Your Jeep’s Powertrain Control Module (PCM), also known as the Engine Control Module (ECM) or Engine Control Unit (ECU), controls and monitors nearly every function necessary for your vehicle to operate. Essentially, the ECM is your vehicle’s onboard computer system which ensures that all automotive components are running as they should. With that being said, the ECM is arguably one of the most important parts of your vehicle.
Failure of any ECM component or circuit could result in a wide range of issues with the vehicle, sometimes leaving it completely inoperable. However, there are some common symptoms to look out for if you believe your ECM may be failing. These are:
1. Your Check Engine Light turns on or behaves strangely
An illuminated Check Engine Light is one possible symptom of an ECM failure. The illumination of this warning light is an indication that the computer has identified a problem with any of the automobiles sensors or circuits. This does not however always mean that the ECM is bad. Having your computer scanned will reveal an error code which will better help your mechanic identify the source of the malfunction.
2. Vehicle performance issues
A decline in engine performance may be another indication of an issue with the ECM. Engine timing, fuel management, and other performance systems are all controlled by the ECM and will misbehave in the event of a faulty ECM. Ultimately, this will affect engine performance, fuel efficiency, torque, acceleration, and power.
3. Stalling or misfiring
Erratic engine behavior, like stalling or misfiring, is another key indicator of a malfunctioning ECM. Generally, these symptoms will be intermittent and may not have a pattern to their re-occurrence or severity.
4. Failure to start
Difficult or complete failure to start may also be an indication of a bad ECM. Without a properly functioning computer, the vehicle is unable to control the systems which are vital to vehicle operation. However, this symptom may also be due to a variety of conditions and therefore it is recommended that you get a complete vehicle diagnostic by a certified professional to accurately diagnose the issue.
5. Engine turning off for no reason and other erratic idle
Random engine shutdown or erratic idle behavior are also two common signs of ECM malfunction. These symptoms generally have no consistency in their occurrence and should be diagnosed by your mechanic prior to sending your ECM in for service.
Nearly all of your vehicle’s operational components are managed by your Engine Control Module; which makes it pretty darn important in our book. Because the symptoms listed above may be caused by something other entirely, it’s often best to have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician prior to sending in for replacement/repair. If found defective, rest assured that the team at Diesel ECM Repair can help. Our certified repair technicians will diagnose and repair the issue, returning the ECM to OEM specifications. You can learn more about our services here.