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Engine Control Unit and Its Effects on Your Car
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Engine Control Unit and Its Effects on Your Car

Engine Control Unit (ECU) is one of the most important parts of your car's engine. Widely influencing a car's overall performance and its fuel injection, it also contributes to the optimal function of other systems of your vehicle.

What is the ECU?

The ECU can be understood as the brain of the engine unit that uses sensors to collect and microprocessors to evaluate data gathered in real time, thus influencing the fuel injection and other vital systems of the car to work correctly. It can be reprogrammed or tuned to satisfy the customers´ needs and wishes with regards to car performance. 

Sensors and Their Function

As mentioned above, the ECU would not work properly without sensors that gather relevant data. The sensors are concerned with the mass airflow, throttle position, coolant temperature, voltage, manifold absolute pressure and the engine speed. All these data are necessary for the ECU to decide the right amount of fuel to be injected into the engine. However, in the case of the newer cars, the ECU may also control systems as Automatic Transmissions System, the Vehicle Stabilisation System, the Valve Support Systems or the Timing and Ignition System. All these systems are critical for the car, and the system safeguards their proper function. Since the ECU influences the fuel injection, it thus highly determines the acceleration, which is determined by the amount of fuel released. ECU can also control the amount of the fuel with regards to the weather conditions. It adds more fuel when it is cold to create stronger ignition and vice versa during the hot streaks. 

What are the Advantages?

The ECU mainly helps you to drive your car economically and with better performance. It also contributes to the reduction of emissions which helps protect the environment. The overall response of the car to your driving decisions is also better than in the case of the car without the ECU since the sensors provide all relevant data. Professional installation of the chip cost from $400 to $700 while the new chip for your installation may cost about $300. However, the ECU chip contributes to a significant savings of fuel and thus save the money in the course.

What About the Reprogramming?

As mentioned above, the ECU is a microchip processor and can be reprogrammed according to your wishes. The engine can thus work with different parameters. The fact that the chip in the vehicle controls various systems in the vehicle and safeguards their proper powering should also be kept in mind when reprogramming. In the case of reprogramming, the ECU is located within the dashboard controls and can be reached via the diagnostic port. It has to be reprogrammed on a regular basis to function properly; however, you should not try to reprogram the chip manually since any amateurish operation can cause irreparable damage to the engine. For reaching the highest possible performance, it is also advisable to replace other parts working with the engine since they may not fit well with the ECU.

Image credit: Carfixtips.com

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