NewsReducing automotive fuel consumption with an Arduino

Reducing automotive fuel consumption with an Arduino

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Every vehicle sold over the last decade has engines control units which is ECU in short. Its function is to regulate all aspects of the vehicle’s performance , by taking in different sensors and responding to the information it receives. However, certain older models aren’t as efficient than they can be that’s why the YouTuber Robot Cantina wanted to modify their 1997 Saturn coupe for greater performance on fuel.

To achieve this, Robot Cantina created a lean burn technology that is able to make the ECU believe that it is using more energy than its actual amount, thereby reducing the consumption of fuel. They took a simple air/fuel mixture sensor , and hooked its output to the manifold of the engine. Because it generates linear voltage that is wideband it was required to be converted by an Arduino Uno into a smaller lower voltage range using the lookup table.

The process of identifying an idle or low-burn condition is accomplished through the use of an air pressure gauge. The potentiometer permits the driver to adjust an offset to adjust when the lean burn is supposed to begin as well as an additional one can be used to alter the amount of fuel released in this condition. Then, a converter from digital to analog will take the resultant measured fuel level and transmits that level to the ECU.

While the intention behind this project was intended to increase efficiency of fuel, the final result was quite the reverse, which was to surprise and dismay of the Robot Cantina. You can view their complete video below to learn more about the process by which the lean burn system was developed.

Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.