Engineering Projects/Car Hack/Howard Community College/Spring2012/p1501kmd
To rise/better the miles per gallon with a vehicle
For this project, our team started the process of hacking a vehicle (2002 Toyota Corolla) in order to better the miles per gallon. First, we started the project on another problem, trying to make a stock vehicle into a race car by improving the rpms with the vehicle. We did some research and found the easiest way to go about this is to hack the ecu with the vehicle, that controls all the electronic components, and modify it so that the maximum output of rpms given by the car became it’s initial. We went to Crazy Ray's Junkyard and took a ecu from the same model car to run tests on while keeping the car’s initial ecu still intact in case of failure. We then researched how to go about reading the stock ecu from the vehicle and learned about OBD devices. The group before us had brought a wifi one, but it did not work properly do to the year one the vehicle. Being a 2002 model car the ODB reader located under the steering wheel could only be read by OBD II scanners, and we only had a OBD I wifi scanner. So we purchased an OBD II scanner from amazon Buy OBDII that came with its own software and connected from the OBD port in the vehicle to the laptop directly instead of wirelessly to avoid the whole wifi communication lost problem. After installing the software to the laptop, we encountered another problem being that the software was only compatible with windows software and we all had macintosh. So we had to download an application called Parallels, that allows you to run windows and macintosh on the laptop at the same time. After install parallels, we reinstalled the software for the OBD II device under the windows window, connected the OBD to the vehicle and laptop, and began reading the MPG, RPMS, Engine temp., etc. from the ECU with the vehicle. We then again, did more research to learn how to read and what codes the ECU gave off and how to go about changing those codes. What we found was that the ECU acts just like any computer system and the hardware codes, made by the manufacturer differs between vehicles and is given all in dual numbers and letter pairings. For example, Arduino Codes. We also found that the arduino is the easiest way to go about translating these pairing codes into html format making changing the changing of codes simpler using the can-bus shell. We are currently learning what html codes the ECU will read from the arduino and how to write our own programs within the arduino to control the readings from the ECU to the engine bettering the MPG within the vehicle by controlling the fuel injection valve when you step on the acceleration pedal.
Week 1-This week was much more of brainstorming than actual work. With being in the car hack project, the scale of a car and the vast directions in which we could’ve taken this project needed to be scaled down so that we could find a starting point.
Week 2- We started to develop a plan of what to do. Our first goal was to research how to read everything off of the vehicle. Get to know the vehicle functions, it’s capabilities, etc. Our second goal was to decide on the model of the car on which we were going to experiment on and to start researching on the manufacturer of the vehicle and how this car is different from others.
Week 3- After collecting efficient data on our vehicle and learning what to use to read what we wanted from the vehicle, this week consisted of gaining those materials, installing software, and researching projects others had conducted before us to give us more of a push forward once the supplies had arrived.
Week 4- The last week of this project, with everything installed and on hand, we started writing our own programs within the arduino using the research we did from people before us in order to control the fuel injection valve within the engine to better the MPG from the vehicle.
The only decision we had to make during this project was which vehicle we were going to use to experiment own and which OBD to choose in buying a new one. Both were fairly simple with David volunteering his vehicle and with the wifi connection giving us problem with the original OBD I scanner, we eliminated that problem with the direct connection from the OBD port in the vehicle to the laptop.
Arduino, 1, $12
Monkey Wrench, 2, $7 each
OBD II Scanner, 1, $11
Can-Bus Shell for Arduino, 1, $20
Philip’s Head Screwdriver, 2, $7 each
Power Drill, 1, $79.95
Power Drill Bits, 2, $7 each
Hack Saw, 1, $24.95
We used a software package called [Scantool] to aid us in reading the ECU using the OBD scanner.
We also used the software package called [Parallels]
In total, all of us spent a collective: 25.5 hours
Connecting OBD II to OBD car port and laptop: Reading OBD
The successors must continuing using arduino to write own programs into ECU or find alternative means of going about hacking ECU codes. Once full programs are written or codes are changed, next team must run modified ECU thru vehicle and read off results. This whole project is trial and error, so suggest to write little code then try instead of huge program then trying resulting in lose of vehicle all together.