Your modern vehicle's engine is a highly sophisticated piece of equipment. The days of your father's gas-guzzler are long gone-instead, Federal Exhaust Emission and Fuel Economy regulations demand that today's vehicles be equipped with electronic engine control systems to curb carbon emissions and increase fuel efficiency. With technically advanced control systems taking the place of simple engine components, common maintenance services such as tune-ups are also a thing of the past. Regular services (such as spark plug and filter replacements) are still required, as well as a computerized analysis of your vehicle's control computer. Our factory-trained technicians are here to provide these basic services.
Here's How Your Modern Vehicle's Control Computer Operates:
A network of sensors and switches convert and monitor engine operating conditions into electrical signals. The computer receives this information, and, based on information and instructions coded within this savvy computer program, commands are sent to three different systems: ignition, fuel, and emission control. Whenever a problem arises (as seen by that nagging "check engine" light), our service pros check whatever command is prompted, in addition to the status of your engine control computer and sensors. That way you'll know if your vehicle's performance is caused by a real problem, or just a sensor/computer issue.
Here's a Brief Overview of Your Vehicle's Sensory Components:
- Mass airflow sensor
- Throttle position sensor
- Manifold absolute pressure sensor
- Coolant temperature sensor
- Exhaust oxygen sensor
- Crankshaft position sensor
- Camshaft position sensor
In order to meet Federal Exhaust Emission and Fuel Economy regulations, today's vehicles are equipped with highly sophisticated electronic engine control systems. These systems do not require periodic adjustments. The only services required on a scheduled basis are spark plug and filter replacement. Tune-ups, as we knew them, are no longer necessary.
Engine Control Computer
The computer receives information from a network of sensors and switches that convert engine operating conditions into electrical signals. Based on the information and instructions stored in the computer program, commands are then sent to three primary systems:
- Ignition System: Spark timing
- Fuel System: fuel injection timing and fuel injection duration
- Emission Control System: Oxygen sensor(s), Evaporation system.
The sensors that monitor one or more of these systems include:
- 1. Mass Airflow Sensor: measures the amount of air entering the engine
- 2. Throttle Position Sensor: Measure the amount of throttle angle
- 3. Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor: measures the amount of pressure inside the engine
- 4. Coolant Temperature Sensor: Tells the computer the computer temp
- 5. Exhaust Oxygen Sensor: Measures the amount of oxygen in the exhaust
- 6. Crankshaft Position Sensor: Used to tell the computer for top dead in the ignition sequence
- 7. Camshaft Position Sensor: Used to tell the computer for fuel delivery timing.
The computer, sometimes referred to as Electronic Control Unit (ECU) or Powertrain Control Module (PCM), are constantly diagnosing and checking parameters at various sample rates. If a specific parameter does not meet the computers test, then typically the computer will store a check engine light. May not set the check engine light immediately, the test may have to fail a number of times before the check engine light comes on. The check engine light is the computers way of telling the driver, not only there is a problem, but the vehicles is may not be meeting the emission standards.
Car computers are doing more and more in much less time. A car or truck may have more than one computer. When there is more than one computer and they communicate with one another, they are said to be in a network. Sometimes referred to as a LAN Local Area Network. For instance, a Cadillac may have up to but limited to 40 computers in one car. Unfortunately, computers still don't fully diagnose the car, they only point the car technician in the right direction.