Smart Car

ECM PCM in Automotive Computer System Operation

Nowadays, many auto manufacturers install an engine computer system to their units which refers to Engine Control Module (ECM) or Powertrain Control Module (PCM). This module generates many kinds of input sensors and switches for information. They operate various components, including voltage regulators, A-to-D converters, output drivers (Transistors), and pressure sensors. When having issues, these components need to be repaired using the latest and advanced tools such as the best transistor tester to test if something is wrong with the output drivers.

Transistor tester

Computer System Operation in an

There are three zones in computer systems, which are input, processing, and output. The input to the computer revolves around switches and sensors. Processing is done inside the personal computer. The computer system works exclusively with voltages. Most sensors convert a voltage signal, usually 5 volts, to a voltage between 0 and 5 volts.

Some detectors send an analog voltage to the computer, so it is a constant or variable voltage, while other sensors send a digital DC signal, which can be an on/off or a large low signal. When a technician connects a scanning instrument or computer to the machine, it will read temperatures in levels, PSI pressures, and positions in ratios. The computer interpreted these readings. The computer links the detector data with an algorithm plus other information and includes an answer for whatever needs to be done to get the machine running.

Voltage Regulators

The computer runs at a lower voltage than the rest of the vehicle. At the beginning of this report, we talked about VREF of 5 volts. This voltage must be fairly accurate and safe. Otherwise, the detector readings would not be accurate. If the voltage regulators are wrong for some reason, you can have error codes for many detectors because the detector voltages are off.

A-to-D Converters

An “A-D” converter converts a DC voltage to digital numbers (stimulation) or an AC voltage to a digital DC signal. Computers are DC electronics and don’t know how to do anything else. The A/D converter is like a translator, translating readings that the computer cannot know into something it can use. It is much easier to interpret a digital signal than an analog one. Some signals have a weak voltage and can even be amplified.

Output Drivers

Output drivers refer to transistors generated to maintain power or ground to an injector solenoid, modulator valve solenoid, and many more. Some motor computers have another driver module. Since these output devices generate most of the computer’s heat, some of them use an array of fins or a hot plate to dissipate the heat.

If there is something wrong with the output drivers, the output drivers are sensitive to amperage and can easily burn out if someone uses a bad connection cable or test process. If you have an error code for injector #5 quad, then the motorist for injector #5 is probably burned out. Examine the immunity of the solenoid for injector #5. Low immunity or a short could cause an amperage spike and damage the injector driver.