Design and implementation of an automobile fault detection system

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Price: 2000 Naira (BSC, MSC)

ABSTRACT

This report on Design and Implementation of an Automobile fault diagnosis system is a web-based application developed to solve the issue of Automobile fault. The report is motivated by the need to guide car owners and learners of motor mechanics in the maintenance and troubleshooting of automobile problems without having to resort for presumptions and conjectures. The system features a simple user friendly interface that could allow you to search for solutions to faults developed by one’s Automobile. The methodology adopted is the Structured System Analysis Design Methodology (SSADM). The language used is Php (Hypertext preprocessor) for the server side development of the dynamic content, Mysql is used for the database design. The software is divided into two that is the admin area, and the user area. The developed software would ensure that automobile owners have proper assistance in time of crisis and will save them from the clutches of exploitative roadside mechanics.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0    INTRODUCTION

In present time most households own at least one car. This figure shows that a car is very important to people’s lives as it completes the cycle of living. Having that we are in the  era of computer age and internet application, it would be nice if a web-based expert system can be developed to diagnose mechanical and other related faults in our vehicles.

Software for car faults diagnosis is a system that detects information about car faults and provides possible solutions to fixing the problem. It works by entering the type of fault your car is giving you, and then it will retrieve the information of the possible fault and also display the result of how you can solve the problem without the presence of an expert.

So, this web-based software is hoped to help those who are in need of guides to deal with their cars problems. Although it might not give a complete guide and help as a human expert, namely mechanics, at least it can give temporary assistance to those who are in need of instant help, as a result of the limitation of time and distance.

Faults occur in vehicles or automobiles very often than not. This can be due to several reasons. The ability to detect and isolate these faults in complex technical systems such automobile is important in order to fulfill dependability requirements.  Fault detection and isolation in automobiles is very important because it helps to maintain high vehicle operational efficiency, low exhaust emissions, high vehicle uptime, fuel consumption reduction or fuel economy, high vehicle safety and it guarantees efficient repair. These factors are very important because they help to reduce overall life-cycle cost of a  vehicle.

1.1    BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

With the help of a car, movement from one place to another has been made easy especially for those who are always mobile in their jobs. Cars simplify our lives and make time to be more valuable as we can save more time using the car. But at the same time, people who own cars definitely don’t want to have a problem with their cars as the troubleshooting of a car can be a nightmare to them, especially women (Basri, 1998). Some of those own a car individually don’t know how to deal with their cars whenever it has a problem. All they know is to start the engine, drag the clutch if it is not automatic, press the paddle and break when they need to. An even the worse situation is that they don’t even know how to fill the fuel tank, and that is not good. They won’t know what to do when something happens to their cars. All they can do at best is, call the automobile repairer for help.

So, this web-based software is hoped to help those who are in need of guides to deal with their cars problems. Although it might not give a complete guide and help as a human expert, namely mechanics, at least the expert system can give temporary assistance to those who are in need of instant help, as a result of the limitation of time and distance.

Faults occur in vehicles or automobiles very often than not. This can be due to several reasons. Faults can range from simple to complex problems such as radiator leakage or overheating, tyre pressure problems etc. to gearbox problem, electrical, clutch, turbo, brakes, alternator, cylinder head gasket, air-conditioner condenser problems, etc. The ability to detect and isolate these faults in complex technical systems such automobile is important in order to fulfill dependability requirements (Carl Svärd, 2012). Fault detection and isolation in automobiles is very important because it helps to maintain high vehicle operational efficiency, low exhaust emissions, high vehicle uptime, fuel consumption reduction or fuel economy, high vehicle safety and it guarantees efficient repair. These factors are very important because they help to reduce overall life-cycle cost of a vehicle. Computer system can interface with other hardware devices such as Analog-to-digital Converter (ADC), sensors, etc, to detect and isolate faults but the software is very important so that the detected faults can be converted from analog to digital format and be displayed as information. This information can also be conveyed to the auto mechanics digitally online as email or sms alerts via mobile phones. According to Carl Svärd, 2012, complex technical systems aimed at commercial use are often designed for low cost and high functionality, and not primarily to facilitate FDI. In particular, this means that there are few sensors and foremost a limited amount of hardware redundancy in the form of multiple sensors measuring the same quantity. To achieve good performance, and at the same time minimize the need for expensive redundant hardware, model-based FDI is often adopted. A model-based FDI-system typically comprises fault detection by means of the two essential steps; residual generation and residual evaluation. In the first step, a model of the system is used together with measurements to generate residuals, i.e. signals that indicate whether there is a fault in the system or not. In the second step, the residuals are evaluated with the aim to reliably detect changes in the residual behavior and make a decision whether the change is caused by faults in the system and immediately send the analog signal to the Analog Digital Converter who further converts it to digital signal and send it to the computer system which display the various fault detected in the automotive device. The inherent properties of complex real-world systems in general and automotive systems in particular, pose several difficulties and challenges when it comes to design of modelbased FDI-system.

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

          In dealing with problems of a car and troubleshooting, automobile repairers are those who can help to solve them. The use of a computer expert system is beneficial in different ways. It gives a temporary and instant guide to car owners in different situations like:

  • Assistance in the absence of automobile repairers.
  • Being an alternative considering the distance of automobile repairers.
  • Situations where automobile repairers diagnosis wrongly, etc.

1.3    OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

  • Developing a system for car maintenance and troubleshooting that is capable of assisting car owners in dealing with their cars problems and troubleshooting them whenever time is limited and the human experts, also known as mechanics is not available at that very time.
  • Providing recommendations in cases of automobile break down.
  • Providing maintenance advice to users in order to avoid future fault from occurring.
  • Testing and validating the system’s performance.
  • Helping automobile repairers diagnose serious faults and repair vehicles at a faster rate through the pre-diagnosis and advice a web-based software.
  • Developing appropriate representation architecture to the proposed car failure and malfunction diagnosis assistance system.

1.4    SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The proposed system can help inexperienced automobile repairers or drivers in diagnosing the fault of the car.

 In addition, the system has the following benefits:

  • Improvement of productivity: Having this system will enable mechanics to do more work in less time.
  • Reduces the need for skilled mechanics: The repairs of a car require a high level of expertise. With this system, inexperienced mechanics can be guided to find the fault.
  • Places expert knowledge into machine readable form, where it can be summoned at any time.

1.5    SCOPE OF THE STUDY

          This software may contain certain limits and flaws, as it is only a prototype. We commonly know that a car has many parts on its body and even in the body itself. However, the system will only deal with problems that are commonly found in the engine part of the car as the system is just a prototype, which means the function will be expanded through time. The system will also deal with only cars produced from the year 2000 till date.

1.6    LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Usually, every work has some limitations and this study is not exempted.

The two major limitations of this study are the high programming technique as well as financial constraints. The high programming technique constraint in PHP, JQUERY and MYSQL prevents the researcher to have an in depth study and analysis on the subject matter. While the issue of financial constraint limits the frequency of investigation to/from the institution toward gathering the necessary information relevant for the study.

1.7    DEFINITION OF TERMS

Fault Detection: Fault detection is based on signal and process mathematical models, while fault diagnosis is focused on systems theory and process modeling.

HTML CODE: – HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a type of computer language that is primarily used for files that are posted on the internet and viewed by web browsers. HTML files can also be sent via email.

Markup language: – A markup language is a combination of words and symbols which give instructions on how a document should appear. For example, a tag may indicate that words are written in italics or bold type.

Web browser: -A Web browser is a software program that interprets the coding language of the World Wide Web in graphic form, displaying the translation rather than the coding. This allows anyone to “browse the Web” by simple point and click navigation, bypassing the need to know commands used in software languages.

File extension: – A file extension is the suffix at the end of a filename that tells a computer, and the computer user, which program is needed to open the file. Also called a filename extension, this suffix preceded by at least one period, is generally one to five characters long but the norm is usually three characters in length.

Email: – Email, also sometimes written as e-mail, is simply the shortened form of electronic mail, a protocol for receiving, sending, and storing electronic messages. Email has gained popularity with the spread of the Internet. In many cases, email has become the preferred method of communication.

TCP/IP: – This often used but little understood set of operations stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. TCP/IP is the combination of the two and describes the set of protocols that allows hosts to connect to the Internet. In actuality, TCP/IP is a combination of “more than those two protocols, but the TCP and IP parts of TCP/IP are the main ones and the only ones to become part of the acronymthat describes the operations involved.

TEXT FILE: – A text file is a computerfile that stores a typed document as a series of alphanumeric characters, usually without visual formatting information. The content may be a personal note or list, a journal or newspaper article, a book, or any other text that can be rendered accurately in typewritten form.

Hyper Link:-A hyperlink is a graphic or a piece of text in an Internet document that can connect readers to another webpage, or another portion of a document. Web users will usually find at least one hyperlink on every webpage. The simplest form of these is called embedded text or an embedded link.

WWW: – acronym for World Wide Web.

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