car tuning

27 Jul 2007

Engine computers are getting too smart!

I recently took my car into the garage for some work which require that the battery be disconnected. This results in resetting the computer to the factory setting. When you get the car back you realise all of the little things that it does.

Now when the car goes into neutral the revs rise and fall bouncing around an average and then settles. Apparently the computer will learn the exact amount of RPM that the engine idles at without stalling and will set this as the default option.

I also had to reset the clock and the date and lost my accumulated average MPG and average speed since the last reset - things which I use to compare the cars performance and a sudden drop in MPG usually indicates an imminent problem. Now I wish I had written all of the data down (GEEK ALERT!)

The electric windows also have a one touch up and down setting - but since reconnecting the battery I have to work out how to switch this on again. The car also feels a bit sluggish and does not seem to be the car I put into the garage but since it only had a new starter motor fitted this can only be down to the computer relearning the optimum settings. The steering and even the braking feel different, I know it is not just me and that this must also be down to the cars computer. It is kind of nice to think that the car gets used to its driver.

Doing some research on the Internet and speaking with other Torquecars members I note that other drivers have complained similarly of problems with the car following the computer reset and have taken their cars back to the garage and complained only to be told that it will sort itself out in due course. Some owners of automatics report a really soggy gear change, again down to the computer needing to relearn the drivers habits and its engines own personality. I'm sure other people have had even weirder stuff happen to them following an ECU reset.

I don't know about you but we tend to take it for granted just how much technology affects our lives. Perhaps we should go back to cars with carbs and no ABS or Power Steering.

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