The fuel ECU (Electronic Control Unit) is a computerised control unit that manages and regulates the fuel system and engine performance and efficiency.
It is the job of the fuel ECU to ensure that the fuel engine is operating correctly and all parts of the fuel system are performing properly in accordance with the engine. It does this by monitoring the functions of the engine and other vehicle components to make sure that the correct amount of fuel is distributed to perform their tasks. Based on information received from a range of clever engine sensors, the fuel ECU adjusts the vehicle performance by controlling the operation of a series of valves, switches, actuators, sensors and motors.
Usually the fuel ECU is situated within the dashboard or engine bay.
The control unit also performs various tests on the vehicles sensors to make sure that they are operating correctly. If the fuel ECU finds an error, it will store the data so that it can be referred back to and rectified by the vehicle owner or a reputable mechanic. It is often possible to read or interrogate your cars ECU using a laptop computer with relevant software and cable or a dedicated reader via a connection port which is usually located in the dashboard. This method is used by mechanics for diagnosis of engine faults.
Like any electronic component, the fuel ECU can fail for a number of reasons including short circuits, dry solder joints, water damage or age. Diagnosis is generally much easier with the correct reader which can be used to obtain error codes from the ECU. Bad data from failed or degraded sensors are also common cause of ECU related faults. A failing fuel ECU can manifest with various symptoms, the most serious of which would be the vehicle failing to start. Drops in fuel efficiency, vehicle jerking, transmission problems or issues in changing gears can also be put down to a faulty fuel ECU as it controls a large amount of processes in the vehicle. When you need to replace this vital component, a good quality fuel ECU will provide a part that is compatible with the make and model of your vehicle.