What is the ecu in the car, where is

The control system of a modern car uses all kinds of electronic devices. They help in driving, in automating many processes, ensuring safety and improving other performance characteristics. To coordinate most processes, an electronic engine control unit is used.


  • 1 Onboard equipment
  • 2 Tasks assigned to the computer
  • 3 Как устроен и where is the engine control unit
  • 4 software electronic unit
  • 5 ECU Error Monitoring
  • 6 Popular car electronic computer malfunctions

Onboard equipment

In foreign-made machines, this node is called ECU. Such a controller is installed with engines of different types with both petrol units and diesel power plants. In the process of work, this node interacts with all kinds of sensors that remove current information about the current auto parameters.

Determining the functionality of the engine ECU, what it is and how it is involved in the processes, it is worth considering that the block is processing the obtained parameters using the existing algorithm. Based on the existing operational values ​​of the motor, the ECU sends the appropriate commands installed in the power unit to the actuators.

what is the ECU in the car

Фактически авто оснащено бортовой сетью. А what is the computer in the car? По сути, это главный элемент данной сети. Иногда такую электронику небеспочвенно именуют основным компьютером в легковушке. Более жаргонным именем является слово «мозги».

The controllers are located not only in the internal combustion engine, but also in other systems of the machine. For example, they can be found in the following modules:

  • gearbox “automatic”;
  • anti-lock braking system (ABS);
  • airbag management;
  • stability control systems (ESP, ESV, VSC, etc.);
  • climate control unit, etc.

Each system has a personal management unit. They are all related.

The main among the variety of electronics is the engine control unit. Its tasks include continuous processing and exchange of current parameters with other systems. For interconnection a special cable is used - CAN-bus. Thus, all elements are integrated into a single digital system - the onboard network.

Due to the mutual two-way communication of all links included in the on-board network, the optimization of the power plant operation is ensured.

When determining what an ECU is in a car where it is located, it is necessary to take into account that due to its operation it is possible to achieve the following comfortable indicators:

  • optimized fuel consumption;
  • timely injection in cylinders;
  • a sufficient amount of air for the fuel mixture is automatically selected during the intake.

The performance of the main computer has an impact on the power of the car, the value of torque in different operating modes, as well as other important output characteristics. In such a situation, the module should always be in good condition.

See also: The gap between the electrodes of the spark plugs

Tasks assigned to the computer

Car manufacturers impose on the control unit the following tasks:

  • ignition control;
  • control throttle position;
  • monitoring and adjustment of valve timing;
  • control and implementation of control functions over the fuel injection phases;
  • monitoring the thermal state of the power plant and its cooling system;
  • control exhaust system.

How does the engine control unit

Information is transmitted from the crankshaft about the frequency of its rotation to the “brains”. In this case, the current auto speed mode, the voltage value of the entire control network, etc. are taken into account.

Как устроен и where is the engine control unit

The block is in most cases a densely loaded element of an electronic chip. It is hidden under a plastic or metal case to protect it well from negative external influences. Quite often, the board is mounted in the engine compartment, closer to the center console. You can find out the real location of the unit from the car’s manual.

where is the engine control unit

The main elements of the head module are a microprocessor and memory blocks. Required for communication are two or more output connectors. They are easy to detect on the outside for a comfortable connection. One of them necessarily serves for interfacing with the vehicle’s on-board network. Another one is diagnostic. It is through it that the connection with external scanning devices occurs.

On the main panel there are several memory options that allow you to use all the features of this equipment. Permanent memory type contains the basic programs and algorithms for the current operation of the power plant. The entire software package is sewn still at the factory.

Separately, there is a module with RAM. With its help, the system manages to dynamically process the current information that comes from different sensors. At the same time, some results are saved briefly. The following important parameters are stored in a separate memory module:

  • total time interval of operation of this engine;
  • total mileage traveled by vehicle;
  • total amount of fuel consumed;
  • codes of various accesses;
  • error codes or locks.

Some data from such a module can be corrected, for example, the computer error code is reset.

Electronic unit software

There are two types of software: control and functional. The first is monitoring pulses from sensors installed in different places. All accepted parameters must be in the allowable intervals of values ​​set by the manufacturer. When detecting a fallout from a given segment into small values, the device operability is updated.

how does the electronic engine control unit

The task of the function module is to accept and process the data. It also sends certain signals to the executive systems.

It is important to know that when the control systems reveal significant deviations from the established norms, the electronic unit is able to completely block the operation of the power plant.

In some cases, car owners seek to improve the performance of the computer or restore the software after some kind of malfunction. For such cases, flashing electronics. In the course of the work, the regular software can be changed to third-party, corrected. This technique is called "chip tuning."

See also: How the car behaves if the lambda probe does not work

ECU Error Monitoring

The electronic unit provides a diagnostic system that provides a visual report to the car owner. When the controller detects a deviation, failure, or some kind of error, the dashboard signals this with a corresponding light icon. Most often it is presented in yellow or red. This may be a pictogram with the designation "sheck-engine" (lit-up receipt).

what is the computer in the car

If an error occurs, the manufacturer may provide an appropriate personal numeric or alphabetic code. All such combinations are recorded in the memory of the electronic unit. To do this, reserved a special place on the board. Identify failures helps connected special equipment in the form of a scanner. You must use the appropriate cable and diagnostic connector.

There is a reading of the recorded parameters of deviations and their corresponding decoding. At the same time, the system displays all the necessary information on the attached monitor. Studying the information received, it will be possible to clarify the current state of the vehicle.

Popular car electronic computer malfunctions

Traditionally, the ECU is a fairly reliable device in modern cars. However, depending on the quality of operation of the car or external factors, the system is capable of failing. Popular reasons for the failure of such electronics are the following factors:

  • significant heating of the device;
  • short circuit in the system;
  • moisture penetration into the device case, connectors or exposed areas;
  • external mechanical damage to equipment;
  • appeared corrosion processes.

Indirectly identify malfunctions in the work of electronics help different characteristics, for example, the motor fails when absolutely working sensors and other systems of the power plant. Proper performance directly depends on the quality of the voltage throughout the vehicle’s on-board system.

The failure of the automotive computer leads to unstable operation and failures in different modes of the engine. Sometimes this event is characterized by a complete blocking of the power plant. In this case, on the instrument panel lights up "check". It will not be possible to simply reset this error, and if this happens, the cause of the problem will not disappear, and the corresponding indicator will soon appear again.

In such a situation it is necessary to diagnose the state of the ECU. We recommend completely replacing the failed board. It is believed that it is possible to carry out self-repair of the microcircuit, which will cost less to install the new item. However, it requires careful monitoring of performance and the elimination of all possible malfunctions, which is not always available to motorists.