Even after cars have been computer controlled for decades, people often ask how a computer in the car would make it more efficient or better performing. The new cars on the road, including Jeeps, are empowered with over seven computerized systems which work in tandem with each other, which is controlled by the Engine Control Module (ECM). The Jeep ECM has similar functions and is crucial to the efficient running of the vehicle.
Before we go any further, we have to understand why automobile companies started computerizing the electronic systems in the cars. This is largely because of the regulation brought in by the US Government. Some of the reasons for complying with the regulation are; to ensure the safety, better fuel efficiency and for the protection of the environment from fuel emissions.
The Jeep ECM, like other ECMs plays a vital role in ensuring comfort, improving the performance and also to control the emissions from the vehicle. You only realize how important the ECM is when you start having problems with the car. There have been instances of people spending more than $1000 on repairs and replacing parts; when all that was required was a simple replacement of the ECM. Sometimes the car remains in the garage for months because there has been no proper diagnosis.
Then, there are the others who have gone ahead and bought themselves a new ECM and find that the problem persists. The answer to this is simple - the right diagnosis. Sometimes, even the mechanic is unable to put his finger on the exact nature of the problem. Its best, at these times, to get a second opinion before you spend a lot of hard earning money on repairs or buying new spare parts.
The parts which are not easy to diagnose are the idle speed control motor, the throttle position sensor switch, intake cam sensor, battery and distributor. There are some standard procedures while diagnosing problems in vehicles that are designed for electronic fuel injection. Each of the systems in the vehicle has to be checked carefully; this method might be tedious but think of the end result. You can save yourself a lot of money, time and heartburn.
If the check engine indicator lamp or the malfunction indictor lamp is on all the time or intermittently, you might have a problem there. So take a look at the Jeep ECM and sniff around for a burnt smell. Then test the ECM to make sure it is working well. If the problem is not with the ECM, check the error codes and the malfunction it indicates. If the problem is with the ECM, replace it with a new unit, if you can afford it, or a used one from a reputed dealer.
You can have the ECM in car scanned by authorized personnel. The scanning should be done with the scan equipment, prescribed by the manufacturer. Make sure that you use only the equipment recommended by the manufacturer, despite the many scan tools available in the market. The scan will reveal which are the problem areas.
The analog volt/ohmmeter is extremely useful for finding out what is wrong with your Jeep ECM. This is useful for all Chrysler vehicles. There are also specific methods to check the malfunction indictor lamp codes for many models.
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