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International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology (IJMET)

Volume 10, Issue 03, March2019, pp. 1351–1359, Article ID: IJMET_10_03_136
Available online at http://www.iaeme.com/ijmet/issues.asp?JType=IJMET&VType=10&IType=3
ISSN Print: 0976-6340 and ISSN Online: 0976-6359

© IAEME Publication Scopus Indexed


Sayel M. Fayyad, Abdel Salam Alsabagh, Fadi Alfaqs,
Nehad A. Darweesh and Ahmad S. Awad
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering Technology, Al-Balqa Applied University
Amman – Jordan

This paper studies the effect of the change in air-fuel ratio on the engine and
automobiles vibrations. Principle of vibration analysis is used to determine the system
behavior. Air-fuel ratio is studied, as an input parameter, for stoichiometric, rich and
lean fuels. Such changes in air-fuel ratios makes the engine and so the automobile to
vibrate significantly. A benzene automobile with1800 CC - 4 cylinders engine is tested
and an accurate vibrometer is used to sense such vibrations. It is found that there is an
effect for the air-fuel mixture on the vibration of the engine and on the car as a whole. Rich
mixtures have the highest frequencies at most record time. It is theoretically expected due
to the high energy released by the combustion in which all of the oxygen is consumed.
Key words: Air-Fuel Ratio, Vibrations, Rich Mixture, Lean Mixture, engine,
Automobile. Stoichiometric.
Cite this Article: Sayel M. Fayyad, Abdel Salam Alsabagh, Fadi Alfaqs, Nehad A.
Darweesh and Ahmad S. Awad, The Effects of Air-Fuel Ratio on Automobiles
Vibrations, International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology 10(3),
2019, pp. 1351–1359.

Automobiles bad vibrations cause many difficulties to drivers and passengers comfort. The
automotive manufacturers are trying to adapt more from the directives of the competition on
the market. To meet these requirements the best, they need to find the best compromise between
the price, the operational safety, the fuel consumption, the emission limits and the performance.
The performance can be influenced by the air-fuel equivalence ratio which can be resulted in
the examination of the pollutant emission or the validation of mathematical models. Several
references describe this kind of research works based on ICEs [1]-[3]. Besides of the air-fuel
ratio, the engine characteristics and operation can be influenced with various types of fuel as
well [4]. Nowadays, because of the environmental awareness, experimentally friendly fuels are
used also. In [5] an experimental study can be seen on a direct injection diesel engine operated
with Kapok methyl. An internal-combustion engine has several physical values which can be
measured and the results characterize the state of the engine. Vibration analysis is applied

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The Effects of Air-Fuel Ratio on Automobiles Vibrations

frequently as the basis of expert systems. Some of these systems are used for condition
monitoring and fault diagnosis [6]-[8]. A very interesting research can be seen in reference [9]
where the combination of the vibration and acoustic emission was applied. Frequency-based
analysis is often used in the vibration diagnostics of ICEs. Lin et. al [10] represents a vibration
diagnostic technique based on the correlation of discrete spectrum. In reference [11] the
combination of the time and frequency domain analysis can be seen. It can be concluded from
the literature that the vibration analysis of the ICEs is quite common and the research trends are
very diverse over and above the relation between the vibration and the air-fuel ratio is not a
frequently discussed topic. However, the applied diagnostic methods are becoming more
complex and the simple ones being forgotten or will be not applied anywhere. This study will
go back to the basic vibration diagnostic methods which made us also possible to determine
correlation between the numerical results of vibration and the actual Air-Fuel equivalence ratio.
The sources of noise, vibration and harshness in a vehicle can be classified as:
 Aerodynamic (e.g. wind, cooling fans of HVAC)
 Mechanical (e.g. engine, driveline, tire contact patch and road surface, brakes)
 Electrical (e.g. electromagnetically-excited acoustic noise and vibration coming from electrical
actuators, alternator or traction motor in electrical cars). Table 1 shows some sources of noise
in cars with its percentages [12]-[13].

Table 1: the percentage contribution of parts of automobile in total automobiles’ noise

Vibrations in engine are generated due to the reciprocating mechanism used for converting
the energy into rotary motion. The forces producing the engine vibrations are: Combustion,
Engine geometry, Air/Fuel equivalence ratio, Type of fuel, Reciprocating and Rotational
Forces. Engine noise is caused by various types of force generation within the engine and is
transmitted to the radiating outer surfaces. The transmission path properties are determined by
the vibration modes of the structure. The properties of the outer surface will also influence the
sound radiation. Number of ways in which the final sound radiation may be influenced:

1) Reduction at the source of combustion forces and mechanical forces.

2) Reduction of the vibration transmission between the sources and the outer surface.

3) Reduction of the sound radiation of the outer surface.


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Sayel M. Fayyad, Abdel Salam Alsabagh, Fadi Alfaqs, Nehad A. Darweesh and Ahmad S. Awad

The main device and parts of the experiment is GM-63A type vibration meter manufactured by
BENETECH. This product adopts piezoelectric effect of artificial polarized ceramic for design.
It is suitable for monitoring all kinds of vibrating mechanical facility, specially the vibration
measurement of rotating and reciprocating machinery. The unit can measure acceleration,
velocity and displacement, which is widely, used in mechanical manufacture, electric power
metallurgy and general aviation etc. Figure 1 shows the device used in the study and some of
its components.


The following apparatuses are used here to collect data.
a. Measurement with short (S) probe tip: this probe tip is factory default installment, adapts in
wide scope vibration measurement, and obtains good response value, as shown in Figure 1.
b. Measurement with long (L) probe tip: this probe tip is packed inside the carry box, mainly
adapts in narrow objects field, the unit will response quickly, as shown in Figure 1 below.
c. Measurement without probe tip: adapts in smooth object surface measurement to get stable
value, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 1: Vibrometer and its probe types used in different situations to obtain the best response

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The Effects of Air-Fuel Ratio on Automobiles Vibrations

Figure 2: Data taken by scan tools

-Another device used to integrate this study that is G-SCAN 2 diagnostic scan tool powered by
GIT (Global Information Technology Co., Ltd). This device is used to give accurate
measurements of engine speed, fuel amount and injectors pulses, air amount in the intake
manifold, and every sensor feedback signal, etc. It is also used to control the mixture richness
value by making the engine run on a rich, lean or Stoichiometric mixture. This device has a
multi-task functions, two of them were used in the experiment a. Data Analysis mode: this mode
allows the user to be updated on every changing on the vehicle's sensors signals feedback such
as Engine speed and Engine temperature…etc, and also provides information about actuators
performance and pulses such as Coil charging time and Injection time… etc. b. Resetting of
mixture adaptation mode: this mode allows the user to control the Air Fuel mixture richness
either Rich, Lean or Stoichiometric, by changing the injection time and pulses per second. The
experiment will investigate the effect of Air-Fuel ratio at the vehicle's vibrations. The
experiment will investigate the following performance of: Shock absorbers, Engine dampers
and Engine Mounts. The experiment is divided into three sessions with the same procedure, but
with a different Air-Fuel mixture Richness.
In this study a Mercedes-Benz E-Class model 2005 car is used, with 1.8 Liters, 4-cylinder,
super charged, gasoline injected Engine, Automatic transmission, and proceeded as follows:

-Make sure that the Engine is switched OFF, and remove the Engine cover.

- Adjust the suitable probe (type L) to the vibration meter.

-The vibration meter was attached directly to the engine as in the following Figure 3.

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Sayel M. Fayyad, Abdel Salam Alsabagh, Fadi Alfaqs, Nehad A. Darweesh and Ahmad S. Awad

Figure 3 Data captured by scan tools

Figure 4 Vibration meter attached directly to the engine

-Connect G-scan 2 to the Vehicle's ECU using OBD II wired connection.
-Switch on the Engine and make sure that the devices are working probably.
-Run the Engine on Stoichiometric Air-Fuel mixture using G-scan 2 at Idling (in our experiment
it is 750 RPM), and measure the acceleration and displacement.
-Apply load on the Engine (by moving the gear stick to Drive mode), and measure the
acceleration and displacement. (650 RPM)
- Fix the Engine speed at (2000, 2500, 3000 RPM) and measure the acceleration and
-Change the running mixture to lean and rich and then repeat the procedure to measure the
acceleration and displacement.


The measurements were carried out on variety of Engine speeds and recorded in the following
table, so as a consequence the frequency components of the signal should have changed only a
little. Table 2 shows the change of the acceleration, displacement and the calculated frequency
with respect to the change of the Air-Fuel mixture Richness and the Engine speed.

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The Effects of Air-Fuel Ratio on Automobiles Vibrations

Table 2: The change of the acceleration, displacement and the calculated frequency with respect to the
change of the Air-Fuel mixture richness and the engine speed.

The Stoichiometric mixture has the same frequency as the lean mixture at low Engine
speeds, and then the difference starts to appear at higher Engine speeds, that’s because the
Stoichiometric and the lean mixtures nearly uses the same amount of Oxygen and it's just that
the fuel amount isn't the same. At higher speeds the Stoichiometric mixture gives higher
frequencies as the large load needs a large power produced by the Engine which the lean
mixture can't do it efficiently. As a result for the experiment we can assume that the lower the
equivalence ratio (λ), and the higher the Richness of mixture, give a higher frequency and
vibrations. The trend of acceleration and frequency is the same (direct linear proportion) with
the Engine speed, while the displacement has an opposite trend, as shown in Figure 5 to 8.

Figure 5 Vibrations amplitude and acceleration as a function with engine speed at Stoichiometric mixture

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Sayel M. Fayyad, Abdel Salam Alsabagh, Fadi Alfaqs, Nehad A. Darweesh and Ahmad S. Awad

Figure 6 Vibrations amplitude and acceleration as a function with engine speed at Lean mixture

Figure 7 Vibrations amplitude and acceleration as a function with engine speed at Rich mixture

Figure 8 Engine frequency at variable RPM and mixture type (all frequency values/10)

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The Effects of Air-Fuel Ratio on Automobiles Vibrations

It can be noticed that at low engine RPM values the rich mixture the engine has more
frequency values than that of Stoichiometric and lean mixtures and this is continued to the 2000
RPM then the values of frequencies are of equal values till 2500 RPM then the values of
frequencies return to be scattered the rich mixture has more values of frequencies (18 Hz), and
12.8 Hz for lean mixture while it is about 15.3 for Stoichiometric.

The experimental results showed that with the increase of the air-fuel equivalence ratio of a gas
engine operating at a constant speed, the amplitudes of the measured signals and spectrum
decreased as well as their RMS values – the power content. This means that numerical results
of the basis vibration diagnostic methods are able to show correlations and trends between the
air fuel ratio and the vibration of a gasoline engine. Based on this observation it can be
concluded that the high frequency vibrations caused by the combustion may be detectable with
proper algorithms related with the amount of oxygen used in the combustion.

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Sayel M. Fayyad, Abdel Salam Alsabagh, Fadi Alfaqs, Nehad A. Darweesh and Ahmad S. Awad

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