/ Engine Control Unit

Engine Control Unit

Considered the “brain” of the car, the ECU ensures the ideal engine performance by collecting information from various sensors located in the injection, ignition, ABS pump and in the traction control system. When the ECU process this information, it adjusts the engine operation to ensure its maximum efficiency.

The ECU is an electronic device responsible to control a wide variety of mechanical and electronic devices in the car, like the relation between air entrance and fuel, ignition timing at idle speed and the interface of all electronic components of the car, among others.

Its location in the car varies by its model. Usually it’s located in the engine compartment, but can be found on the passenger side, under the dashboard or glove compartment.


  • Sensors: Convert the monitored physical quantities to electrical signals that are subsequently sent to the ECU;

  • ECU: It processes the electrical signals corresponding to physical quantities and sends the electrical signals corresponding to actions that the actuators must perform;

  • Actuators: Convert the electrical signals received from the ECU to physical quantities corresponding to mechanical and / or electrical actions that must be performed;

ECU Problems

Since the ECU is responsible for the overall operation of the engine, a fault can be catastrophic. If your condition is poor, the motor may malfunction or don’t start. If you suspect that may have some problems, it’s important to check the relevant sensors and other systems before reaching a conclusion.

Problems and common flaws in ECU:

  1. Appearance of micro-cracks on the circuit board– It manifests through the unstable operation of the engine cylinders, the difficulty of engaging a gearbox in an automatic gearbox and the vehicle skid when braking.

  2. Cable break or short-circuit between terminals – It manifests by increasing fuel consumption and frequent fuse burning in the car.

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