Niagara Gazette —
Then electronic systems came along with their solid-state design. Characteristically these systems offered better performance overall. However, they were not without their own special set of problems. They were affected by engine heat and consequently prematurely failed, not giving a clue as to when they would leave you stranded. As time went on, the electronic systems got more complex and were able to monitor the
engine environment and make adjustments for changes that occurred. This started to look pretty good to engineers, especially with respect meeting EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards and tailpipe emissions. However, there was still one hurdle to overcome … the ability to make “on-the-fly” engine performance adjustments while driving. Then came C.C.C (Computer Control Command) from GM that was the forerunner of today’s quite advanced distributorless ignition systems.
Now engine commands could be monitored and adjusted while in operation through gathering real time information from various sensors located throughout the engine. Sensors for coolant temperature, exhaust oxygen, airflow, temperature and others varying conditions. These sensors provided the necessary information for the computer to measure what was going on within the engine at any given time and make the necessary adjustments to maintain optimum engine performance.
As engine management evolved the need for highly trained technicians, sophisticated diagnostic and test equipment, computerized information systems, and advanced diagnostic strategies have become paramount. Carmakers have full time technical people in the field collecting data on the development of technical trends in the automobile industry. Last year, while I was at the New York International Auto Show in NYC, I had occasion to speak with the technical rep for the Eastern Seaboard for Chrysler. He told me that his job entailed traveling around his territory from dealer to dealer collecting data on specific repairs and malfunctions in an effort to create a database for dealerships and technicians across the country to draw from in an effort to repair problems that pop up during vehicle operation.