Here are 5 signs that your engine control module is failing (and the replacement cost).

There are many names for the engine control module, ECM (engine control module), such as ECU (engine control unit). No matter what its name, the function of this module is identical. To ensure motor function, this vital component transmits information to it.

Many performance problems can result from a failing engine control module (ECM). Let's take a look at ECM problems, their location and estimated cost of replacement. Let’s take a quick look at the signs

A check engine light at the dashboard is one of the most obvious signs that your engine control module has failed. Engine performance problems such as misfiring and stalling may be a sign of a bad ECM. If your car won’t start at all, it’s also a strong sign your ECM is bad.

Below is a list that explains the symptoms most commonly associated with a defective engine control module.

Índice de Contenido
  1. Bad Engine Control Module (ECM), Symptoms
    1. 1. Make sure your engine light is on
    2. 2. Motor Misfiring/Stalling
    3. 3. Performance issues
    4. 4. Diminished Fuel Economy
    5. 5. Car Won’t Start
  2. Motor Control Module (ECM), Location
  3. The function of the Engine Control module
  4. Cost of replacing the Engine Control Module (ECM).

Bad Engine Control Module (ECM), Symptoms

1. Make sure your engine light is on

Check Engine Light

Modern vehicles have a Check Engine Light that lets you know when there is a problem. This light may illuminate due to a variety of problems, but a defective ECM is the only one.

Check Engine Lights will be lit if the ECM's circuit or sensor is defective. An OBDII Trouble Code scanner is the only method to determine what caused it.

2. Motor Misfiring/Stalling

Engine Stall

When the ECM fails, wrong messages to the engine are sent, causing an imbalance. A faulty computer can lead to misfiring conditions. Extreme cases may even cause the vehicle to stall at traffic lights.

But these symptoms may be unpredictable. It can sometimes be very difficult to control the vehicle. One day it may work perfectly, the next day it could cause problems. There’s no pattern to the severity or frequency when the ECM is going out. 

3. Performance issues

Slow Acceleration Car

A defective ECM can cause engine problems. This module can cause an imbalance in fuel-air ratio and timing of the engine if it goes down. 

You will notice a reduction in power and acceleration, particularly when pushing the pedal down. ECM may be responsible for reducing acceleration or power. 

4. Diminished Fuel Economy

It is difficult for an engine to control fuel intake because of a defective ECM. When the engine control modules go bad, it is possible for your motor to start using more fuel.

It is possible to notice problems before they become serious if you are attentive about fuel economy. Spending more time at gas pumps is a sign of trouble.

5. Car Won’t Start

If the ECM goes out completely, it is possible for your vehicle to not start. With no engine management, the motor simply doesn’t know what to do. 

Maybe you will hear it attempt to crank, but it can’t start without the right amount of air and fuel being injected. However, having a car that won’t start doesn’t automatically mean you have a bad ECM. This could be due to a dead or defective car battery, an ignition problem, or even a fuel system fault. 

Motor Control Module (ECM), Location

Engine Control Unit

It depends on which vehicle you drive, where the engine control module is located. However, it’s almost always easy to access. 

The ECM might be located in your engine compartment. However, some vehicles have it under the dashboard, under the driver’s seat or behind the glove compartment. Check your vehicle’s service manual to find the precise location. 

The function of the Engine Control module

Engine Control Unit E1623003106373

Also known as the engine control module, or ECM, it is also called the ECM. The ECM is a vital component in modern cars. It serves as the primary computer for the engine’s performance and drivability. 

ECM uses data collected from various sensors to calculate what engine requirements are. The ECM analyzes factors such as engine spark, fuel delivery and air ratios. 

ECM is responsible for all operations in the vehicle. It can malfunction and cause many problems. The vehicle may become impractical to drive in extreme situations. 

RELATED: Five Signs That Your Engine Control Unit (ECU), Is Not Working

Cost of replacing the Engine Control Module (ECM).

On most cars, the average cost of replacing an engine control module is $500 to $1000. Costs for the ECM themselves will range from $450-$900. This leaves you with $50-100 in additional labor costs.

If you choose to change the ECM yourself, you aren’t going to save a lot of money because the main cost is for the engine control module itself. The type of vehicle that you drive will also affect the cost of your ECM. A small car will cost you less than a large SUV. 

It is important that the ECM be diagnosed by the shop before it can be replaced. The additional cost of diagnosing the ECM can be as low as $100, or up to $300. If you are able to scan codes, this is an area where you could save some money. To understand what trouble codes are, however, it is worth doing some research online.

You might consider buying a second-hand ECM if you are looking to save some money. While this is tempting, it’s simply not the best solution. For one, the used ECM doesn’t usually have a warranty, so it could fail at any moment. The ECM will need to still be reprogrammed which increases the cost.

The shop might even be able reconfigure or reprogram an existing ECM in some cases. When this happens, the cost is much lower since you won’t need to purchase a new engine control module.

If the immobilizer is being replaced, some engine control modules will need to be programmed and replaced by the manufacturer. Before you attempt to change it, you should check with your dealer.

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