RE: High Altitude Cars??

Previously, before car computers;etc, I understood the car makers to put in different jets;etc in the carburators to compensate for less or
thinner air for cars sold in Denver;etc. Question. Are the car computers programmed different for high altitude cars or are the computers and emission controls suppose to compensate for the thinner air. My '90 Cougar with 3.8 V6 seems to get sluggest when up in the mountains.
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da Tank Engine wrote:

my 1989 jeep cherokee was available with high altitude crankshaft sensor. advanced the timing.
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da Tank Engine wrote:

I've noticed that in the mountains, "regular" gasoline is 86 octane but it is 87 in Texas. As another poster said, there is less air so timing can be advanced and lower octain fuel can be used.
To answer your question, the computer already knows it is at high altitude due to the sensors and I don't think any different programing is required. It automatically adjusts. A carb can't do that on the fly so it was tuned different for high altitude. Racers do this today depending on where they are running (Colorado or Florida)
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da Tank Engine wrote:

Altitude correction practially comes along for free in an engine that monitors manifold absolute pressure and/or mass air flow. Some manufacturers even have software that grabs a static MAP reading prior to engine start to have a reference barometric pressure to further tweak the fuel map.
So the short answer is "yes." :-)
But your Cougar (and any other non-turbocharged vehicle) will still produce less power at higher altitudes and/or higher ambient temperatures than at sea level, just because not as many fuel and air molecules can be packed into the cylinder on each stroke. But at least the fuel and air molecules will stay in correct proportion as altitude changes.
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you said it, compensate not create. But you can compress the thin air till its like sealevel with a supercharger. But then back at sealevel you be screaming fast and feal relitively slugish at altitude. (you know , Like the feeling of 55mpg after an hour at 100mpg driving. A really bad obssesion would be carrying a tank of 0xygen. Not so bad if you scuba dive though, its a good cover story for carrying it around and its just air thats packed tight.
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