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How to check the engine control unit – symptoms of damage

Engine controller is one of the most important components in our cars. It is a device that controls various elements of the engine; it can for example control pressure in the turbocharger, ignition timing or throttle operation. In modern cars engines have a lot of sensors that provide a lot of information to the controller in real time. The control unit can react quickly by for example increasing the engine speed as soon as the accelerator is depressed. Therefore, damage to the controller may cause many problems with driving, the brakes and engine power.

Symptoms of a defective engine controller

The malfunctioning of the engine controller in your car may be signalled by the engine control lamp on the dashboard; or the car can go into emergency mode. One of the symptoms may also be irregular engine operation, or shaking felt for example on the steering wheel. In addition, some cylinders in your engine may be disconnected, and then you will feel a significant drop in power.

Faulty operation of this device may also manifest itself in the lack of RPM drop when releasing the accelerator pedal. Additionally, a faulty controller may incorrectly operate the ABS or ESP systems. There may also be problems with fuel injection, due to which the engine does not get the right mixture, and then the symptom will be a decrease in power.

A defective engine controller may prevent the vehicle from starting, in which case the engine may turn over, but the ignition will not occur. It is worth noting that problems with the controller may occur periodically, which makes the detection of the problem not always easy. Sometimes the failure of the controller may resemble for example a malfunction of the spark plugs or a failure of the fuel system. Finding the cause will be possible at the garage after connecting the computer.

The reason for malfunctioning may be, for example, short circuit in the wiring; some parts of the controller may get burnt. The engine generates vibrations during its operation, and this can over time lead to mechanical damage to the controller; in addition, elements on the printed circuit board will be exposed to rapid changes in temperature, for example when you turn off the engine in winter. If a replacement is necessary, it is worth checking the offer. Here How to check the engine control unit you will find there a huge selection of controllers for many brands of cars.

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