruising speed and the number of cylinders in an engine as opposed to weight, displacement, tuning, driving style and a million other factors, is embarrassingly naive. But regardless, congrats to Cromwell for getting more mileage out of his ultra Ameri — wait — he drives a Swedish built XC90. Come on, Rich.

Finally, before going off on bureaucrats knowing too little about cars to effectively regulate them (Pot, meet kettle), Mr. Cromwell has one parting shot for those of us who want better than 18 MPG on our commute:

“Perhaps you don’t need a V8, particularly if your vehicle isn’t heavy or you hate America, but that’s for you to decide.”

Yes, that’s it. Anyone who drives a 2017 Ford Raptor or a Cadillac ATS-V  hates America. Got it.

To finish off his article, Rich shifts his rage towards electric vehicles and bemoans the death of the expert because he can’t figure out how the check engine light can mean more than one thing. But, what happened to those converters? Isn’t that what the article was supposed to be about?

Oh, here they are:

“We get catalytic converters and VW bullied for caring more about consumers than bureaucrats.”

So lying about a cars mileage, power and emissions (The reasons consumers wanted VW diesels in the first place) is “caring” about consumers? Wow. That took a weird turn. I’d love to see this guy try explain the difference between a gasoline and diesel engine, though.

H/T Jalopnik

Related: One state is making it much harder to buy used cars