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Today’s vehicles are becoming more technologically advanced, there’s no question about that. From onboard GPS to Bluetooth speakers and heated seats, we pretty much drive computers on wheels! At the heart of it all, however, is one computer that’s critically important to how well your vehicle operates. It’s known as the Engine Control Module, or ECM for short.


What Does an Engine Control Module Do?

Simply put, your vehicle’s ECM is the brain of the whole operation. It monitors, regulates, and adjusts various systems to promote optimal engine function. Without it, the engine will perform poorly, or even not at all.


Symptoms of ECM Failure

Since the engine is such a critical vehicle part, it’s important to know when its “brain” is starting to malfunction. If you’re lucky, the engine control module won’t just die in its tracks. Instead, it’ll provide you with one of these clues:


  1. Check engine light: When this light comes on, most people expect the worst, and for good reason. The purpose of this light is to warn you of a problem with the engine. So, it’s important to not ignore it, even if your vehicle seems to be running fine. There are several factors that can trigger a check engine light to turn on, however. A faulty ECM is one, but be sure to have your vehicle checked by a professional auto mechanic for a complete diagnosis.
  2. Decreased gas mileage: One of the functions of the engine control module is to regulate the air/fuel mix in the engine. If this is not right, fuel efficiency will be negatively impacted.
  3. Stalling or misfiring: Engine timing is another thing that is controlled by the ECM. When it’s off, you’ll know it! And, you’ll have a clue that the ECM could be on its way out.
  4. Low energy: No, this isn’t you we’re talking about, but your vehicle’s energy! If you notice difficulty driving up inclines or other loss of power, a faulty ECM could be to blame.


Can a Malfunctioning Engine Control Module Be Repaired?

The short answer is yes, but it’s not usually recommended. Repairing an ECM is a very complicated and time-consuming procedure. It’s also one that not just anyone can do. Think of it like repairing a computer – it takes special tools, knowledge, and time!


Instead, the replacement of a dead or faulty engine control module is preferred. Yes, it can be expensive – usually upwards of $1,000 when you factor in the cost of parts and labor. But, it’s better to have new parts that work as intended when it comes to your engine, the very lifeblood of your vehicle.


As with any vehicle repair, you can trust our qualified technicians to properly diagnose and fix engine control module issues. Don’t take your engine health for granted. Schedule an appointment with us today to stop engine issues in their tracks and prevent costlier repairs down the road.

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