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What Does the Engine Control Computer Do?

You probably know this already, but today’s light-duty truck is a computer on wheels. Automotive technology has been combining automotive engineering with computer technology for decades, longer than you might imagine, and today’s light-duty trucks stay within emissions standards with the help of engine control computers (ECCs). You not only need to be an automotive expert to work in the auto service industry these days; you also need to know a thing or two about computer chips. Thankfully, we here at Midlane Truck & Trailer Repair do, so let’s talk about the ECC on your light-duty truck.

Why Does My Truck Need an ECC?

The primary purpose of the engine control computer is to monitor sensors throughout the engine that keep tabs on your light-duty truck’s emissions. The ECC monitors your vehicle’s emissions system and also the fuel and ignition systems. This makes our job easier from one aspect: Gone are the days of the traditional tune-up. The ECC replaces the need to do everything except replace filters and the spark plugs. Repairs might be necessary on all three systems, but tune-ups have definitely changed.

Your light-duty truck uses the ECC to make sure your vehicle is all-systems-go. Think of your truck like a space ship from your favorite science fiction series – we don’t want to just assume it’s the Star Wars franchise. When you start your truck, the ECC talks with the sensors in the emissions, fuel, and ignition systems to make certain everything is a-okay. Without the ECC, the systems would not have the communicative device they need to send an error code to alert you of trouble.

Things the ECC Monitors

Within your vehicle’s emissions, fuel, and ignition systems are a ton of sensors that have their own function. These sensors control and monitor your light-duty truck’s emissions, stay on top of your vehicle’s air/fuel mixture and fuel consumption, and keep an eye on the spark plugs and other ignition system components to ensure you can always start your light-duty truck. Specifically, the ECC keeps a computerized eye on the camshaft position, coolant temperature, crankshaft position, exhaust oxygen, manifold absolute pressure, mass airflow, and throttle position sensors. Should any of these sensors return an error, the ECC will illuminate the “Check Engine” light on your dashboard.

Bring your light-duty truck into Midlane Truck & Trailer Repair in Eugene, OR, the minute your dashboard warning light comes on. There is a problem and we can run a diagnostic check to fix it. CALL ahead at 541-246-9551.

Photo by Welcomia from Canva Pro.
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