What Does A Laptop In A Car Mean? [How it Works]

Nowadays, most modern cars have been manufactured with an installed computer.

This feature will allow your vehicle to monitor engine emissions through different sensors such as oxygen, pressure, and temperature. 

But is this computer the same as the laptop in a car? Well, there are various interpretations of what this phrase means. 

For most car experts, a laptop in cars means changing your car’s tune by connecting it to the ECU.

A laptop allows you to turn your car’s power up.

So, once plugged into the device, you can see an evident tuning increase in your car. 

An Automatica Web article has also attested to this laptop’s role, saying that like the device, cars’ ECM have software applications.

This application has various settings and criteria which let car owners modify driving efficiency and limitations through a computer.

Know more about modern cars and tuning up by reading the information below.  

Do You Need A Car Tune-Up?

YouTube video

Many car owners are still confused if their cars do need a tune-up, especially in modern times like now.

Scotty Kilmer, an American auto YouTuber, busted some of the car tuning-up myths that people believe. 

First, how does tune-up affect your car, or what is it? Tuning up is a maintenance procedure that mechanics do to your engine.

It adjusts almost all your car’s systems to improve the combustion process. 

Tuning up was the basic practice during the 60s, Kilmer said in his video. He stated that people indeed spent maintaining their engine and overall systems before.

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This claim makes sense as cars back then were not yet fuel-injected; instead, they had mechanical carburetors.

And this part needs a lot of cleaning and adjustments as it gets really dirty and gunked up. 

Other adjustments in old cars were the electric choke, idle speed, and air ratio.

The ignition system also worked with distributors that needed to be replaced every fifteen miles, which is an extensive process. 

However, you don’t need to do as much maintenance as before with newer car models. They already have sealed fuel injection systems that perfectly deliver fuel to the engine. 

Modern cars also distanced themselves from distributors, and rather, they used plug coils on ignition systems.

Spark plug wire sets are also removed, but spark plugs are still an essential engine part. 

Kilmer believed that you have nothing else to do with all these upgrades if your system is perfectly working.

But you must still check your car regularly for air filters, engine oil, fan belt, and radiator. 

As for tuning up your engine, it doesn’t exist as much as before. Some maintenance can be done using computers or laptops. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where did the “car with a laptop” or “laptop in a car” come from? 

As per a forum discussion among car owners, this phrase can be traced back to a manufacturer or a movie.

Years ago, Honda used this phrase for marketing to launch that tuning up your car while using a laptop. 

Meanwhile, in the Born 2 Race scene, two guys used a laptop to tune in the race car. In fact, it helped them beat other opponents.

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Aside from tuning, what can a laptop do in a car? 

An article from BBC revealed that hackers also have a way to get through standard cars by just using a laptop.

Security experts in the US have demonstrated this trick by driving two car models using a laptop.

Also, it is made possible by connecting cable devices to the car’s ECUs via an onboard diagnostics port. 

Can I tune up my car alone? 

You can do it yourself by doing simple maintenance like changing spark plugs, condensers, or points.

However, if it’s complicated and you’re not knowledgeable about engines or cars, you should consult with experts. 

Consulting will spare you further hassle and expenses if you miss something in the tuning-up process.

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