Q&A: What’s best F-150 to pull travel trailer?; is it necessary to replace ’02 Camry’s charcoal vapour canister?
Q: I am looking for some assistance in how to interpret horsepower and torque numbers.
I currently own a 2006 F150 (5.4 L) with an advertised HP of 300 @5,000 RPM and a torque of 365 @3,750 RPM.
I am thinking of purchasing a 2012 F150 (5.0 L) and it shows a HP of 360 @5,500 RPM and a torque of 380 @4,250 RPM. I use the truck to pull a travel trailer.
Currently, I can expect overdrive issues based on road grade/wind, so I am wondering if the newer model is a better ‘puller’ or am I just buying something which is inferior to what I already own?
Torque is viewed as an indicator of thrust but given RPM differences it clouds the issue.
Who in heck runs an engine at these RPM or is it a similar spread at say 2,500 RPM? Thanks much.
A: When towing, torque is what you really need to pull the load. You are correct in that it can be difficult to compare one vehicle to another unless you are able to compare the engine outputs at the same rpm.
When the manufacturers list torque and horsepower numbers, they show ‘Peak’ or maximum output and the rpm at which this is achieved at.
In realistic terms however, few drivers ever operate a vehicle continually at these rpm. What you need to do is compare the torque numbers at a typical cruising range — 1,800 to 2,500 rpm.
That would give you a better idea of what engine will tow better. You can find these numbers by looking at torque curve charts and the truck sales people at the dealership should have them available.
I have driven both of these vehicles and I expect you wouldn’t get much better pulling from the 5.0-litre engine over the 5.4-L even though the torque numbers are higher. Instead, why not take a look at the 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6.
Many truck drivers like a V8 but this turbocharged V6 will give you better fuel economy when not pulling and it will out pull either V8 when you hook the trailer up.
The Ecoboost engine has a peak torque of 420 ft-lb at 2,500 rpm but achieves almost all of this starting at just 1800 rpm.
This would be my choice if I were pulling a trailer.
Q: I own a 2002 Toyota Camry LE, 4 cyl. which has 132,000 kilometres. Several days ago I noticed the Check Engine Light (CEL) came on but the car continued to perform without any problems.
A Toyota dealership performed a diagnostic check and determined that the charcoal vapour canister needs replacing.
At that time I did not proceed with the repair as I wanted to research this further. The canister is a special order item, which takes several days to obtain.
This suggests that the canister is not a common replacement item. I did some research on the internet and determined that canister failure is somewhat common to Camry’s in the 2002 to 2005 range.
My questions: is the canister really necessary to replace or can it be disabled without harming the performance of the vehicle?
Also, can the CEL be extinguished if the canister is disabled but still function when necessary if there is a different engine problem?
If necessary to replace does it have to be an OEM canister which, with labour, is quite expensive or are there aftermarket ones which can serve the purpose?
Is a used canister from an auto salvage yard a viable option?
A: First, the engine will perform OK without the canister but emissions will be high and the Check Engine light will remain on.
I am not aware of any aftermarket Toyota computer programs that would allow the CEL to work with everything else but ignore the canister issue so your best option is to replace the canister.
There are aftermarket canisters available if you wish to go that route.
You could also take your chance on a used one from an auto salvage yard but finding parts in good shape may be difficult.