Why don't cars become powered with steam and air pressure?

The trains did it back in the 1800s why cannot cars today be steamed air powered? 

Update:

So cars would have a pressure cooker motor that runs it 

18 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Trains powered by steam  until well into the 1950's; in the US.  Other countries used them a lot longer. RC&BTNGRR still has one.

    I suspect oil companies are afraid of steamers  as they would not need  oil or gas . *  Can be run on waste  oil, waste vegetable oil, even coal dust or wood. They spread rumors of them  "blowing up" (Stanleys didn't, pressure test at 1200 PSI on secondary just Leaked. Dobles  had No boiler), or they wont pass smog. Possibly. The 1972  Minto  ran a roots blower as engine and used Freon instead of water.  I think it was too expensive to retool. Just like the Big  3 ruined Studebaker and Packard, i smell a conspiracy from oil co's...

    Source(s): * Stanleys needed a one gallon tank of preheat gas, no more.
    • Road warrior
      Lv 4
      2 months agoReport

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_car#Resurgence_-_enthusiasts,_air_pollution,_and_fuel_crises

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  • zipper
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    A steam car you need to start the firer box about an hour before you need to leave to heat the water to make the steam so you can go. You can not just walk out and start a steam engine, you have to let it heat up and build pressure. And if the safety value jams shut the engine will blow and you would get a full hot steam bath, which ain't no fun! It is an over all safety issue, and a huge inconvenience as well.

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    • Anon
      Lv 6
      4 weeks agoReport

      And Stanley  primary boilers did NOT blow up.Just leaked at 1200PSI, much over 750 working pressure, 

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  • F
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Two hours before your journey, you have to light a fire and build up the steam pressure. You can't carry luggage because you need the space for fuel (coal) and the emissions are terrible.

    Am I selling it to you?

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    • F
      Lv 6
      2 months agoReport

      OK, so you're prepared to wait 45 minutes for you steam car to warm up every day. That's almost as bad as charging an EV.

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  • 2 months ago

    Air power is very inefficient. As the reservoir is used, pressure drops not only as air gets used, but pressure gets lowered by the reservoir freezing as air leaving it also removes heat the same way an air conditioner works. Steam engines are powerful, but they must have a huge water supply and heat source. Except for nuclear reactors, stream engines take a long time to build up steam to run on. We do that in nuclear submarines that need to stay on mission for months. A nuclear car would be too dangerous after a crash, of becoming a "dirty bomb".

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If you google the history of cars, you'd know the answer. In the 1860's, there was such an automobile. It took 1/2 hour to build up steam. Then, you had to keep water on hand. A pressure cooker? BANG!!

    • Anon
      Lv 6
      2 months agoReport

      Doble takes 45 Seconds https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_car#Resurgence_-_enthusiasts,_air_pollution,_and_fuel_crises

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  • 2 months ago

    Not practical........................

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    • Anon
      Lv 6
      4 weeks agoReport

      As "practical" as any over complicated 10 cylinder Diesel pickup is now. Stanley and Dobles, Whites sold well.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    1. boilers tended to blow up

    2. you need to stop and refuel with wood or coal, environmentalists would freak out

    3. you need to stop and refill with water, just like old locomotives

    I don't know of any cars that were air powered.  India was talking about an air powered car but as far as I know, nothing really happened with it.

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    • noname2 months agoReport

      Many freighters use  boilers, no explosions since WWII and advanced radiographics to i detect bad welds. 

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  • 2 months ago

    What the **** would be the point.

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    • Anon
      Lv 6
      2 months agoReport

      Im sure someone said: "Whats the Point of a hybrid? " in 1970, too. Now,  look., 

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    my car is powered by steam like steam!

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  • 2 months ago

    Steam automobiles were in production back when. It takes time to get the water to boil and pressure vessels (boilers) require inspection, more maintenance and greater care in operation. If one takes the time to find out why steam locomotives are not in use today it might provide insights into why cars are not using the technology. The reason railroads abandoned steam power is maintenance costs!

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    • Road warrior
      Lv 4
      2 months agoReport

      AT & SF eliminated steamers first because Diesels  didnt require  Watering Stops in the desert.  Steamers Stil  used until late 50's, even later in rest of world. 

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  • Mark
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The first cars actually WERE steam powered.  Do you have a plan to HEAT the water to steam?  If you say "with petroleum", that's what we use for internal combustion, anyway.

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    • Anon
      Lv 6
      2 months agoReport

      . the 1972 Minto was too expensive to retool, but ran well. used Roots blower as engine and freon instead of water. 

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