Vehicles manufactured in the modern world have at least one computer inside them. These computer systems are designed to monitor almost everything about the engine, such as emissions. They can also adjust the engine to prevent emissions from going higher than normal or regular. The computer itself receives information from many sensors throughout the vehicle. These sensors include oxygen, air temperature, air pressure, engine temperature, throttle positions, and knock sensors. Each of the sensors does different things and are designed to determine what is going on in that particular area. For example, the oxygen level determines how much oxygen is in the engine at that moment. If it’s not enough or too much, the sensor sends a warning to the computer, which can regulate it to normal levels.
The computer senses when something is wrong, as well. When that happens, it informs the driver by showing the ‘check-engine’ light. The check-engine light has a variety of meanings, so it is essential that you take it to a mechanic who can put it on the diagnostic machine to read the code and determine the problem. Then, they can help you fix it.
Other Computer Options
While the primary computer focuses on the engine, your vehicle may have many other computers. In most cases, the more expensive the vehicle, the more computers. However, with computer and car manufacturing getting easier, many inexpensive vehicle brands have multiple computers in them, as well.
For example, if your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes, you likely have a computer near the tires that reads the wheel speed and helps to control the braking system. You may also have a computer that controls the transmission if yours is equipped with an automatic.
In some cases, each airbag has its own computer, though many computer systems are advanced enough that they can run all airbags from the same computer. It depends primarily on the location of the airbags to computer and the carmaker’s preferences.
Any vehicle with a remote or keyless entry or a security system also has a computer that operates and runs the systems. Along with such, climate-control features in vehicles usually use a computer and may have their own computer, depending on how many similar features are installed.
If your vehicle has a motorized seat or mirror that is designed to remember settings for more than one driver, it is operated by its own computer system, as well. Newer cruise control systems also use computers, as well as radios and CD players with digital display systems.
Therefore, a modern luxury vehicle could have a full computer network inside, and the computers are so small that they don’t add bulk or size to the vehicle at all.
Many people wonder why nothing happened when the millennium rolled around, and the fact is that computers in the vehicles don’t know the date and don’t need to know the date for calculations. However, if you have to remove your battery from the car to change it or test it, the computers lose power, which means you might lose preset stations on your radio and may have to reprogram the time. However, dates aren’t reset by the computers because they don’t have them. Along with such, you may find that memory options, such as mirrors and motorized seats may lose their settings if you remove the battery, as well.