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Automotive Computer Controlled Systems

Automotive Computer Controlled Systems


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Published by egypt2000

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Published by: egypt2000 on Jul 15, 2009
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As a result of this survey of computer controlled systems it is possible to see that
electromagnetism, semiconductors, variable resistance, circuits and computers
all figure prominently in the systems reviewed. This gives a lead to the types of
background technology that is common to a range of systems. In the following
chapters some of this background technology is examined in greater detail and
in Chapter 7 there are examples of many tests that can be applied to aid fault
diagnosis on computer controlled vehicle systems.
An important element in diagnostics on computer controlled systems is the self-
diagnostic power of the computer and the fault codes that are created. This aspect
is discussed in Chapters 2 and 3. However, fault codes are often just the beginning
of a fault-finding task, and reading of the codes is often followed by a process
of testing the performance of sensors and actuators and their interconnecting
circuits. The range of systems reviewed in this chapter indicates that there is a
body of knowledge about sensors and actuators that is applicable across a range of
systems.The operating principles of sensors and actuatorsare examined in greater
depth in Chapters 5 and 6 and once this basic knowledge has been acquired it can
be used to advantage in the testing of many systems, as will be seen in Chapter 7.

1.13 Review questions (see Appendix 2 for answers)

1. The purpose of exhaust gas recirculation is:
(a) to reburn the exhaust gas?
(b) to reduce combustion temperature and reduce NOx emissions?
(c) to increase power output?
(d) to give better fuel economy?
2. A Hall effect sensor:
(a) generates electricity?
(b) shuts off current in the Hall element so that the signal voltage is zero when
the magnetic field is blocked?
(c) gives an increase in signal current as the speed increases?
(d) is only used in ignition systems?
3. In an ABS system:

(a) the computer uses the peak-to-peak voltage from the wheel sensor to
control braking?
(b) the computer compares frequencies from wheel sensors to help control
(c) the warning light will go out when the vehicle speed reaches 50 km/h?
(d) the braking distance is greatly reduced in all conditions?
4. In sequential multi-point petrol injection systems there is one injection of fuel
to each cylinder:
(a) on each stroke of the piston?
(b) each time a piston approaches TDC on the exhaust stroke?

Review questions 39

(c) whenever hard acceleration takes place?
(d) when the knock sensor transmits a signal?
5. The manifold absolute pressure sensor is used in speed density fuel injection
systems to:
(a) provide a signal that enables the ECM to calculate the amount of fuel
entering the engine?
(b) provideasignalthatenablestheECMtocalculatetheamountofairentering
the engine?
(c) control the fuel pressure at the injectors?
(d) control the EGR valve?
6. An adaptive strategy:
(a) is a procedure that allows the ECM to set new values for certain operating
variables as the system wears?
(b) is a limited operating strategy that allows the ECM to set values that will
get a vehicle back to the workshop for repair?
(c) alters map values in the ROM?
(d) is a procedure for fault tracing?
7. In diesel engines:
(a) the fuel and air are mixed in the intake manifold?
(b) ignition is caused by glow plugs?
(c) the heat generated by compression causes combustion to take place?
(d) a mixture of fuel and air is forced into the cylinder by the injector?
8. In adaptive suspension systems:
(a) the ECM changes the damping rate to suit driving conditions?
(b) the steering angle sensor is fitted to the front wheel drive shafts?
(c) the system must not operate at speeds greater than 25 km/h?
(d) the ECM learns a new set of values if a suspension spring breaks?


The Computer ECM

there are certain factors that require technicians to have an appreciation of
computer technology. For example, diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) are an
important part of fault finding and DTCs are stored in the computer memory. The
means by which these codes are read out varies from vehicle to vehicle and it is
helpful for technicians to understand why a procedure for reading DTCs on one
vehicle may not work on another vehicle. It is also the case that technicians in
some main dealer workshops are required to use special equipment to amend the
computer operating program. Increasingly, use is being made of ‘freeze frame’
data. This is ‘live’ data that is captured whilst the system is in operation and it is
useful in helping to determinethe causes of a systemfault. Whilst these operations
are normally performed through the use of ‘user friendly’ diagnostic equipment,
it is still the case that an understanding of what can and what cannot be done via
the ECM is useful.

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