Answering Questions About the Computer Managing Your Car

Sun Auto Service Expert, published on 11/11/2015

Although many people would not consider their car a computerized device, the majority of modern vehicles are equipped with sophisticated computer technology. These vehicle computers are responsible for maintaining a wide range of automotive systems and for communicating the status of these systems to drivers and mechanics. The auto technicians at Sun Auto Service are frequently asked about the nature of these automotive computers. What exactly do they do? What do drivers need to know about them? Even though the computerized system in a particular vehicle make or model is likely to vary from other computers serving similar vehicles made by different manufacturers, there are some commonalities that can be addressed.

Computers That Communicate With Drivers

Drivers interact with their vehicles’ computers on a daily basis and may not even realize it. If you have ever seen any of these warning lights or dashboard signals, then you are probably seeing the result of a computerized system connecting various sensors throughout your vehicle:

  • Low gas
  • Low oil
  • Low windshield washing fluid
  • Low steering fluid
  • Engine trouble
  • Engine overheating or too cold
  • Underinflated tires
  • Tire puncture detected

These and similar warnings are triggered by sensors and gauges tasked with monitoring various vehicle systems. All the information collected by these sensors is relayed to a central computer and stores specific details, which then switches on the appropriate signals on your dashboard. Taking appropriate action will help ensure your car continues to operate correctly and without problems. In many ways, these signals help you determine what on your vehicle requires attention.

Computers That Communicate With Technicians

The same computer that collects, analyzes and organizes information for the driver’s benefit can also communicate with auto technicians. In some cases, the vehicle’s computer is connected with a diagnostic computer used by the technician. This diagnostic computer helps the technician make sense of the vehicle computer’s data. Using the information collected by the vehicle’s computer, the technician can pinpoint the problem detected by various sensors. For instance, a vehicle’s exhaust and emission system may be functioning below a certain threshold of efficiency. The technician can identify the problem and determine the course of action required to bring the emission system back into an optimal operational range.

Sun Auto Service technicians have experience working on most types of vehicles. No matter what kind of computer system your vehicle has, we can make sure everything is working correctly.