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Car Talk – What’s An ECU?

In today’s blog post, we are going to dive deeper into the world of cars. How much do you know about the vehicle you drive? Of course, some people love cars and it is their passion. If this applies to you, you probably know a lot. But there are some people who purely have vehicles for the sake of getting from A to B. They don’t care about the car they drive or how it functions. There is nothing wrong with this. However, a little bit of knowledge can go a very long way, ensuring you have a car that functions well.


There are a number of different services that are available for people to improve their vehicles from a visual perspective. Car detailing is a prime example of this. This is an excellent way to make certain your car is sparkling clean and that it looks sleek and stylish. However, there are then some services you will need in terms of maintaining your vehicle from a functional point of view and, unfortunately, when your vehicle breaks down too. Sometimes, your ECU will be at the center of this. 

ECU stands for engine control unit. It can also be referred to as PCM, powertrain control module. It ensures optimum engine performance via controlling a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine. In basic terms, it is essentially a little computer that communications with the engine to control everything from ignition timing, to torque, to how much fuel to pump, to horse power, to idle speed. When you take this into account, it is not difficult to see why the ECU is important. Now that you understand the function of it, we are going to take a look at some of the common issues and provide you with necessary details in relation to getting your ECU repaired. 

There are lots of signs that could indicate that your car has a faulty ECU. It is important to be aware of these when you take into account how necessary this component is to the proper functioning of your vehicle. One of the main signs that you have an issue with your ECU is if the engine light never turns off. Indeed there are several reasons why this could occur, yet the most common is because there is an issue with the ECU. Another common symptom is when your vehicle won’t start and there seems to be no reason for it. Check all of the other potential problems – i.e. your car battery, the starter and any other common electrical components. If these are all fine and your car still will not start, the next thing you should be considering is your vehicle’s engine control unit, as this is likely to be the issue. 

These are the two main symptoms that arise when an ECU is failing, but they are certainly not the only ones. In addition to this, if you experience unexplained drops in fuel efficiency or economy this can be connected to your engine control unit. As can poor vehicle performance. An ECU that is damaged can also cause issues when it comes to your car’s automatic transmission. Do you experience sudden jerking when you shift gears? Or any other transmission issues? If so, you should first make sure that your vehicle has an adequate amount of transmission fluid. If it does, it is worth booking an ECU computer diagnostics to check everything is working like it should be. Additional indicators include the likes of engine surges, misfires and low power.

It is important to remember that not all of the symptoms mentioned automatically mean that you have a problem with your engine control unit. It is important to consider other potential issues as well. As mentioned, your car failing to start could simply be the result of it running out of battery. Yet, if there is a problem and no other explanation seems to work, then the next step is to get an ECU diagnostics or repair booked. Keep on reading to discover why there is no time to waste, as well as some top tips on finding the best ECU repair company for you…

If you experience any of the issues mentioned it is imperative to make sure your ECU is repaired as quickly as possible. All professionals will tell you that one of the primary reasons for major damage and expensive repair bills is because car owners do not deal with the issue straight away. Therefore, it becomes a lot worse, and consequently much more costly as well. Nevertheless, do not make the mistake that many people do by rushing when trying to find a repair company. A lot of individuals go for the first business they come across, whilst others go for the cheapest. These are both strategies that have a high chance of ending in disaster. You may save money initially but you will end up spending a lot more in the long run.

One of the good things about getting an ECU repaired is that you do not always have to take your car to a local dealership. If you take a look on the Internet you will see that there are a lot of companies offering ECU repair whereby you simply have to remove the engine control unit and send it to the company in question. Make sure you research how to remove the unit properly so you do not cause any further damage. Any good repair company will provide you with thorough details about this on their website. If you are not confident with removing the ECU ask a friend for help or if you are really concerned you should drive your vehicle to the repair company instead. There should not be any reason why you cannot drive to the company in question and they remove your engine control unit for you if you are not capable of doing it yourself. 

Aside from enhancing convenience, one of the great things about being able to send your engine control unit to the repair company in question is the fact that you are able to take advantage of a service offered by a business based anywhere in the United States. You are not restricted to those that are in close proximity. Because of this, you are able to take advantage of a higher degree of quality. You can spend your time searching for the best repair company for you. Look for a business that boasts a wealth of experience and a good reputation. Read reviews that have been left by previous customers and you will have the ability to discover whether they were happy with the service they received or not. You will soon find out if the repair company you are considering is a credible one or not. Aside from this, it is always recommended to find a company that offers a warranty with the repaired unit. This not only protects you, but it displays that they are confident in their service, which indicates a higher level of quality. 

On a final note, it is imperative to ensure the company in question actually has the capability to fix your engine control unit. A lot of ECU repair companies only deal with specific car makes and models. This is something you should check out before hand; otherwise you can end up delaying the process significantly. Moreover, be sure that the company in question has a good degree of experience. You will want to be confident that they only work with the best parts and that all of their staff has the necessary skills, expertise and qualifications. 

To conclude, you now have an insight into some of the most common problems experienced in relation to a vehicle’s engine control unit. Thus you should find it easier to discover whether your car has a potential ECU issue or not. Moreover, you should see just how pivotal this component is to your car and its performance. It essentially controls everything in relation to your engine and thus it is the brains of your vehicle. This is why it is necessary to have your ECU repaired as soon as you notice that there is a fault with it. Nonetheless, do not go for any old repair company. Use the tips that have been provided in this post in order to find the best one for you.