The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of different choices of adaptation strengths on image quality and radiation exposure to the patient with Siemens automatic exposure control system called CARE Dose 4D. An anthropomorphic chest phantom was used to simulate the patient and computed tomography scans were performed with a Siemens SOMATOM Sensation 16 and 64. Owing to adaptation strengths, a considerable reduction (26.6-51.5 % and 27.5-49.5 % for Sensation 16 and Sensation 64, respectively) in the radiation dose was found when compared with using a fixed tube current. There was a substantial difference in the image quality (image noise) between the adaptation strengths. Independent of selected adaptation strengths, the level of image noise throughout the chest phantom increased when CARE Dose 4D was used (p < 0.0001). We conclude that the adaptation strengths can be used to obtain user-specified modifications to image quality or radiation exposure to the patient.