Readers ask: What Is An Engine Control Module?

What are the symptoms of a bad engine control module?

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Engine Control Module (ECM)

  • Check Engine Light Turns On.
  • Engine Stalling or Misfiring.
  • Engine Performance Issues.
  • Car Not Starting.
  • Poor Fuel Economy.

How much does it cost to replace an engine control module?

The average cost for engine control module (ECM) replacement is between $928 and $1,006. Labor costs are estimated between $80 and $100 while parts are priced between $849 and $906. This range does not include taxes and fees, and does not factor in your unique location.

What does a control module do?

An engine control unit (ECU), also commonly called an engine control module (ECM) is a type of electronic control unit that controls a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine to ensure optimal engine performance.

How does an engine control module work?

It essentially functions as the main computer for many of the vehicle’s engine performance and drivability functions. The ECM takes the information from the engine’s various sensors, and uses that information to calculate and tune engine spark and fuel for maximum power and efficiency.

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Can I drive with bad ECM?

If the ECM were to become damaged or faulty, then it could spell trouble for the entire engine because it would not be managed properly. If the engine is not managed properly, then it is not going to operate properly and then your car won’t work properly.

What causes bad engine control module?

Corrosion and moisture



Corrosion or damage due to moisture is one of the main reasons for ECM failure. Corrosion can enter the ECM through the wiring harness and moisture can enter by a failure in the seals in the ECM itself. This happens over a period of time (5 to 10 years) due to the ECMs exposure to the elements.

How do you reprogram an engine control module?

Ensure the OBD-II vehicle interface is properly connected. Switch the ignition to ON but do not yet start the engine. Choose Detect Vehicle… from the Tools menu, then select Program Engine ECU when the window appears, and click OK. Select Program ENgine ECU to enter programming mode.

Where is the power control module?

This is why when it comes to locating your ECM it’s best to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find the exact location, but typically they are found in the engine compartment, under the passenger floorboard, under the seats, or behind the kick panels.

What happens if you unplug the ECU?

However, if the ECU is unplugged, it will retain any charge it may have even if you create a power draw someplace else in the vehicle. So you‘d need to wait a decent amount of time to be “sure” it’s drained. Some folks go so far as to unplug the battery and let the car sit over night.

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Where is the engine control module located?

Location of the Engine Control Module



Generally, the ECM is located near your car’s engine. Usually, it is on the passenger’s side behind the glove box, under the floorboard, or under the seats. It can also be located behind the kick panels, under the hood, or beneath the dashboard.

Can a ECM be repaired?

The first, and easiest, way to repair an ECM is if there’s a problem with the power supply. Oftentimes, these can be repaired by a skilled mechanic or electrician, by rectifying any shorts or bad connections. Basically, unless it’s a simple power supply issue, ECMs are challenging to repair.

How do I know if my ECM relay is bad?

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing ECM-Power Relay

  1. No power when the key is inserted. One of the first symptoms of a problem with the ECM power relay is no power when the key is inserted.
  2. Engine will not start. Another common symptom of a problem with the ECM power relay is an engine that will not start or turn over.
  3. Battery drain or dead battery.

Can I replace an ECM myself?

The answer to the question “Is it hard to replace an ECM?” is NO! The parts themselves aren’t inexpensive (as long as you’re buying them from us!), plus high quality aftermarket and OEM ECMs can be easily installed yourself.

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