One of the main roles of your car's engine control module (ECM) is to detect when there is something wrong with your car. However, like with anything else, the ECM might end up becoming defective itself and you might need to have it replaced before it fails completely by visiting a repair technician.
The Check Engine Light Appears
ECMs can suffer from the same problems that affect other electronics such as short circuits. When the ECM is starting to fail, you might see a "check engine" light indicator turn on. The indicator is sometimes a sign that the ECM has detected a problem with the engine or with a sensor, but it can also be a sign that the ECM itself is defective.
Your Transmission is Very Rough
Your transmission is handled by the ECM. Therefore, if you try to shift gears, you might notice that the gears are shifting very roughly. This can be a sign of a bad transmission and can also indicate an ECM that is going bad.
The Car Won't Start
If your car is struggling to start, this could be a result of a faulty ECM. This is because the ECM affects the timing of the car as you are starting it. However, there are a variety of problems that can cause a car to not start and you will need to have your car diagnosed by a repair technician.
The Engine is Behaving Strangely
Your engine might begin to behave in a very erratic way if the ECM is defective. Your car might begin to stall. In general, you will want to address any erratic behavior with your engine before your engine becomes damaged.
You might notice that your car doesn't have enough power. It might not be able to reach top speeds or it might not accelerate very fast. You may notice a sudden dip in power for your engine. This can be related to a problem with a sensor or with the ECM.
Your Have Poor Gas Mileage
When your ECM is not functioning properly, this can lead to gas becoming much more expensive. This is because the ECM controls how much fuel your car is using and is necessary for making sure that your fuel is used efficiently.
Fortunately, a maintenance technician—such as British 4x4—will be able to scan your ECM to see if it has any trouble codes. They will then be able to determine if the problem is with your ECM and can then perform the necessary repairs.