Our certified mechanics come to you · Backed by our 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty · Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront
The Engine Control Module (ECM) provides the brains for the engine of the vehicle. In addition to controlling the fuel mixture, the ECM also makes sure the timing and emissions control system work properly, as well as a variety of other systems and sensors. The ECM, a crucial part of the vehicle’s onboard computer, resides in either the engine compartment or under one of the front seats, depending on the vehicle make and model.
The battery is disconnected. Any access or trim panels are removed for access to the module.
The engine control module connections are disconnected and the module is removed. The new module is installed and secured. The electrical connections are connected.
The battery is reconnected and a charger is connected to maintain battery charge if needed. Any removed access or trim panels are reinstalled.
The engine control module is programmed to work with the vehicle for operation with an approved scan tool or methods.
The charger is disconnected and the vehicle is road tested for proper operation.
Vehicle owners eventually need to replace a failing ECM. Initially, the unit might still work, but over time a degradation in the performance of the vehicle may take place, including poor fuel mileage and efficiency, problems shifting with automatic transmissions, and jerking or stopping while driving. The mechanic will run a diagnostic check on the car's system and tell the owner what parts needs replacement according to the code the ECM gives.
Additionally, the mechanic will check the transmission fluid to make sure the transmission is not the problem. Some other problem areas that cause ECM failure include a faulty fuel solenoid, poor battery grounding, and corrosion of wiring caused by moisture, among other causes. By regularly having a mechanic check the vehicle’s key components, owners can keep their vehicles in optimal running condition, avoiding many of these problems. If the Check Engine light remains on after resetting it, the ECM may need replacing.
If car owners forego replacing a faulty ECM, they can expect the vehicle to perform poorly, gradually deteriorating until the vehicle stops working altogether. Vehicle owners need to get the ECM fixed promptly to avoid this. With the ECM playing such a crucial part in the overall proper functioning of a vehicle, owners should have their vehicle checked as soon as they notice any problems developing. Caught early enough and replaced, a faulty ECM causes little to no permanent problems.