Engine Misfire Detection by Ionization Current Monitoring
Engine misfires cause a negative impact on exhaust emissions. Severe cases could damage the catalyst system permanently. These are the basic reasons why CARB (California Air Resources Board) mandated the detection of engine misfires in their OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics II) regulations. For the last several years, automobile manufacturers and their suppliers have been working diligently on various solutions for the “Misfire Detection” challenge. Many have implemented a solution called “Crankshaft Velocity Fluctuation” (CVF), which utilizes the crank sensor input to calculate the variation of the crankshaft rotational speed. The theory is that any misfires will contribute to a deceleration of the crankshaft velocity due to the absence of pressure torque. This approach is marginal at best due to the fact that there could be many contributors to a crankshaft velocity deceleration under various operating conditions. To sort out which is a true misfire is a very difficult task.