Today only a small percentage of people are still surprised that their cars are equipped with computers. The majority of car owners and drivers know that cars have up to seven microprocessors in the vehicle. These microprocessors enhance performance, comfort, and safety and are environment friendly.
Let's take a look at what the Engine Control Module (ECM) does in your car. It controls the fuel injection, the ignition timing and everything else that makes the drive smooth. If the ECM starts malfunctioning, then its time you thought of a replacement.
It is not for nothing that the Federal Government has mandated that fuel injection systems and ignition, in motor vehicles, must be computer controlled. There are three reasons for this move. Safety is the primary reason, followed closely by fuel efficiency and finally to bring down emissions.
In a number of cases, mechanics and owners have not been able to find out the real cause for problems in starting the cars. Take the case of my friend's Dodge ECM. He spend over $1000 on repairs and replacing parts before he realized that all that was required was that the ECM had to be replaced. So it is important that you identify the problem properly.
Parts such as the distributor, battery, ISC (idle speed control) motor, injectors, TPS (throttle position switch) and intake cam sensors are the ones which are often misdiagnosed as faulty. So if the mechanic does not realize that the fault is with ECM, you will end up paying a lot of money for parts you don't require.
When you are trying to locate a problem in the fuel injection systems you should take the informed approach to find out the error in the engine computer. In the case of the Dodge ECM, you should get it tested to see if it is functioning as per norm. What is required is an analog volt/ohmmeter. You need to place the testers on the top right and the bottom left pin for the ECM scan cable harness. If there is a total sweep from left to right then your Dodge ECM is functioning well. If the movement is only to the left, it means the ECM is not working.
You should get your Dodge ECM scanned by the authorized personnel who have the right tools for this function. Many of the manufacturers have tools for scanning the ECMs. The scan will throw up the errors. You can also check the ECM without the scan tools; for that you will have to refer to the manufacturer's manual.
The methods to monitor the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) differ on certain vehicles. Some vehicles have an MIL built into the ECM while in some the check engine light will glow in series.
You will need to check the Dodge ECM if there is starting trouble. If the engine computer has packed up then you need to get a replacement. There are many online stores where you could pick up an ECM which is programmed for your vehicle.
There are also places where you could repair the Dodge ECM. These online stores are cheaper than the dealers. These remanufactured ECMs are ready for shipping so there is no waiting time.
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