Question: What Is 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.

What is the function of engine control module?

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.

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 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.

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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.

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 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. However, most ECM problems are a result of a bug in the software itself. This isn’t common.

Can a ECU be repaired?

ECU repairs can be very expensive. The part alone can cost between $1,000 and $3,000, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Fortunately, an ECU can be repaired or reprogrammed in many cases—thus preventing the need to actually replace an ECU.

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.

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How long does it take to replace PCM?

The process takes around about half an hour, but keep in mind that most auto-electricians charge you for at least one hour of work. PCM reprogramming is also one of the few times we’ll recommend a dealership over an independent mechanic.

What problems can a bad BCM cause?

A malfunctioning BCM will activate dashboard instrumentation cluster error and warning lights. These lights may flash off and on if the BCM is not able to read the sensors correctly. Your vehicle performance may also be affected as the BCM communicates with other control modules in the vehicle.

What happens if PCM goes bad?

Continuing to run a vehicle with a bad PCM could cause further damage. Because the PCM controls the emissions of your car, a failed emissions test or the presence of oddly-colored or foul smelling exhaust may be a sign that your PCM is going bad. A malfunctioning PCM will activate dashboard error lights.

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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