One of the common questions asked is how to tell if the Ford car computer is going bad.  The engine control module (ECM) is one of the most important components found on modern vehicles today.  The ECM, which is also known as the engine control unit (ECU) or the powertrain control module (PCM), functions as the main computer.  A problem with the ECM can mean that there will be any of an assortment of issues with the vehicle.  Although Ford vehicles are excellent in quality, problems still can occur, so let’s go through the list of potential symptoms.  When it does fail you can order a new one online or from a local auto-parts store.

The Check Engine Light

There are a few key symptoms of an ECM going bad on a Ford is that the Check Engine Light comes on.  Although the Check Engine Light can mean many things in itself, it is often the first indication of a computer problem.  The first thing to do when the Check Engine Light comes on is to scan the computer for trouble codes, which can reveal if there is an issue with the ECM, or somewhere else on the vehicle.  The first thing to do is to take the car or truck to a qualified, professional technician.  Ideally it should be someone who specializes in Ford vehicles.

Vehicle Does Not Start

There can be a number of causes for an engine not starting well, but one of them includes a problem with the ECM.  The ECM will lose engine management control if the unit goes completely bad.  This also includes the vehicle not being able to start.  The engine may still turn over, but it will be unable to get the vital inputs from the ECM.

Engine Misfiring or Stalling

This is another situation in which the engine management controls stops functioning within the ECM.  The faulty computer will cause the automobile to begin to stall or misfire.  This may occur at the same time that the Check Engine Light comes on.  However, the symptoms may come and go as the vehicle is driven.

Performance Problems

Naturally, when the component that is controlling engine firings and timing, there will be a problem with engine performance.  This can include a reduction in power and acceleration, as well as fuel efficiency.  The early sign of a faulty ECM is the gradual decline in performance, which may not always be noticeable.

Since the engine control module plays such an important role with any vehicle, including a Ford, any issues with the ECM can be a cause for major problems.  These computers are highly sophisticated and vehicles have become highly reliant on them for optimal performance.  Unfortunately, they do break down from time to time.  If you suspect that the ECM is having a problem of any kind, bring the vehicle into a technician immediately and let he or she know about the symptoms.

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