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How does a car drive computer work?

How does a car drive computer work?


    Since the beginning of their manufacture, cars have relied on an automatic system that controls their parts, and this system does not aim to save fuel or reduce its damage to the environment, but rather to increase the engine speed and power, and the shift towards electronic parts industry began since the seventies of the last century, to gradually develop until it contains complex computers It controls the most accurate parts of the car, its interactions, and its various functions.


How does a car drive computer work
How does a car drive computer work


The function of car engine computers

    The car computers that control the functions related to the engine and its operation are called several; Like the ECU/ECM, the Drivetrain Control Module (PCM), and although there is a difference in the name, they all control engine operations and monitor coordination among vehicle parts when driving conditions to change throughout the vehicle's operating life, maintaining optimum engine efficiency It is responsible for the following operations:
  1. Regulating the fuel injection process, and controlling the injectors.
  2. Spark plug control.
  3. Change the vehicle's speed during idle appropriately.
  4. Give alerts to the driver when the engine system malfunctions, by showing an illuminated message (Check engine) on the dashboard.
  5. Monitor the ignition system.
  6. Connecting electrical electronic commands to the transmission and camshaft systems.
  7. Receive information from various car sensors to carry out the previous operations, such as the oxygen sensor, air pressure, temperature, throttle valve position sensor, engine knob sensor, and others to operate the engine effectively and reduce exhaust to the largest possible amount.
  8. A simple modification of the engine functions to suit the environment in which the car is being driven, and the driver's way of driving it, thanks to its self-learning ability.

The working principle of the car engine computer

    The car computer contains a large number of 32-bit/40MHz processors, which can number up to 50 processors in one car. It is worth noting that the greater the number of processors, the greater the efficiency of the car and its engine, and the processors can complete these operations using the following parts:

1. High-level digital outputs

Car computers need these outputs, which act as an electrical switch that closes and opens the circuits that control the spark plugs, the opening and closing of fuel injectors, and the engine cooling fan on and off.

2. Digital-to-analog converters

Engine parts depend on analog voltage power that controls their circuits, so digital car computers need these converters to change digital signals into analog signals.

3. Signal conditioners

It is the part responsible for converting the amount of incoming or outgoing signals to and from the sensors into an amount that fits the transformers. For example, if the transducer of the oxygen sensor can read a signal from -1 volts to -5 volts, but the signals coming from the sensor are usually between 0- and -1.1, these modifiers change it to the appropriate amount.

4. Communication chips

They are the chips responsible for applying and activating the programmed communication laws between the engine parts, the most famous of which is currently the type (controller-area networking/CAN).

Types of car computers

The car contains several types of computers that are classified into main categories that belong to them according to the function they are responsible for, as follows:

  • Safety Computers

Every modern car has computers that keep the car safe, such as ABS and electrical stability control, and they perform operations related to maintaining the safety of the car and passengers, such as triggering the alarm when trying to unlock the car without a key, or inflating airbags spread throughout the car's parts within a fraction of a second of hitting a solid object.


  • Performance Computers

These computers help in improving the performance of the car because of their effectiveness in controlling the amount of gasoline entering the engine and introducing the appropriate amount of air and other functions, which are the computers mentioned in the previous titles.

  • Convenience Computers

A variety of luxuries in modern cars that have become an essential part of them, which can be controlled using different computers, such as window buttons, door locks, car lighting, windshield wipers, climate, and air control systems, entertainment systems such as CD players, information displays for gasoline, speed, and others.

  • Diagnostic Computers

They are the computers in modern cars that perform a diagnostic function in addition to their basic function, such as recording any malfunctions in the performance of the car in the form of numbers and symbols that specialists can know; This is to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of the problem, in addition to its ability to know the amount of exhaust emitted, engine pressure and other electrical operations in the car.

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