Electronic control unit
Types of ECU include electronic/engine control module (ECM), powertrain control module (PCM), transmission control module (TCM), brake control module (BCM or EBCM), central control module (CCM), central timing module (CTM), general electronic module (GEM), body control module (BCM), suspension control module (SCM), control unit, or control module. Taken together, these systems are sometimes referred to as the car's computer. (Technically there is no single computer but multiple ones.) Sometimes one assembly incorporates several of the individual control modules (PCM is often both engine and transmission)
Some modern motor vehicles have up to 80 ECUs. Embedded software in ECUs continue to increase in line count, complexity, and sophistication. Managing the increasing complexity and number of ECUs in a vehicle has become a key challenge for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Types of electronic control units
- Airbag control unit (ACU)
- Body control module (BCU) controls door locks, electric windows, courtesy lights, etc.
- Convenience control unit (CCU)
- Door control unit (DCU)
- Engine control unit (ECU)—not to be confused with electronic control unit, the generic term for all these devices
- Electric Power Steering Control Unit (PSCU)— Generally this will be integrated into the EPS powerpack.
- Human-machine interface (HMI)
- Powertrain control module (PCM): Sometimes the functions of the Engine Control Unit and transmission control unit (TCU) are combined into a single unit called the Powertrain Control Module.
- Seat Control Unit
- Speed control unit (SCU)
Failure of ECU
The main symptoms of a failure would be the engine not starting, fault light constantly on and unable to be cleared. Although is quite rare, it is a big issue when it happens. To identify the initial problem, manufacturers and producers need to perform certain tests including:
- material assessment
- corrosion investigation
- electronics evaluation
- fire damage investigation
By performing such test future failures can be prevented and performance enhanced.
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