Patents Examined by George Dombroske
  • Patent number: 6698280
    Abstract: A failure test apparatus for a fuel-vapor purging system for adsorbing fuel vapor in a fuel tank into a canister and for purging fuel to an intake system of an internal combustion engine as needed. The purging system has at least one valve. A first test unit provides a differential pressure between the inside and the outside of the fuel-vapor purging system, measures the internal pressure with the fuel-vapor purging system in an airtight condition, and determines whether a leak exists in the fuel-vapor purging system from the behavior of the internal pressure. The test by the first test unit involves a differential-pressure forming process of creating a differential pressure between the inside and the outside of the fuel-vapor purging system, a sealing process of making the fuel-vapor purging system airtight when the differential pressure exists, and a differential-pressure releasing process for releasing the differential pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2004
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Noriyuki Iden, Tokiji Ito, Yuichi Kohara, Shuichi Hanai, Shin Adachi
  • Patent number: 6450018
    Abstract: The major part of the hazardous material quantities emitted by motor vehicles having an exhaust gas catalytic converter accrues in the start-up phases in which the catalytic converter is not yet at the operating temperature. The catalytic converter first begins to operate after it is heated up to the light-off temperature. The heat-up times must be kept as short as possible. With aging of the catalytic converter, the light-off temperature gradually increases, and thus, the heat-up time as well as the emitted hazardous material quantity also increases. In order to monitor the catalytic converter and thus the major part of the hazardous material emission, the light-off temperature must be repeatedly measured. Since this temperature cannot be read out clearly from the temperature-time curve of the catalytic converter after the start-up of the motor, the signal of a sensor for oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, or combustible materials in the exhaust gas is additionally observed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: Herneus Electro-Nite International N.V.
    Inventor: Hans-Heinrich Möbius
  • Patent number: 6439040
    Abstract: This description refers to a device for analyzing the most important environmentally relevant substances, such as CO, HC and NO, that are present in vehicle exhaust emissions. It is based on the principle of IR gas absorption. This involves producing measuring signals and a reference signal in a measured optical length (stainless steel tube), with the aid of an infrared source and detector. The production of a ratio then gives a reading and a warning signal is produced whenever a certain limit value is exceeded. The OBM system is made up of modular components, such as a sampling device, exhaust gas processing unit, analyzing device and evaluation unit, which are built into the vehicle. The fluctuating conditions present in the vehicle are compensated for by robust construction and correction of temperature drift by means of production of the first derivation and readjustment of signal strength using an electronically regulated amplification control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Wissenschaftliche Wekstatt fur Umweltmesstechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Stefan Garms, Michael Palocz-Andresen, Stefan Schroll
  • Patent number: 6363771
    Abstract: An emissions diagnostic system is used with a compression ignition engine having an exhaust gas stream directed into an SCR catalyst capable of reducing NOx in the exhaust gas stream. The system comprises a tank for storing a solution of urea, a pump in fluid communication with the tank for drawing the solution of urea from the tank, a valve in fluid communication with the pump and the exhaust gas stream for receiving the solution of urea from the pump, an air pump connected to the valve for providing air into the valve for mixing with the solution of urea, the valve for spraying the solution of urea into the exhaust gas stream, a sensor for sensing the level of NOx emissions emitted by the SCR catalyst, and a control module connected to the sensor for determining whether the level of NOx emissions is at an acceptable level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Cho Y. Liang, Steven R. McCoy
  • Patent number: 6360580
    Abstract: In known devices for testing vehicle shock absorbers, the tires, which have a dampening effect, are not taken into account, so that the measurement results may be falsified by up to about 30%, depending on the tire pressure. In addition, when the wheels are mounted on the vehicle, no shock absorber characteristic curve may be measured, only individual values. In the disclosed device, the actuating variable “tire” is eliminated by a regulation process that consists in normalizing the resonance amplitude, a considerably more accurate measurement being thus obtained. In addition, the spring constant of the wheel suspension is determined before actually testing the shock absorbers, allowing defective springs to be detected. Finally, car body oscillations may also be determined, causing an additional precision gain. For the first time it becomes possible to determine a shock absorber characteristic curve without having to dismount the shock absorbers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Inventor: Roland Müller
  • Patent number: 6357291
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for measuring brake bias in a brake system on a vehicle includes a brake bias measuring pad, such that the brake bias measuring pad is operatively positioned within a brake caliper in the brake system. The apparatus also includes a load measuring mechanism disposed within the brake bias measuring pad, such that the load measuring mechanism measures a load applied by a brake caliper piston on the brake bias measuring pad. The method includes the steps of measuring a load applied by a brake caliper piston on a brake bias measuring pad operatively positioned within a brake caliper in a brake assembly of the brake system. The method also includes the steps of determining a brake caliper pressure based on the load applied by a brake caliper piston on the brake bias measuring pad and determining a load in the brake caliper based on the caliper pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Blair Matthew Jenness, John Stephen Probst
  • Patent number: 6357288
    Abstract: A system for diagnosing evaporation control system failures repeatedly introduces pressure, positive or negative, into the evaporation control system and closes up it hermetically, a plurality of times (for example two times), and detects changes in internal pressure in the evaporation control system. An average value of the internal pressure changes is compared to a threshold value so as to judge whether there is leakage of fuel vapors of the evaporation control system. When a difference between the internal pressure change is greater than a specified value, the evaporation control system failure diagnosis is interrupted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: Mazda Motor Corporation
    Inventors: Shingo Shigihama, Katsuhiko Sakamoto, Yuji Ota, Tetsushi Hosokai
  • Patent number: 6354134
    Abstract: A solid electrolytic body has an inside space serving as a reference gas chamber. A sensing electrode and a reference electrode are formed on the surface of the solid electrolytic body. A heater is disposed in the reference gas chamber. A contact portion comprises a region where the heater is brought into contact with the inner surface of the solid electrolytic body and an opposing region on the outer surface of the solid electrolytic body. The sensing electrode includes at least part of the contact portion. A gas receiving surface region, exposed to the measuring gas, extends from an element tip to a position spaced by a distance L away from the element tip. At least part of the contact portion is located in a region extending from the element tip to a position spaced by a distance 0.4L away from the element tip. The sensing electrode is entirely located in a region extending from the element tip to a position spaced by a distance 0.8L away from the element tip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Tooru Katafuchi, Kiyomi Kobayashi, Namitsugu Fujii, Hiromi Sano
  • Patent number: 6349592
    Abstract: An intake air quantity calculating apparatus for an internal combustion engine equipped with a variable valve timing control mechanism is provided. By the apparatus, an intake pipe pressure is detected or estimated. An intake air pulsation rate is determined on the basis of the detected or estimated intake pipe pressure and engine speed. An air flow error correction term basic value is determined on the basis of a throttle valve opening degree and engine speed. The air flow error correction term basic value is corrected on the basis of the intake air pulsation rate, whereby to determine an air flow error correction term for correcting an error in detection of an intake air quantity by an air flow meter. By the air flow error correction term, an intake air quantity detected by an air flow meter is corrected, whereby it becomes possible to improve the accuracy in calculation of the intake air quantity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Assignee: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takahiko Hirasawa, Yoshiaki Yoshioka, Hatsuo Nagaishi
  • Patent number: 6343500
    Abstract: A failure of a detecting circuit such as an ion current detecting circuit for detecting a combustion condition of an engine can be diagnosed at a stage for detecting a combustion condition by a combustion condition detecting apparatus equipped with a malfunction diagnosing apparatus. The engine combustion condition detecting apparatus equipped with the malfunction diagnosing apparatus is arranged by a sensing circuit for sensing an ion current flowing through a combustion chamber, a misfire judging means for judging misfire occurred in the engine in response to the detection signal derived from the sensing circuit, and a malfunction judging means for judging malfunction of the sensing circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2002
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kozo Katogi, Toshio Ishii, Yutaka Takaku
  • Patent number: 6343505
    Abstract: A leak detection monitor (22; 222) for an on-board evaporative emission leak detection system that detects leakage from an evaporative emission space of a fuel system of an automotive vehicle. One embodiment (22) utilizes engine intake system vacuum to vent the evaporative emission space to atmosphere when the engine is running; another (222), an electromagnet actuator (270, 280). Venting ceases when the engine is shut off. Changes in vapor pressure in the evaporative emission space are monitored over time by electric devices (74; 282) after the engine has been shut off to distinguish between a gross leak, a small leak smaller than a gross leak, and a leak that is at most smaller than a small leak.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2002
    Assignee: Siemens Canada Limited
    Inventors: John E. Cook, Paul D. Perry
  • Patent number: 6336352
    Abstract: A process for cleaning exhaust gas flow from an internal combustion engine using a catalyst, a lambda probe is disposed in the exhaust gas flow upstream from the catalyst and is connected to a controller that actuates the lambda probe, the controller receives a raw signal output from the lambda probe and forms a measurement signal that is supplied to control the internal combustion engine. The process includes regulating operation of the internal combustion engine such that a predetermined value of the lambda probe corresponds to a certain level of the measurement signal. Trimming the certain level of the measurement signal by a set value determined with an additional measuring pickup located downstream of the catalyst is performed, the trimming corrects the certain level of the measurement signal that corresponds to the predetermined value of the lambda probe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2002
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Hong Zhang, Gerd Roesel
  • Patent number: 6327900
    Abstract: A method for advising a motor vehicle operator of the need to change the lubricating oil in a direct or an indirect injection diesel engine. The rate of degradation of the engine oil is determined from monitoring engine revolutions, engine oil temperature and engine oil contamination content. At the start of service after an oil change has occurred, a value corresponding to the maximum allowed number of engine revolutions for the useful life of the oil is stored in the memory of the vehicle's computer. Periodically during each period of vehicle operation, an effective engine revolutions value is determined in relation to the product of measured engine revolutions, an engine oil temperature dependent penalty factor and an oil contaminant content dependent penalty factor. The penalty factors increase the effective engine revolutions value to compensate for engine operating conditions that tend to cause increased degradation of the engine oil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: John E. Mc Donald, Ellen Shirley Schwartz, Nshan Hamparian, Michael Jacek, Joseph M. Stempnik, Scott John Fletcher
  • Patent number: 6324893
    Abstract: An adsorbent diagnostic apparatus for an emission control apparatus is able to precisely determine whether an adsorbent for adsorbing unburned gas components has a fault or a deterioration. The diagnostic apparatus has an air-fuel ratio detector that is provided in a portion of the exhaust passage downstream of the adsorbent, and a controller that controls the amount of the previously adsorbed unburned gas component released from the adsorbent to the air-fuel ratio detector. Tic controller determines whether the adsorbent has a fault or a deterioration, based on a detection value of the air-fuel ratio detected by the air-fuel ratio detector, when the amount of the unburned gas component released from the adsorbent remains stable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takashi Watanabe, Koichi Hoshi
  • Patent number: 6318160
    Abstract: A diagnostic technique for testing a power plant system of a locomotive, desirably during routine scheduled maintenance, involves operating the power plant system in a thermally steady state. This is accomplished by operating an engine of the locomotive at a predetermined throttle position, operating radiator fans of a radiator operably connected to the engine at a predetermined speed, operating an alternator operably connected to the engine to apply a substantially constant load to the engine, and obtaining at least one measurement of the power plant system. The technique is readily implemented by a computing environment such as the locomotive's elaborate computer system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Warren Frank Bessler
  • Patent number: 6314803
    Abstract: A method for surveying the operating conditions of an internal combustion engine with spark ignition, wherein in one and the same engine cycle a plurality of primary charging cycle are generated which produce corresponding secondary discharge cycles. The pressure pattern in the combustion chamber is determined, in each period of time, as the product of the maximum intensity of the induced primary voltage (V1i) by the respective duration (ti).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignees: Magneti Marelli SpA, Federal-Mogul Ignition SpA
    Inventors: Michele Pennese, Daniele Rossi
  • Patent number: 6314802
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and system for detecting engine misfire with an optimal compensation of the RPM signal in an internal combustion engine in which the data signal containing a plurality of groups of sample data points is generated. Each of the groups of sample data points represents a cylinder firing event. The data signal is then conditioned for misfire detection processing. The data engine cycle compensation vectors for the RPM zone is then multiplied to the sample data of the RPM. Each group of sample data points is processed using signal processing techniques and then mapped into a single mapped data point. The mapped data points are further processed and then compared to a misfire detection dynamic threshold. A misfire detection signal is then output if any of the mapped data points fall outside the dynamic threshold. The misfire detection system achieves high degree of accuracy through a signal processing and statistical detection technology.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler Corporation
    Inventors: Zhijian James Wu, Anson Lee
  • Patent number: 6272914
    Abstract: Device for indicating wear of the pads of friction material in so-called floating calipers used in the disc brakes of vehicle wheels and generally comprising a caliper body (13) which is mounted so that it can slide axially by means of at least one hole (12) on at least one guide pin (10, 11), one end of which is rigidly connected, directly or indirectly, to the wheel stub axle, the axis of the guide pin and of the corresponding hole in the caliper body being perpendicular to the plane of the brake disc (18), a pair of pads (19, 20) positioned so that they straddle the disc (18), and a hydraulic piston (26) which acts directly on one (19) of the said pads and indirectly on the other pad (20), via the said caliper body (13). The device includes a linear electrical displacement transducer (34, 35) positioned between a point (32) integral with the said guide pin (10, 11) and a point (38) integral with the said caliper body (13) which slides with respect to the guide pin (10, 11).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Freni Brembo, S.p.A.
    Inventor: Alessandro Ciotti
  • Patent number: 6260412
    Abstract: A universal Noid light for testing the output control voltage of an electronic fuel injector system includes a body with a lead wire wound on the body, a resistance light bulb maintained within the body and pins mounted on adjustable pin mounting arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2001
    Assignee: Lisle Corporation
    Inventors: James L. Pool, Gerard R. Plendl
  • Patent number: 6253602
    Abstract: A method for correction of the G sensor output of a vehicle. The method is for a vehicle equipped with a G sensor, a wheel speed sensor to detect the rotational speed of a wheel of the vehicle, and an electronic control device conducting computations from the signals received from the G sensor and the wheel speed sensor. The method includes steps of determining the acceleration/deceleration at every predetermined time and the G sensor output value, determining the G sensor zero point from the G sensor output value, and determining the current G sensor zero point based on the G sensor zero point which is determined before the predetermined time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2001
    Assignee: Nisshinbo Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Kazuma Uchida