A Tech Guide to Replacing an ECM : The Engine Control Module (ECM) is an integral part of the car. The ECM is in fact the brain of the car and is required to keep the car in good working order. This is why it’s important to know how to replace it if it’s broken because otherwise it will cost a lot of money to get it replaced by a mechanic. But is replacing an automobile computer as difficult as it sounds for even the novice car owner?

What does an ECM Do?

Before replacing the ECM it’s necessary to know exactly what an ECM is. An ECM, which may also be called a programmable control module, is the brain of the car. It takes in information from a variety of sensors around the car, analyses the information, and then sends it out to other sensors which will then alter themselves based on the information the computer has sent to it. A scanner is also connected to the dashboard so the computer can tell the driver when anything is wrong by enabling the “check engine” light.

How can it be Replaced?

Ok, so now everyone knows exactly what an ECM is, now it’s time to replace it on a car. To do this, follow the instructions below and there should be no issues when it comes to replacing it.

  1. Open up the engine and disconnect the battery by using a socket wrench.
  2. Now it’s necessary to find where the old ECM has been fitted. This can be a hassle for the inexperienced because some car models will have the ECM fitted in the engine compartment, whereas other cars will have it under one of the front seats. If this is becoming a problem then consult the owner’s handbook and that should reveal location of the automobile computer.
  3. Once the ECM has been found, disconnect the power supply by locating the locking tab and lifting it. This should then be pulled away from the computer so the power supply has then been isolated.
  4. The socket wrench can then be used to undo the screws which are holding the ECM into the car. After this has been done, remove the old ECM and put it to one side.
  5. Unpack the new ECM and fix it into the car with the socket wrench. Make sure that the computer isn’t banged or damaged because they are incredibly fragile.
  6. Plug all the wires into the new ECM and make sure they are securely fastened.
  7. Take the battery cables and plug them into the battery; make sure they are tightened with the socket wrench.
  8. Check that the new ECM is working by turning the ignition on and leaving the car for the next five or ten minutes. If the scanner under the dashboard is reporting that the codes are not showing up correctly then the “check engine” light will switch itself on. In this case, there’s a problem so start again from step five.

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