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The Basic Engine Computer Control System


To discuss the Basic Engine Computer Control System.

Basic Engine Computer Control System

The Computer Control System consists of an onboard computer and several related control devices (sensors, switches, and actuators).

The onboard computer is the heart of the Computer Control System. The computer contains several programs with preset reference values for air/fuel ratio, spark or ignition timing, injector pulse width, engine speed, etc. Separate values are provided for various driving conditions, such as idle, low-speed driving, high-speed driving, low load, or high load. The preset reference values represent the ideal air/fuel mixture, spark timing, transmission gear selection, etc., for any driving condition. These values are programmed by the vehicle manufacturer and are specific to each vehicle model. Most onboard computers are located inside the vehicle behind the dashboard, under the passenger’s or driver’s seat, or behind the right kick panel. However, some manufacturers may still position it in the engine compartment. Vehicle sensors, switches, and actuators are located throughout the engine and are connected by electrical wiring to the onboard computer. These devices include oxygen sensors, coolant temperature sensors, throttle position sensors, fuel injectors, etc. Sensors and switches are input devices. They provide signals representing current engine operating conditions to the computer.

Actuators are output devices. They perform actions in response to commands received from the computer. The onboard computer receives information inputs from sensors and switches located throughout the engine. These devices monitor critical engine conditions such as coolant temperature, engine speed, engine load, throttle position, air/fuel ratio, etc. The computer compares the values received from these sensors with its preset reference values and makes corrective actions as needed so that the sensor values always match the preset reference values for the current driving condition. The computer makes adjustments by commanding other devices such as the fuel injectors, idle air control, EGR valve, or Ignition Module to perform these actions.

Vehicle operating conditions are constantly changing. The computer continuously makes adjustments or corrections (especially to the air/fuel mixture and spark timing) to keep all the engine systems operating within the preset reference values.

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