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An electronic control unit (ECU), also known as an electronic control module (ECM), is an embedded system in automotive electronics that controls one or more of the electrical systems or subsystems in a car or other motor vehicle.
Modern vehicles have many ECUs, and these can include 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), and suspension control module (SCM). These ECUs together are sometimes referred to collectively as the car’s computer though technically they are all separate computers, not even one. Sometimes an assembly incorporates several individual control modules.
An engine control unit (ECU), also called an engine control module (ECM), is a device which controls multiple systems of an internal combustion engine in a single unit. Systems commonly controlled by an ECU include the fuel injection and ignition systems.


The main functions of the ECU are typically:

  • Fuel injection system
  • Ignition system
  • Idle speed control (typically either via an idle air control valve or the electronic throttle system)
  • Variable valve timing and/or variable valve lift systems


The sensors used by the ECU include:

  • Accelerator pedal position sensor
  • Camshaft position sensor
  • Coolant temperature sensor
  • Crankshaft position sensor
  • Knock sensor
  • Inlet manifold pressure sensor (MAP sensor)
  • Intake air temperature
  • Intake air mass flow rate sensor (MAF sensor)
  • Oxygen (lambda) sensor
  • Throttle position sensor
  • wheel speed sensor