Have you ever considered what the computers in your car actually do? Did you know that your car had computers in it? Can you name what those computers are or what they do?
Cars have come a long way since the first car rolled off the assembly line way back in history too far for any of us to remember. With most new advancement in the comfort of a car comes a need to have a new computer in the car, or at least a new sensor that will relay information back to a computer. Cars continue to become more and more complicated as new computers and sensors are added to them.
An example of some of the things that car computers monitor via sensors on different parts of the car include oxygen (air intake for emission purposes), air pressure (in the tires), air temperature (for your info), engine temperature (in place of an actual gauge we used to have that was mechanical), throttle position (some cars do not have an actual mechanical link from the gas pedal? This one scares me sometimes), knock sensor (Like having a constant stethoscope on your engine while you are driving down the road to listen for problems)...
This is only a few examples of the sensors on your car. There are many others with each designed to relay information back to the computer that can then relay the information to you on the dash. Your auto mechanic can also then hook up to the cars computer to get more specific data that will enable them to diagnose accurately and quickly the problem so that it can be fixed.
All of these computers have been designed and installed for different reasons. Some of them relate to our comfort, some of them relate to the handling of the car, some of them relate to the emissions of the car (environment in mind) and yet others have to do with the performance of the car.
There are 2 major computers on most cars.
The engine control module is by far the most common computer found in cars. This is in large part, a result of a desire to improve the emissions of vehicles and the impact that they have on the environment. It also came about because of a demand to increase the fuel mileage of cars for the same underlying purpose of the environment.
In the end, all of the car computers work in the background and make for a better ride and more efficient car. The only trouble that the computers pose is that they become and extra part to fix in a car. However, when it comes to cost savings and the extra comfort and benefit to the environment that is gained because of the computers, it is well worth any potential costs. This is especially true since they do not have problems very often.