How to diagnose and fix automotive faults

Control module problems generate codes that allow them to be solved.

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If the engine is the heart of a car, it could be said that in modern vehicles the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) is the brain. This unit controls a hundred functions of the car in combination with the ECU (Motor Control Unit), also called ECM (Motor Control Module), and to TCM (Transmission Control Module).

These systems use a large number of sensors that are spread over the vehicle. There are sensors on the crankshaft, oxygen, air pressure, air temperature, engine temperature, throttle position, preignition or knock, etc.

ECUUsing the information supplied by the computer, you can control things like injectors, spark plugs and the ideal speed in milliseconds to get the best possible engine performance while keeping emissions low. Definitely, a variety of technology that is not always infallible.

The first symptom of the existence of an error will be found on the board when the check engine light since it is activated when the computer detects a problem with the sensors or the circuits. Other signs can be erratic impeller behavior, loss of power, acceleration and even increased fuel consumption. Each failure generates a code that specifies what the problem is.

If current or fuel pump problems are ruled out, the vehicle should be examined by a specialist to analyze error codes, make a diagnosis and find a possible solution.

And how do you know what each code means? It has information about each fault code. From its website you can access the description, causes, symptoms and possible solutions for the codes of OBD2 faults (protocol used to detect chemical, mechanical and electrical failures that affect the emissions of polluting gases from the vehicle to the environment). The information is based on the manufacturer's instructions so it is totally reliable and safe. In addition, it has repair manuals and tutorials made by its team of specialists.

ECUSome of the causes of failures may be due to moisture, both by direct contact of the water or by its accumulation on the plate; voltage overload, which usually happens when an electronic component external to the unit suffers a short circuit or vibesWhen the unit is not installed correctly, it can suffer severe damage to the board.

And what are the possible solutions? Motherboard Repair, depending on the severity of the failure and the component affected; cloning, the original information of the damaged unit will be extracted to be inserted in a new one; or substitution, in those situations in which it is not possible to repair or clone the unit.

Either for a test or for the repair of these faults, a specialized workshop must be visited because original equipment and software from the brands are needed to guarantee that the intervention is successful.

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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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