Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
The purpose of this project is to develop an engine oil level monitoring system that will replace the current dipstick method during vehicle testing for Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, Inc. (MBRDNA). Currently, MBRDNA test drivers check the engine oil level twice a day after two eight hour shifts each day. To measure the oil level, the driver parks on a level surface, waits five minutes for the oil to cool, and then manually checks the oil level with the dipstick. The goal of this project is to have a reliable, physical, working prototype that MBRDNA can use for vehicle testing by spring. MBRDNA wants a prototype built by the end of this year that is capable of reading oil level without the need of a test driver to measure the oil. It is very easy for a driver to get distracted and forget to check the oil at precisely 5 minutes after the engine has been shut off. This leads to inconsistent results. Drivers are also susceptible to reading the dipstick incorrectly due to the small amount of increments on the end of the dip stick that must be read. Occasionally dipsticks will even break because they are not designed to with stand fatigue loading cycles that are seen during this testing. This leads to an expensive engine tear down to recover broken parts out of the crankcase. The prototype will consist of the following features: a SICK fiber optic cable connected to a SICK optic sensor, a clamp, a microcontroller, a digital display and a data acquisition. This project is being continued from the previous senior project group from 2011/2012 academic year.