Technology is great because it helps us to complete a lot of tasks in our life much easier and quicker, especially if certain tasks are repetitive. Every day all of us use technology in some form or another, and when it comes to cars we are literally completely surrounded by it!
Early cars didn’t have even a small percentage of the technology we are accustomed to in today’s cars, such as electric windows, climate control, voice-activated controls and HUDs (head-up displays). Apart from all of those interesting and useful features, technology also helps us to keep our cars running as perfectly as possible. Here are some examples of how this is done.
Virtually all modern cars have partial or full digital displays on their dashboards, installed beneath traditional dials such as the speedometer and rev counter. On some cars, such as certain high-end Jaguars, for example, the displays are completely digital and are shown on a built-in LCD screen!
You will notice that, in the featured image shown in this blog post, there is a warning notification telling the driver that one of their doors and the liftable glass at the back of the car is open.
Such technology is useful for motorists, mainly because it helps them to learn if there are any doors still open before they start driving (especially if you have forgotten to enable the child locks on the back of the doors and the kids have opened the doors by mistake).
Another way that technology is useful in today’s cars is for the purposes of fault diagnosis. If your engine develops some kind of fault, on most cars a small orange or red lamp on the dashboard with an image of a car engine would illuminate to inform the driver that there is a problem.
Known as the “check engine” lamp, this normally illuminates when you first turn the ignition on but typically gets extinguished after a couple of seconds once the engine has been turned on.
This lamp is connected to the car’s ECU, or “engine control unit”, a clever piece of electronics that constantly monitors and adjusts various sensors in your engine bay to ensure that your car is always running well.
If your car’s ECU receives information from one of the sensors that falls outside of the scope of normal operating parameters, it will flag this up as an error and subsequently illuminate the Check Engine lamp on your dashboard.
When this happens, the car’s owner will normally take their vehicle to be checked out as soon as possible by their local service centre, such as the Pentagon Group. They then can plug in their computer system into your car’s diagnostic port (sometimes referred to as the OBD-II or “on-board diagnostics” port) and communicate with your car’s ECU.
This communication enables the service centre technician to test various sensors and aspects of your car to determine exactly what the cause of the fault is, so that they can fix or replace the faulty parts.