4 Common Signs to Look Out for in a Failing Engine Control Unit

The engine control unit (ECU), also known as the engine control module (ECM) is among the most important components found on all modern vehicles. The ECU functions as the main computer for many of the vehicle’s engine performance and drivability purposes.

As a vital part of the car, The ECU takes data from the engine’s various sensors. This information is used to calculate, tune the engine spark and fuel the maximum efficiency and power required. When the ECM fails, it causes all sort of problems for the vehicle.

In some cases, the vehicle is not able to move from point A to B. A failing ECU will always give some signs that can alert the driver of a potential issue that needs to be checked. These signs include:

Check engine light comes on

An engine light is one possible symptom of a problem with the ECU. The check engine light always goes on when the computer notices a problem with any of its circuits and sensors. The ECU is not always perfect. There are instances that the check engine light will come up mistakenly or when there is no present issue. In such a case of a mistaken check engine light, the computer should be checked for trouble codes that can help reveal if the issue is with the ECU or any other part of the vehicle.

Engine stalling or misfiring

A faulty ECU can cause the vehicle to intermittently have issues like stalling, misfires, etc. These symptoms can easily come and go and may not appear to have any underlying problem. Even though they may not have any pattern of frequency, it would be wise to take note and check on the ECU as early as possible.

Engine performance issues

A faulty ECU has issues that throw off the timing and fuel settings that negatively affect the performance of the car. Such issues may cause the car to experience a reduction in fuel efficiency, acceleration and power.

Car not starting

A failing ECU is characterized by a car that fails to start or is very difficult to start. In cases where the ECU completely fails to start, it leaves the vehicle without engine management control and as a result, it will not run at all. Though the engine may still crank, it will not be able to start or run without the vital inputs from this critical part. This can be caused by a wide range of other issues. Therefore, it is best to get a complete diagnosis by a professional technician who can accurately determine the cause.

The ECM plays such a vital role in the performance of the engine. Therefore, any problems with it can cause key problems with the total functionality of the entire car. As noted, modern vehicles are quite complicated and sophisticated at the same time, making it difficult to diagnose the problems.

It is wise to see a professional technician as early as possible to have your ECU checked and replaced if necessary.

Silvia Watson is a freelance content writer. She has written many good and informative articles on different categories such as health, fashion, travel etc. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry and currently associated as a blogger https://carcomputerexchange.com

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