There is one thing that separates today’s new cars from the cars that were commonly available just a few decades ago. This one thing is the computer or brain of the today’s advanced cars. The computer samples data thousands of times every few seconds. This data is typically received from various locations around the vehicle including the engine, radiator, tires, and brakes, as well as other key systems.
What is most noticeable about today’s newer cars is that the dashboard illuminates with dozens of brightly colored lights at start up. This is due to the fact that during start up a car runs through a series of self-diagnostic checks. Once a car has completed its diagnostic checks all lights will normally be extinguished. When the computer does indeed detect a problem within one of the cars systems it will normally illuminate a warning light.
Many times in today’s newer cars a light will also indicate a particular code. This is where a technician comes in handy, as they are able to read this code and analyze where a problem exists in your car. While there are indeed many sensors located throughout a car there are a few representative sensors that are worth discussing here.
The Temperature Sensor for The Coolant System – This particular sensor signals the main computer when to turn on a cooling fan if an engine becomes too hot. When the sensor malfunctions it may cause a difficulty in starting your vehicle.
The Sensor for Throttle Position – This sensor is located in the main body of the throttle and sends signals to the computer indicating the actual position of the gas pedal. The computer analyzes this data and adjusts fuel and oxygen to ensure proper ignition.
The Sensor for Exhaust Oxygen – This sensor is typically located in the exhaust pipes of a vehicle and is used to sample exhaust air. A faulty sensor can cause incorrect fuel and oxygen mixtures that can ultimately result in the inability to pass an emissions test.
The Sensor for Mass Air Flow – This sensor is designed to collect data on air passing through the intake into the engines combustion area. This information is forwarded to the main computer where signals are sent to adjust fuel and oxygen as appropriate to ensure the car runs smoothly.
Computerized cars are complex machines that sample data thousands of times every few seconds. Because today’s cars are indeed so complex they require the expert handling of a licensed automobile technician who will work closely with a very expensive and large diagnostic device located in the shop. This device will literally talk to your car’s computer to find where a problem exists.
Because this type of equipment and a licensed technician is required to repair newer computerized cars it is important for consumers to avoid trying to work on their cars by themselves. Without the proper computerized equipment, it is nearly impossible to analyze faulty conditions in today’s newer complex cars. Always seek the help of a trained professional to ensure that your car runs the way that is intended to run.