The computer or ECM [electronic control module] or ECU[electronic control unit] is designed to manage the fuel system, ignition system, and depending on the design, it also manages the automatic transmission as well as turning on the air conditioning. The computer is programmed to collect information and make about 11,000 decisions every minute. It may also store fault codes for the technician to decipher and rectify problems as required.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
The computer is located in a cool position away from the foot, usually around the passenger’s floor behind the kick panel or under the passenger seat. The main cause for a computer breakdown are dry solder joints. This may cause the engine to cut out, idle rough, non start or have poor fuel economy. Another cause for computer breakdown is jump starting incorrectly and an open circuit battery. These are enemies to the computer and need to be avoided at all cost.
IS IT EXPENSIVE TO REPAIR?
The average price of a computer will cost around $500.00 depending on the make. It is possible to purchase a reconditioned computer from your local spare parts retailer for around $300.00. When you purchase your computer make sure you receive a receipt and a warranty. If you buy from the wreckers they may sell the unit without a warranty and it might not operate.
This article is found in the Virtual mechanic CD Rom
You can download it for the price of a latte, but you will learn not to buy a lemon
By Darren Gow-Brown, Melbourne Australia ©2009