What is Fuel Trim?

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Fuel Trim:

Fuel trims are what engine control systems use to complete all problems regarding air-fuel ratios (known as λ or lambda,) and combustion.

The Electronic Control Module (ECM) or Powertrain Control Module (PCM) uses some sensors to work out what quantity of air is flowing into the engine. It then uses the airflow data, together with a target air-fuel ratio (λ or lambda) to calculate what quantity fuel it should inject. The ECM or PCM then uses oxygen sensor readings to search out what the particular air-fuel ratio was, and ‘trims’ the fuel quantities supported this ‘real’ air-fuel ratio.

If the PCM/ECM detects that the calculated quantity of fuel needed is simply too much or deficient (with the oxygen sensor), the PCM/ECM will add or subtract fuel to ‘trim’ the amount of fuel and optimize the combustion. The difference between the calculated and the actual quantity of fuel being delivered to the cylinders is what’s called “fuel trim”. Fuel trim is reported in two different forms: long-term fuel trim (LTFT) and short-term fuel trim (STFT).

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