How To Know If Your Vehicle Has A Defective ECU

Most modern cars have a computer on board that serves many important functions. However, like with anything in a car, the computer, also known as an ECU, can break. Fortunately, an auto service might be able to identify what has gone wrong and repair your car. 

Why the ECU is Important

An ECU serves many functions such as helping you avoid accidents and improving your gas mileage. When the unit is not functioning properly, your car will not perform like it should.

Like with any computer, the ECU runs on software. When the software has become corrupted, the functions might go awry. This can lead to components of your car having bad timing, gear shifting that isn't very smooth, and inconsistent acceleration. 

In some cases, if the ECU is defective enough, it might simply shut down and you will need to have a tow truck called and have your car taken to an auto service technician. 

Warning Signs of a Defective ECU

One of the most common warning signs that there is something wrong with your ECU is that the check engine light has come on. However, a check engine light can also be an indication of various other problems with your car such as a gas cap that isn't screwed on.

You might also notice that your car has very poor fuel economy. As a result, you might be paying a lot more at the pump. This is because a defective ECU can send too much fuel to the combustion chamber.

You might also notice an overall decrease in your engine performance. This occurs when the ECU is not sending enough fuel to the combustion chamber. However, you'll not want to simply cope with the decrease in performance because the issues with the combustion chamber will be a sign of other problems as well. If the problem isn't corrected, your car might eventually not start.

Fixing an ECU Yourself is Risky

You can expect your car to not start when you begin to experience hard starting. You find yourself turning the key several times before you are finally able to get the car to start.

However, it's a bad idea to try to fix the problem yourself because you might find yourself fixing several components that are not actually the root cause of the defective ECU. To fix the onboard computer on your car, you will likely need help from an auto service.

Reach out to an auto shop that provides ECU servicing, such as BMW maintenance services, to learn more.