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
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)
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
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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