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Engine Control Module (ECM): Managing The Vehicle's System

It may be tagged with several names, but the basic function of an engine control module is to regulate the entire process and system of the engine. It also controls the different operative features of the internal combustion engine. Having the engine control module determines the amount of fuel still within the tank and monitors the other engine functions such as the ignition timing and its other parameters.

Defining the ECM

In an automobile, all the activities are controlled by an embedded system, which is called the engine control module (ECM), although it is more popularly known as the engine control unit. It is where the car computer system is regulated. This is also true with motor vehicles because the ECM is the one that controls the subsystems. It is important that the ECM used in the vehicle performs as it is expected to be able to improve the use of fuel and entirely enhance the engine to comply with the necessary requirements for every vehicle.

Its Basic Function

The engine control module has sensors that help in determining these things. The ECM functions according to the input data that is detected from the various sensors that are within the engine. All of the sensors are fitted together into the engine, and there are several of them including the MAP sensor, air temperature sensor, throttle position sensor, oxygen sensor, and many others. Hence, one would be able to verify the coolant's temperature or the amount of oxygen allowed into the exhaust and many other functions through the engine control module.

Modern ECMs

Using the modern technology, ECMs would now have microprocessors that process the input data fed into the engine's sensors. Its firmware would have a hardware that comprises the electronic components including the printed circuit board, ceramic substrate, and a thin laminate substrate. This is where the microcontroller chip, which is the ECM's central processing unit. The software would be contained in the printed circuit board which has a flash memory. Data can easily be fed into the microcontroller chips so that it can easily be re-programmed in order to upload a new code or to replace a new chip.

More sophisticated ECMs would also be the source of other control parts of the engine such as its variable valve timing or the turbocharger wastegates. It is also capable of communicating with the engine's transmission control units or directly with the engine's automatic transmission control units with the help of the controller area network that relays data through these devices.

Engine Control Module (ECM)
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Replacing Your ECM

When buying an ECM, make sure that the replacement you are getting looks and feels just like the original unit. Choose one that you know has undergone the best engineering and remanufacturing process from cutting edge technology. It should also pass the laboratory testing and final inspection standard process that has been set for the industry. Finally, go for one that has a lifetime service guarantee. When all these have been gone through and have been checked, you are assured that the ECM will fully stand behind to monitor the control system of your vehicle.

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