*The old days: simple tune-ups

Long ago, just starting a car demanded a lot more. It demanded elbow grease. Thanks to computer technology, today's cars are light years ahead in sophistication. Many start at the push of a button. But with sophistication comes the complication of computer technology -- and federal regulation to protect air quality.

The Federal Exhaust Emission and Fuel Economy regulations require that your car be equipped with electronic engine control systems, to curb carbon emissions and increase fuel efficiency.

The new days: a computerized analysis of your engine

Simple engine components are being replaced with advanced control systems. Spark plug and filter replacements are still required. But what you also need is a computerized analysis of your car's computerized control center. Today, your car has a tougher inspection to pass. More than ever you need a factory-trained expert technician.

How your vehicle's computerized control center works:

A network of sensors and switches transfer and track your engine's operating conditions into electrical signals. The computer in your car receives this data. Based on collected information that's computer coded, computerized commands are sent to three systems: 1) ignition, 2) fuel, and 3) emission control.

Does your car have a problem, or is it just a faulty sensor?

Maybe you've already seen your "check engine" light go on. That means the computer in your car senses a problem. That same light is a cue to our expert technicians to check which commands have been triggered -- and they check the status of your engine control computer and sensors. This is how our technicians know if your car's performance is caused by a real problem, or just a faulty sensor or computer glitch.

Seven key sensory components:

  1.  Mass airflow sensor
  2. Throttle position sensor
  3. Manifold absolute pressure sensor
  4. Coolant temperature sensor
  5. Exhaust oxygen sensor
  6. Crankshaft position sensor
  7. Camshaft position sensor
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