What is an ECU?

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Engine Control Unit:

The use of the term ECU may be used to refer to an Engine Control Unit, however, ECU also refers to an Electronic Control Unit, which is a component of any automotive mechatronic system, not only for the control of an engine.

In the Automotive Industry, the term ECU often refers to an Engine Control Unit (ECU), or an Engine Control Module (ECM). If this unit controls both an engine and a transmission, it’s often described as a Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

For the needs of this text, we are going to discuss the ECU as an Engine Control Unit.


ECU Does This:

Fundamentally, the engine ECU controls the injection of the fuel and, in petrol engines, the timing of the spark to ignite it. It determines the position of the engine’s internals employing a Crankshaft Position Sensor so the injectors and ignition are activated at precisely the proper time. While this appears like something that may be done mechanically (and was within the past), there’s now a touch more thereto than that.

An internal combustion engine is a giant pump that powers itself using fuel. Because the air is sucked in, enough fuel has got to be provided to form the ability to sustain the engine’s operation while having a useful amount left over to propel the car when required. This mixture of air and fuel is termed a ‘mixture’. An excessive amount of mixture and also the engine is full throttle, deficient and also the engine won’t be able to power itself or the car.

Not only is that the amount of mixture important, but the ratio of that mixture should be correct. An excessive amount of fuel – deficient oxygen, and therefore the combustion are dirty and wasteful. insufficient fuel – an excessive amount of oxygen makes the combustion slow and weak.

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