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Table of Contents 1.

5) Sodium Sulfur Battery (NaS) ___________________ 7

1.6) Swing Battery _______________________________ 7

TABLE OF CONTENTS _________________________ 1
2 – FUEL CELLS _________________________________9
1 – BATTERIES _________________________________ 4
2.1) Introduction ________________________________ 9
1.1) Battery Requirements ________________________ 4
2.2) Proton Exchange Membrane___________________ 9
1.2) The Lead Acid Battery_________________________ 4
2.3) Alkaline fuel cells ____________________________ 9
1.3) Alkaline battery – Nicad Battery ________________ 6
2.4) High temperature fuel cells ___________________ 10
1.4) ZEBRA Battery _______________________________ 7
2.5) Reformers _________________________________ 11

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Table of contents
2.6) Other fuel cells _____________________________ 11 6.3) Direct Ignition system _______________________ 30

6.4) Hall effect pulse generator ___________________ 30

3 – 42 VOLT TECHNOLOGY _________________ 12
6.5) Inductive pulse generator ____________________ 31
3.1) Introduction _______________________________ 12
6.6) Constant Dwell system ______________________ 31
3.2) Timeline of automotive electrical power source.__ 12
6.7) Constant energy systems_____________________ 31
3.3) Roadblocks ________________________________ 12
6.7) Spark plug details ___________________________ 32
3.4) Benefits ___________________________________ 13

3.5) Potential applications________________________ 14 7 – WIRING ____________________________________ 33

3.6) Potential architectures _______________________ 16 7.1) Electrical cables ____________________________ 33

7.2) Wiring harness system_______________________ 33

4 – CHARGING SYSTEM______________________ 17
7.3) Multiplex wiring system _____________________ 34
4.1) Introduction _______________________________ 17
7.4) Controller Area Network (CAN) _______________ 34
4.2) Requirements of a Charging system ____________ 17

4.3) Charging system basics _______________________ 17 8 – ELECTRONIC ENGINE CONTROLS _____ 36

4.4) The Dynamo or Generator ____________________ 18 8.1) Electronic Control Module (ECM) ______________ 36

4.5) Regulators _________________________________ 18 8.2) Electronic spark timing ______________________ 37

4.6) Alternators ________________________________ 21 8.3) Electronic spark control ______________________ 37

8.4) Idle speed control system ____________________ 38

5 – STARTING SYSTEM ______________________ 23
8.5) Air management system _____________________ 38
5.1) Engine starting requirements _________________ 23

5.2) Various Torque terms used with engine starting __ 23 9 – SENSORS AND ACTUATORS ____________ 39

5.3) Starting motor ______________________________ 24 9.1) SENSORS PRINCIPLES ________________________ 39

5.4) Starting motor drives ________________________ 24 9.2) Automotive sensors explanation ______________ 40

5.5) Starter motor solenoids ______________________ 27 9.3) Actuators _________________________________ 43

5.6) Glow plug _________________________________ 27 9.4) Some Automotive Actuators __________________ 45

6 – IGNITION SYSTEMS______________________ 28 10 – LIGHTING________________________________ 46

6.1) Fundamentals ______________________________ 28 10.1) Types of lamps ____________________________ 46

6.2) Capacitor discharge ignition __________________ 29 10.2) Head lamps _______________________________ 47

6.3) Distributor less Ignition system ________________ 29 10.3) Electronic flasher circuit ____________________ 49
Table of contents
11 – ACCESSORIES ___________________________ 51

11.1) Function of Instrument panel ________________ 51

11.2) Visual displays _____________________________ 51

11.5) electric horn ______________________________ 52

11.6) Wipers ___________________________________ 53

11.7) Fuel pump________________________________ 53

11.8) Power operated windows ___________________ 54

12 – TELEMATICS ____________________________ 55

12.1) Introduction ______________________________ 55

12.2) Telematics architecture _____________________ 55

12.3) Services and applications ____________________ 55


13.1) Antilock Braking System_____________________ 57

13.2) Active suspension __________________________ 58

13.3) Traction control ___________________________ 60

13.4) Electric power steering______________________ 60

13.5) Global positioning system ___________________ 61

13.6) Adaptive cruise control _____________________ 61


TABLES _____________________________________________ 62


CIRCUIT OF A CAR ________________________________ 64

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 1 - Batteries

1 – Batteries
Requirements, construction, principle of operation and working of the following types of batteries: Lead acid, Alka-
line, ZEBRA, Sodium Sulphur and Swing battery. Ratings, charging, Maintenance, and testing of Lead-Acid battery
1.2.2) Battery Ratings
An automobile battery is rated in one of the follow-
ing ways
1.1) Battery Requirements
 Ampere hour capacity (A-h): This describes how
The vehicle battery is used as a source of energy much current a battery is able to deliver for 10 or 20
when the engine, and thus the alternator is not running. hrs. It is seldom used now days. It is denoted by the
The battery has a number of requirements they are as amount of current it can supplied multiplied by the
follows: amount of time it can supply that current. For exam-
 To provide power storage and be able to supply it ple, a battery with a capacity of 44 A-h indicates that
quickly enough to operate the vehicle starter motor. the battery is able to supply 2.2Amps for 20hrs before
it is completely discharged to a voltage of 1.75 Amps.
 To allow the use of parking lights for automobile for a
reasonable amount of time.  Reserve capacity: This is the system that is now used
on most batteries. It is quoted as a time the battery
 To allow operation of accessories when the engine is
will supply 25A at 25oC to a final voltage of 1.75V per
not running.
cell. This is used to give an indication of how long will
 To act as a swamp to damp out fluctuations of system a battery could run the car if the engine charging sys-
voltage. tem was not working. Typically a battery with 44 A-h
 To allow dynamic memory and alarm systems to re- capacity has a reserve capacity of 60 mins.
main active when the vehicle is left for some time.  Cold Cranking Amperes (CCA): This is a rating defining
 The battery should carry out all the above in a tem- the battery performance at high current output at low
perature range, usually from -30oC to +70oC. temperatures. A typical value of 170A means that the
battery will supply this current for one minute at a
1.2) The Lead Acid Battery
temperature of -18oC, at which point the cell voltage
1.2.1) Construction will fall to below 1.4V. It should be noted that the
The basic construction of a nominal 12 V lead acid overall output of the battery is more when spread
battery consists of six cells connected in series. Each cell, over a big time, this is because the chemical reaction
can be carried out only at a certain speed.
producing 2V, is housed in an individual compartment
with a polypropylene, or similar case. The active material
is held in grids or baskets to form positive and negative
plates. Separators made from micro porous plastic insu-
late these plates from each other. The grids connecting
the strips and the battery posts are made of lead alloy.
For many years this was lead antimony (PbSb) but lately it
has been lead calcium (PbCa). The newer materials cause
less gassing of the electrolyte when fully charged. This is
one of the main reasons why sealed batteries became Graph – Battery rating relations
usable as the water loss was considerably reduced. How- 1.2.3) Working
ever, even modern batteries have a small amount of vent A fully charged lead acid battery consists of Lead pe-
to release the little pressure that builds due to the little roxide (PbO2) as positive plates and spongy lead (Pb) as
gassing. negative plates, immersed in a diluted solution of sulfuric
acid (H2O + H2SO4). The diluted electrolyte has a relative
density of 1.28.
Chapter 1 - Batteries
When sulfuric acid is in aqueous solution, it disso- following is considered as considerable. The charging re-
ciates into 2H++ and SO4- - ions. The voltage of a cell is quires to ‘put back’ the same ampere hour capacity in the
created when the electrons of the electrodes ions are battery, as was initially. Thus the question is not how
forced into the solution by solution pressure. Lead will much to charge but at what rate to charge. There are a
give up 2 positively charged atoms into the solution, thus number of ways to charge a battery, they are as follows:
freeing 2 electrons. Thus electrode now has excess of  The old convention was to charge battery at one
electrons and will become negative w.r.t the electrolyte. If tenth of Ah capacity for about 10 hrs or less. However
another electrode is immersed in the electrolyte, a poten- this is now obsolete
tial difference is created and the cell will conduct. This is  To charge at 1/16th of reserve capacity, again for 10
the principle of the lead acid battery. hrs or less
 To charge at 1/40th of cold start performance figure,
DURING DISCHARGING: again for up to 10 hrs.
At positive plate: Lead peroxide tends to combine Clearly, if a battery is only half discharged, only half
with dissociated H++ and become lead oxide and water. At the time is required to charge it.
the same time this lead formed (Pb++) tends to combine All the above methods opt for a constant current
with sulphate and form lead sulphate. The reaction is as charging source. However, a constant voltage charging
given below system is best for battery charging. This means that the
charging source voltage (that includes the car charging
PbO2+4H++2e- PbSO4+2H2O system) is held at a constant level, and the current flowing
At negative plate: The lead looses 2 electrons and to charge depends upon the amount of charge in the bat-
becomes positively charged, this then combines with the tery.
sulfate in the electrolyte and gives lead sulfate as follows Another way to charge the battery is boost charge it.
Pb+SO4- -PbSO4+2e- It is popular method and is applied in many workshops. In
this method, the battery is charged at about 5 times the
DURING CHARGING: normal recommended charging rate and the battery will
The process is reverse of that of above. attain 70-80% of its full charge in about one hour. Howev-
er, during this method, the battery temperature must not
At positive plate:
exceed 43oC
PbSO4 – 2e- +2H2O  PbO2+H2SO4+2H++
1.2.5) Maintenance
At negative plate:
The modern Lead acid battery is maintenance free.
However, older and conventional batteries require elec-
NET REACTION trolyte topping up. Battery posts are still prone to corro-
2PbSO4+2H2O sion and the usual hot water washing is required some-
times. To prevent corrosion, petroleum jelly is applied to
1.2.4) Battery voltages.
the terminals as a precautionary measure also. If the bat-
Acid density Cell Voltage Battery voltage % Charge
tery case and the top remains clean, self discharging can
1.28 2.12 12.7 100
be avoided.
1.24 2.08 12.5 70
It is not advisable to let the state of charge of the
1.20 2.04 12.3 50
battery fall below 70% or less for long periods as the sul-
1.15 1.99 12.0 20 fate on the plates can harden, making recharging difficult.
1.12 1.96 11.8 0 Sulfation of batteries is another problem. Sulfation
refers to the process whereby a lead-acid battery (such as
Table – Battery voltages at different charges a car battery) loses its ability to hold a charge after it is
1.2.4) Charging kept in a discharged state too long due to the crystalliza-
Usually, every battery manufacturer has got his own tion of lead sulfate.
charging specifications. However, in a general aspect, the

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 1 - Batteries
Over time, lead sulfate converts to the more stable low 3V indicates unserviceable conditions. A zero reading
crystalline form, coating the battery's plates. Crystalline indicates an open circuit cell. When using this instrument,
lead sulfate does not conduct electricity and cannot be the following must be noted.
converted back into lead and lead oxide under normal  Blow gently over the battery to remove flammable
charging conditions. As batteries are "cycled" through gasses.
numerous discharge and charge sequences, lead sulfate  The test rods must be positively and firmly pressed
that forms during normal discharge is slowly converted to against the battery terminals to prevent sparking.
a very stable crystalline form. This process is known as  It should not be used when the battery is on charge.
sulfation. in such a case the battery requires replacement.
1.2.6) Testing
There are various ways to test a lead acid battery,
they are as follows.
Hydrometer: it comprises of a syringe that draws
electrolyte from the cell, and a float that will float at a
particular depth in the electrolyte according to the rela-
tive density of the electrolyte. The density or specific
gravity is then read from a graduated scale. A fully
charged cell should show 1.28. However as most batteries Fig – Heavy Duty discharge tester.
today are maintenance free and thus sealed, a hydrome- 1.3) Alkaline battery – Nicad Battery
ter can no longer be used, thus batteries are tested for Lead acid batteries are good and most suitable, how-
their voltage and the charge determined, refer to table ever they cannot withstand electric abuse such as re- peated charging, discharging and sometimes heavy dis-
charge and overcharge. Alkaline batteries are better

Advantages of alkaline batteries are

 Alkaline batteries are much better in withstanding
electric abuse.
 It is immune to heavy discharge.
 It also does not get spoilt on over charging as during
charging Cadmium oxide changes to cadmium and
hence no further reaction can take place.
Disadvantages of alkaline batteries are
 They are more bulky.
 Have low energy efficiency
 Are more costly
Fig – A Hydrometer Considering ‘lifetime’ performance, it is useful for
Heavy Duty Discharge Tester: it is as shown in Fig some applications. Bus and coach companies are employ- it consists of a low value resistor and a voltmeter ing such batteries. The most used battery in vehicles is the
connected with a pair of heavy duty test prods. The test Nickel – cadmium (Nicad) battery.
prods are firmly pressed against the battery terminals and Construction:
the voltmeter reads the voltage at a current discharge of  Positive plate: Nickel hydrate (NiOOH)
about 200-300A. A fully charged battery should read  Negative plate: Cadmium
about 10 V for 10 seconds. A sharply falling voltage of be-
Chapter 1 - Batteries
 Electrolyte: Potassium hydroxide and water (KOH + lyte freezes at 157 °C, and the normal operating tempera-
H2O) ture range is 270–350 °C
Reaction: 1.5) Sodium Sulfur Battery (NaS)
2NiOOH+Cd+H2O+KOH2Ni(OH)2+CdO2+KOH NaS consists of a cathode of liquid sodium into which
The above is a simplified reaction. The electrolyte is placed a current collector. This is a solid electrode of
does not change during reaction and hence relative densi- beta alumina. A metal can that is in contact with the
ty cannot be an indication of charge. anode (a sulfur electrode) surrounds the whole assembly.
Voltage: The running temperature of the cell is 300-350oC. A
The cell voltage is 1.4V but falls rapidly to 1.3V as heater rated at a few hundered watts is required as part
soon as discharge begins. At 1.1V, cell is fully discharged. of the charging circuit which needs to be on even when
the car is not running.
Each cell is small, using about 15g of sodium each.
This means that the cells can be distributed around the
vehicle, making packaging easy. The problem today is to
find a suitable, cheap casing of the cell, due to corrosive
nature of sodium. Highly costly chromized coating is used
The cell voltage is about 2.1V.

Fig – 1.3.1 Simplified Nicad battery.

1.4) ZEBRA Battery

Zebra stands for Zero Emissions Battery Research Ac-
tivity. The zebra battery, which operates at 250°C, utilizes
molten chloro-aluminate (NaAlCl4), which has a melting
point of approximately 160 °C, as the electrolyte. The
negative electrode is molten sodium. The positive elec-
trode is nickel in the discharged state and nickel chloride Fig – 1.5.1 Sodium Sulfur battery
in the charged state. Because nickel and nickel chloride 1.6) Swing Battery
are nearly insoluble in neutral and basic melts, intimate All the alternate batteries discussed above consist of
contact is allowed, providing little resistance to charge high temperature operation of batteries. It is of impor-
transfer. Since both NaAlCl4 and Na are liquid at the oper- tance to develop a battery that operates in a normal tem-
ating temperature, a sodium-conducting β-alumina ce- perature range. Swing batteries are such batteries.
ramic is used to separate the liquid sodium from the mol- Swing batteries use lithium ions. These batteries
ten NaAlCl4. have a cathode made of transition metal oxides. Lithium
The ZEBRA battery has an attractive specific energy ions are in constant movement between these very thin
and power (90 Wh/kg and 150 W/kg). The liquid electro- electrodes in a non aqueous electrolyte. The swing
process takes place at a normal temperature and gives a

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 1 - Batteries
very high average cell voltage of approximately 3.5V,
which is highest.

Fig – 1.6.1 Swing Battery
Chapter 2 - Fuel cells

2 – Fuel cells
Introduction to fuel cells and fuels used. Construction operation of Proton Exchange Memrane, Alkaline Electrolyte,
Medium and High temperature fuel cells, Reformers.
thode side of the MEA, thus creating the current output
2.1) Introduction
of the fuel cell.
A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion
Meanwhile, a stream of oxygen is delivered to the
device. It produces electricity from various external quan-
cathode side of the MEA. At the cathode side oxygen mo-
tities of fuel (on the anode side) and an oxidant (on the
lecules react with the protons permeating through the
cathode side). These react in the presence of an electro-
polymer electrolyte membrane and the electrons arriving
lyte. Generally, the reactants flow in and reaction prod-
through the external circuit to form water molecules. This
ucts flow out while the electrolyte remains in the cell.
reduction half-cell reaction is represented by:
Fuel cells can operate virtually continuously as long as the
necessary flows are maintained.
Fuel cells are different from batteries in that they
consume reactant, which must be replenished, whereas
batteries store electrical energy chemically in a closed
system. Additionally, while the electrodes within a battery
react and change as a battery is charged or discharged, a
fuel cell's electrodes are catalytic and relatively stable.

2.2) Proton Exchange Membrane

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells, also known as
polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), are a
type of fuel cell being developed for transport applica-
tions as well as for stationary and portable applications.
Their distinguishing features include lower tempera-
ture/pressure ranges (50-100 degrees C) and a special
polymer electrolyte membrane. Fig – PEM Fuel cell
To function, the membrane must conduct hydrogen
2.2.1) Construction and Working
ions (protons) but not electrons as this would in effect
A proton exchange membrane fuel cell transforms
"short circuit" the fuel cell. The membrane must also not
the chemical energy liberated during the electrochemical
allow either gas to pass to the other side of the cell, a
reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to electrical energy, as
problem known as gas crossover. Finally, the membrane
opposed to the direct combustion of hydrogen and oxy-
must be resistant to the reducing environment at the ca-
gen gases to produce thermal energy.
thode as well as the harsh oxidative environment at the
A stream of hydrogen is delivered to the anode side
of the membrane-electrode assembly (MEA). At the
Splitting of the hydrogen molecule is relatively easy
anode side it is catalytically split into protons and elec-
by using a platinum catalyst. Unfortunately however,
trons. This oxidation half-cell reaction is represented by:
splitting the oxygen molecule is more difficult, and this
causes significant electric losses
The newly formed protons permeate through the po-
lymer electrolyte membrane to the cathode side. The 2.3) Alkaline fuel cells
electrons travel along an external load circuit to the ca- The alkaline fuel cell (AFC), also known as the Bacon
fuel cell after its British inventor, is one of the most de-

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 2 – Fuel cells
veloped fuel cell technologies and is the cell that flew power output compared to immobilized electrolyte de-
Man to the Moon. The Apollo series and the shuttle both signs.
used AFCs.
2.3.1) Working
The fuel cell produces power through a redox reac-
tion between hydrogen and oxygen. At the anode, hydro-
gen is oxidized according to the reaction:
producing water and releasing two electrons. The
electrons flow through an external circuit and return to
the cathode, reducing oxygen in the reaction:
producing hydroxide ions. The net reaction consumes
one oxygen molecule and two hydrogen molecules in the
production of two water molecules. Electricity and heat
are formed as by-products of this reaction.
The two electrodes are separated by a porous matrix Fig – Alkaline fuel cell
saturated with an aqueous alkaline solution, such as po- 2.4) High temperature fuel cells
tassium hydroxide (KOH). Aqueous alkaline solutions do
Low temperature fuel cells are oper-ated at a mem-
not reject carbon dioxide (CO2) so the fuel cell can be-
brane temperature of approx. 80 degrees Celsius. If the
come "poisoned" through the conversion of KOH to po-
temperature greatly exceeds this value fuel cell perfor-
tassium carbonate (K2CO3). Because of this, alkaline fuel
mance breaks down and irreparable damage is done to
cells typically operate on pure oxygen, or at least purified
the fuel cell . This is why LT fuel cell vehicle prototypes –
air and would incorporate a 'scruber' into the design to
should they be able to pass driving test cycles similar to a
clean out as much of the carbon dioxide as is possible.
combustion engine – place very high re-quirements on
2.3.2) Construction the cooling system, making it very expensive. In addi-tion,
Because of this poisoning effect, two main variants of in an LT system the supply of hydrogen gas and air must
AFCs exist: static electrolyte and flowing electrolyte. be continuously humidified, because otherwise the pro-
Static, or immobilized, electrolyte cells of the type duction of energy will break down, permanently damag-
used in the Apollo space craft and the Space Shuttle typi- ing the fuel cell and bringing the electric engine being
cally use an asbestos separator saturated in potassium powered to a stop. This humidification also takes space,
hydroxide. Water production is managed by evaporation weight and money.
out the anode, as pictured in Fig, which produces The high temperature mem-brane developed by
pure water that may be reclaimed for other uses. These Volkswagen can in combination with newly de-signed
fuel cells typically use platinum catalysts to achieve max- electrodes be “driven” at temperatures of up to 160 de-
imum volumetric and specific efficiencies. grees at the same output of power. A medium operating
Flowing electrolyte designs use a more open matrix temperature of 120° C is intended for vehicle operation.
that allows the electrolyte to flow either between the And this without additional hu-midification. A distinctly
electrodes (parallel to the electrodes) or through the elec- simpler cooling system and water man-agement is suffi-
trodes in a transverse direction. cient here, significantly reducing the need for space,
In the case of "parallel flow" designs, greater space is weight and money!
required between electrodes to enable this flow, and this
translates into an increase in cell resistance, decreasing
Chapter 2 - Fuel cells
2.5) Reformers peratures of 1000oC and hence it has reliability as one
The basic necessity of any fuel cells is to obtain major problem. However, it generates a major by
product i.e. steam. This steam can be used to run tur-
supply of hydrogen. Reformers are systems that can con-
bines which can also generate more electricity, this
vert hydrocarbons, alcohols etc into pure hydrogen. One increases overall efficiency of the system.
very significant reformer is the steam reformer.  Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC): these fuel cells
It is also the least expensive method. At high tem- also generate steam which can be used similarly as
peratures (700 – 1100 °C) and in the presence of a metal- that in SOFC. They operate though at about 600oC
based catalyst (nickel), steam reacts with methane to which makes them more cheaper than the SOFC.
yield carbon monoxide and hydrogen.
CH4 + H2O → CO + 3 H2
Additional hydrogen can be recovered by a lower-
temperature gas-shift reaction with the carbon monoxide
produced. The reaction is summarised by:
CO + H2O → CO2 + H2
Steam reforming of liquid hydrocarbons is seen as a
potential way to provide fuel for fuel cells. The basic idea
is that for example a methanol tank and a steam reform-
ing unit would replace the bulky pressurized hydrogen
tanks that would otherwise be necessary. This might miti-
gate the distribution problems associated with hydrogen
vehicles. However, there are several challenges asso-
ciated with this technology:
 The reforming reaction takes place at high tempera-
tures, making it slow to start up and requiring costly
high temperature materials.
 Sulfur compounds present in the fuel poison certain
catalysts, making it difficult to run this type of system
from ordinary gasoline. Some new technologies have
overcome this challenge, however, with sulfur-
tolerant catalysts.
 The carbon monoxide (CO) produced by the reactor
poisons the fuel cell, making it necessary to include
complex CO-removal systems.
2.6) Other fuel cells
Apart from the cells mentioned above, there are sev-
eral other types of fuel cells used. Some of them are as
listed below
 Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC): it has a potential
use in small stationary power generation systems. It
operates at a higher temperature than the PEMs and
hence requires longer warm-up time. This makes
them unsuitable for automobile applications.
 Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC): they are best suited for
large scale stationary power generators to provide
electricity for factories or towns. It operates at tem-

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 3 – 42 Volt Technology

3 – 42 Volt technology
Introduction, Transition from 12V to 42V electrical system, Need for 42V automotive electrical system, 42V automo-
tive power system, Method of controlling 12V system in 42V architecture. Present developments in 42V technology.
 1980s: Power demands of cars growing by 4% a year,
3.1) Introduction and we are already crossing the 2kW mark. 3kW is a
As vehicles have become more and more complex kind of breaking point for the 12V battery system. At
with n number of accessories such as multimedia, climate 3kW power consumption, 79% of engine power will
control, safety systems, and then are the engine and not make it to the driveline!
transmission systems such as sensors and actuators, fuel  1990s: Thought of ‘beltless’ engines, which means
pumps, coolant pumps etc. All these are increasing the engine drives only drivelines. Compressor fuel pumps
load on the electric battery of a car. If the car is being etc driven by alternate electric source. It was here
that 42V technology was coined.
kept on loaded with such amenities, soon then 12 V sys-
 1996: Mercedes sponsored MIT students completed
tem of a car will no longer be able to cope with the power
report on 42V technology after a detailed study of
demands. Even today, some high end car manufacturers
American and German OEMs.
are being faced with this problem of electric energy.
 2002-2003: Early predictions of 1990s showed that
Moreover, with more electric power on board, some sys- 42V systems would be introduced in cars by this year.
tems that use hydraulic or mechanical principles can be However many roadblocks prevented it from hitting
converted to electric thereby reducing overall long term the road.
cost.  2004: European OEMs claim to have ready technology
Today’s 12V batteries are charged by 14V supply. A to incorporate the 42V systems.
42V technology offers a 4 fold leap in the power output,  2010: Estimated time by which 42V technology will be
and thus the charging power as well. Hence it is termed as introduced in production cars.
42V (i.e. 14V x 4 = 42V) technology. 3.3) Roadblocks
3.2) Timeline of automotive electrical pow- Inspite of the potential advantages of the technolo-
er source. gy, the industry is not completely sure on the profit as-
pects of the system. A few roadblocks in transition is as
The various milestones in the automotive electrical
given below
power source is as given below:
 Invention of cars used 6 V technology Economic hurdles:
 1912: Electric starter motor developed which changed 1. Is market ready yet: Although people are increasing
electric needs of a car. in their automotive power demand, will they pay for
 Early 1950s: Implementation of high powered head- such a change in technology? It is a fact that most
lights. Introduction of high compression V8 engines power hungry vehicles are only the high end luxury
with higher spark demands. cars. What about the low end versions?
 Late 1950s: 6 volt batteries transited to 12V batteries. 2. Today’s electric components may become obsolete:
It is sometimes referred to as 14V also as the charging Components used today work on 12V technology.
voltage for the battery was 14V. transition was easy Shifting to a 42V technology means that all these
as the new systems utilized 6V technology that was components need to be changed and upgraded, or
simply adapted to work on higher voltages. additional circuitry be introduced to incorporate the
same old components.
 1960s and 70s: Transistors and integrated circuits re-
placed vacuum tubes. Radios became compact and 3. Are OEMs ready: With 90% of the electric compo-
portable and thus were fitted in cars. Along with this nents purchased from OEMs, it is necessary that all
came the requirement of instantaneous warm-up, these OEMs need to modify their production lines in
electronic engine controls, seat belt/starter interlock order to manufacture the new technologically adapt-
systems were the first to show up on cars. able components. This increases the overall cost on
the consumer.
Chapter 3 – 42 Volt Technology
4. Change in standards: International and local govern- capacitance of the system, yet this needs to be consi-
ment automotive standards are based on 12V tech- dered.
nology. To incorporate the new technology, theses in-
Myth about Safety
stitutes need to create workgroups and redefine the
standards, which again is a costly process.  It is said by many scientists that the 42V technology
would increase safety risks. However, tests conducted
5. Tools and equipment: Today’s after sales service
as early as 1930s and lately by the German standard
workshops such as garages etc have to incorporate
committee concluded that voltages below 60V are not
new tools to test and diagnose the car on the new
harmful. And as the voltages of the 42V technology is
technology. This means replacement of costly engine
below that level, there is no safety problem as such.
analyzers and many such equipment.
6. Wait till the need arises: Due to many of these disad- 3.4) Benefits
vantages, many automotive and supplier companies Current Technolo- 42 V technology
are simply looking to the other way. This means that gy
they wish to tackle the problem only when an urgent
Electric power More power with improved fuel
need has arised.
steering economy
Technical hurdles: Electric brakes Redundant power supplies
1. Roadside assistance: Jumpstarting a 42V technology-
Power windows, Reduced size and mass of motors,
run vehicle by an older version can result in cata-
strophic results, causing permanent damage to the power seat belts, hence more efficient
12V system. This also needs to be incorporated in the Power hatchback
research procedure. lifts
2. Lighting: Today’s vehicles, mostly use tungsten fila- Heated catalytic Greater efficiency, smaller units
ment bulbs. A 42V technology means that the fila- converter hence packaging improved
ments need to be further thinned out in order to pro-
Mobile multimedia More power available for DVD
duce the same luminosity. This possesses a serious
challenge to OEMs. An alternate is to use white lights players, fax, GPS, mp3 etc
known as High Intensity Discharge (HID), but then Electric water Improved efficiency with longer
they are costly. pumps service life
3. Voltage regulations: To incorporate today’s technolo- Selected Engine Reduced size and mass hence
gy of 12 V in further 42V technology requires some management sys- increased performance
sort of DC to DC conversion. However DC to DC con- tems (eg, EGR
verters are not cheap, and hence would add on to in-
valves, Throttle
crease in cost. One way to solve this problem is using
pulse width modulation (PWM) which supplies the valves etc etc)
electric energy in pulses. Thus the electric energy re- Fuel pumps Reduced size, hence packaging
ceived will be eventually less. Heated seats Faster heating, hence increased
4. Packaging: Environment under the hood of a car and luxury level
in fact anywhere in the car is very abusive. Tempera- Table – 3.4.1 Benefits of 42V technology
tures, humidity, pressure etc reach extremities which
needs proper care in incorporating the new technolo- Along with the above benefits, a few systems are
gy. elaborated below:
5. Corrosion: There is a divide in the technical communi-  Efficiency: The alternator operation requires a lot of
ty regarding this. Some of the people feel that the in- fuel. With the present day 14V alternators, the engine
creased voltage will corrode exposed wires faster, efficiency over the entire speed range is not more
while others think that it would not be a problem. than 60%. In a mixed driving environment (city and
highways) more than 0.5 gallons of fuel is required for
6. Arcing: An increased electrical energy will give rise to
1Kw load output per 65 miles. The 42V technology
Arcing. This, if occurred in the vicinity of the fuel
will bring it down to about 0.15 gallons.
supply line, could result in catastrophic results. The
arcing however would eventually depend upon the
Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE
Chapter 3 – 42 Volt Technology
 Wiring Harness: The wire size will reduce as the in- Electromagnetic valves
creased voltage means less current can be supplied to Most piston engines today employ a camshaft to op-
almost all applications. Thus the wiring harness flex-
erate poppet valves. This consists of a cylindrical rod run-
ibility will increase.
ning the length of the cylinder bank with a number of ob-
 Increased performance: There are 3 ways in which
long lobes or cams protruding from it, one for each valve.
the performance will increase. One is the decrease in
amount of power drained out of the power train. The cams force the valves open by pressing on the valve,
Thus a potential increase in fuel economy. And lastly or on some intermediate mechanism, as they rotate.
is the possibility of including additional equipments in Another problem with the system is the added
the car, preferably for drivers assistance. weight and the option of having only one or to a max of 3
 Cheaper semiconductors: This is achieved in semi- or 4 valve timings based on different valve lobes for each
conductors. Today’s semi conductors are built in with valve.
protection against high voltages (of uptp 60V!!). how-
One of the approaches designed to overcome these
ever a carefully designed, new 42V system will re-
move this need and smaller semiconductors can be problems, but which has proved difficult to implement, is
used which will enhance multiplexing. Camless valve trains using solenoids or magnetic systems.
 Reduced Mass/cost ratio: Weights of solenoids de- Camless engines would not only be more efficient in
crease almost linearly with the increase in voltage. For terms of mechanical energy, they would also be more
motors the decrement in weight is slightly less dra- flexible, as the valves could be computer-controlled. Infi-
matic as the gears etc will still be there. However, nitely variable valve timing would be possible, though va-
Reiner Emig, VP-Engineering at Bosch says that a riable valve lift would be more difficult. Valeo estimates
weight reduction of up to 20% can be achieved.
that the efficiency of a camless engine would be 20%
3.5) Potential applications greater than a comparable camshaft-operated engine.
Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) Another ability is to use cylinder deactivation. This
means that 2 cylinders of a V8 engine can be deactivated
The ISG is a novel idea which combines the starter
by temporarily closing the inlet valve and at the same
and generator and works on 42V technology. The ISG is
time opening the exhaust valve of those cylinders. Thus
usually mounted directly on the crankshaft between the
the V8 engine will function as a V6 engine with an extra
engine and the transmission, owing to its compact size. It
pair of redundant pistons. This can be done at low loads.
electromagnetically transmits the force to the crankshaft
Cadillac has introduced such engines in their prototypes.
when the key is turned, and starts the engine at a fraction
of time (around 0.2s) which would be usually required in a Also, all the valves can be opened just before starting
the engine, relieving the compression pressure and de-
conventional system. The reason for this that it does not
creasing cranking torque requirement. Even more intri-
have to drive the pinion in mesh with the ring gear and
guing is the ability to combine it with direct fuel injection
this saves time. The ISG also eliminates most engine start-
and start an engine statically using no external rotator
ing noise by electromagnetically damping it.
means. Valves of the appropriate cylinders would be
It is also termed as ‘stop-start’ system due to its re-
closed and an amount of fuel will be injected, which will
duced starting time. For this it can be used to reduce fuel
then be sparked, thus engine is started!
economy and emissions. They have thus a potential for
acceleration boost and breaking energy regeneration. Electrically heated catalytic converter
Thus the car can have no start switch, and the car would Exhaust gas emissions are of great importance today.
simply accelerate on application of the accelerator pedal. Most of these exhaust gasses are controlled by the use of
And the engine would switch off on application of brake, a catalytic converter. However a problem with the catalyt-
hence start-stop. ic converter is that it only operates at a higher tempera-
Moreover, the ISG can create 10kW of power which ture. This incorporates the need of providing means of
is a requirement of 42V technology. heating the converter when it is not hot, during starting
Chapter 3 – 42 Volt Technology
and in cold atmosphere. With 42V technology, additional pendent brake commands are generated by the ECU
power can be supplied to heat the catalytic converter. based on high level brake functions such as anti-lock brak-
ing system (ABS) or vehicle stability control (VSC). These
Electrical active suspension
command signals are sent to the four electric calipers (e-
Active suspension refers to the system that keeps the
calipers) via a communication network. Thus in an EMB,
passenger compartment in the same horizontal line, or
ABS, traction control, vehicle stability and panic brake as-
flat trajectory when the car encounters a pot hole or a
sist will not be controlled by hydraulic but electrically op-
bump. Active suspension is an automotive technology
erated gearboxes, monitored by the ECM.
that controls the vertical movement of the wheels via an
onboard system rather than the movement being deter- Electric water and oil pumps
mined entirely by the surface on which the car is driving. In most vehicles today, the water pump required for
The system therefore virtually eliminates body roll and cooling and the oil pump for engine lubrication is driven
pitch variation in many driving situations including corner- by a V-belt which connects these pump pulleys to the
ing, accelerating, and braking. crank pulley. This offers direct loss of engine power. With
Electromagnetic recuperative active suspension is the more electric energy available with 42V technology,
one such type that has high power requirement, which these components can be driven by motors, thereby re-
can be easily answered by 42V technology. This type of moving load from the engine and resulting in better fuel
active suspension uses linear electromagnetic motors at- economy.
tached to each wheel independently allowing for ex-
Electric Air Conditioning
tremely fast response and allowing for regeneration of
In today's cars, the air conditioner compressor is dri-
power used through utilizing the motors as generators.
ven by the engine. This creates a similar problem as dis-
This technology allows car manufacturers to achieve
cussed above. An electric motor is the best solution for
a higher degree of both ride quality and car handling by
this problem. Also, the need for an AC arises not only
keeping the tires perpendicular to the road in corners,
when the engine is driving but also when the engine is off,
allowing for much higher levels of grip and control.
like in traffic jams. 42V technology solves this problem.
Electronic power steering
Electric power steering (EPS or EPAS) is designed to
On a start-stop system, where in the engine will stop
use an electric motor to reduce effort by providing assist
each time the vehicle stops, say at a traffic light. It is esti-
to the driver of a vehicle. Most EPS systems have variable
mated that the car would need to crank the engine about
assist, which allows for more assistance as the speed of a
50,000 times a year compared to about 1000 times a year.
vehicle decreases and less assistance from the system
As a conventional lead acid battery has a limited charging-
during high-speed situations. This functionality requires a
discharging cycle, it cannot be used in that case. In urban
delicate balance of power and control that has only been
conditions such as cities, with a large number of traffic
available to manufacturers in recent years. The EPS sys-
jams and traffic lights, the battery needs to supply sharp
tem has replaced the hydraulic steering system (HPS or
bursts of energy, and also needs to recharge also quite
HPAS) in many passenger cars recently. Although EPS is so
fast. Current lead acid batteries are still able to give the
far limited to passenger cars, as a higher voltage electrical
required boost, buts fails in the regenerative braking phe-
system is necessary to operate EPS in larger vehicles.
Electromechanical brakes (EMB) Thus lithium ion batteries are mostly proposed for
Brake-by-wire represents the replacement of tradi- the use in 42V technology. These batteries are currently in
tional components such as the pumps, hoses, fluids, belts production in non automotive applications, and have
and brake boosters and master cylinders with electronic been tested for one million cycles of charging and dis-
sensors and actuators. Once the driver inputs a brake charging and also have a good combination of specific
command to the system via the brake pedal, four inde-
Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE
Chapter 3 – 42 Volt Technology
energy and specific power. The downfall, however is the the manufacturer to change over all their vehicles at
high cost incorporated. once.
Another battery being developed by Johnson con-
Dual alternator-dual voltage
trols laboratory is a 36V battery using a thin metal foil for
It could be either of the following:
lots of power, while a reserve battery they are developing
 Dual alternator
has a bulkier materials for capacity. In general terms of
 DC to DC converter.
physical size, the 36V battery will be bigger than a 12V
With this architecture, 42V bus would power the
battery as it would have 24 cells instead of 8. Using
electrical loads that benefit directly from higher voltage
lightweight but similar batteries currently used in motors-
while the rest of the loads would remain on 14V.
ports will solve the problem.

3.6) Potential architectures

Whether the distribution is AC, DC or a mixture of
both depends on the manufacturers’ individual choices
and their assumptions about cost, performance, manufac-
turability, controllability, repairability, adaptability and
reliability. Whatever the distribution architecture, it
should be compatible with today's electrical 12V DC loads.
This design will allow present 12V infrastructure to be
used while new, more efficient or functionally improved
loads at other voltages are introduced. As it is now, lamps
and motors will account for most of the load. Incandes-
cent lights will be continued to powered on 12V be it AC
or DC.
As for the wiring, it is still undecided as to what the
industry standard would be.
The big question is that should it be a dual voltage
dual battery type or a single voltage, single battery type.
The first one would offer both, 42V and 14V busses. The
second will comprise of a 42V alternator, a 36V starter
and battery. Each of these configurations has advantages
Fig – 3.6.1 Proposed architecture
and disadvantages. Each OEM will have its own philoso-
phy and assumptions. For example, GM aims to develop a
dual voltage system and then transit it to a single voltage
system. Conversely, BMW aims at a single voltage system.
3.6.1) Proposed architecture systems
Single 42V system
It is the simplest design on paper, but the most diffi-
cult one to implement. In the long term, however this
would avoid cost, weight and packaging problems created
by 2 batteries. The assumption is that energy manage-
ment system would be smart enough to monitor a single
battery and manage loads to prevent depleting the 36V
battery to the point where vehicle cannot be started. This
is yet expensive initially and would be inappropriate for
Chapter 4 – Charging System

4 – Charging System
Requirements of a charging system. Dynamo: Principle of operation, construction and working. Regulators, Com-
bined current and voltage regulators, etc. Alternator: Principle of operation, Construction, working. Rectification of AC to
Fig shows the increase in alternator current
4.1) Introduction
demands over the years. Continuous loads are those
The modern charging system hasn't changed much in
which need to be supplied continuously by the alternator,
over 40 years. It consists of the alternator, regulator
such as firing of spark plugs. Prolonged one is such as
(which is usually mounted inside the alternator) and the
charging of the battery, which is almost continuous ex-
interconnecting wiring.
cept when battery is fully charged. Intermittent would be
The purpose of the charging system is to maintain
amenities such as heated seat, windscreen wiper etc. as
the charge in the vehicle's battery, and to provide the
discussed earlier in Ch 3, load on vehicle has almost
main source of electrical energy while the engine is run-
reached 2kW which is an alarming figure owing to the in-
creased demands on the alternator.
If the charging system stopped working, the battery's
charge would soon be depleted, leaving the car with a
"dead battery." If the battery is weak and the alternator
is not working, the engine may not have enough electrical
current to fire the spark plugs, so the engine will stop

4.2) Requirements of a Charging system

The current demands on a modern vehicle are tre-
mendous. The charging system must answer to these de- Graph – Current demands on alternator by time
mands and also be able to charge the battery under all
4.3) Charging system basics
operating conditions.
The three important blocks of a charging system are
The charging output should be constant voltage re-
the generator, battery and the loads. There are 2 configu-
gardless of engine load or speed. In brief, the following
rations which are possible. They are shown in fig 4.3.1.
are the requirements of a charging system
when the alternator voltage is less than the battery (en-
1. Supply the current demand made by all loads.
gine slow or not running for example), the direction of
2. Supply whatever charge current the battery demands. current flow is from battery to the vehicle loads. The al-
3. Operate at idle speed. ternator diodes prevent the current flowing into the al-
4. Supply constant voltage under all conditions. ternator. When the alternator output is greater than the
5. Have an efficient power to weight ratio. battery voltage, current will flow from the alternator to
6. Be reliable, quiet and have resistance to contamina- the vehicle loads and the battery. Thus it is clear that al-
tion. ternator battery voltage needs to be greater than the bat-
7. Require low maintenance. tery voltage at all times when the engine is running.
8. Provide an indication of correct operation
4.2.1) Vehicle electric loads
Loads on an alternator can be covered under three
separate headings. These are continuous, prolonged and
intermittent the charging system of a modern vehicle has
Fig – 4.3.1 Vehicle charging system
to cope with high demands under varying load conditions.

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 4 – Charging System
4.3.1) Charging voltages current and it is controlled by the regulator in response to
The main consideration of the charging voltage is the the electrical needs of the automobile at any given time.
battery terminal voltage when fully charged. If the charg- The voltage of the generator is controlled by the
ing system voltage is set to this value, there can be no risk number of windings in the armature. The current output
of overcharging the battery. This is knaown as the con- is controlled by the field current, but also by the speed at
stant voltage charging technique. An amount of 14.2 ± which the armature is spinning. This is important because
0.2V is the accepted charging voltage for a 12V system. a generator can only put out its maximum rated current at
The other areas for consideration when determining or above some speed - at lower speeds the output drops
the charging voltage are any expected voltage drops in off very quickly. This is why a generator-equipped car will
the charging circuit wiring and the operating temperature not charge (or even maintain!) the battery at idle and this
of the system and battery. The voltage drops must be is one of the main reasons for the development of the
kept minimum, but it is important to note that the ter- alternator.
minal voltage of alternator may be slightly above the no- The current generated in the armature is AC - not DC.
minal battery voltage. To get it converted to DC so it can charge the battery and
run the electric loads, a device called a commutator is
4.4) The Dynamo or Generator
used to "rectify" this situation. It is on the armature and
These were the original electrical generation units
has a series of contacts along it's outer surface. Two
used on automobiles - it was much later on that alterna-
spring-loaded brushes slide on the commutator - one
tors were invented and car manufacturers switched over
brush is connected to ground and the other is connected
to them.
to the main output of the generator. As the armature and
The generator is like an electric motor in reverse. In-
commutator assembly rotates, the brushes come touch
stead of applying electricity to it to make it spin, when
the different contacts on the commutator such that the
you spin it, it makes electricity. There are three parts of a
polarity of the current moving in the armature is always
connected to the correct brushes. The net effect of this is
that the generator output is always DC even though the
 Armature current inside the armature windings is always AC. A
 Field coils schematic diagram of the generator is as shown in fig
The generator produces electricity by spinning a se-
ries of windings of fine wire (called the armature) inside
of a fixed magnetic field by connecting them to a belt and
pulley arrangement on the engine. As the armature is
spun by the rotation of the belt and pulley, it gets a cur-
rent and voltage generated in those windings of wire.
That current and voltage will be directly proportional to
the speed that the armature spins and to the strength of
the magnetic field. If you spin it faster, it makes more and
if you make the magnetic field stronger it makes more
current. The speed of the spinning is controlled by the
speed of the engine - that's why you need to rev the en-
Fig – Schematic diagram of the dynamo principle
gine up to help charge the battery faster. The magnetic
field is controlled by an electro-magnet, so by changing 4.5) Regulators
the amount of current supplied to the electro-magnets 4.5.1) Voltage Regulator
that make up the field you control the strength of the In older electromechanical regulators, voltage regu-
magnetic field. This current is referred to as the "field" lation is easily accomplished by coiling the sensing wire to
make an electromagnet. The magnetic field produced by
Chapter 4 – Charging System
the voltage attracts a moving ferrous core held back un- 4.5.2) Combined current and voltage regulators
der spring tension or gravitational pull. A regulator consists of a series winding and a shunt
As the voltage increases, the magnetic field strength winding both wound on a single core. The series winding
also increases, pulling the core towards the field and is made up of a few turns of thick wire, one end con-
opening a mechanical power switch. nected to the field terminal of the regulator and the other
As the voltage decreases, the spring tension or end grounded via a contact point. The other winding is
weight of the core causes the core to retract, closing the the shunt winding which is made up of a few turns of thin
switch allowing the power to flow once more. wire., one end of which is connected to cutout relay and
the other to the ground.
If the mechanical regulator design is sensitive to As shown in fig, a combined current and vol-
small voltage fluctuations, the motion of the solenoid tage regulator is made up of three basic parts, a voltage
core can be used to move a selector switch across a range regulator, a current regulator and a cutout relay. We shall
of resistances or transformer windings to gradually step discuss each part one by one as follows
the output voltage up or down, or to rotate the position Voltage regulator
of a moving-coil AC regulator.
The operation of the voltage regulator is same as the
Early automobile generators and alternators had a one explained above. When the generator produces a
mechanical voltage regulator using one, two, or three re- higher voltage than required, and for which the regulator
lays and various resistors to stabilize the generator's out- is set, the force due to the shunt and series winding will
put at slightly more than 6 or 12 V, independent of the pull down the armature, thereby breaking the contact
engine's rpm or the varying load on the vehicle's electrical points. Once this happens and the contact points are bro-
system. Essentially, the relay(s) employed pulse width ken, the voltage starts to reduce till a point is reached
modulation to regulate the output of the generator, con- that the voltage through the windings is insufficient to
trolling the field current reaching the generator (or alter- hold the armature down and again the contact is estab-
nator) and in this way controlling the output voltage pro- lished due to spring action of the contact arm. This hap-
duced. pens several times in one second (around 200 times!) and
The regulators used for generators (but not alterna- the voltage is regulated by pulse width modulation.
tors) also disconnect the generator when it was not pro-
ducing electricity, thereby preventing the battery from Current regulator
discharging back through the stopped generator. The rec- The current regulator also works on somewhat the
tifier diodes in an alternator automatically perform this same principle of electromagnetic field generation. It con-
function so that a specific relay is not required; this ap- sists of a heavy series winding around a core. The contact
preciably simplified the regulator design. Fig points are closed and the generator field circuit is
shows a voltage regulator. grounded. When the load on the generator increases, the
A current regulator also works on almost the same generator voltage is insufficient to operate the voltage
principle as a voltage regulator regulator and current continues to rise till a stage is
reached when the current regulator coil is sufficient to
pull the armature down separating the contact points,
thus inserting sufficient resistance for the generator out-
put until the current decreases to an allowable value in
which case, the current will fall and thus the winding will
have insufficient energy to hold the armature down. Con-
tact is again made and current again starts to rise.
Fig – voltage regulator

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 4 – Charging System
Cutout relay  Noisy operation due to constantly moving parts.
When the generator speed is very low due to low en-  High amount of wear of contact points.
gine speed, the output is not sufficient to balance the bat-  Arcing at contact points, causing carbon to develop
tery voltage and the necessity to cutout the generator there.
from the battery arises. This is because the battery would  Very fine adjustment of spring tension required for all
discharge through the generator. The contact can again the applications for particular output.
be made only when the engine has gained sufficient  Change in elasticity of springs due to fatigue is com-
speed to match output to the battery voltage. As shown, mon.
the cutout relay consists of 2 coils, shunt and series.  This leads to change in the regulated entity value, be
it current, voltage or the cutout of the battery.
When the generator is producing sufficient voltage, the
electromagnetic phenomena of both the windings is suffi- Due to these drawbacks, alternators are now pre-
cient to support each other, the electromagnet pulls ferred over dynamos because the semiconductor tech-
down the armature and contact is established. However, nology is used better in conjunction with electronic vol-
when the generator is not producing enough output, the tage regulators.
fields due to shunt and series winding oppose out, which 4.5.4) Electronic regulators
causes the electromagnetic pull to weaken and the bat- The circuit diagram of such a regulator is as shown in
tery is cutoff from the circuit. Fig when the alternator first increases in speed,
the output will be below the preset level. Under these
circumstances the transistor T2 will be switched on by a
feed to its base by the resistor R3. This allows full field cur-
rent to flow, thus increasing voltage output. when the
preset voltage is reached the zener diode will conduct.
The resistances R1 and R2 are in simple series circuit to set
the voltage appropriate to the value of the diode, when
the supply is say 14.2V. once ZD conducts T1 will switch on
and pull the base of T2 to the ground. This switches T2 off
and so field current is interrupted, causing output voltage
to fall. This will cause ZD to stop conducting, T1 will switch
off allowing T2 to switch back on and so the cycle will con-
tinue. D1 is used to absorb back emf generated.

Fig – Combined current and voltage regulator

4.5.3) Regulators drawbacks

A regulator as seen depends on electro mechanical
principles. This has many inertial problems and also prob-
lems related to hysteresis. Some of the problems asso- Fig – Electronic voltage regulator
ciated with alternator is given below:
Chapter 4 – Charging System
4.6) Alternators rectified to DC, the principle of operation is as described
4.6.1) Principle of operation
Alternators generate electricity by the same principle Rectification basic block – a semiconductor diode
as DC generators, namely, when the magnetic field and Half wave rectification
around a conductor changes, a current is induced in the A diode is like an electronic valve which allows only
conductor. Typically, a rotating magnet called the rotor one flow of direction of current and blocks the current if
turns within a stationary set of conductors wound in coils flowing from other side. Using one diode, we can achieve
on an iron core, called the stator. The field cuts across the half wave rectification. This means that only positive cycle
conductors, generating an electrical current, as the me- appears on the output, there is no negative side on the
chanical input causes the rotor to turn. However, after output. Refer fig
every half revolution, there would be reverse in polarity
of magnet, hence we get AC current.
The rotor (having a constant magnetic field driven a
permanent magnet) will attempt to take such position
that N pole of the rotor is adjusted to S pole of the sta- Fig – Half wave rectification
tor's magnetic field, and vice versa. This magneto- Full wave rectification
mechanical force will drive rotor to follow rotating mag- There are many ways to achieve this. The one using 2
netic field in a synchronous manner. diodes is shown here, in the positive half of input one di-
The alternator thus produces 3 phase AC current. ode operates and other is redundant and in the negative
This is given to a rectifier bridge which converts this into half, the other diode operates and the former one, which
DC current which can then be supplied to the loads. Refer was conducting in the first half is now redundant.
Fig 4.6.1 and 4.6.2 for schematic details.

Fig – Full wave rectifier

Rectifier circuit of an automobile alternator

As seen above, 2 diodes produce full wave rectifica-
tion of a single phase input. For three phase input, we
thus require 6 diodes, along with a resistor bridge of star
Fig – 4.6.1 Alternator exploded view connection or delta connection. The circuit diagram for an
alternator is as shown in Fig, below.

Fig – 4.6.2 Alternator principle in conjunction with rectifica-


4.6.2) Rectification from AC to DC

As discussed earlier, there needs to be a DC supply to
run the vehicle loads and also to charge the battery. As an
alternator produces 3 phase AC voltage, it needs to be
Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE
Chapter 4 – Charging System

Fig – Alternator circuit employing star connection

As seen above, there are 8 diodes for rectification.
Usually, six diodes are sufficient but 2 extra diodes are put
as indicated which is given connection from star bridge
common point to even rectify any voltage occurring due
to an unbalanced circuit. This increases the rectifier effi-
ciency. 3 field diodes, one for each phase are used to give
warning light signals. There is a regulator which regulates
the output, as discussed earlier. The slip rings and the
field windings are used to input to the regulator. There
are 2 ways in which this is done. One way is to supply
constant feed to the feed windings from excitation diodes
and regulator switches the earth side, the other system,
one side of the field windings is constantly earthed and
the regulator switches the supply side.
Alternators do not require any current regulators.
This is because if the output voltage 9s regulated, the vol-
tage supplied to the field windings cannot exceed the pre-
set level. This in turn will only allow a certain current to
flow due to resistance of the winding, and hence limit is
set for the field strength. Electronic voltage regulation is
usually used in modern cars using a Zener diode. This di-
ode can be constructed to breakdown and conduct in re-
verse at a precise set level.
Chapter 5 – Starting system

5 – Starting System
Requirements, Carious torque terms used. Starter motor drives : Bendix, folo through, Barrel, Rubber compression,
Compression spring, Friction clutch, Overruning clutch, Dyer. Starter motor solenoids and switches, Glow plugs.
The "starting system", the heart of the electrical sys- Fig 5.1.1 shows the basic diagram of the engine start-
tem in your car, begins with the Battery. The key is in- ing system in conjunction with the other electric systems
serted into the Ignition Switch and then turned to the of a car.
start position. A small amount of current then passes
through the Neutral Safety Switch to a Starter Relay or
Starter Solenoid which allows high current to flow
through the Battery Cables to the Starter Motor. The
starter motor then cranks the engine so that the piston,
moving downward, can create a suction that will draw a
Fuel/Air mixture into the cylinder, where a spark created
by the Ignition System will ignite this mixture. If the
Compression in the engine is high enough and all this
happens at the right Time, the engine will start.

5.1) Engine starting requirements Fig – 5.1.1 electrical system of a car

An IC engine requires the following in order to start
and then continue in operation 5.2) Various Torque terms used with en-
 Combustible mixture gine starting
 Compression stroke There is basic 2 torques associated with engine start-
 A form of ignition (by spark plug in SI engine and by ing. One is the starter torque and other is the engine tor-
Glow plug during the time of starting for CI engine) que. It must be noted that engine torque here is related
 Minimum starting speed (approx 100 rpm) to the amount of torque required for the engine to crank
In order to produce the first three of these, a mini- and thus eventually start. For passenger cars starter tor-
mum rpm of 100 is necessary, that is the fourth condition. que of 10 to 30 Nm is employed, and for heavy vehicles it
This is where the electric starter comes in. the ability to is in the range 50 to 100 Nm. The starter torque and the
reach this minimum speed is again dependant of the fol- engine torque vary considerably with temperature. This is
lowing factors shown by graph 5.2.1 below.
 Rated voltage of the starting system.
 Lowest possible temperature at which the system
must function. This is known as starting limit temper-
 Engine cranking torque. In other words the torque
that has to be applied to start the engine.
 Battery characteristics.
 Voltage drop between battery and starter.
 Starter to ring gear ratio.
 Characteristics of the starter.
 Minimum cranking speed of the engine at starting
limit temperature.

Graph – 5.2.1 engine rpm vs required torque wrt torques.

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 5 – Starting system
Typical starting limit temperatures are usually drive. Compression spring type bendix drive and rub-
quoted by manufacturers at -20oC and +20oC and torque ber spring type bendix drive
values are mentioned. Starting limit temperatures for typ-  Pre engaged type of drives: these consist of Overrun-
ical vehicles are as follows: ing clutch type drive and Dyer drive.
 -18oC to -25oC for passenger cars. 5.4.1) Standard bendix drive
 -15oC to -20oC for trucks and busses. Refer to Fig for a detailed diagram. The inertia
type of starter motor employing standard bendix drive
5.3) Starting motor
has been the technique used for over 85 years, but it is
The starting motor, also called the starter motor, is
now becoming redundant. There is a threaded sleeve on
driven by means of the current taken from the battery. It
the armature shaft. The sleeve can slide or turn freely on
is usually mounted on the side of the engine on the flyw-
the armature shaft. The shaft is keyed to a fixed drive
heel end.
head which is connected torsionally to a sliding dog. This
As the starter motor needs to deliver heavy torque, it
takes on shock of engagement and disengagement. On
is series wound, such that the field coils are connected in
the sleeve there is a pinion which is attached to an unbal-
series to the armature and hence the current in them is
ance weight to prevent rotation of pinion on sleeve
equal. However, present day, some motors are series-
threads. When starter motor runs, the pinion remains still
shunt wound. The advantage of this type is the lower in-
due to its inertia and, because of the screwed sleeve ro-
ternal resistance which decreases the current demand for
tating inside it, the pinion is moved into mesh with the
a given starting torque.
ring gear.
The construction of starter motor is similar to a DC
When the engine fires and runs under its own power
generator with the exception that DC generator is series
the pinion is driven faster than the armature shaft. This
wound. The main components are:
causes the pinion to be screwed back along the sleeve
and out of engagement with the flywheel. The main
spring acts as a buffer when the pinion first takes up the
driving torque and also acts as a buffer when the engine
 Field windings throws the pinion back out of mesh
 4 field poles and 4 brushes
The brushes are held in contact with the Commuta-
tor by means of brushes. At the end of armature shaft
there is a ‘starter motor drive mechanism’ (explained in
next section) which drives the engine.

5.4) Starting motor drives

For starting the engine, as said above, the speed of
an engine should be at 100 rpm during cranking. If a mo-
tor giving 1500 rpm is used with a pinion to flywheel gear
reduction of 15:1 would be sufficient. However, when the
engine starts, the pinion will move at a tremendous speed
at 15 times the speed of the engine. This will cause the Fig – – Standard Bendix drive
commutator brushes etc to fly away by the centrifugal 5.4.2) ‘Folo thru’ drive
force. For this reason a mechanism for disengagement of This is similar in construction to the standard bendix
the pinion once the engine starts is essential. These me- drive. The armature shaft is connected to a threaded
chanisms are referred to as starting motor drives. They sleeve through a spring and an overrunning clutch. The
are of the following types: inside of the pinion barrel fits into the sleeve thread. To-
 Bendix Drive: these are inertia type drives. They are of wards the end of the sleeve is provided a detent as shown
4 different types viz standard bendix drive, ‘Folo-thru’ (Fig two spring loaded pins viz the lock pin and
Chapter 5 – Starting system
the anti drift pin are also provided. The anti drift pin pro- The spring on the sleeve over which the pinion moves
vides only frictional contact with the sleeve teeth, whe- serves to avoid shock due to striking of pinion with collar.
reas the lock pin in conjunction woth the detent is as fur- The pinion therefore tries to rotate but is offered initial
ther explained below. resistance by the flywheel which is stationary. The torque
of the shaft then has a tendency to force the threaded
sleeve further out against the spring tension, till the flyw-
heel starts rotating. The spring tension is then conse-
quently relieved when the engine fires as it meshes out
the pinion then. This type of drive is as shown in Fig

Fig – – Folo thru drive

The engagement of the pinion and the flywheel takes
place in a similar way as explained above for bendix drive.
However towards the end of the pinion travel the lockpin
drops into the detent and would not let the pinion disen-
gage prematurely due to a false start such as premature
Fig – – Compression spring bendix drive
firing. The pinion thus continues travelling the flywheel till
the engine gets really started. When the engine reaches 5.4.4) Rubber spring bendix drive
about 400 rpm the lockpin comes out of the detent due to This is similar to compression spring bendix drive
centrifugal force. Then again the pinion disengages as in a with the only difference being that the compression
standard bendix drive. spring is replaced by a rubber spring. This is done to avoid
The anti drift pin is loaded with a spring stiffer than a the damage which is caused when due to false engine
lock pin. This prevents the drifting of the pinion and en- starting the pinion gets disengaged and attempt is made
gaging with the flywheel accidently. The overrunning to bring it back into mesh.
clutch acts as an added safety device so that if for any 5.4.5) Overrunning clutch type drive or pre en-
case the pinion does not disengage, the clutch would pre- gaged starter
vent damage to the motor. Figure shows a schematic figure of the circuit.
5.4.3) Compression type bendix drive Pre-engaged starters are fitted to the majority of vehicles
This differs from a direct bendix drive that the in use today. They provide a positive engagement with
threaded sleeve is mounted directly on the splined arma- the ring gear, as full power is not applied until the pinion
ture shaft. A spring under compression is employed in is fully in mesh. They prevent premature ejection as the
between the sleeve and the nut which is fixed on between pinion is held into mesh by the action of a solenoid. A
the pinion and the collar on the shaft. one-way clutch is incorporated into the pinion to prevent
When the motor is started, the sleeve starts rotating the starter motor being driven by the engine. An example
along with the armature shaft. This causes the pinion to of a pre-engaged starter in common use is shown in the
travel towards the motor till its teeth engage completely Figure the next figure shows the circuit associated with
with the flywheel gear. By this time the pinion also strikes operating this type of pre-engaged starter. The basic op-
against the collar which prevents further pinion travel. eration of the pre-engaged starter is as follows.

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 5 – Starting system
When the key switch is operated a supply is made to
the solenoid. This causes two windings to be energized,
the hold-on winding and the pull-in winding. Note that
the pull-in winding is of very low resistance and hence a
high current flows. This winding is connected in series
with the motor circuit and the current flowing will allow
the motor to rotate slowly to facilitate engagement.
At the same time the magnetism created in the sole-
noid attracts the plunger and via an operating lever push-
es the pinion into mesh with the flywheel ring gear. When
the pinion is fully in mesh the plunger at the end of its Fig – – Pre engaged starter.
travel causes a heavy-duty set of copper contacts to close.
5.4.6) Dyer Drive
These contacts now supply full battery power to the main
This type of drive is most suitable for heavy engines.
circuit of the starter motor. When the main contacts are
It is so designed that the engagement of the pinion with
closed the pull-in winding is effectively switched off due
the flywheel gear takes place before starter motor switch
to equal voltage supply on both ends. The hold-on
is operated. This avoids possibility of gear damage.
winding holds the plunger in position as long as the sole-
The main components of a dyer drive are as shown in
noid is supplied from the key switch.
fig the shift sleeve is free to move on the arma-
When the engine starts and the key is released, the
ture shaft, in which are provided the spiral teeth. The shift
main supply is removed and the plunger and pinion return
sleeve is operated by means of a shift lever. The snug on
to their rest positions under spring tension. A lost motion
the pinion guide fits into the slot of the pinion, which has
spring located on the plunger ensures that the main con-
internal splines corresponding to armature shaft splines.
tacts open before the pinion is retracted from mesh.
However, the pinion fits on the armature shaft rather
During engagement if the teeth of the pinion hit the loosely.
teeth of the flywheel (tooth to tooth abutment), the main
When the shift lever is pressed, the shift sleeve is
contacts are allowed to close due to the engagement
pushed to the right and consequently the pinion is also
spring being compressed. This allows the motor to rotate
moved in that direction. However, because of the spiral
under power and the pinion will slip into mesh.
teeth, there is angular motion also. With the further push-
The torque developed by the starter is passed ing of the shift lever the pinion thus gets engaged with
through a one-way clutch to the ring gear. The purpose of the flywheel. However the chances are that the teeth are
this freewheeling device is to prevent the starter being not aligned in this position. In this case the shift sleeve
driven at excessively high speed if the pinion is held in continues to move the pinion guide along the armature
mesh after the engine has started. The clutch consists of a shaft, which because of the snug fitting on the shaft ro-
driving and driven member with several rollers in be- tates without any linear motion, taking the pinion with it,
tween the two. The rollers are spring loaded and either till teeth are in mesh. Once meshing occurs, the further
wedge-lock the two members together by being com- travel of shift lever switches the motor on.
pressed against the springs or free wheel in the opposite
Once the motor starts, the sleeve is immediately ro-
tated back in its initial position. The disengagement takes
place on the starting of the engine as in case of bendix
Chapter 5 – Starting system
the amount of thermal diffusion which will occur when
the engine attempts to start.
The use of a glow plug is only in diesel engines. The
reason is that diesel engines rely solely on compression.
The piston rises, compressing the air in the cylinder; this,
by natural effect, causes the air's temperature to rise. By
the time the cylinder reaches the top of its travel path,
the temperature in the cylinder is very high. The fuel mist
is then sprayed into the cylinder; it instantly combusts,
forcing the piston downwards, thus generating power.
The pressure required to heat the air to that temperature,
Fig – – Dyer drive however, necessitates the use of a large and very strong
5.5) Starter motor solenoids engine block. The problem posed is that in cold weather,
A relay is a device that allows a small amount of elec- if the engine has not been running (as is the case when
trical current to control a large amount of current. A car the car is left to sit overnight), that large engine block be-
starter motor uses a relay to solve the problem that a car comes very cold; when one then attempts to start the
has in needing a large amount of current to start the en- engine, the cold engine block acts as a heat sink, quickly
gine. A starter relay is installed in series between the bat- dissipating the heat generated by the pistons compressing
tery and the starter. Some cars use a starter solenoid (as air. The engine is then unable to start, because it cannot
shown here) to accomplish the same purpose of allowing generate and maintain enough heat for the fuel to ignite.
a small amount of current from the ignition switch to con- Thus glowplug generates this heat for the starting of the
trol a high current flow from the battery to the starter. engine.

Fig 5.6.1) A Glow plug (tip on the right)

Fig 5.5.1 Starter motor solenoid principle.

5.6) Glow plug

A glowplug is a pencil-shaped piece of metal with a
heating element at the tip; that heating element, when
electrified, heats due to electrical resistance and begins to
emit light in the visible spectrum (hence the term "glow"
plug; the effect is very similar to that of a toaster. The
heat generated by the glowplugs is directed into the cy-
linders, and serves to warm the of the engine block im-
mediately surrounding the cylinders. This aids in reducing

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 6 – Ignition system

6 – Ignition systems
Capacitor Discharge Ignition System, Distributor less ignition system, direct ignition system. Hall effect pulse genera-
tor, Inductive pulse generator, Constant dwell system, constant energy system.

6.1) Fundamentals Ignition switch

An ignition switch is a key operated switch which
6.1.1) Functional requirements
switches the ignition circuit on and off.
The main function of the ignition system is to give
spark to the engine inside the combustion chamber at the Ballast resistor
end of the compression stroke, to ignite the A/F mixture It is shorted out during the starting phase to cause a
in SI engines. more severe spark. Also contributes towards improving
For a spark to jump across a gap of 0.6mm under spark at higher speeds.
normal atmospheric conditions, a voltage of 2-3 kV is re-
Contact breakers
quired. For a spark to jump a similar gap inside the com-
Switches the primary ignition circuit on and off the
bustion chamber, where the pressure is 8 times the pres-
charge and discharge the coil.
sure of the atmosphere, the same voltage required is 8kV.
As compression ratio increases, so does the spark voltage Capacitor
requirement. Suppresses arcing by storing charge in it, this allows
Also, the system has to deliver this voltage at the rapid brake of primary current and hence a rapid collapse
precisely right time in the right cylinder. It also has to vary of coil magnetism, which produces higher voltage output.
the time of spark according to engine load and speed cha-
HT distributor
Directs spark from the coil to each cylinder in a pre
6.1.2) Components of conventional ignition system sequence.
The various components of a conventional ignition
system is as described below. It is shown graphically in fig Centrifugal advance Changes the ignition timing with engine speed. As
NOTE:> the important components are given in detail speed increases, timing is advanced.
at the end of the chapter. Vacuum advance
Spark plug Changes valve timing depending on the engine load.
A spark plug is an electrical device that fits into the On conventional systems the vacuum advance is the most
cylinder head of SI engines and ignites compressed A/F crucial during cruising conditions.
mixture by means of an electric spark. Spark plugs have Ignition coil
an insulated center electrode which is connected by a It is an induction coil in an automobile's ignition sys-
heavily insulated wire to an ignition coil or magneto cir- tem which transforms the battery's 12 volts (6 volts in
cuit on the outside, forming, with a grounded terminal on some older vehicles) to the thousands of volts needed to
the base of the plug, a spark gap inside the cylinder. spark the spark plugs.
A spark plug is composed of a shell, insulator and the This is done by transformer action. 2 wires are
conductor. It pierces the wall of the combustion chamber wound around a common core, the primary coil and the
and therefore must also seal the combustion chamber secondary coil. The secondary coil is made up of a large
against high pressures and temperatures, without deteri- number of high tension cable windings on the core. The
orating over long periods of time and extended use. primary coil is made up of a small number of windings of
low tension wire. When electricity from battery (or alter-
nator) excites the primary winding, correspondingly high
Chapter 6 – Ignition system
voltage is induced in the secondary winding, which gives
the spark to the spark plugs. A figure of an ignition coil is
as show in in fig

Fig – 6.2.1 – CDI system

6.3) Distributor less Ignition system

The spark plugs are fired directly from the coils. The
spark timing is controlled by an Ignition Control Unit (ICU)
and the Engine Control Unit (ECU). The distributor less
ignition system may have one coil per cylinder, or one coil
for each pair of cylinders.
Some popular systems use one ignition coil per two
cylinders. This type of system is often known as the waste
spark distribution method. In this system, each cylinder is
paired with the cylinder opposite it in the firing order
(usually 1-4, 2-3 on 4-cylinder engines or 1-4, 2-5, 3-6 on
V6 engines). The ends of each coil secondary leads are
Fig – ignition system attached to spark plugs for the paired opposites. These
6.2) Capacitor discharge ignition two plugs are on companion cylinders, cylinders that are
CDI ignition is most widely used today on automotive at Top Dead Center (TDC) at the same time. But, they are
and marine engines. A CDI module has "capacitor" storage paired opposites, because they are always at opposing
of its own and sends a short high voltage (about 250+ ends of the 4 stroke engine cycle. When one is at TDC of
volts) pulse through the coil. The coil now acts more like a the compression stroke, the other is at TDC of the exhaust
transformer (instead of a storage inductor) and multiplies stroke. The one that is on compression is said to be the
this voltage even higher. Modern CDI coils step up the event cylinder and one on the exhaust stroke, the waste
voltage about 100:1. So, a typical 250v CDI module output cylinder. When the coil discharges, both plugs fire at the
is stepped up to over 25,000v output from the coil. The same time to complete the series circuit.
CDI output voltage of course can be higher. So you'll see Since the polarity of the primary and the secondary
CDI systems claiming coil output capability over 40,000- windings are fixed, one plug always fires in a forward di-
60,000 volts!!? As you will see this is not exactly what rection and the other in reverse. This is different than a
happens at the plug but for theoretically this works out. conventional system firing all plugs the same direction
The huge advantage of CDI is the higher coil output and each time. Because of the demand for additional energy;
"hotter" spark. The spark duration is much shorter (about the coil design, saturation time and primary current flow
10-12 microseconds) and accurate. This is better at high are also different. This redesign of the system allows
RPM but can be a problem for both starting and/or lean higher energy to be available from the distributorless
mixture/high compression situations. CDI systems can and coils, greater than 40 kilovolts at all rpm ranges.
do use "low" resistance coils. The distributorless Ignition System (DIS) uses either a
magnetic crankshaft sensor, camshaft position sensor, or
both, to determine crankshaft position and engine speed.
This signal is sent to the ignition control module or engine
control module which then energizes the appropriate coil.
Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE
Chapter 6 – Ignition system
The advantages of no distributor, in theory, is: As the central shaft of the distributor rotates, the
 No timing adjustments vanes attached under the rotor arm alternatively cover
 No distributor cap and rotor and uncover the hall chip. The number of vanes corres-
 No moving parts to wear out ponds to number of cylinders. In constant dwell systems,
 No distributor to accumulate moisture and cause the dwell is determined by the width of the vanes. The
starting problems vanes cause the hall chip to be alternatively in and out of
 No distributor to drive thus providing less engine drag the magnetic field. The result is that the device will pro-
The major components of a distributorless ignition duce almost a square wave output, which can easily be
are: used to switch other electronic circuits. There are 3 ter-
 ECU or Engine Control Unit minals on the component. +, – and 0. + and – are used for
 ICU or Ignition Control Unit voltage supply and 0 is for output voltage.
 Magnetic Triggering Device such as the Crankshaft Typically the output of such a sensor is between 0-7
Position Sensor and the Camshaft Position Sensor V. The operation of the hall effect pulse generator is as
 Coil Packs shown in fig 6.4.2.

Fig – 6.3.1 – Direct Ignition system

6.3) Direct Ignition system

Fig – 6.4.1 – Principle of hall effect
This is just an extension of the above distributorless
ignition system. This system utilizes one induction coil for
each cylinder. These coils are mounted directly on the
spark plugs. An individual coil for each spark plug makes
sure that the rise time for the low inductance primary
winding is very fast.
An important addition in this is the presence of a
camshaft sensor to detect as to which cylinder is on the
compression stroke. The Fig 6.3.1 would hold true for the
direct ignition systems if every coil is connected to only
one spark plug, and the other end grounded.

6.4) Hall effect pulse generator

The Hall effect refers to the potential difference (Hall
voltage) on the opposite sides of an electrical conductor
through which an electric current is flowing, created by a
magnetic field applied perpendicular to the current 9see Fig – 6.4.2 – Hall effect pulse generator and output wave
fig 6.4.1)
Chapter 6 – Ignition system
6.5) Inductive pulse generator flow. As the distributor rotates, the ferrite rod passes the
These use the principle of electromagnetic induction pickup and the magnetic linkage allows an output from
to produce a signal. It is schematically as shown in fig the pickup secondary winding. Via a smoothing stage and
6.5.1. many forms exist but all are based around a coil of the power stage, the ignition coil will now switch off, pro-
wire and permanent magnets. ducing a spark.
The rotating member is referred to as the relucator The drawback of the system was that at higher en-
and as it rotates, there is a variation of the magnetic flux gine speeds, the time available to charge the coil was in-
interacting with the coil. The number of peaks per cycle sufficient which resulted in poor quality spark.
depends on the number of cylinders. 6.7) Constant energy systems
Constant energy means that, within limits, the ener-
gy available to the spark plug remains constant under all
working conditions.
The basis of this system is that the dwell must in-
crease with the increase in engine speed. This will only
benefit if the ignition coil can be charged to its full capaci-
Fig – 6.5.1 – Inductive pulse generator. ty in a smaller time, i.e. the time available for the maxi-
6.6) Constant Dwell system mum dwell at the highest possible engine speed. The con-
Dwell is measured as an angle: with contact ignition, stant energy coils are very low resistance and low induc-
the points gap determines the dwell angle. The definition tance. Typical resistance is less than 1 ohm.
of contact ignition dwell is: 'the number of degrees of dis- Due to the high nature of constant energy ignition
tributor rotation with the contacts closed'. coils, the coil cannot be allowed to be switched on for
Basically, dwell when applied to an ignition is a more than a certain time. This is not a problem when en-
measure of the time during which the ignition coil is gine is running at variable dwell or current limiting circuits
‘charging.’ In other words it is the time for which the cur- which limits coil overheating. Some form of protection
rent is flowing through the primary coil. The above defini- must be provided for when the ignition is on but engine is
tion, though holds true, but nowadays it is described as a not running. This is called the ‘stationary engine primary
percentage of a charge-discharge cycle. current cutoff’
One example of the constant dwell system is the Lu- An energy value of 0.3 mJ is required to ignite a static
cas OPUS (Oscillating Pickup system). It consists of a tim- stoichiometric ratio. In some conditions, the need rises to
ing rotor, in the form of a plastic drum with a ferrite rod 3-4 mJ. This has made constant energy almost essential
on each cylinder embedded around its edge. This rotor is for all today's vehicle to meet the stringent emission
mounted on a shaft of a distributor. Another part of the norms.
system is the ‘pickup’ which is mounted on the base plate
and comprises of an E shaped ferrite core with primary
and secondary windings enclosed in a plastic case. Three
wires are connected from the pickup to the amplifier. The
amplifier contains an oscillator to energize the primary
pickup winding, a smoothed circuit and a power switching
The mode of operation of this system is that the os- Fig – 6.7.1 Constant energy systems
cillator supplies a 450 kHz AC signal to the pickup primary
winding. When one of the ferrite rod is in proximity to the
pickup, the power transistor allows primary ignition to

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 6 – Ignition system
6.7) Spark plug details
Refer fig 6.7.1 for constructional details.
 Terminal: The top of the spark plug contains a ter-
minal to connect to the ignition system
 Ribs: the physical shape of the ribs functions to im-
prove the electrical insulation and prevent electrical
energy from leaking along the insulator surface from
the terminal to the metal case.
 Insulator: The insulator is typically made from an
aluminium oxide ceramic and is designed to withstand
650 °C and 60,000 V[citation needed
 Seals: the seals ensure there is no leakage from the
combustion chamber
Fig – 6.7.1 Spark plug constructional details
 Metal case: The metal case (or the "jacket" as many
people call it) of the spark plug bears the torque of
tightening the plug, serves to remove heat from the
insulator and pass it on to the cylinder head, and acts
as the ground for the sparks passing through the cen-
ter electrode to the side electrode.
 Insulator tip: The tip of the insulator surrounding the
center electrode is within the combustion chamber
and directly affects the spark plug performance, par-
ticularly the heat range.
 Side electrode, or ground electrode: The side elec-
trode is made from high nickel steel and is welded to
the side of the metal case
Heat Range
A spark plug is said to be "hot" if it is a better heat in-
sulator, keeping more heat in the tip of the spark plug. A
spark plug is said to be "cold" if it can conduct more heat
out of the spark plug tip and lower the tip's temperature.
Whether a spark plug is "hot" or "cold" is known as the
heat range of the spark plug. The heat range of a spark
plug is typically specified as a number, with some manu-
facturers using ascending numbers for hotter plugs and
others doing the opposite, using ascending numbers for
colder plugs.
Chapter 7 – Wiring

7 – Wiring
Cables, sizes, colours, codes, connectors. Multiplex wiring system, Wiring harness system, CAN system
Protection against corrosion is done in two ways, one
7.1) Electrical cables
by applying water repelling grease on the terminal and
7.1.1) Cable sizes other is by manufacturing a suitable rubber seal. Many a
Cables used for automobile are always copper times, both are used in conjunction as well.
strands insulated with PVC. Copper beside its low resistivi- Circular multipin connectors are used in many cases
ty of about 1.7x10-8 Ωm has ideal properties such as duc- with pins varying from sizes of 1mm to even 5mm. The
tility and malleability. Moreover, PVC on the other hand thing to be most careful is that the connections go where
has a resistivity of 1015 Ωm but is also resistant to all au- they are supposed to go. Thus special male female con-
tomobile oils and fuels (except battery electrolyte). nectors for different applications are incorporated with
The size of the cable used determines the current full proofing against faulty connections. This means that
drawn by the consumer. Larger cables means smaller vol- one plug shall only fit into one socket in the vicinity, and
tage drop in the circuit but higher the diameter. thus a thus cross connection is avoided. Various types of connec-
trade off is necessary. tions are shown in fig
It is designated by a number X Y. X designates num-
ber of strands, and Y designates diameter in mm. For ex- Fig – – Different connections used in cars
ample, 15 0.3 indicates, 15 strands of 0.3mm diameter
7.2) Wiring harness system
The vehicle harness system has developed over the
7.1.2) Cable colours years from a loom containing just a few wires, and to
There are several colour codes used by different looms used at present in top of the range vehicles, con-
manufacturers and different legislative standards. They taining as much as 1000 separate wires. Modern vehicles
are yet to be standardized globally. The colour codes as have wiring harness constructed in a number of ways,
per British standards are given in table which are given as follows:
Colour Use  Bundle of wires wrapped in non adhesive PVC tape.
Brown Main battery feed The tape is non adhesive as it gives flexibility to the
Blue Head light bundle of wires
Red Sidelight  Place the cables side by side and plastic weld them.
This makes it flat, which causes the cables to run
Green Ignition controlled fuel supply through thin sections such as under the carpets etc.
Black Earth  The wires are placed in tubes of contours designed as
orange Wiper per shape of the car. It makes the harness design wa-
Slate terproof and also makes it better sealing.
Light green Instruments Requirements
Table – British standard colour codes 1. Cables must be as short as possible
7.1.3) Connectors 2. The loom must be protected against physical damage.
Terminals need to be of high quality creating as little 3. Number of connections must be as low as possible.
blockage to flow of current. They ought to be water proof, 4. Modular design may be appropriate
and loose enough to remove, put back, and tight enough 5. Accident damage areas need consideration
to be in contact in daily use under severe conditions of 6. Production line techniques must be established
vibrations. 7. Access must be possible to the main components

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 7 – Wiring
Usually, the various systems are clubbed together  Anti-lock brakes
and one plug-socket assembly is incorporated. The num-  Transmission management
ber of connections cannot be practically kept low, as then  Active suspension
after sales repair become impossible. For example, the  Communications and multimedia.
entire instrument cluster in all cars has only one plug con- All the systems listed above work in their own right
taining as much as 50 connections!! but are also linked to each other. Many of the sensors
Due to the high number of wiring looms in the cars, that provide inputs to one electronic control unit are
they are clubbed together and divided into more mana- common to all or some of the others. One solution to this
geable sub-assemblies. The overall layout of the loom is to use one computer to control all systems. This how-
may be ‘E’ type or an ‘H’ type as shown in the fig 7.2.1. ever would be very expensive to produce in small num-
A second solution is to use a common data bus. This
would allow communication between modules and would
make the information from the various vehicle sensors
available to all of them.
7.3.2) Multiplex data bus
In order to transmit different data on the line, a
number of criteria must be carefully designed and agreed.
This is known as communications protocol. Some of the
Fig – 7.2.1 E type and H type wiring Harness system
variables defined are as follows
7.3) Multiplex wiring system 1. Method of addressing
7.3.1) Limitation of conventional wiring system 2. Transmission sequence
The complexity of modern wiring systems has been 3. Control signals
increasing steadily over the last twenty-five years or so 4. Error detection
and recently has increased dramatically. It has now 5. Error treatment
reached a point where the size and weight of the wiring 6. Speed or rate of transmission
harness is a major problem. The number of separate wires The physical layer must be designed and agreed. This
required on a top of the range vehicle can be in the region includes the following:
of 1200. The wiring loom required to control all functions  Transmission medium: e.g. copper wire, fiber optics
in or from the driver’s door can require up to 50 wires, etc
the systems in the dashboard area alone can use over 100  Type of transmission coding: analogue or digital
wires and connections. This is clearly becoming a problem  Type of signals: voltage, current or frequency etc
as apart from the obvious issue of size and weight, the The circuit to meet this criterion is called the bus in-
number of connections and number of wires increase the terface and will often take the form of a single integrated
possibility of faults developing. It has been estimated that circuit.
the complexity of the vehicle wiring system doubles every
10 years.
7.4) Controller Area Network (CAN)
Bosch has developed the protocol known as CAN or
The number of systems controlled by electronics is
controller area network. This system is claimed to meet
continually increasing. A number of these are already in
practically all requirements with a very small chip surface
common use and the others are becoming more widely
(easy to manufacture and, therefore, cheaper). CAN is
adopted. Some examples of these systems are listed be-
suitable for transmitting data in the area of drive line
components, chassis components and mobile communi-
 Engine management
cations. It is a compact system, which will make it practic-
 Stability control
al for use in many areas. Two variations on the physical
Chapter 7 – Wiring
layer are available which suit different transmission rates. All messages are sent to all units and each unit
One for data transmission of between 100 K and 1 M makes the decision whether the message should be acted
baud (bits per second), to be used for rapid control devic- upon or not. This means that further systems can be add-
es. The other will transmit between 10 K and 100 K baud ed to the bus at any time and can make use of data on the
as a low speed bus for simple switching and control oper- bus without affecting any of the other systems.
ations. Errors in the message are recognized by the cyclic
CAN modules are today developed by manufacturers redundancy check (CRC). This is achieved by arranging all
such as Intel and Motorola. All modules are based on the the numbers in the message into a complex algorithm.
same CAN protocol. It is expected that this module will be I II 7 0 to 8x8 15 3 7
standardized by the International Standards Organization Start Name Control Data CRC Confirmation End
(ISO). test
Many sensors and actuators are not ‘busable’ i.e. Fig – 7.4.2 CAN signal format – The entire length of the signal
they cannot be used in the bus format. Thus conventional is 44 to 108 bits
wiring system will not be replaced completely. Fig 7.4.1
shows the CAN bus system layout.

Fig – 7.4.1 CAN system layout

7.4.1) CAN System Signal

The CAN message signal consists of a sequence of bi-
nary digits (bits). Voltage (or light fiber optics) present
indicates the value ‘1’; none present indicates ‘0’. The ac-
tual message can vary between 44 and 108 bits in length.
This is made up of a start bit, name, control bits, the data
itself, a cyclic redundancy check (CRC) for error detection,
a confirmation signal and finally a number of stop bits. Fig shows a schematic figure of CAN signal.
The name portion of the signal identifies the mes-
sage destination and also its priority. As the transmitter
puts a message on the bus it also reads the name back
from the bus. If the name is not the same as the one it
sent then another transmitter must be in operation which
has a higher priority. If this is the case it will stop trans-
mission of its own message. This is very important in the
case of motor vehicle data transmission.
Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE
Chapter 8 – Electronic Engine Controls

8 – Electronic Engine Controls

Electronic control module (ECM), operating modes of ECM (closed loop and open loop), inputs and output signals
from ECM. Electronic spark timing, Electronic spark control, Air management system, Idle speed control.
ECUs determine the quantity of fuel, ignition timing
8.1) Electronic Control Module (ECM)
and other parameters by monitoring the engine through
In automotive electronics, an electronic control
sensors. These can include, MAP sensor, throttle position
module (ECM), also called a control unit or control mod-
sensor, air temperature sensor, oxygen sensor and many
ule is an embedded system that controls one or more of
others. Often this is done using a control loop.
the electrical subsystems in a vehicle. Some of which are
Before ECUs most engine parameters were fixed. The
as mentioned.
quantity of fuel per cylinder per engine cycle was deter-
 Engine Control Unit, now even referred to as a Power-
train Control Module (PCM). This is explained in detail mined by a carburetor or injector pump.
below. 8.1.1) Operating modes
 Transmission Control Unit (TCU): This is common in There are 2 main types of operating modes of the
automatic transmission which facilitates gear changes ECM. One is open loop and other is closed loop. As the
and various gear ratios in automatic/semi-automatic
name suggests, closed loop systems are more adaptive
transmission system.
than open loop system because of the simple fact that
 Telephone Control Unit (TCU): deals with telematics
there is a dynamic behavior in the operation which makes
and telemetry (see chapter 12).
it all the more reliable. They are explained below with
 Man Machine Interface (MMI): Deals with the ergo-
nomical aspects of the vehicle. suitable examples
 Door Control unit: deals with aspects such as door Open loop
locking, child safe door locking etc. In this case, there is no feedback loop back to the in-
 Seat Control Unit: deals with automatic seat position- put of the electronic control unit. An example of this sys-
ing as per driver needs in case of multiple driver dri-
tem is cruise control. In this case, the car can cruise at a
ven vehicle (one car may be driven by more than one
set speed without the driver having to press the accelera-
people; car remembers this and adjusts driver seat
accordingly). It also includes seat belt warning system tor pedal. The ECM shall monitor the car speed with the
etc. set speed, and in turn make changes in the engine intake
 Climate Control Unit: adjusts the climate inside the parameters such as air mass, air pressure, fuel mass, fuel
car in context to temperature and humidity. Controls pressure etc and vary these parameters to maintain the 2
operation of air conditioner and car heater in con- values of recorded speed and set speed in close allowable
junction to the set value. tolerances.
Of these, some are of more importance than the
Closed loop
others. In the following articles, and even following chap-
ters, these shall be dealt with in detail The closed loop function incorporates a feedback
loop which monitors and evaluates performance of the
Engine control Unit (ECU) system not only with the standard set values but also with
An engine control unit (ECU) is an electronic control the dynamic values that are recorded in conjunction with
unit which controls various aspects of an internal combus- the output. An example of this kind of a system is Adapt-
tion engines operation. The simplest ECUs control only able cruise control. Not only does the ECM measure the
the quantity of fuel injected into each cylinder each en- speed of the car and compare with the set speed. It also
gine cycle. More advanced ECUs found on most modern senses the distance of the car ahead of you and even
cars also control the ignition timing, variable valve timing slows the car down to maintain a safe distance.
(VVT), the level of boost maintained by the turbocharger
(in turbocharged cars), and control other peripherals.
Chapter 8 – Electronic Engine Controls
8.1.2) Terminologies associated with ECM meter and in context with it, sends a suitable signal to the
In the ECM, there are various terminologies asso- ECM. The ECM reads the signal, and runs it in the ECU al-
ciated. We shall discuss the terms used in conjunction to gorithm according to which corrective action to be taken
the ECU as it is the most important aspect of the ECM. is determined. These corrective actions are then taken by
sending corresponding signals to the actuators which ac-
ECU Algorithm
tually ‘take action.’
An ECU algorithm is a complex set of instructions
The signals that are exchanged are either of two
based on which the ECU works. It is a set of instructions
which gives the exact detail of the way the ECU should act
 Analogue: these signals are based on voltage pulses
in all possible engine situations. A complex ECU shall have
and controlled by Pulse width modulation (PWM). Al-
an algorithm that if printed can take thousands of pages! though useful in itself, it is slowly being overrun by
Its complexity is magnified by the fact that there are more digital signals. The reason is that PWM usually deals
inputs and more outputs to the ECU day by day as is seen with either true (indicated by 1) or false (indicated by
in newer high end cars. An ECU algorithm takes care of 0). Thus it gives an idea of the value of the parameter
each and every input to the ECU, and how is the ECU sup- in question but does not give an extent of the value.
posed to act, i.e. which outputs to give to the actuators is  Digital: these signals are based on data of bits each
stored in the algorithms. These are locked and in most bit with a specific function. This makes it more useful
in monitoring and controlling a system. A very simple
cases are a deal of high amount of confidentiality of com-
example of this is the CAN system used (section 7.4)
8.2) Electronic spark timing
Engine maps
Newer engines typically use electronic ignition sys-
Engine maps are a set of graphs on which an engine tems (ignition controlled by a computer). The computer
works. The task of the ECU algorithm is to make sure that has a timing map which is a table with engine speed on
the operating point of the engine always coincides with one axis and engine load on another axis. Timing advance
these graphs. For example, there will be an ideal value for values are inserted in this table. The computer will send a
every engine speed at every engine load. This means that signal to the ignition coil at the indicated time in the tim-
if engine speed is plotted on X axis and engine load on Y ing map in order to spark the spark plug. Most computers
axis. We shall get a graph of engine speed vs engine load. from original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are not
The ECU algorithm shall read that get inputs such as en- able to be modified so changing the timing advance curve
gine speed and engine load. If the 2 match as per the is not possible. Overall timing changes are still possible,
graph then it is fine, however if say they do not match, depending on the engine design. Aftermarket engine con-
the ECU algorithm shall send signals to actuators to make trol units allow the tuner to make changes to the timing
it match. A modern day ECM can contain thousands of map. This allows the timing to be advanced or retarded
such maps. They are also 3D maps and surface maps. based on various engine applications.
Lookup tables 8.3) Electronic spark control
A lookup table is a way in which a dependable varia- In its simplest form, electronic ignition retained the
ble is ‘written’ in conjunction to an independent variable conventional distributor with its mechanical spark ad-
in the engine management. These variables are obtained vance, merely replacing the points with a non-wearing
from sensors. The values thus obtained are stored in an electronic means of sensing crankshaft position and firing
array which is termed as lookup tables. The ECU algorithm the spark. Later analogue spark control computers had
also uses these values in engine operation more sensors to gather information on throttle position,
8.1.3) Inputs and Outputs to the ECM throttle opening speed, engine speed, manifold vacuum
In an ECM, the inputs are from sensors and outputs and coolant temperature. The spark advance was set by
are to actuators. The sensor ‘senses’ the measured para- the computer rather than by a centrifugal unit in the dis-

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 8 – Electronic Engine Controls
tributor. Carburetors could be jetted for leaner fuel-air if the air (and hence the oxygen) in the exhaust is insuffi-
mixtures which burned more completely with less pollut- cient for this conversion in the catalytic converter.
ing residue. Today, at the end of the twentieth century, We shall discuss the closed loop, dual air manage-
quite ordinary family cars have electronic engine man- ment system with dual valve. It is a closed loop as it takes
agement systems which have done away with the familiar in input from the oxygen sensor in the exhaust.
distributor and carburetor entirely and allow previously It is used in vehicles which have a dual bed conver-
unheard of performance and fuel economy. ter. It works as follows.
8.4) Idle speed control system During engine warm up, the divert valve directs air
into the switching valve. The switching valve directs the
Idle speed control is used by some engine manufac-
air to the exhaust manifold.
turers to prevent engine stall using engine management.
The goal is to allow engine at as low rpm as possible, yet As the engine reaches closed loop temperature, the
keep the engine from running rough and stalling when ECM commands the switching valve to direct air to the
power consuming accessories such as air conditioners are oxidizing bed. The air pumped into the oxidizing bed has
turned on. the following effects.
 It prevents additional oxygen from flowing across the
The control mode selection logic switches to idle
oxygen sensor, which would give an incorrect reading.
speed control when the throttle angle reaches ze-
 It lowers the temperature of the exhaust manifold.
ro.(completely closed position) position and engine rpm
Continued pumping of air into the exhaust manifold
falls below a certain value, and when the vehicle is statio- after the engine has reached normal operating tem-
nary. Idle speed is controlled by an electronically con- perature could produce additional NOx.
trolled throttle bypass valve that allows air to flow around  It makes the oxidizing bed of the catalytic converter
the throttle plate and produce the same effect as a operate at maximum efficiency without interfering
slightly open throttle would create. with the efficiency of the reduction bed which is up-
There are various schemes of operating a valve to in- stream to the introduced oxygen.
troduce bypass air for idle control. One relatively common During warmup time and during deceleration the
method is to use a stepper motor to actuate the valve. A ECM commands the divert valve to dump the air, using
stepper motor is a motor which can rotate in either direc- the divert valve as there is no other place to send it. If
tions. It rotates in small increments in angular position during these conditions, air were to be continuously in-
when pulses are given to it. This makes the stepper motor troduced into any part of the exhaust, the converter will
ideal for the operation of idle control valve. quickly overheat. A schematic figure of the air manage-
ment system is as shown in Fig 8.4.1.

Fig – 8.4.1 Idle speed control

8.5) Air management system

In simple terms, the catalytic converter oxidizes HC
Fig – 8.5.1 Air management system.
and CO to form H2O and CO2. For this it needs oxygen. Air
management system supplies air, directly into the exhaust
Chapter 9 – Sensors and Actuators

9 – Sensors and Actuators

SENSORS: Thermisters, inductive sensors, position sensors (rotary and linear), Pressure sensors, Knock sensors, Hot
wire and thin film air flow sensors, vortex flow/turbine fluid flow sensors, optical sensors, oxygen sensors, light sensors,
methanol sensor, rain sensor, operating principles, application and new developments in the sensor technology.
ACTUATORS: Introduction, function, operating principles, construction of solenoid actuators, relays, motorizes actuators,
thermal actuators, electrohydraulic actuators, electromechanical valve actuators etc. application and new developments
in actuator technology
Fig – – NTC type sensor behaviour
Sensors are those systems/components that give an PTC Type
electrical signal that is relative to the parameter they are NTC Resistors cannot be used for vary high tempera-
measuring. These are extensions of transducers. All sen- ture because the semi conductors will be destroy in the
sor use transducer technology, in conjunction with other process. Instead PTC resistors, the positive temperature
systems/technology to measure the given parameter and co-efficient are used. As in the case of measuring emission
give a suitable output temperature PTC resistors consists of special metal alloy
whose resistance increases with temperature. They there-
9.1.1) Thermisters
fore are also known as positive temperature co-efficient
A thermistor is a type of resistor with resistance vary-
ing according to its temperature. The word is a combina-
The increase in resistance is caused by the increase in
tion of thermal and resistor. Thermisters are of 2 types,
thermal oscillation of the atoms as temperature rises.
they are given as follows
These thermal oscillation impede the flow of electrons. In
NTC Type other words the resistance increases. The increase in re-
To measure the temperature of air and fluid in ve- sistance is registered by the control volume and con-
hicle sensor materials which change their electrical resis- verted into corresponding temperature value.
tance with effect of heat is used. Most of these sensors
are NTC Resistors, for example the coolant temperature
sensor, the changed air temperature sensor. Consider the
coolant temperature sensor. The sensor consists of a semi
conductor material which has the negative temperature
co-efficient. This means the resistance of sensor drops as Fig – PTC Type sensor
temperature increases. NTC Resistors are therefore also
9.1.2) Inductive sensors
known as negative temperature co-efficient thermisters.
Inductive sensors are based on the principle of elec-
The drop is resistors as temperature increases is caused
tromagnetic induction. In this usually there is a moving
by the increased reaching of electrons from the atomic
magnet and a stationary coil. The change in the flux cut-
bombs. The higher the temperature, the more free elec-
ting the coil generates an emf in the coil which is then
trons there are available for electrical flow. This increases
measured. It gives a relative position and velocity of the
the conductivity of the material. The drop in resistor is
magnet. Inductive sensors such as wheel speed sensors
registered by the control module and converted into cor-
and crank shaft position sensors are extensively used in a
responding temperature value.
The Crank shaft position sensor, for example consists
of a permanent magnet, a soft iron core and a stationery
coil. The sensor is located on the engine housing and is
separated from the fly wheel by an air gap. The fly wheel

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 9 – Sensors And Actuators
may have teeth or grooves. As the flywheel rotates, it beam from hitting the photo diode. This causes a pulse to
hinders the flux which is interacting with the coil. This ge- be generated, the frequency of which is the same as the
nerates and emf which is sensed by the ECM. frequency of obstruction
9.1.3) Resistive sensors
These are based on resistance change of a conduc-
tor. It is called a potentiometer. Its principle of operation
is that the resistance of any conductor is directly propor-
tional to its length and inversely proportional to the cross
sectional area. A sliding jockey is connected to a coiled
resistor, one end of the coil is connected to a voltage
supply and the other end is connected to the jockey. As Fig – Principle of Optical sensor
V=IR, Changing resistance causes a linear change in vol-
9.1.5) Piezoelectric transducer
tage which is measured.
Piezoelectricity is the ability of some materials (nota-
bly crystals and certain ceramics) to generate an electric
potential in response to applied mechanical stress. This
means that when force is applied on these materials, it
induces a voltage that can be measured

Fig – Principle of resistive sensors

9.1.4) Optical sensors
Optical sensors are based on photodiodes. A photo-
diode is a type of photodetector capable of converting
light into either current or voltage, depending upon the
mode of operation.
Photodiodes are similar to regular semiconductor Fig – piezoelectric phenomenon
diodes except that they may be either exposed (to detect
vacuum UV or X-rays) or packaged with a window or opti-
cal fiber connection to allow light to reach the sensitive
part of the device. In this sense, there is a toothed mem-
ber, which alternatively exposes and opposes the light
9.2) Automotive sensors explanation
It seemed most feasible to list the sensors in tabular form. Figures for all the sensors are given in the figure gallery. Sec-
tion 9.2.1. in the table below, in ‘Principle’ coloumn, the bolded name is the one that is described.
Sr . Name Principle Position Description
1 Manifold Mechanical In intake A manifold absolute pressure sensor (MAP) is one of the sensors used in
Absolute Piezoelectric, manifold an internal combustion engine's electronic control system. Engines that
pressure Capacitive. use a MAP sensor are typically fuel injected. The manifold absolute pres-
(MAP) sure sensor provides instantaneous manifold pressure information to the
sensor engine's electronic control unit (ECU). This is necessary to calculate air
density and determine the engine's air mass flow rate, which in turn is
used to calculate the appropriate fuel flow.
Chapter 9 – Sensors and Actuators
2 Knock Piezoelectric Near com- Sound consist of pressure covers which for example dissipates through
sensor bustion the air through solid materials such as metal. Acoustic sensors are used
chamber for measuring pressure waves one such example are knock Sensors which
registers combustion noise in the engine. Knock sensor is bolted to the
crank case. The actual sensor element is a ring shape piezzo ceramic.
The sound osscilation are transferred by the crank case initially to the
seismic mass. This seismic mass transfers to oscilation to the piezzo ele-
ment in the form of pressure forces. These forces trigger electrical altera-
tions voltage signaling in the piezzo element. They picked of by contact
plates and processed further in the control module.

3 Hot wire thermister Intake ma- It is usually located between the air cleaner and the throttle valve. The
thin film nifold sensor element consists of the ceramic chip on which different resistors
air flow are located. One of these is an electrically heated platinum resistor. The
sensor proportion of the intake is lead passed these resistors and cools it. Imme-
diately next to is a temperature dependent sensor resistor which registers
the temperature of the heating resistor. Sensors electronic regulate the
temperature at the heating resistor by varying the voltage. If the air mass
flow changes the amount of heat transferred by heating resistor to the air
flowing pass it also changes. The electronics detect the change in temper-
ature and reduce the voltage of the heating resistor until the set tempera-
ture is reached. his controlled voltage used by engine control module is a
measure for the intake air mass.
4 Crankshaft Optical, in- Near flyw- The Crank shaft position sensors consist of a permanent magnet. The soft
position ductive, heel iron core and a stationery coil. The sensor is located on the engine hous-
sensor ing and is separated from the fly wheel by an air gap. The fly wheel may
have teeth or grooves.
5 Oxygen ---------------- Before and The sensor element is a ceramic cylinder plated inside and out with por-
sensors after cata- ous platinum electrodes; the whole assembly is protected by a metal
lytic con- gauze. It operates by measuring the difference in oxygen between the
verter exhaust gas and the external air, and generates a voltage or changes its
resistance depending on the difference between the two. The sensors on-
ly work effectively when heated to approximately 800°C.
The catalyst used is zirconium oxide
6 Throttle resistive At throttle The throttle butterfly is directly connected to the jockey of the potenti-
position valve but- ometer type sensor. There is a coiled resistor placed in a radial manner.
sensor terfly The position of the throttle butterfly is given by the resistance of the sys-
(TPS) tem (and hence the voltage drop across it)
7 Rain sen- optical Just below A rain sensor or rain switch is a switching device actuated by rainfall. The
sors the wind- most common rain sensor implementation is based on the principle of
shield total internal reflection: an infrared light is beamed at a 45-degree angle
into the windshield from the inside of the car, near the lower edge as
soon as rain falls, there is an extra layer of water with different refractive

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 9 – Sensors And Actuators
index. This causes some of the incident light to escape, less light makes it
back to the sensor, and the wipers turn on.
8 Light sen- Optical Automatic In modern vehicles light intensity is measured for a whole series of open
sors climate and closed loop control process. Luminious intensity is registered with
control light sensitive resistors i.e. photo diodes, photo transistors, and photo
elements. Where light sensors are used, automatic head light mode and
Consider measuring principle of photo diodes using a sunlight sensor for a
lorry. A photo diodes consist of different conductor layers to which a rev.
voltage is applied. This rev. voltage has the effect of laying only a small
amount of current of flow through this diode. However as soon as the
light falls on the semi conductor material, electrons are released. The cur-
rent increases considerably as luninious intensity increases. From these
values control module for automatic air conditioners can determine the
extent to which the drivers cabin is being heated up by sun light
9.2.1) Picture gallery

Fig – MAP sensor

Fig – Hot wire thin film MAF sensor

Fig – Knock sensor

Fig – Crankshaft position sensor
Chapter 9 – Sensors and Actuators
principles. It is not necessary that all actuators respond to
electric signal only. However, as the ECM is the device
which controls almost everything in a vehicle, it is the
electric signal which becomes inevitable. Further on from
here, we shall see the basic principles of some of the ac-
tuators used in vehicles.
9.3.1) Solenoid Actuators
A typical electric solenoid actuator is shown in Figure It consists of a coil, armature, spring, and stem.
The coil is connected to an external current supply.
The spring rests on the armature to force it downward.
The armature moves vertically inside the coil and trans-
mits its motion through the stem to the valve. When cur-
rent flows through the coil, a magnetic field forms around
the coil. The magnetic field attracts the armature toward
the center of the coil. As the armature moves upward, the
spring collapses and the valve opens. When the circuit is
opened and current stops flowing to the coil, the magnet-
Fig – Oxygen sensor and its voltage curve ic field collapses. This allows the spring to expand and
shut the valve.
A major advantage of solenoid actuators is their
quick operation. Also, they are much easier to install than
pneumatic or hydraulic actuators. However, solenoid ac-
tuators have two disadvantages. First, they have only two
positions: fully open and fully closed. Second, they don’t
produce much force, so they usually only operate relative-
ly small valves.
Fig – Throttle position sensor

Fig – Rain sensor

9.3) Actuators
An actuator is a mechanical device for moving or
controlling a mechanism or system. In automobiles, actu-
ators are used for many purposes. The actuators in mod- Fig – Solenoid actuator

ern automobiles work when a signal is received from the 9.3.2) Relays
ECM. This signal is interpreted and the actuator takes the A relay is an electrical switch that opens and closes
necessary action. Actuators are also based on hydraulic under the control of another electrical circuit. It works on

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 9 – Sensors And Actuators
the principle of electromagnetic induction. In the original than the other. This causes the strip to bend. The strip, as
form, the switch is operated by an electromagnet to open it is made of metals, can be used to conduct electricity. A
or close one or many sets of contacts screw can be adjusted to adjust the position of the con-
When a current flows through the coil, the resulting tact w.r.t. to the bimetallic strip.
magnetic field attracts an armature that is mechanically Whilst thermally actuated devices can develop rela-
linked to a moving contact. The movement either makes tively large forces, the heating elements consume quite
or breaks a connection with a fixed contact. When the large amounts of power. Also, the heated material has to
current to the coil is switched off, the armature is re- cool down to return the actuator to its original position;
turned by a force approximately half as strong as the so the heat has to be dissipated into the surrounding
magnetic force to its relaxed position. Usually this is a structure. This will take a finite amount of time, and may
spring, but gravity is also used commonly in industrial mo- affect the speed at which such actuators can be operated.
tor starters. Most relays are manufactured to operate
quickly. In a low voltage application, this is to reduce
noise. In a high voltage or high current application, this is
to reduce arcing.
If the coil is energized with DC, a diode is frequently
installed across the coil, to dissipate the energy from the
collapsing magnetic field at deactivation, which would
otherwise generate a spike of voltage and might cause
damage to circuit components. Some automotive relays
already include that diode inside the relay case. Fig – Bimetallic strip

9.3.3) Motorized actuators 9.3.5) Electrohydraulic actuators

These are linear travel actuators which control a li- Electrohydraulic valve actuators and hydraulic valve
near parameter. This is usually based on a simple DC mo- actuators convert fluid pressure into motion in response
tor, which has a stationary magnet and a moving coil. to a signal. They use an outside power source and receive
These actuators can be made to be precise and accurate signals that are measured in amperes, volts, or pressure.
with a lease count in micrometers. As mentioned above, Some electrohydraulic valve actuators and hydraulic valve
most of them are based on electric DC motor. However, actuators move rotary motion valves such as ball, plug,
high precision ones (which are generally not used in cars) and butterfly valves through a quarter-turn or more from
use piezoelectric effect to have a travel of a few microns open to close. Other valve actuators move linear valves
on application of a high voltage. such as gate, globe, diaphragm, and pinch valves by slid-
The actuator is based on a screw of very fine pitch, ing a stem that controls the closure element. Throttling
which is splined internally and connected to a splined ar- valves can be moved to any position, including fully open
mature shaft. Rotation of armature causes screw action or fully closed, within the stroke of the valve. Typically,
which actuates the control arm. valve actuators are added to throttling valves as part of a
control loop that includes a sensing device and circuitry.
9.3.4) Thermal Actuators Electrohydraulic valve actuators and hydraulic valve
Thermal microactuators are commonly either of the actuators use several different types of actuators. Diaph-
"bimetallic" type, or rely on the expansion of a liquid or ragm actuators are used mainly with linear motion valves,
gas. but are suitable for rotary motion valves with a linear-to-
Two metals of different coefficient of thermal expan- rotary motion linkage. Rack-and-pinion actuators transfer
sion are used for the purpose. The 2 are fused to gather the linear motion of a piston cylinder actuator to rotary
such that there can be no relative motion between the motion. They are ideal for automating manually-operated
fusing surfaces. When the element is heated, the metal valves. Scotch yoke actuators also transfer linear motion
with higher coefficient of linear expansion expands more to rotary motion. With lever and link actuators, a splined
Chapter 9 – Sensors and Actuators
or slotted lever attaches to the valve shaft in order to
transfer the linear motion of a diaphragm or piston cy-
linder to rotary motion. Vane actuators are used only with
rotary motion valves.
9.3.6) Electro mechanic actuators
All actuators discussed above can be considered as
electromechanical actuators. These are devices that con-
vert electric signal into mechanical motion. All the actua-
tors discussed above are of such type.

9.4) Some Automotive Actuators

 Throttle control valve
 EGR valve
 Air pump in air management system
 Automatic door locks
 Heated seat element cutoff actuator
 Remote trunk opener
 Motors used in opening rooftop of convertibles
 TCS/ABS hydraulic braking/pressure release devices

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 10 – Lighting

10 – Lighting

Types of lamps ,energy demands of lamps,. Head lamps: construction and types, setting and control. Reflectors: pa-
rabolic, homifocal, poly-elipsoidal. Fog lamp, side lamp, tail lamp, parking lamp, brake warning lamp, , trafficators, blink-
ers, flashers, electronic flasher circuit, instrument panel.
Spot lights: Police cars, emergency vehicles, and
10.1) Types of lamps
those competing in road rallyes are sometimes equipped
There are various lamps used in cars. They are as fol-
with an auxiliary lamp in a swivel-mounted housing at-
tached to one or both a-pillars, directable by a handle
Forward Illumination protruding through the pillar into the vehicle.
 Head lamps:
Conspicuity devices
dipped beam: Dipped-beam (also called low, passing,
 Retro-reflectors: The most basic vehicle conspicuity
or meeting beam) headlamps provide a light distribution devices are retroreflectors (also reflex reflectors or,
to give adequate forward and lateral illumination without archaically, cat's eyes - not to be confused with the
blinding other road users with excessive glare reflective road markings), which despite emitting no
Main beam: (also called high, driving, or full beam) light on their own, are regulated as automotive light-
headlamps provide an intense, centre-weighted distribu- ing devices. These devices reflect light from other ve-
hicles' headlamps back towards the light source, that
tion of light with no particular control of glare.
is, other vehicles' drivers. Thus, vehicles are conspi-
 Auxiliary lamps: cuous even when their electrically-powered lighting
Driving lamps "Driving lamp" is a term deriving from system is deactivated or disabled
the early days of nighttime driving, when it was relatively  Front position lamps (parking lamps): Nighttime
rare to encounter an opposing vehicle. Only on those oc- standing-vehicle conspicuity to the front is provided
casions when opposing drivers passed each other would by front position lamps, known as parking lamps or
the dipped or "passing" beam be used. The full beam was parking lights in North America, sidelights in UK Eng-
therefore known as the driving beam, and this terminolo- lish, and in other regions as position lamps, standing
lamps, or city lights.
gy is still found in international ECE Regulations, which do
 Rear position lamps-tail lamps (power requirement
not distinguish between a vehicle's primary (mandatory)
5W): Night time vehicle conspicuity to the rear is pro-
and auxiliary (optional) upper/driving beam lamps. vided by rear position lamps (North American terms:
Fog lamps: Front fog lamps provide a wide, bar- taillamp, taillight, tail lamp, tail light; UK term rear
shaped beam of light with a sharp cutoff at the top, and light). These are required to produce only red light,
are generally aimed and mounted low They may be either and to be wired such that they are lit whenever the
white or selective yellow. They are intended for use at low front position lamps are illuminated—including when
the headlamps are on. Rear position lamps may be
speed to increase the illumination directed towards the
combined with the vehicles brake lamps, or separate
road surface and verges in conditions of poor visibility due from them. In combined-function installations, the
to rain, fog, dust or snow. lamps produce brighter red light for the brake lamp
Cornering lamps: On some models in North America function, and dimmer red light for the rear position
and Japan, white cornering lamps provide extra lateral lamp function.
illumination in the direction of an intended turn or lane  Rear registration plate lamp: The rear registration
change. These are actuated in conjunction with the turn plate must be illuminated by a white lamp whenever
signals, though they burn steadily, and they may also be the position lamps are active. The light may however
not be directed to the rear.
wired to illuminate when the vehicle is shifted into re-
 Daytime running lamps: Some countries permit or
verse gear
require vehicles to be equipped with daytime running
lamps (DRL). These may be functionally-dedicated
Chapter 10 – Lighting
lamps, or the function may be provided by e.g. the  Reversing light(power requirement 24W): To provide
low beam or high beam headlamps, the front turn illumination to the rear when backing up, and to warn
signals, or the front fog lamps, depending on local adjacent vehicle operators and pedestrians of a ve-
regulations hicle's rearward motion, each vehicle must be
 Rear fog lamps (power requirement 21W): In Europe equipped with at least one rear-mounted, rear-facing
and other countries adhering to ECE Regulation 48, reversing lamp (or "backup light")
vehicles must be equipped with one or two bright red Ornamental lights
"rear fog lamps" (or "fog tail lamps"), which are
switched on manually by the driver in conditions of 10.2) Head lamps
poor visibility to enhance vehicle conspicuity from the
rear 10.2.1) Halogen bulb
 Emergency vehicle lights: Emergency vehicles such as A halogen lamp is an incandescent lamp where a
fire engines, ambulances, police cars, snow-removal tungsten filament is sealed into a compact transparent
vehicles and tow trucks are usually equipped with in- envelope filled with an inert gas, plus a small amount of
tense warning lights of particular colours. These may halogen such as iodine or bromine. The halogen cycle
be motorised rotating beacons, xenon strobes, or ar- prevents darkening of the bulb. The halogen lamp can
rays of LEDs. operate its filament at a higher temperature than in a
 Taxi displays: Taxicabs are distinguished by special standard gas filled lamp of similar wattage without loss of
lights according to local regulations. They may have
operating life. This gives it a higher efficacy (10-30%). It
an illuminated "Taxi" sign, a light to signal that they
are ready to take passengers, and an emergency panic also gives light of a higher color temperature compared to
light the driver can activate in the event of a robbery a non-halogen incandescent lamp. Alternatively, it may be
to alert passersby to call the police. designed to have perhaps twice the life with the same or
slightly higher efficacy.
Signaling Devices
The reason that these bulbs don’t blacken is that in
 Turn signals (power requirement 7W): Turn signals
(properly directional indicators or directional signals, older gas bulbs, over a period of time, about 10% of fila-
also "indicators," "directionals," "blinkers," or "flash- ment metal evaporates and gets deposited on the glass
ers") are signal lights mounted near the left and right wall. The halogen in the halogen bulb prevents that.
front and rear corners, and sometimes on the sides of When tungsten filament metal evaporates, it forms
vehicles, used to indicate to other drivers that the op- tungsten halide; this is not deposited on the wall due to
erator intends a lateral change of position (turn or la-
temperature. The convection current causes this tungsten
halide to move back to the filament at some point or the
 Hazard lights: International regulations have since the
other and tungsten is again deposited on the filament.
1960s required vehicles to be equipped with a control
which, when activated, flashes the left and right direc-
tional signals, front and rear, all at the same time and
in phase. This function is meant to be used to indicate
a hazard such as a vehicle stopped in or alongside
moving traffic, a disabled vehicle, an exceptionally
slow-moving vehicle, or a vehicle participating in a fu-
neral procession.
 Brake lights (power requirement 15W to 36W): Red
steady-burning rear lights, brighter than the taillamps,
are activated when the driver applies the vehicle's Fig – Halogen bulb, twin filament
brakes. These are called brake lights or stop lamps.
They are required to be fitted in multiples of two, 10.2.2) Headlight reflectors
symmetrically at the left and right edges of the rear of The light produced by the bulb is insufficient as it is
every vehicle. directed toward a particular direction only. To give the
light emitted from the bulb, a definite pattern to cover

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 10 – Lighting
considerate amount of longitudinal and lateral visibility.
Headlights are used which reflect the light from the bulb
into a particular pattern on the road.
The object of the headlight reflector is to direct the
random rays of light produced by the source (i.e. the bulb)
into a concentrated beam of light by applying laws of ref-
lection. Bulb position relative to the reflector is important.
It determines the exact pattern of the light beam. Slight Fig – Bifocal lens
deviations in bulb position w.r.t. reflector can cause mag- HOMIFOCAL REFLECTOR
nified distortions in headlight pattern.
A homifocal reflector is made up of a number of sec-
tions, each with a common focal point, this allows shorter
focal length and hence overall depth of the light unit de-
creases. The effective luminous flux is also increased. It
can be used with a twin filament bulb to give a dip and
main beam. The light from the main reflector gives nor-
mal long range lighting, and the auxiliary reflectors im-
prove near field and lateral visibility.
Fig – focal point
A reflector is basically a layer of silver, chrome or
aluminum deposited on a smooth polished surface such
as brass or glass. As shown in the figure above, the reflec-
tors used in automobile headlamps are all concave reflec-

A parabolic reflector is one in which if the source of
light is kept at the focal point, all the light rays will end up Fig – Homifocal reflector
parallel to the principle axis. The light intensity is maxi-
mum at the centre, except from the light cut off by the
It was introduced by Bosch in 1983. It allows the light
bulb itself. The intensity diminishes as one moves away
produced to be as good, or in some cases even better
from the centre. The parabolic reflector is as shown in fig
than conventional lights, but with a light opening area of
less than 30cm2. This is achieved by using a CAD designed
BIFOCAL REFLECTOR elliptical reflector. A shield Is used to ensure particular
The bifocal reflector, as the name suggests has 2 dif- pattern. This can be a clearly defined cutoff lines or even
ferent curved surfaces with 2 focal points. This helps to intentional blurriness in the image. These can be only
take the advantage of light striking the lower reflector used with single filament bulbs and are found in four
area. The parabolic section of the down section is de- headlamp vehicles.
signed to reflect the light further down to improve near
the car visibility. This system is not suitable with twin fi-
laments bulbs and is only used for vehicles with 4 head
lamps (Mercedes E class, Jaguar S type).
Chapter 10 – Lighting
that all the reflection is being done by the reflector only
(e.g. BMW series 5, series 7).

10.3) Electronic flasher circuit

10.3.1) Introduction
Direction indicators have a number of requirements
which are governed by legislature. They are as follows.
1. Light must be amber in colour.
2. Flashing must be in phase.
3. Flashing rate must be between 1-2 per second.
4. On a fault in the circuit, there should be an indication
in the instrument panel.
5. If one bulb fails, others need to continue flashing.
6. An audible noise of ‘tick-tock’ nature is necessary to
indicate the flashing of the lights.
10.3.2) Flasher Unit
A schematic circuit diagram of an electronic flasher
unit is as shown in Fig The operation of this unit
is based around an integrated circuit (IC). The type shown
can operate at least four 21W bulbs (front and rear) and
Fig – Poly Ellipsoidal headlight system two 5W bulbs (sides) for several hours if required in ha-
zard mode. Flasher units are rated by the number of bulbs
10.2.3) Headlight lenses
they are capable of operating. When towing a trailer or
A good headlight should have a powerful and far
caravan, it must be able to operate the bulbs on the trai-
reaching central beam, around which the light is distri-
ler/caravan also. Most units use a relay for the actual
buted both horizontally and vertically in order to illumi-
switching as this is not susceptible to voltage spikes and
nate as much an area of the road surface as possible. The
also provides the audible signal.
beam formation can be considerably improved by passing
The electronic circuit is constructed together with
the reflected light through a transparent block of lenses.
the relay, on a printed circuit board. Very few compo-
It is the function of the lenses to partially redistribute the
nents are used as the IC is specially designed for the pur-
reflected light beam and any stray rays so that overall
road illumination is improved with minimum glare.
The IC itself has 3 main sections, the relay driver, an
Lenses work on the principle of refraction. The head-
oscillator and a bulb failure circuit. A zener diode is built
lamp front glass is made up of a large number of small
in the oscillator section to ensure constant voltage such
rectangular zones, each zone being formed optically in the
that the frequency of operation will remain constant in
shape of a concave flute or a combination of flutes and
the range of 10-15V. The timer for the oscillator is con-
prisms. The shape of these sections is such that when a
trolled by an R1 and C. The values are often set to give an
roughly parallel beam of light passes through the glass,
ON/OFF ratio of 1:1 and a frequency of 1.5Hz. the ON-OFF
each individual element is redirected to obtain better
signal produced by the oscillator is passed to the driver
beam design.
circuit, which is a Darlington pair with a diode connected
The flutes control the horizontal distribution of light.
to prevent damage due to generation of back emf, when
At the same time, they sharply bend the rays downward,
relay turns ON and OFF.
to give diffused local lighting just near the vehicle. Many
Bulb failure is recognized when the volt drop across
headlights are now made with clear lenses. This means
the low value resistor R2 falls. The bulb failure circuit

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 10 – Lighting
causes the oscillator to double the speed of operation.
Extra capacitors can be used to protect the circuit against
transient voltages and for interference problems. Fig – shows the actual ‘packaging’ of the flasher unit.

Fig – Electronic flasher circuit

Fig – Electronic flasher unit packaging
Chapter 11 – Accessories

11 – Accessories
Accessories: Instrument panel, Electric horn, wipers, fuel pump, power operated windows etc.
The trip computer correlates the distance, time,
11.1) Function of Instrument panel
speed and fuel economy. It aims to give precise informa-
Vehicle conditioning monitoring (VCM) is a technique
tion as to how much can the car run on the amount of
when relevant vehicle performance parameters are dis-
fuel that it has in the fuel tank etc. its functions are given
played to the driver. The purpose of this is to either just
more elaborately below:
to keep the driver informed with any warnings in re-
 Time and date
sponse to which the driver may take action. VCM covers
 Elapsed time, or a stop watch
the following:
 Estimated time of arrival
 High engine temperature
 Average fuel consumption
 Low fuel
 Range on remaining fuel
 Low brake fluid
 Trip distance
 Worn out brake pads
 Low coolant level 11.2) Visual displays
 Low screen washer fluid Although the analogue system has almost become
 Low outside temperature obsolete in other applications, we find that in vehicles,
 Bulb failure even digital displays are represented in an analogue man-
 Doors, bonnet open warning ner. This is because, analogue displays reduce driver
These are the warnings for which the driver must be processing time, leaving more time to interpret the actual
alerted so as to avoid catastrophic outcomes. There are driving conditions.
other parameters also which are displayed ‘all the time’ For example, an analogue engine temperature
when the car is running, they are gauge, with its needle in the middle (not on H or C, but in
 Engine speed the middle) is easy to read and interpret. The driver can
 Engine rpm easily see that the value is within limits. The same display,
however if showed 70oC, it would be difficult to interpret.
 Indicator for blinker
Over the years, there has been considerate amount
 Indicator for headlight
of advancement in display technologies of automobiles.
 Engine rpm
There are those that are still used such as analogue ones,
 Fuel level
and the digital ones have also been evolving. Some of the
 Engine temperature
most commonly used display techniques is given below
The number of information that is given to the driver 11.2.1) Light emitting diode displays
is limited, owing to the safety aspects. If too much infor- A light-emitting diode, usually called an LED is a sem-
mation is given to the driver, his mind may get diverted iconductor diode that emits incoherent narrow-spectrum
and can inhibit a residual danger. light when electrically biased in the forward direction of
the p-n junction, as in the common LED circuit. This effect
Another system used is a trip computer. The trip
is a form of electroluminescence.
computer is an evolved version of the trip meter. The trip
meter used to turn mechanically and give us the distance In automobile instrumentations, it is widely used for
covered in kilometer or miles, whatever the convention showing speed, to odometer, to fuel level and other
used. It is different from the odometer that the trip meter things. The number is represented by the ‘8’ Fashion, and
can be set to zero, before starting of a ‘trip.’ other things are shown by bar graphs (See Fig

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 11 – Accessories
oxides, which emit electrons when heated by an electric
current. These electrons are controlled and diffused by
Fig – LED type instrumentation basic shapes the grids, which are made up of thin metal. If electrons
impinge on the phosphor-coated plates, they fluoresce,
11.2.2) Liquid crystal displays
emitting light. Unlike the orange-glowing cathodes of tra-
LCDs use liquid crystals that do not melt directly, but
ditional vacuum tubes, VFD cathodes are efficient emit-
get transformed to a paracrystalline form in which the
ters at much cooler temperatures, and are therefore es-
molecules are partially ordered. In this stage, the material
sentially invisible. Each of these displays are strategically
is a cloudy, translucent fluid, still having optical properties
placed on the display panel in the same manner as LEDs
of solids. There three types of these crystals
are arranged, to get meaningful designs.
1. Smectic: parallel rod shaped molecules, arranged in
layers but with no pattern in each layer 11.3) Fuel level Gauge
2. Nemetic: parallel rod shaped molecules, not arranged The fuel level gauge is usually of resistive type. Other
in layers types using electromagnetic induction, variable capacit-
3. Cholestric (twisted nematic): parallel rod shaped mo- ance are also in use, however, the variable resistive gauge
lecules, arranged in layers, with each layer having is by far the most used in today's automobiles.
spiral or helical orientation
In Fig 11.3.1, the float is attached to a guide which
Mechanical stress, electric and magnetic fields, pres- travels on a rod in the fuel tank. The float is directly at-
sure and temperature can alter molecular structure of tached to the jockey. According to the fuel level, the float
liquid crystals. A liquid crystal also scatters light that rises/falls and changes the resistance. This change in re-
shines on it. Because of these properties, liquid crystals sistance of the circuit causes a change in the voltage drop
are used to display letters, and numbers in calculators and across the circuit, which is measured and fuel level calcu-
such devices. Advancement in technology has caused to lated.
arrange these in an array to create a pixel matrix. These
can be used to give colour display by the use of three co-
lours on each pixel, viz RGB.
One type of display incorporating choleristic type is
explained here. This display is achieved by only allowing
polarized light to enter the crystal. As the light passes
through the crystal, it rotates by 90o. The light then passes
to a second polarizer which is at 90o to the first one. Thus
Fig – 11.3.1 Schematic representation of a fuel gauge
reflection takes place and all the light is reflected. Howev-
er, when a voltage of 10V at 50Hz is applied, the crystal 11.4) Temperature gauge
orientation changes and it no longer turns the light by Temperature gauge are of 2 types. One is incorporat-
90o. This causes a dark spot to appear on the screen. ing the bimetallic principle (section 9.3.4) and the other is
These areas are strategically placed on the display panel of the thermister type (section 9.1.1).
in the same manner as LEDs are arranged, to get mea-
11.5) Electric horn
ningful designs.
Automobile horns are usually electric klaxons, driven
11.2.3) Vacuum fluorescent displays by a flat circular steel diaphragm that has an electromag-
Unlike liquid crystal displays, a VFD emits a very net acting upon it and is attached to a contactor that re-
bright light with clear contrast and can easily support dis- peatedly interrupts the current to the electromagnet. This
play elements of various colours. arrangement works like a buzzer or electric bell. There is
The device consists of a hot cathode (filaments), usually a screw to adjust the distance/tension of the elec-
anodes (phosphor) and grids encased in a glass envelope trical contacts for best operation.
under a high vacuum condition. The cathode is made up
of fine tungsten wires, coated by alkaline earth metal
Chapter 11 – Accessories
Refer fig 11.5.1, when the horn switch is closed, the with air operated brakes sometimes use air operated wi-
relay coil is energized which closes relay switch and cur- pers, run by bleeding a small amount of air pressure from
rent flows through the horn winding. This magnetizes the the brake system to a small air operated motor mounted
core and attracts the tone disc through the connection just above the windscreen. These wipers are activated by
and diaphragm. As soon as that happens, the contact opening a valve which allows pressurized air to enter the
breaks, which de-energizes the winding, magnetic flux motor.
falls, and tone disc is sent back. Again contact is made and Most windscreen wipers operate together with a
again the cycle continues. This happens several times in a windscreen washer; a pump that supplies water and de-
second, and causes the tone disc to vibrate against the tergent (usually a blend called windscreen wiper fluid)
diaphragm to produce sound. from a tank to the windscreen through small nozzles,
mounted on the hood or on the wipers, known as a 'wet-
arm' system.

Fig – 11.5.1 Electric horn

Fig – 11.6.1 Wiper mechanism run by motor using single
11.6) Wipers slider crank mechanism
A windscreen wiper (windshield wiper in North
11.7) Fuel pump
America) is a device used to wipe rain and dirt from a
Nowadays, the fuel pump is located inside of the fuel
windscreen. Almost all automobiles are equipped with
tank and is usually electric. The pump creates positive
windscreen wipers, often by legal requirement.
pressure in the fuel lines, pushing the gasoline to the en-
Wipers can also be fitted to other vehicles, such as
gine. The higher gasoline pressure raises the boiling point.
buses, trams, locomotives, aircraft and ships.
Placing the pump in the tank puts the component least
A wiper generally consists of an arm, pivoting at one
likely to handle gasoline vapor well (the pump itself) far-
end and with a long rubber blade attached to the other.
thest from the engine, submersed in cool liquid. Another
The blade is swung back and forth over the glass, pushing
benefit to placing the pump inside the tank is that it is less
water from its surface. The speed is normally adjustable,
likely to start a fire. Though electrical components (such
with several continuous speeds and often one or more
as a fuel pump) can spark and ignite fuel vapors, liquid
"intermittent" settings. Most automobiles use two syn-
fuel will not explode due to absence of air, and therefore
chronized radial type arms, while many commercial ve-
submerging the pump in the tank is one of the safest
hicles use one or more pantograph arms. Mercedes-Benz
places to put it.
pioneered a system called the Monoblade in which a sin-
The ignition switch does not carry the power to the
gle wiper extends outward to get closer to the top cor-
fuel pump, instead it activates a relay which will handle
ners, and pulls in at the ends and middle of the stroke,
the higher current load.
sweeping out a somewhat 'W'-shaped path.
Modern engines utilize solid-state control which al-
Wipers may be powered by a variety of means, al-
lows the fuel pressure to be controlled via pulse-width
though most in existence today are powered by an elec-
modulation of the pump voltage.[1] This increases the life
tric motor through a series of mechanical components,
of the pump, allows a smaller and lighter device to be
typically two 4-bar linkages in series or parallel. Vehicles

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 11 – Accessories
used, and reduces electrical load and thereby fuel con- crank handle turns it. In the next section we'll learn about
sumption. some of the neat features some power windows have,
including the child lockout and automatic-up.


On this system, the power is fed to the driver's door
through a 20-amp circuit breaker. The power comes into
the window-switch control panel on the door and is dis-
tributed to a contact in the center of each of the four
window switches. Two contacts, one on either side of the
power contact, are connected to the vehicle ground and
to the motor. The power also runs through the lockout
switch to a similar window switch on each of the other
When the driver presses one of the switches, one of
the two side contacts is disconnected from the ground
and connected to the center power contact, while the
other one remains grounded. This provides power to the
window motor. If the switch is pressed the other way,
then power runs through the motor in the opposite direc-
Fig – 11.7.1 Electric fuel pump

11.8) Power operated windows

The window lift on most cars uses a mechanical lin-
kage to lift the window glass while keeping it level. A
small electric motor is attached to a worm gear and sev-
eral other spur gears to create a large gear reduction, giv-
ing it enough torque to lift the window. Fig – 11.8.1 lifting mechanism of a window
An important feature of power windows is that they
cannot be forced open -- the worm gear in the drive me-
chanism takes care of this. Many worm gears have a self-
locking feature because of the angle of contact between
the worm and the gear. The worm can spin the gear, but
the gear cannot spin the worm -- friction between the
teeth causes the gears to bind.
The linkage has a long arm, which attaches to a bar
that holds the bottom of the window. The end of the arm
can slide in a groove in the bar as the window rises. On
the other end of the bar is a large plate that has gear Fig – 11.8.2 Wiring of power windows.
teeth cut into it, and the motor turns a gear that engages
these teeth.

The same linkage is often used on cars with manual

windows, but instead of a motor turning the gear, the
Chapter 12 – Telematics

12 – Telematics
Introduction, Services and application, telematics system view and present developments in telematics technology.

12.1) Introduction 12.2) Telematics architecture

The term telematics is used in a number of ways: The architecture of telematics is a very complex data
 It can be defined as the integrated use of telecommu- transfer process, much of the same way that internet
nications and informatics, also known as ICT (Informa- works, or mobile phones works. In simple forms, it can be
tion and Communications Technology). More specifi- explained by Fig 12.2.1 below.
cally it is the science of sending, receiving and storing
information via telecommunication devices.
 More commonly, telematics have been applied specif-
ically to the use of Global Positioning System technol-
ogy integrated with computers and mobile communi-
cations technology in automotive navigation systems.
 Most narrowly, the term has evolved to refer to the
use of such systems within road vehicles, in which
case the term vehicle telematics may be used
Vehicle telematics systems may be used for a num- Fig – 12.2.1 Telematics architecture
ber of purposes, including collecting road tolls, managing What data is to be collected is pre-fed in the ECM al-
road usage (intelligent transportation systems), pricing gorithm. This data is collected and sent to the modem or
auto insurance, tracking fleet vehicle locations (fleet te- sms device, it must be noted that these 2 devices are
lematics), cold store logistics, recovering stolen vehicles, integral with the car, but for simplicity sake, these are
providing automatic collision notification, location-driven shown as separate blocks outside the vehicle. The data is
driver information services — and more particularly, dedi- then sent to a satellite, which reads redirects the data
cated short range communications DSRC in-vehicle early back to the data acquisition system or the user. If there is
warning (car accident prevention) notification alerts. any action to be taken, it is done and the data is sent back
Vehicle telematics systems are also increasingly be- to the car via the same route. The action taken may not
ing used to provide remote diagnostics; a vehicle's built-in be directed to the same car. For example, in case the car
system will identify a mechanical or electronic problem, meets an accident, the ‘action’ taken is to alert the au-
and the telematics package can automatically make this thorities such as police and the hospital in that area.
information known to the vehicle manufacturer service The data is sent is in coded form, the code includes
organization. The telematics monitored system is also ca- destination code, the data itself and many other such pa-
pable of notifying any problems to the owner of the ve- rameters required for such a system.
hicle via e-mail. Other forthcoming applications include
on-demand navigation, audio and audio-visual entertain- 12.3) Services and applications
ment content. Vehicle tracking
While there are many potential applications for ve- Vehicle tracking is a way of monitoring the location,
hicle telematics, the main advantage for transportation movements, status and behavior of a vehicle or fleet of
safety advocates is that it will help reduce and ideally vehicles. This is achieved through a combination of a GPS
eliminate road injuries and road traffic related deaths receiver and an electronic device (usually comprising a
worldwide GSM GPRS modem or SMS sender) installed in each ve-
hicle, communicating with the user (dispatching, emer-
gency or co-coordinating unit) and PC- or web-based

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Chapter 12 – Telematics
Trailer tracking Wireless vehicle safety communications
Trailer tracking is the technology of tracking the It is an electronic sub-system in a car or other vehicle
movements and position of an articulated vehicle's trailer for the purpose of exchanging safety information, about
unit, through the use of a location unit fitted to the trailer such things as road hazards and the locations and speeds
and a method of returning the position data via mobile of vehicles, over short range radio links. This may involve
communication network or geostationary satellite com- temporary ad hoc wireless local area networks.
munications, for use through either PC- or web-based Wireless units will be installed in vehicles and proba-
software. bly also in fixed locations such as near traffic signals and
emergency call boxes along the road. Sensors in the cars
Cold store freight logistics
and at the fixed locations, as well as possible connections
Cold store freight trailers that are used to deliver
to wider networks, will provide the information, which
fresh or frozen foods are increasingly incorporating tele-
will be displayed to the drivers in some way.
matics to gather time-series data on the temperature in-
side the cargo container, both to trigger alarms and Intelligent vehicle technologies
record an audit trail for business purposes. Telematics comprise electronic, electromechanical,
and electromagnetic devices — usually silicon micro ma-
Fleet management
chined components operating in conjunction with com-
Fleet management is the management of a compa-
puter controlled devices and radio transceivers to provide
ny's vehicle fleet. Fleet management includes the man-
precision repeatability functions (such as in robotics artifi-
agement of ships and or motor vehicles such as cars, vans
cial intelligence systems) emergency warning validation
and trucks. Fleet (vehicle) Management can include a
performance reconstruction.
range of Fleet Management functions, such as vehicle fi-
Intelligent vehicle technologies commonly apply to
nancing, vehicle maintenance, vehicle telematics (tracking
car safety systems and self-contained autonomous elec-
and diagnostics), driver management, fuel management
tromechanical sensors generating warnings that can be
and health & safety management.
transmitted within a specified targeted area of interest,
Satellite navigation say within 100 meters of the emergency warning system
Satellite navigation in the context of vehicle telemat- for vehicles transceiver. In ground applications, intelligent
ics is the technology of using a GPS and electronic map- vehicle technologies are utilized for safety and commer-
ping tool to enable the driver of a vehicle to locate a posi- cial communications between vehicles or between a ve-
tion, then route plan and navigate a journey. hicle and a sensor along the road.
Mobile data and mobile television Auto insurance
Mobile data is use of wireless data communications The basic idea of telematic auto insurance is that a
using radio waves to send and receive real time computer driver's behavior is monitored directly while the person
data to, from and between devices used by field based drives and this information is transmitted to an insurance
personnel. These devices can be fitted solely for use while company. The insurance company then assesses the risk
in the vehicle (Fixed Data Terminal) or for use in and out of that driver having an accident and charges insurance
of the vehicle (Mobile Data Terminal). See mobile Inter- premiums accordingly. A driver who drives long distance
net. at high speed, for example, will be charged a higher rate
Mobile data can be used to receive TV channels and than a driver who drives short distances at slower speeds.
programs, in a similar way to mobile phones, but using
LCD TV devices.
Chapter 13 Intelligent Vehicle Systems

13 – Intelligent vehicle systems

Requirements, working, components and system control of the following systems
Antilock braking system, Active suspension, Traction control, Electric power steering, Global positioning system, Ad-
vanced vehicle navigation, Driver assistance concept, Adaptive cruise control. Introduction to intelligent transport system
brake pedal. The stability and steer-
13.1) Antilock Braking System
ing must be retained under all road
The reason for the development of anti-lock brakes
conditions. The system must also
(ABS) is very simple. Under braking conditions if one or
adapt to braking hysteresis when the
more of the vehicle wheels locks (begins to skid) then this
brakes are applied, released and
has a number of consequences:
then reapplied. Even if the wheels on
 braking distance increases;
one side are on dry tarmac and the
 steering control is lost;
other side on ice, the yaw (rotation
 tyre wear is abnormal. about the vertical axis of the vehicle)
The obvious consequence is that an accident is far of the vehicle must be kept to a min-
more likely to occur. The maximum deceleration of a ve- imum and only increase slowly to
hicle is achieved when maximum energy conversion is allow the driver to compensate
taking place in the brake system. This is the conversion of
Controling of In its basic form at least one wheel
kinetic energy to heat energy at the discs and brake
wheels on each side of the vehicle should be
controlled on a separate circuit. It is
13.1.1) Requirements now general for all four wheels to be
Term Explanation controlled on passenger vehicles
Fail safe system In the event of the ABS system failing Speed range The system must operate under all
then conventional brakes must still speed conditions down to walking
operate to their full potential. In ad- pace. At this very slow speed even
dition a warning must be given to when the wheels lock the vehicle will
the driver. This is normally in the come to rest very quickly. If the
form of a simple warning light wheels did not lock then in theory
Maneuverability Good steering and road holding must the vehicle would never stop!
must be main- continue when the ABS system is Other operating The system must be able to recog-
tained operating. This is arguably the key conditions nize aquaplaning and react accor-
issue as being able to swerve round dingly. It must also still operate on
a hazard whilst still braking hard is an uneven road surface. The one
often the best course of action area still not perfected is braking
Immediate re- Even over a short distance the sys- from slow speed on snow. The ABS
sponse tem must react such as to make use will actually increase stopping dis-
of the best grip on the road.The re- tance in snow but steering will be
sponse must be appropriate whether maintained. This is considered to be
the driver applies the brakes gently a suitable trade off
or slams them on hard 13.1.2) General system descriptions
Operational Normal driving and manoeuvring As with other systems ABS can be considered as a
influences should produce no reaction on the central control unit with a series of inputs and outputs. An
ABS system is represented by the closed loop system
Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE
Chapter 13 Intelligent Vehicle Systems
block diagram shown in Figure The most impor- action for the hydraulic modulator. The heart of a modern
tant of the inputs are the wheel speed sensors and the ECU consists of two microprocessors such as the Motorola
main output is some form of brake system pressure con- 68HC11, which run the same programme independently
trol. The task of the control unit is to compare signals of each other. This ensures greater security against any
from each wheel sensor to measure the acceleration or fault which could adversely affect braking performance,
deceleration of an individual wheel. From this data and because the operation of each processor should be iden-
pre-programmed look up tables, brake pressure to one or tical. If a fault is detected, the ABS disconnects itself and
more of the wheels can be regulated. Brake pressure can operates a warning light. Both processors have nonvola-
be reduced, held constant or allowed to increase. The tile memory into which fault codes can be written for lat-
maximum pressure is determined by the driver’s pressure er service and diagnostic access. The ECU also has suitable
on the brake pedal. input signal processing stages and output or driver stages
for actuator control. The ECU performs a self-test after
the ignition is switched on. A failure will result in discon-
nection of the system. The following list forms the self-
test procedure:
 current supply;
 exterior and interior interfaces;
 transmission of data;
 communication between the two microprocessors;
 operation of valves and relays;
 operation of fault memory control;
 reading and writing functions of the internal memory.
All this takes about 300 mS!

Hydraulic modulator
Fig – ABS system.
The hydraulic modulator as shown in Figure 9 has
13.1.3) ABS components three operating positions:
 pressure buildup brake line open to the pump;
Wheel speed sensors
 pressure holding brake line closed;
Most of these devices are simple inductance sensors
 pressure release brake line open to the reservoir.
and work in conjunction with a toothed wheel. They con-
sist of a permanent magnet and a soft iron rod around The valves are controlled by electrical solenoids,
which is wound a coil of wire. As the toothed wheel ro- which have a low inductance so they react very quickly.
tates the changes in inductance of the magnetic circuit The motor only runs when ABS is activated.
generates a signal; the frequency and voltage of which are 13.2) Active suspension
proportional to wheel speed. The frequency is the signal Active suspension is an automotive technology that
used by the ECU. The coil resistance is in the order of 800 controls the vertical movement of the wheels via an on-
to 1000 Ω. Coaxial cable is used to prevent interference board system rather than the movement being deter-
affecting the signal. Some systems now use ‘Hall effect’ mined entirely by the surface on which the car is driving.
sensors. The system therefore virtually eliminates body roll and
ECU pitch variation in many driving situations including corner-
The function of the ECU is to take in information ing, accelerating, and braking.
from the wheel sensors and calculate the best course of
Chapter 13 Intelligent Vehicle Systems
This technology allows car manufacturers to achieve racing team - developed the original concept of computer
a higher degree of both ride quality and car handling by management of hydraulic suspension in the 1980s, as a
keeping the tires perpendicular to the road in corners, means to improve cornering in race cars. Lotus never de-
allowing for much higher levels of grip and control. veloped a road going variant.
13.2.1) Methods Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) co-
An onboard computer detects body movement from ordinates the best possible balance between ride and
sensors located throughout the vehicle, and, using data handling by analysing road conditions and making up to
calculated by opportune control techniques, controls the 3,000 adjustments every second to the suspension set-
action of the suspension. tings via electronically controlled dampers.

Solenoid actuated Electromagnetic recuperative

Solenoids inside the dampers alter the flow of the This type of active suspension uses linear electro-
hydraulic medium and therefore change the dampening magnetic motors attached to each wheel independently
characteristics of the suspension setup. The solenoids are allowing for extremely fast response and allowing for re-
wired to the controlling computer. generation of power used through utilizing the motors as
generators. This comes close to surmounting the issues
Hydraulic actuated with hydraulic systems with their slow response times and
Hydraulically actuated suspensions are controlled high power consumption. It has only recently come to
with the use of hydraulic servomechanisms. The hydraulic light as a proof of concept model from the Bose company,
pressure to the servos is supplied by a high pressure radial the founder of which has been working on exotic suspen-
piston hydraulic pump. Sensors continually monitor body sions for many years while he worked as an MIT profes-
movement and vehicle ride level, constantly supplying the sor. His brainchild was only a strict set of ideas about the
computer with new data. way an ideal suspension should behave until, after many
As the computer receives and processes data, it op- years, he developed a unique algorithm for plotting sus-
erates the hydraulic servos, mounted beside each wheel. pension movements. Although many active suspensions
Almost instantly, the servo regulated suspension gene- have been proposed, the general consensus is that this
rates counter forces to body lean, dive, and squat during approach has the most real world potential.[citation
various driving maneuvers. needed]
In practice, the system has always incorporated the
Magneto rheological damper
desirable self-leveling suspension and height adjustable
Another fairly recently developed method incorpo-
suspension features, with the latter now tied to vehicle
rates Magneto rheological dampers. Initially developed by
speed for improved aerodynamic performance, as the
Delphi Corporation, these dampers are finding increased
vehicle lowers itself at high speed.
usage in domestic and foreign brands, mostly in prestige
The drawbacks of this design (at least today) are high
cost, and the added complication/mass of the apparatus
In this system, the damper fluid contains metallic
needed for its operation. Thus it is only available on pre-
particles, and, through the onboard computer, the dam-
mium luxury cars. In addition, "semi-active" systems con-
pers' compliance characteristics are controlled by an elec-
tinue to advance with respect to their capabilities, nar-
tro-magnet. Essentially, increasing the current flow into
rowing the gap between them and fully active suspension
the damper raises the compression/rebound rates, while
a decrease softens the effect of the dampers. Thus, in-
Colin Chapman - the inventor and automotive engi-
stead of modifying the vertical movement of the wheels,
neer who founded Lotus Cars and the Lotus Formula One
Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE
Chapter 13 Intelligent Vehicle Systems
it modifies the damping characteristics of the shock ab- driving torque exceeds that which can be transferred then
sorber, controlling the behavior of the car. This type of wheel slip will occur on at least one wheel. The result of
system is generally referred to as "semi-active". this is that the vehicle becomes unstable.
When wheel spin is detected the throttle position
13.3) Traction control
and ignition timing are adjusted but the best results are
The steerability of a vehicle is not only lost then the
gained when the brakes are applied to the spinning
wheels lock up on braking; the same effect arises if the
wheel. This not only prevents the wheel from spinning but
wheels spin when driving off under severe acceleration.
acts to provide a limited slip differential action. This is
Electronic traction control has been developed as a sup-
particularly good when on a road with varying braking
plement to ABS. This control system prevents the wheels
force coefficients. When the brakes are applied a valve in
from spinning when moving off or when accelerating
the hydraulic modulator assembly moves over to allow
sharply while on the move. In this way, an individual
traction control operation. This allows pressure from the
wheel which is spinning is braked in a controlled manner.
pump to be applied to the brakes on the offending wheel.
If both or all of the wheels are spinning, the drive torque
The valves, in the same way as with ABS, can provide
is reduced by means of an engine control function. Trac-
pressure buildup, pressure hold and pressure reduction.
tion control has become known as ASR or TCR.
This all takes place without the driver touching the brake
Traction control is not normally available as an inde-
pedal. The summary of this is that the braking force must
pendent system, but in combination with ABS. This is be-
be applied to the slipping wheel so as to equalize the
cause many of the components required are the same as
combined braking coefficient for each driving wheel.
for the ABS. Traction control only requires a change in
logic control in the ECU and a few extra control elements 13.4) Electric power steering
such as control of the throttle. Electric power steering (EPS or EPAS) is designed to
Traction control will intervene to: use an electric motor to reduce effort by providing assist
 maintain stability; to the driver of a vehicle. Most EPS systems have variable
 reduction of yawing moment reactions; assist, which allows for more assistance as the speed of a
 provide optimum propulsion at all speeds; vehicle decreases and less assistance from the system
 reduce driver workload. during high-speed situations. This functionality requires a
An automatic control system can intervene in many delicate balance of power and control that has only been
cases more quickly and precisely than the driver of the available to manufacturers in recent years. The EPS sys-
vehicle. This allows stability to be maintained at a time tem has replaced the hydraulic steering system (HPS or
when the driver might not have been able to cope with HPAS) in many passenger cars recently. Although EPS is so
the situation. far limited to passenger cars, as a higher voltage electrical
system is necessary to operate EPS in larger vehicles.
13.3.1) System Operation Unlike HPS systems, EPS systems do not require a
The description that follows is for a vehicle with an hydraulic pump, which is belted into the engine. Rather
electronic accelerator (drive by wire). A simple sensor de- the EPS system's electric motor is powered by the ve-
termines the position of the accelerator and, taking into hicle's alternator which is belted into the engine. The effi-
account other variables such as engine temperature and ciency advantage of an EPS system is derived from the
speed for example, the throttle is set at the optimum po- fact that it is activated only when needed. Thus, a vehicle
sition by a servomotor. When accelerating the increase in equipped with EPS may achieve an estimated improve-
engine torque leads to an increase in driving torque at the ment in fuel economy of 3% compared to the same ve-
wheels. To achieve optimum acceleration the maximum hicle with conventional HPS. However, any fuel economy
possible driving torque must be transferred to the road. If benefit of EPS over HPS can be negated in situations
Chapter 13 Intelligent Vehicle Systems
where a vehicle is not driven on straight-aways very often, that they tell you your location with less than 10cms of
or where a vehicle's wheels are out of alignment. error. This makes it extremely useful in automotive navi-
gation use.
13.5) Global Positioning System
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is the only fully 13.6) Adaptive Cruise Control
functional Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Uti- Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is a cruise control sys-
lizing a constellation of at least 24 Medium Earth Orbit tem in some modern vehicles. The system also goes under
satellites that transmit precise microwave signals, the sys- the names of active cruise control (ACC) or intelligent
tem enables a GPS receiver to determine its location, cruise control (ICC). These systems use either a radar or
speed, direction, and time. laser setup to allow the vehicle to slow when approaching
A typical GPS receiver calculates its position using the another vehicle and accelerate again to the preset speed
signals from four or more GPS satellites. Four satellites when traffic allows. ACC technology is widely regarded as
are needed since the process needs a very accurate local a key component of any future generations of smart cars,
time, more accurate than any normal clock can provide, as a form of artificial intelligence that may usefully be
so the receiver internally solves for time as well as posi- employed as a driving aid.
tion. In other words, the receiver uses four measurements
to solve for four variables: x, y, z, and t. These values are
Laser-based systems are significantly lower in cost
then turned into more user-friendly forms, such as lati-
than radar-based systems; however, laser-based ACC sys-
tude/longitude or location on a map, then displayed to
tems do not detect and track vehicles well in adverse
the user.
weather conditions nor do they track extremely dirty
User segment (non-reflective) vehicles very well. Laser-based sensors
The user's GPS receiver is the user segment (US) of must be exposed, the sensor (a fairly-large black box) is
the GPS. In general, GPS receivers are composed of an typically found in the lower grill offset to one side of the
antenna, tuned to the frequencies transmitted by the sa- vehicle.
tellites, receiver-processors, and a highly-stable clock (of- Some systems also feature forward collision warning
ten a crystal oscillator). They may also include a display or Collision Mitigation Avoidance System, which warns
for providing location and speed information to the user. the driver and/or provides brake support if there is a high
A receiver is often described by its number of channels: risk of a rear-end collision.
this signifies how many satellites it can monitor simulta- Radar-based systems are available on many luxury
neously. Originally limited to four or five, this has progres- cars as an option for approx. 1000-3000 USD/euro. Laser-
sively increased over the years so that, as of 2007, receiv- based systems are available on some near luxury and lux-
ers typically have between 12 and 20 channels. ury cars as an option for approx. 400-600 USD/euro. Ra-
dar-based sensors can be hidden behind plastic fascias;
GPS and cars
however, the fascias typically looks different from a ve-
GPS has found wide commercial applications in au-
hicle without the feature. For example, Mercedes pack-
tomobile industries. The maps of all major countries/ ci-
ages the radar behind the upper grill in the center; how-
ties are fed in the system. This enables the system to ac-
ever, the Mercedes grill on such applications contains a
curately identify any address, anywhere! This helps in na-
solid plastic panel in front of the radar with painted slats
vigation. To reach new destinations, where the way is not
to simulate the slats on the rest of the grill.
known, GPS can be used with utter simplicity. The entire
of Europe and America are covered by GPS and road
maps. Moreover, the accuracy of these systems is such

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Appendix – I – List of Figures, Graphs and Tables

Appendix – I – List of figures, graphs, tables

Graph – Battery rating relations................................................................................................................................ 4
Table – Battery voltages at different charges ........................................................................................................... 5
Fig – A Hydrometer.................................................................................................................................................... 6
Fig – Heavy Duty discharge tester. ............................................................................................................................ 6
Fig – 1.3.1 Simplified Nicad battery....................................................................................................................................... 7
Fig – 1.5.1 Sodium Sulfur battery .......................................................................................................................................... 7
Fig – 1.6.1 Swing Battery ....................................................................................................................................................... 8
Fig – PEM Fuel cell ..................................................................................................................................................... 9
Fig – Alkaline fuel cell .............................................................................................................................................. 10
Table – 3.4.1 Benefits of 42V technology ............................................................................................................................ 13
Fig – 3.6.1 Proposed architecture ....................................................................................................................................... 16
Graph – Current demands on alternator by time ................................................................................................... 17
Fig – 4.3.1 Vehicle charging system..................................................................................................................................... 17
Fig – Schematic diagram of the dynamo principle .................................................................................................. 18
Fig – voltage regulator ............................................................................................................................................. 19
Fig – Combined current and voltage regulator ....................................................................................................... 20
Fig – Electronic voltage regulator ............................................................................................................................ 20
Fig – 4.6.1 Alternator exploded view .................................................................................................................................. 21
Fig – 4.6.2 Alternator principle in conjunction with rectification ....................................................................................... 21
Fig – Half wave rectification .................................................................................................................................... 21
Fig – Full wave rectifier............................................................................................................................................ 21
Fig – Alternator circuit employing star connection ................................................................................................. 22
Fig – 5.1.1 electrical system of a car.................................................................................................................................... 23
Graph – 5.2.1 engine rpm vs required torque wrt torques. ................................................................................................ 23
Fig – – Standard Bendix drive .................................................................................................................................. 24
Fig – – Folo thru drive .............................................................................................................................................. 25
Fig – – Compression spring bendix drive ................................................................................................................. 25
Fig – – Pre engaged starter...................................................................................................................................... 26
Fig – – Dyer drive ..................................................................................................................................................... 27
Fig 5.5.1 Starter motor solenoid principle........................................................................................................................... 27
Fig 5.6.1) A Glow plug (tip on the right) .............................................................................................................................. 27
Fig – ignition system ........................................................................................................................... 29
Fig – 6.2.1 – CDI system ....................................................................................................................................................... 29
Fig – 6.3.1 – Direct Ignition system ..................................................................................................................................... 30
Fig – 6.4.1 – Principle of hall effect ..................................................................................................................................... 30
Fig – 6.4.2 – Hall effect pulse generator and output wave ................................................................................................. 30
Fig – 6.5.1 – Inductive pulse generator. .............................................................................................................................. 31
Fig – 6.7.1 Constant energy systems ................................................................................................................................... 31
Fig – 6.7.1 Spark plug constructional details ....................................................................................................................... 32
Table – British standard colour codes ..................................................................................................................... 33
Appendix – I – List of Figures, Graphs and Tables
Fig – – Different connections used in cars............................................................................................................... 33
Fig – 7.4.1 CAN system layout ............................................................................................................................................. 35
Fig – 7.4.2 CAN signal format – The entire length of the signal is 44 to 108 bits ........................................................ 35
Fig – 8.4.1 Idle speed control .............................................................................................................................................. 38
Fig – 8.5.1 Air management system. ................................................................................................................................... 38
Fig – – NTC type sensor behaviour .......................................................................................................................... 39
Fig – PTC Type sensor .............................................................................................................................................. 39
Fig – Principle of Optical sensor .............................................................................................................................. 40
Fig – piezoelectric phenomenon ............................................................................................................................. 40
Fig – MAP sensor ..................................................................................................................................................... 42
Fig – Knock sensor ................................................................................................................................................... 42
Fig – Hot wire thin film MAF sensor ........................................................................................................................ 42
Fig – Crankshaft position sensor ............................................................................................................................. 42
Fig – Oxygen sensor and its voltage curve .............................................................................................................. 43
Fig – Throttle position sensor .................................................................................................................................. 43
Fig – Rain sensor ...................................................................................................................................................... 43
Fig – Solenoid actuator ............................................................................................................................................ 43
Fig – Bimetallic strip ................................................................................................................................................ 44
Fig – Halogen bulb, twin filament.......................................................................................................................... 47
Fig – focal point ..................................................................................................................................................... 48
Fig – Bifocal lens .................................................................................................................................................... 48
Fig – Homifocal reflector ....................................................................................................................................... 48
Fig – Poly Ellipsoidal headlight system .................................................................................................................. 49
Fig – Electronic flasher circuit................................................................................................................................ 50
Fig – Electronic flasher unit packaging .................................................................................................................. 50
Fig – LED type instrumentation basic shapes ........................................................................................................ 52
Fig – 11.3.1 Schematic representation of a fuel gauge ....................................................................................................... 52
Fig – 11.5.1 Electric horn ..................................................................................................................................................... 53
Fig – 11.6.1 Wiper mechanism run by motor using single slider crank mechanism ........................................................... 53
Fig – 11.7.1 Electric fuel pump ............................................................................................................................................ 54
Fig – 11.8.1 lifting mechanism of a window ........................................................................................................................ 54
Fig – 11.8.2 Wiring of power windows. ............................................................................................................................... 54
Fig – 12.2.1 Telematics architecture ................................................................................................................................... 55
Fig – ABS system. ................................................................................................................................................... 58

Autotronics notes by YUNUS JABALPURWALA (BE – Auto) Batch 2008. MHSSCoE

Appendix – II – Simplified Wiring Circuit of a Car

Appendix – II –Simplified Wiring Circuit of a Car

Above figure gives a basic idea of the wiring in the car and the overview of their connection with the common ground,
and different switches for each.
1. CHARGING CIRCUIT: it consists of the generator (dynamo or alternator), a regulator. The generator is run by a pulley
and belt arrangement which directly runs from the engine crankshaft. See Chapter 4 for details.
2. STARTING CIRCUIT: it contains the starter motor which attaches to the pinion on starting the engine via a suitable
drive. It rotates the flywheel, hence starting the engine. See Chapter 5 for details.
3. LIGHTING CIRCUIT: Head lamps, Tail lamps, Blinkers, Interior lamps etc are all connected in parallel. It must be noted
that they glow in pairs only. 2 head lamps or 2 tail lamps, 2 brake lamps, or 2 blinker lights (on the same side). These
are connected in series to one switch, however they themselves are parallel for fail safe design. The horn is also
shown in this circuit. See Chapter 10, Chapter 11 for details.
4. IGNITION CIRCUIT: it contains the distributor and the spark plugs. It is only found in SI engines. See chapter 6 for de-
5. ACCESSORIES: all remaining accessories are put in here, in parallel, with a separate switch for each. See chapter 11
for some of the accessories details.