Emissions Testing, On-Board Computers and Car Repair in Maui

by | Feb 2, 2016 | Vehicles

Modern automotive computers can run millions of lines of code, which govern everything from braking and acceleration to emissions control systems. Cars have several systems by which emissions are controlled: the catalytic converter, the PCV system, the EGR system, evaporative controls and air/fuel injection. All of these systems protect the environment and make cars more efficient. Visit Mauitires.com to learn more about computer-controlled automotive emissions as they relate to car repair in Maui.

Why Emissions Must be Controlled by Computers

To correctly govern emissions, control systems must be monitored carefully. For instance, a car’s PCV system should only permit a small amount of vapor to return to the engine’s combustion chamber at idle, but it should allow more when the car is running at highway speeds. All other systems, especially fuel injection, must also be precisely adjusted and controlled. Before fuel injection became prevalent, these systems would be calibrated to meet an average. Modern electronic controls allow emissions monitoring systems to be more efficient and more eco-friendly.

Special Software can Help Automakers Game the System

Emissions testing has been the law since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970. To comply with stricter requirements and still offer cars with sufficient power, car makers have devised multiple systems. Before computers were standard equipment in automobiles, cheating an emissions test required specialized tools. However, software advances have made it possible for automakers to cheat without getting caught.

A well known example of emissions test manipulation is that of Volkswagen. In 2015, an independent testing group discovered that the company coded its vehicles’ software to provide false results on emissions testing. The software was coded to detect emissions testing during Car Repair in Maui and to change engine operation to provide emissions that met the minimum standard. Once testing concluded, though, the car’s performance would return to normal, and the cars would make more emissions than during testing.

Despite several missteps and automaker’s ability to cheat the system, computer-controlled emissions monitoring has helped to reduce air pollution from cars. The more advanced a car’s computer system is, the more its environmental impact can be mitigated.

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