Understanding Fuel Trim

FUEL TRIM HEADER

Some of the most common Fault Codes (DTC’s) pertain to fuel trim (rich mixture, lean mixture, etc.) Here is an explanation of fuel trim and what it does for us. The ECU controls Air/Fuel mixture in order to maintain power, efficiency, and emissions. A/F is expressed as either a ratio (14.7:1 for example) or as a Lambda value. With iso-octane (“ideal” gasoline), Lambda of 1.0 is equal to 14.7:1 A/F. This is known as “Stoichiometric”, a condition where there is a perfect balance between oxygen molecules and the various hydrogen and carbon based molecules in petroleum. With the oxygenated gasoline that most of us use, actual A/F ratio of 15:1 is closer to stoichiometric.If Lambda is greater than 1.0, then there is a surplus of air and the engine is running lean. If Lambda is less than 1.0, then there is a surplus of fuel and the engine is running rich. It should be noted that the ratios are mass-based, not volume-based.  Continue reading Understanding Fuel Trim

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