Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:08 am

Car monitor

Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:21 am


I would like to use my Pi in my car. I have an old Landrover that does not have any ECU's or such. I want to collect data from oil pressure and temp sensors, coolant temp and level sensors, battery voltage and as I use the car for off roading I thought it would be great to add an accelerometer to measure the pitch and roll.

This info will be displated on a small screen mounted in the car in the form of a GUI. I have included an image of the sort of thing I would like to achieve but much simpler and not purple! The trouble is I have no idea how to build the GUI or how to 'feed' it the data from the sensors. Any pointers in the right direction would be great!
Car_GUI_preview_by_upiir.jpg (58.53 KiB) Viewed 18966 times

User avatar
Posts: 876
Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Car monitor

Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:51 pm

There are many ways to do what you want, one way is bare metal (no OS).
It will boot in seconds and you can just switch it off.
I maybe able to help you with the code if you decide to go that route.
In this video you will see how someone gets RPM from a engine using basic parts and the raspberry pi. ... r_embedded

Its near the end.
Batteries not included, Some assembly required.

Landy Mann
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: Car monitor

Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:22 pm


Not sure how much help I can be but I understand what your after! I've got a 200tdi 110 CSW. Sensor wise I would have thought people will have covered on other projects although I can't think of any ideas off the top of my head. The interface would be another issue but I think there were some linux based interfaces when I was looking at car PC's a while ago.

Thats my evening planned now!

Hopefully I'll be more helpful later!

Landy Mann
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: Car monitor

Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:33 pm

If only old Land Rovers had OBD2... A couple of DAC's should do the job for those bits where analogue sensors are currently installed, on mine that's just temperature, voltage,fuel level and perhaps oil pressure, I'm not sure how the oil pressure light works but to some extent it will provide a usable signal, or at least for on and off. Speed would be easiest to use a GPS module.


Posts: 274
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:34 pm

Re: Car monitor

Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:24 am

Very interesting project, I've always wondered were exactly they hide all the sensors and how they interact (the tire pressure being one of the biggies).

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:11 pm
Location: Cascadia

Re: Car monitor

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:52 pm

Curious to see how this project is progressing, ShaunC. Looking to do the same for my old Land Rover. Instruments not too reliable :)

Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:28 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, MI - USA

Re: Car monitor

Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:42 am

I am doing something very similar, only on a 1970 Eldorado. So I also have to add the sensors.

My current approach is to use an Arduino Uno to gather the analog sensor data. The reason for that is that the Arduino has an A/D converter. And I can have it convert the digital values into degrees, psi, etc. and send them to the Pi.

I'm going to run a LAMP web server on the Pi and display my gauges as a web page.

Eventually, I want to also be able to connect wirelessly (or by USB) to my iPhone to play Pandora and such. And I plan on storing music on an external drive.

I have a lot of work to do. Lol

You'll need to find out what each of your sensors does. For example, the oil pressure sender I ended up with changes it's resistance value over a range of 0 - 180 Ohms. Different values correspond to different psi. I need to use a voltage divider and measure the voltage. The temperature sender I got actually takes a 5V reference voltage and returns a voltage between 0 - 5V. So I have to convert that into degrees.

I had a hard time finding detailed specs for sensors. For example, I still don't know what voltage equates to what temperature. So I'm going to have to take measurements and figure it out.

Good luck! Curious to hear how it turns out.


Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:46 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO USA

Re: Car monitor

Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:52 pm

JoeDaStudd wrote:Very interesting project, I've always wondered were exactly they hide all the sensors and how they interact (the tire pressure being one of the biggies).
There are wireless sensors mounted in the valve stems.

Short-range wireless tranceivers read the pressure data and feed it to the Body/Chassis Control Module (tire pressure is not an OBD function). That, in turn, lights up the one light on the dash, if there is a problem.
I'm only wearing black until they find something darker.

monkey Wrench
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:57 pm

Re: Car monitor

Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:11 am

I am neither a programmer or a mechanic,
I am currently down to th frame on a 1950 Willy's jeep. my goal is to use O² sensors mass flow meters at the intake and exhaust. also tire pressure,engine temp,intake temp,and exhaust. plan on using stock Ford,Toyota or Chevy sensors.

I want to measure barometric pressure (Altitude), tempature and relative humidity.

once I have charted and tested this data I will attach servos to my carburetor adjustments and an actuator to my distributor to optimise power and economy.

now I just need to start.
I will start my own thread and post as much as I can.

please please give me your thoughts , ideas and even criticism.

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:55 pm

Re: Car monitor

Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:01 pm

I had a similar idea about using a webserver to show sensor information.
Have you made any progress on your idea?


Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:26 pm

Re: Car monitor

Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:42 pm

Hi Guys,

Im new to this forum but I came across this topic.
For a few year I have this idea to create something like a webbased page where I would use a raspberry for and read the following values;
- oil temp
- water temp
- air intake temp
- exhaust temp
- turbo pressure
- oil pressure

We are active off roaders and building our own car.
It's all based on a 1986 Mitsubishi Pajero with 2.3 diesel engine. Back then Mitsubishi didn't fit an OBD so I'm looking for other options.

Anyone experienced by creating some sort of code an page maybe?

I have a bit coding experience but don't know that much.

Thanks for any replys.

Kr, Steven

Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:30 am

Re: Car monitor

Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:34 am


Land Rover Discovery1 owner have the same intrest!
Any progress?
I have a Panasonic Toughbook cf-19 with topo maps and would like too collect data from the rest of car.

Return to “Automation, sensing and robotics”