How to Replace the Electronic Spark Control Module

The electronic spark control module (ESC) is one of many components in your ignition system. Working alongside your distributor and ignition control module, the electronic spark control module varies ignition depending on many things like engine load. It signals the distributor to advance or retard timing. Symptoms of a bad electronic spark control module include the Check Engine Light being on and the engine not starting. Once you have diagnosed that the electronic spark control module is failing, replacement is easy.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing the ESC module

Materials Needed

esc module location

Step 1: Locate the ESC module. Typically located on the firewall, the ESC module may be located any number of places in the engine bay depending on application.

battery cable being removed

Step 2: Disconnect the battery. Whenever working on your vehicle’s electrical or electronic systems, it’s a good idea to disconnect the battery.

Always remove the negative battery cable and make sure it is not making contact with any metallic part of the engine or chassis.

Step 3: Remove the ESC module. Unplug the ESC electrical connector and be careful as the constant heat cycling from age and mileage causes the plastic connector to become brittle and break easily.

Select the appropriate driver to remove the ESC module mounting screws.

Step 4: Reinstall the ESC module. Install the new ESC module and carefully plug the connector back in.

Step 5: Reconnect the battery. Once the ESC module and connector are properly secured, reconnect the battery and start the vehicle to verify your repair.

  • Note: If your ESC set a fault code and illuminated your Check Engine Light, some vehicles will clear the code simply by the battery being disconnected. Other vehicles may require you to use a scan tool to clear the fault code. If you do not have one available, your local service facility or auto parts store may be able to do so for you.

This job is a relatively straightforward one, but if you don’t feel confident completing this repair yourself, have one of YourMechanic’s certified technicians come to your home or place of business and perform an electronic spark control replacement for you.

Next Step

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13 years of experience
511 reviews
13 years of experience
Pontiac Grand Prix V6-3.8L - Electronic Spark Control - Concord, North Carolina
Once again, Corey did his thing! Thank you so much! If I need any help again I’ll definitely be requesting for Corey.
Honda CR-V - Rear Windshield Wiper Blade - Fort Mill, South Carolina
Very knowledgeable. Answered all my questions and explained what he did. Highly recommended.


40 years of experience
1080 reviews
40 years of experience
Nissan Rogue L4-2.5L - Brake System Flush - Cumming, Georgia
Very courteous, was early for the appointment, and gave me an honest assessment of the condition of my vehicle
GMC Savana 3500 - Oxygen Sensor Replacement (Front/Upper/Upstream) - Lawrenceville, Georgia
Dan was very professional and thorough in explaining problem with my vehicle.


18 years of experience
226 reviews
18 years of experience
Acura MDX V6-3.7L - Shock Absorber Replacement (Rear) - Short Hills, New Jersey
Great experience with Tomas. He is a thorough professional and a delight to interact with. He explained each part of the process in detail.
Nissan Rogue - Car is hard to shift - Newark, New Jersey
Tomas was knowledgeable and explained To me what is wrong with my car. He explained how cvt transmissions worked and all the things that go wrong when they are not properly serviced.


9 years of experience
640 reviews
9 years of experience
Oldsmobile Alero L4-2.2L - Electronic Spark Control - Detroit, Michigan
Was able to diagnose the problem, but could not complete the repair. We have to take to a muffler shop to get catalytic converter repaired. Would definitley use him again. Very nice man 

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