Car Management With an Engine Control Unit

Car Management With an Engine Control Unit

Every motorist is seeking the best performance from their vehicle, particularly in these days of rising fuel costs, but at the same time greater usage of transportation. Before the introduction of an engine control unit, mechanics set the air-fuel mixture, ignition timing and the idling speed of a vehicle and these were controlled by mechanical and pneumatic influences. One of the earliest recorded attempts to utilize an automated device, for simultaneous management and multiple engine control was in 1939 and was created by BMW, in their “801, 14-cylinder radial” engine.

An engine control unit, generally termed the power-train control module (PCM) is designed to control a series of actuators to ensure high performance levels of an internal combustion engine. This is created by a multitude of sensors from which data is supplied to the ECU, with the related values interpreted by multi-dimensional maps, commonly termed “look-up tables”. Based on the results, the actuators of the engine are accordingly adjusted.

Cost effectiveness is now a priority for many individuals and businesses, with additional equipment being purchased, to a great degree as a needed item or to affect greater monetary savings. In this connection, consideration should be given to rebuilt and re-programmed units, which carry warranties of one year on “OEM” computers. For cost conscious buyers restricted by imposed budgets, but seeking value and quality at the best prices, this could be an opportunity for significant savings.

Inter-related with engine control units, or engine control modules, depending on the manufacturer, is a transmission control module (TCM), often termed a transmission control unit (TCU) or a transmission control computer (TCC). Due to the various programs of ongoing improvement established by the vehicle manufactures striving to lead of maintain a position in an extremely competitive marketplace, continual vehicle electronic enhancements are placed before owners and drivers. Besides the foregoing devices, there is a body control module (BCM) and a brake control module (BCM, specifically designed for vehicles with an ABS braking system.

Combined with the engine control unit and the supporting electronic devices, an average motorist or transport manager, could be forgiven for wondering if the investment in buying a new vehicle is a positive step or will it be rendered obsolete the following year! It would therefore, be an advantage to consider upgrading present vehicles to extract maximum operational cost savings by seeking advice from a specialist manufacturer of high quality and highly competitive priced devices.

Fuel consumption is always difficult to control and it is therefore incumbent on a driver to use a vehicle as economically as possible. However, road conditions influence a driver’s ability and the solution becomes reliant on the performance of the vehicle. This is shown with an engine control unit (ECU) which will calculate the engine load at the existing RPM and determine whether to open the valve early or late and to what degree. This induces the best opening and timing, with the combustion as precise as possible, as opposed to a normal camshaft.

The optimal opening and timing are always reached and combustion is as precise as possible. This, of course, cannot be achieved with a normal camshaft, which opens the valve for the whole intake period, and always to full lift.

A wide range of automotive controllers and sensors is available at