Sensors in cars, keep track of almost everything happening, in and outside a vehicle.
As a result, the onboard computer, then makes decisions, based on the data it received.
But, before your car actually starts, what do you see ? Usually, a Christmas tree of lights, on the dashboard.
Then, one by one, these lights go out, as the sensors in cars, communicate with computers. Once started, the other sensors, report their status to the driver. Commonly, through a general “systems OK” message. Consequently, some cars alert the driver, only when there is something wrong.
Types Of Sensors
So, in the old days, sensors and were very simple. There was an oil light, that would come on, when the oil pressure was low. There was an alternator light, that would come on, when the battery, was not charging.
Today’s vehicles, are obviously more complicated. As a result, digital computers, now control engines. Luxury cars have “body computers” to control luxury features. And, all of these computers, rely on sensors in cars.
Car engine sensors, continually monitor major systems like, engine coolant temperature (ECT); sending real time signals, to onboard computers. And, these computers keep track of everything. Consequently, alerting the driver, only when something is wrong.
Troubleshooting Sensors In Cars
So, a failure of the crankshaft position sensor; has no way of figuring out, when the spark plugs should fire. As a result, the engine will not start. Similarly, if the temperature sensor should malfunction; the computer might attempt to compensate for what it has sensed as, a cold running engine. So, it might adjust the fuel injection and timing. Consequently, causing the engine to run poorly.
So, the missing or stuttering engine, would lead a trained technician; to assume that there is something wrong with, the ignition system or the spark plugs. In reality, there may be nothing wrong with the engine. And, it may be operating at its proper temperature. But, because the sensor, has told the computer that there is a problem; the computer sets out to correct it.
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