4 Symptoms Of A Faulty ECU In A Car

Man Fixing Car T Kadamany

The Engine Control Unit is one of the car’s most important components. It is essentially the computer of the vehicle. It, therefore, plays a significant role when it comes to the overall functionality of your car.

If your ECU becomes damaged it is important to get it fixed as soon as you can. The problem can easily become a lot worse and you will undoubtedly end up with hefty repair charges on your hands. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, let’s take a look at the most telling signs showing that you could have a faulty ECU:

1. Negative emissions results

First and foremost, one effect of a faulty ECU can be that you experience problems with fuel efficiency. To rule out all other possibilities you should check the engine itself, the oil levels and the emissions filter on your car. This is something that will happen during your car service, which is why you need to commit to regular services. You don’t want to end up paying for full car services all the time!

Any of the former means you could need replacement parts. Look for a reputable supplier so you will have no trouble finding the parts needed. If all of these components seem to be in working order it looks like you will need an ECU repair or replacement.

2. Does the engine light stay on?

More often than not, if there is an issue with your engine light it is because there is a problem with your ECU rather than the engine – as many believe to be the case. Therefore, if your engine light does not stay on you are likely to have an ECU fault.

In addition to this, there are additional electronic indicators found on your dash which may have problems as a result of a faulty ECU. For example, if your dashboard says one thing yet your car does another, this shows that there is an issue with the electronic brain of your vehicle. 

3. Your car won’t start

If your vehicle won’t start you know that there is clearly an issue. Frequently this problem stems from the ECU. However, there are indeed other instances whereby your vehicle won’t start because of a different problem. So, if your car won’t start you cannot be one hundred percent certain this is the reason why.

Nevertheless, you can do a few further checks to be sure. For instance, make sure you have enough gas and that the battery is charged. If everything else seems in check then the ECU could well be the issue. 

4. Battery issues

Last but not least, a lot of people do not realise it but a faulty ECU can actually result in problems with the battery of your vehicle. This is because it can cause the battery to be undercharged or overcharged. One effective way of testing this issue further is to try the battery in another vehicle. Nevertheless, it is worth bearing in mind that the battery itself may not be the issue but the cables may be battered. Therefore, this is something worth examining further. 

How much does it cost to repair a car ECU in the UK?

If your car is experiencing any of the four issues mentioned you should get your ECU checked by professionals. The worst thing you can do is leave the problem unattended to. This is because the average cost, according to The ECU Doctor, to repair an ECU is between £180 – £220+vat. If you get the ECU sorted as soon as you can, you minimise the overall impact and you ensure repair costs are kept as low as possible.

Top tip: be sure to check the ECU when looking into buying a second-hand car!

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