A Primer on Modern Car Computers

modern car computersFun fact: modern cars have a computer. No, they don’t have a built-in laptop or iPad under the hood. The computer in a car is very different. Its job is to monitor various aspects of operation. We’ll explain the specific roles of modern car computers and how to identify signs of a worn car computer.

What Do Modern Car Computers Do?

Modern car computers regulate different controls in the engine and other components. These include the:

  • Engine emission
  • Idle speed
  • Spark plug
  • Fuel injection

Many modern vehicles—and some retrofitted classic cars—also have multiple sensors that gauge the engine temperature, oxygen levels, throttle position, and more. The sensor sends the information to the computer where it processes the data and adjusts engine output for peak performance.

Signs of a Faulty Car Computer

Like any other car part, the computer experiences wear and tear with age. If the “check engine” light switches on, then the computer likely has a problem. If the light is really dim, or blinks at inconsistent intervals, then the computer may be malfunctioning.

A car that won’t start is another sign. Of course, this can be attributed to a number of other causes. When turning the ignition, does the check engine light come on? If the light is not coming on, then the computer may not be receiving power due to a blown fuse or broken wiring.

Also, if you smell a burning odor, then the computer may be overheating. An auto service technician can locate the car’s engine control module and look for burn marks to confirm an overheated computer.

We Repair Modern Car Computers

Bring your car to Bothell Way Garage if you notice any of the above symptoms. Repairs on modern car computers are just as essential as repairs for a transmission, suspension, or other vital component.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Car Computer Repair and Diagnosis

Serving Customers in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier,

Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park and Juanita