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Gasoline Direct Injection

In internal combustion engines, gasoline direct injection (GDI), also known as petrol direct
injection or direct petrol injection, is a variant of fuel injection employed in modern twostroke and four-stroke petrol engines. The petrol/gasoline is highly pressurized, and injected
via a common rail fuel line directly into the combustion chamber of each cylinder, as opposed
to conventional multi-point fuel injection that happens in the intake tract, or cylinder port.
In some applications, gasoline direct injection enables a stratified fuel charge (ultra lean burn)
combustion for improved fuel efficiency, and reduced emission levels at low load.

The demand for higher-power spark-ignition engines, combined with the requirement for
reduced fuel consumption, were behind the rediscovery of gasoline direct injection. The
principle is not a new one. As far back as 1937, an engine with mechanical gasoline direct
injection took to the air in an airplane. In 1951 the Gutbrod was the first passenger car with
a series-production mechanical gasoline direct-injection engine, and in 1954 the Mercedes
300 SL with a four-stroke engine and direct injection followed. At that time, designing and
building a direct-injection engine was a very complicated business.Moreover, this technology
made extreme demands on the materials used. The engines service life was a further problem.
These facts all contributed to it taking so long for gasoline direct injection to achieve its
breakthrough. Method of operation Gasoline direct-injection systems are characterized by
injecting the fuel directly into the combustion chamber at high pressure (Fig. 1). As in a diesel
engine, air/fuel-mixture formation takes place inside the combustion chamber (internal
mixture formation). High-pressure generation The electric fuel pump (Fig. 2, Pos. 19) delivers
fuel to the high-pressure pump (4) at a presupply pressure of 3...5 bar. The latter pump
generates the system pressure depending on the engine operating point (requested torque and
engine speed). The highly pressurized fuel flows into and is stored in the fuel rail (Fig. 1, Pos.
6). The fuel pressure is measured with the high-pressure sensor and adjusted via the pressurecontrol valve (in the HDP1) or the fuel-supply control valve integrated in the HDP2/HDP5 to
values ranging between 50 and 200 bar. The high-pressure fuel injectors (5) are mounted on

the fuel rail, also known as the common rail. These injectors are actuated by the engine ECU
and spray the fuel into the cylinder combustion chambers.

Gambarajah 1: Sistem GDi

Theory of operation
The major advantages of a GDI engine are increased fuel efficiency and high power output. In
addition, the cooling effect of the injected fuel and the more evenly dispersed mixtures allow
for more aggressive ignition timing curves. Emissions levels can also be more accurately
controlled with the GDI system. The cited gains are achieved by the precise control over the
amount of fuel and injection timings that are varied according to the load conditions. In
addition, there are no throttling losses in some GDI engines, when compared to a conventional
fuel injected or carbureted engine, which greatly improves efficiency, and reduces 'pumping
losses' in engines without a throttle plate. Engine speed is controlled by the engine control
unit/engine management system (EMS), which regulates fuel injection function and ignition
timing, instead of having a throttle plate that restricts the incoming air supply. Adding this
function to the EMS requires considerable enhancement of its processing and memory, as
direct injection plus the engine speed management must have very precise algorithms for good
performance and drivability.

The engine management system continually chooses among three combustion modes: ultra
lean burn, stoichiometric, and full power output. Each mode is characterized by the air-fuel
ratio. The stoichiometric air-fuel ratio for petrol (gasoline) is 14.7:1 by weight, but ultra lean
mode can involve ratios as high as 65:1 (or even higher in some engines, for very limited
periods). These mixtures are much leaner than in a conventional engine and reduce fuel
consumption considerably.

Ultra lean burn mode is used for light-load running conditions, at constant or
reducing road speeds, where no acceleration is required. The fuel is not injected at the
intake stroke but rather at the latter stages of the compression stroke, so that the small
amount of air-fuel mixture is optimally placed near the spark plug. This stratified
charge is surrounded mostly by air, which keeps the fuel and the flame away from the
cylinder walls for lowest emissions and heat losses. The combustion takes place in a
toroidal (donut-shaped) cavity on the piston's surface. The cavity is displaced to one
side of the piston, the side that has the fuel injector. This technique enables the use of
ultra-lean mixtures that would be impossible with carburetors or conventional fuel

Stoichiometric mode is used for moderate load conditions. Fuel is injected during the
intake stroke, creating a homogenous fuel-air mixture in the cylinder. From the
stoichiometric ratio, an optimum burn results in a clean exhaust emission, further
cleaned by the catalytic converter.

Full power mode is used for rapid acceleration and heavy loads (as when climbing a
hill). The air-fuel mixture is homogenous and the ratio is slightly richer than
stoichiometric, which helps prevent knock (pinging). The fuel is injected during the
intake stroke.

Direct injection may also be accompanied by other engine technologies such as

variable valve timing (VVT) and tuned/multi path or variable length intake
manifolding (VLIM, or VIM). Water injection or (more commonly) exhaust gas
recirculation (EGR) may help reduce the high nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions that
can result from burning ultra lean mixtures.

It is also possible to inject more than once during a single cycle. After the first fuel
charge has been ignited, it is possible to add fuel as the piston descends. The benefits
are more power and economy, but certain octane fuels have been seen to cause exhaust
valve erosion. For this reason, most companies have ceased to use the Fuel Stratified
Injection (FSI) operation during normal running.

Tuning up an early generation FSI power plant to generate higher power is difficult,
since the only time it is possible to inject fuel is during the induction phase.
Conventional injection engines can inject throughout the 4-stroke sequence, as the
injector squirts onto the back of a closed valve. A direct injection engine, where the
injector injects directly into the cylinder, is limited to the suction stroke of the piston.
As the RPM increases, the time available to inject fuel decreases. Newer FSI systems
that have sufficient fuel pressure to inject even late in compression phase do not suffer
to the same extent; however, they still do not inject during the exhaust cycle (they
could but it would just waste fuel). Hence, all other factors being equal, an FSI engine
needs higher-capacity injectors to achieve the same power as a conventional engine.

Combustion process
In the case of gasoline direct injection, the combustion process is defined as the way in which
mixture formation and energy conversion take place in the combustion chamber. The
mechanisms are determined by the geometries of the combustion chamber and the intake
manifold, and the injection point and the moment of ignition. Depending on the combustion
process concerned, flows of air are generated in the combustion chamber. The relationship
between injected fuel and air flow is extremely important, above all in relation to those
combustion processes which work with charge stratification (stratified concepts). In order to
obtain the required charge stratification, the injector fuel injects the fuel into the air flow in
such a manner that it evaporates in a defined area. The air flow then transports the mixture
cloud in the direction of the spark plug so that it arrives there at the moment of ignition. A
combustion process is often made up of several different operating modes between which the
process switches as a function of the engine operating point. Basically, the combustion

processes are divided into two categories: stratified-charge and homogeneous combustion
processes. Homogeneous combustion process In the case of the homogeneous combustion
process, usually a generally stoichiometric mixture is formed in the combustion chamber in
the engine map (Fig. 3a), i.e. an air ratio of = 1 always exists. In this way, the expensive
exhaust-gas treatment of NOX emissions which is required with lean mixtures is
avoided.Homogeneous concepts are therefore set out to be emission-reducing concepts.

Gambarajah 2: Components of gasoline direct-injection system

Motronic is the trade name given to a range of digital engine-management systems developed
by Robert Bosch GmbH, commonly known as Bosch.
Motronic ML1.x

Motronic ML1.x was one of the first digital engine-management systems developed by Bosch.
The basic idea behind the system was to fully integrate and regulate all major engine system
parameters, thereby enabling fuel delivery and spark timing control functions to be controlled
by the same unit, in an attempt to achieve optimum efficiency, driveability and power output
potential. These early Motronic systems integrated the spark timing element with then-existing
Jetronic fuel injection technology.
It was originally developed and first used in the BMW 7-Series, before being implemented on
several Volvo and Porsche engines throughout the 1980s. It was also used on turbocharged
Audi Quattro models during the early 1990s.
The components of the Motronic ML1.x systems for the most part remained unchanged during
production, although there are some differences in certain situations. The engine control
module (ECM) receives information regarding engine speed, crankshaft angle, coolant
temperature and throttle position. An air flow meter also measures the volume of air entering
the induction system.
If the engine is naturally aspirated, an air temperature sensor is located in the air flow meter to
work out the air mass. However, if the engine is turbocharged, an additional charge air
temperature sensor is used to monitor the temperature of the inducted air after it has passed
through the turbocharger and intercooler, in order to accurately and dynamically calculate the
overall air mass.

Gambarajah 3: Motronic Engine Management

Main system characteristics

Fuel delivery, ignition timing, and dwell angle incorporated into the same ECM.

Crank position and engine speed is determined by a pair of sensors reading from the

Separate constant idle speed system monitors and regulates base idle speed settings.

5th injector is used to provide extra fuel enrichment during different cold-start
conditions. (in some configurations)

Depending on application and version, an oxygen sensor may be fitted (the system was
originally designed for leaded fuel).

No knock sensor.

Motronic 4.1
The Motronic 4.1 system was used on Opel / Vauxhall eight-valve engines from 19871990,
and some PSA Peugeot Citron XU9J-series engines.

The ECM software controls fuel enrichment during cold-start by altering the timing of the
main injectors based on engine temperature, no 5th injector is required. The idle speed is also
fully controlled by the ECM, including fast-idle during warm-up (no thermo-time switch is
The 4.1 system did not include provision for a knock sensor for timing adjustment. The
ignition timing and fuel map could be altered to take account of fuels with different octane
ratings by connecting a calibrated resistor (taking the form of an "octane coding plug" in the
vehicle's wiring loom) to one of the ECU pins, the resistance depending on the octane
adjustment required. With no resistor attached the system would default to 98 octane.
The ECM has a single output for the injectors, resulting in all injectors firing simultaneously.
The injectors are opened once for every revolution of the engine, injecting half the required
fuel each time.

Motronic 1.1 & 1.3

The Motronic 1.1 System was used by BMW from 1987. This was then superseded in 1988 by
the Motronic 1.3 system that was also used by PSA on some XU9J-series engines (which
previously used Motronic 4.1).
The Motronic 1.1 and 1.3 systems are largely similar, the main improvement being the
increased diagnostic capabilities of Motronic 1.3. The 1.3 ECM can store many more detailed
fault codes than 1.1, and has a permanent 12-volt feed from the vehicle's battery which allows
it to log intermittent faults in memory across several trips. Motronic 1.1 can only advise of a
few currently-occurring faults.
The systems include a knock sensor for ignition timing adjustment and the option for a lambda
sensor, enabling their use with catalytic converter-equipped vehicles.
The ECMs have 2 injection outputs, and the injectors are arranged in 2 "banks" which fire
once every two engine revolutions. In an example 4-cylinder engine, one output controls the

injectors for cylinders 1 and 3, and the other controls 2 and 4. The system uses a "cylinder ID"
sensor mounted to the cam-shaft to detect which cylinders are approaching the top of their
stroke, therefore which injector bank should be fired. During start-up (below 600 RPM), or if
there is no signal from the cylinder ID sensor, all injectors are fired simultaneously once per
engine revolution.

Motronic Functions
The main functions of the Motronic system are to control the fuel injectors and spark plug
firing. It also regulates the idle speed, intake manifold crossover selection, evaporative
emission controls, air conditioning compressor, and performs OBD II and other diagnostic
functions. Additionally, it communicates and interacts with the traction control system (ASC +
T), automatic transmission control module (EGS), dashboard instrument cluster, electronic
immobilizer control module (EWS II), cruise control module (TEMPOMAT), on board
computer (OBC), and integrated heating and climate control module.
Basically, the system takes in information about the environment and the operating conditions
of the engine, takes its best guess at the correct amount of fuel and spark timing for the
situation, and listens for engine knock and sniffs for unburned gas in the exhaust so that it can
make instant corrections to the amount of fuel and spark timing. While all of this is happening,
it also keeps track of how good its 'guesses' were. If the 'guess' for that particular situation was
off, it readjusts the guess that it will try for the next time that situation comes up.

The amount of air that enters the engine is regulated by the throttle, which is basically a plate
shaped valve that opens and closes to restrict entering air. The throttle is directly connected by
a cable to the throttle pedal (commonly known as the 'gas' pedal - it probably would be more
accurate to call it an 'air' pedal). This is the fundamental control that the driver has over the
entire engine 'system'.
The other factors that determine how much air enters the engine are: Air pressure. This is what
'pushes' the air past the throttle and into the engine (less at higher altitudes). Engine RPM, the
faster it spins, the more air it will try to displace. Engine displacement (a fixed value), controls
how much air the engine will try to displace with each revolution. Intake impedance, this
represents the restriction to the air pulses passing through the intake manifold, cylinder head
ports and valves as the pulses try to enter the cylinder (varies with RPM and throttle position).

Supplemental air regulation:

Idle control valve: This is an electrically controlled valve that bypasses the main throttle. The
Motronic system uses this to self adjust the idle speed.
Intake air resonance changeover valve: The intake impedance is affected by the length and
diameter of the passages of the intake manifold (this is touching on another subject). Longer,
narrower passages favor low RPM performance. Shorter, wider passages favor high RPM
performance. To help performance over a wider RPM range, the M44 intake manifold has two
separate primary passages: one longer and narrower, one shorter and wider. The intake air
resonance changeover valve switches from one to the other. The changeover occurs on the
M44 at about 4200 RPM.
The Motronic's job is to match the amount of air that enters the engine with the correct amount
of fuel. (More on how it figures out below).

To actually control the fuel, it can turn on the fuel pump (actually two pumps in series - one to
get the gas out of the tank, and one to build up pressure) and pulse the injectors.
The fuel pump is turned on briefly when attempting a start. For the pump to continue to be
powered, the Motronic system must detect that the engine is running (the pump will otherwise
be disabled for safety).
The fuel goes from the pump through the fuel filter to the fuel rail, which is basically a
rectangular pipe that the fuel injectors connect to. At the end of the fuel rail is a pressure
regulator that bleeds off excess pressure and sends fuel back to the tank (this circulation helps
keep the gas cool and well mixed). The pressure regulator has a vacuum hose from the intake
manifold that helps the regulator fine tune the fuel pressure. The idea is to keep the pressure
differential between the fuel and the inside of the intake manifold constant so that the
Motronic system doesn't have to worry about it. Otherwise, more fuel would be sprayed when
the manifold was at a higher vacuum.
An injector is either on or off. This is a 'sequential' injection system - meaning that the injector
spray corresponds to the opening of the intake valve, rather than spraying continuously. When
it's time for the injector to spray fuel, the Motronic system rapidly opens and closes it at a high
fixed frequency. The rate that the injector sprays fuel is determine by the ratio of the time that
it's held open during this high frequency operation, vs the time that it's held closed (also
referred to as the 'duty-cycle'). The greater the percentage of open time, the more fuel will be
There are four separate ignition coils (integrated into a single module), one for each spark
plug. This eliminates the need for a distributor cap and rotor (less to wear out, and more
powerful currents can be used). The Motronic system can adjust the timing of each spark plug

Evaporative Emissions Valve (allows gas vapors to be drawn into the engine and burned off
when the engine is running). Oxygen Sensor heaters (preheats oxygen sensors so they will be
operational sooner), at speed relay (unloads accessories from the engine when starting), air
conditioning compressor relay.
To observe the outside environment and the general operating condition of the engine, the
Motronic has the following sensors available: Intake air temperature sensor, engine coolant
temperature sensor, air conditioning pressure switch, engine temperature switch.
To determine the current operational state, the Motronic uses the following: Throttle position
sensor (can be used in conjunction with RPM's to calculate engine vacuum and load). Hot
Film Air Mass Meter (measures air entering engine - compensates for varying densities and
temperatures). Camshaft position sensor (used to synchronize the injectors and spark plugs to
the engine). Crankshaft sensor (sends pulses to determine engine speed and acceleration - one
pulse is missing to indicate top dead center).
The following sensors are used to determine how well the system is doing and to make finetune adjustments:
Oxygen Sensors: (two - one before and one after the catalytic converter. This allows
monitoring of the catalytic converter performance.) The presence of oxygen in the exhaust
indicates that there is no unburned fuel. The lack of oxygen in the exhaust indicates that there
is unburned fuel. To get a precise balance of air and fuel, the Motronic system rapidly tweaks
the amount of fuel up and down trying to center it on the point that the oxygen signal barely
comes and goes away.
Knock Sensors: (two - one for cylinders 1 and 2, the other for cylinders 3 and 4). These are
basically microphones. The Motronic system uses these to 'listen' to the sounds inside the

engine. It is able to distinguish the sound of ignition knock from all of the other bumps, clanks
and rattles going on. It can detect knock at very low threshold levels. It uses this information
to tweak the spark timing just below the point that knock occurs, optimizing performance and
The crankshaft sensor also falls under this category because it can be used to measure the
acceleration after every cylinder firing.
It is desired that the correct amount of fuel to match the incoming air be sprayed into the
engine. Generally there shouldn't be any extra air, or any extra fuel. Under light loads, the
system will try to go slightly lean (extra air). Under heavy loads, the system will try to go
slightly rich (extra fuel).


The sooner the spark is fired before the piston reaches the top (spark advance), the higher the
resulting combustion temperature and pressure will be (a similar effect to increasing
compression ratio). This will also allow a slightly greater time for the pressure to be applied to
the piston. All of this results in more power and better fuel efficiency. CO and HC emissions
are reduced because combustion is more complete. If the timing is advanced too much,
however, an uncontrolled explosion will result (engine knock). This can cause engine damage
(piston melting) and will increase NOx emissions because the extremely high temperatures
will start to oxidize the normally unreactive nitrogen in the air. It is very desirable from
performance, economy, and emissions standpoints that spark timing be advanced to just below
the point where knock occurs.
When trying to determine the spark timing and fuel requirements, the Motronic system reads
information from the general and operating sensors and then goes to some big look-up tables

(or Control Maps) that indicate the best guess for spark and fuel at that moment. The feedback
sensors are then used to tweak the spark and fuel values towards an optimum. If a big 'tweak'
was needed, then the firmware will change the value in the look-up table with the hope that it
will be closer the next time that data point is used (Adaptive Tuning). All of this process is
continuous, and it cycles and repeats at a high frequency.
The Motronic system contains a 'base map' that is copied over to the active control map when
the system loses power or is otherwise re-initialized. This is useful if there was a
malfunctioning component or something else that caused the active map to get messed up.
Some points on the map will be updated fairly quickly. Others might take a long time.
Remember that the map is fairly big. For a data point to be updated, it has to be used. To go
through the whole map would require the engine to go through all the combinations of
temperatures, loads, warm-up cycles, etc.


Motronic 5.2 is a FLASH memory based system. Unlike earlier systems that stored their code
on an EPROM chip that needed to be physically replaced, this system can be downloaded
through the diagnostic connector.
Generally speaking, a performance upgrade doesn't involve changing the software algorithms,
only the data base. Usually an algorithm change would only come from BMW as a bug fix or
an operational enhancement.
Changes to the data base include changes to the points in the base map, extending the limits of
how far away from the base point a parameter can be adaptively changed, and the rate that
adaption will adjust things.

There are three potentially useful changes that can be made for an otherwise stock engine:
Increasing the amount of spark advance (requiring the use of premium fuel). Extending the rev
limit (there's some more power available at the top end, but it will increase stress on the engine
somewhat to use it). Making a *slight* adjustment to the fuel curve.
An engine that has any significant mechanical modifications should have custom mapped