A misbehaved car is just another perk of adulting. I know it can be frustrating. Whether you are running late for work because your car isn’t starting, or your car has randomly shut down in the middle of nowhere, oftentimes, all of it funnels down to a common cause.
There are several mishaps a car can throw when an ECM fuse is faulty or blown, as the ECM or Engine Control Module can be compared to the brain of a car. In this article, we will explain what are the symptoms of a blown ECM fuse to help you narrow it down.
A Blown ECM Fuse: How to Properly Interpret the Symptoms
The symptoms of a blown ECM fuse are quite typical and straightforward, which brings us to this basic explanation:
1. Check Engine Light!
If it isn’t the first on the list of bothersome topics. No matter how much we make fun of the check engine light, we can’t deny its usefulness. The first thing that you will notice as a consequence of a blown ECM fuse is this.
A few helpful codes that might slightly specify a blown ECM fuse are P0600 to P0605, shown on display.
I understand that it doesn’t help rule out other causes since this is a general symptom and doesn’t specify the actual reason. That’s why you should head over to the next points.
2. Engine Not Starting
You refilled the fuel tank yesterday, and you hit the ignition, but the engine just won’t start. This is a tell-tale sign that something is up with the fuses, specifically the ECM fuse.
Make sure that the engine is adequately warmed up after an idle night or a cold day and that your mobile is up to the brim. If these issues are taken care of, you might want to start blaming an electric surge that caused your ECM fuse to blow.
I want to make an important remark that an electric surge might be from an internal circuit abnormality. Or from an external issue such as charging your hybrid car through a plug with a fluctuating voltage.
3. Engine Shutting Down
One time my car shut down in an abandoned area, and that made me think: an engine that shuts down is worse than an engine that doesn’t even start.
The purpose of an ECM is to relay commands and associated information to the engine. Suppose your hands are equivalent to the engine and your brain to an ECM. When the fuse blows, the ECM can no longer send signals to the engine.
Consequently, the engine goes haywire and starts implementing commands on its own. Your engine might randomly shut down or might misfire. This is another topic related to the warming up of the engine – make sure that you aren’t trying to drive a car that isn’t even properly revved.
4. Lights, Radio, and Action- Or Not
On top of an unhinged engine, if the interior utilities of your car stop functioning, that very well points to a blown ECM fuse. You might experience trouble with the interior lights, the radio, the indicator signals, or the air conditioning.
Missing out on the Superbowl because of a malfunctioning radio might be okay, but good luck explaining to a cop why you didn’t have your turn signal on.
5. Rude Gear, My Dear
A faulty or unresponsive ECM is a reason why your throttle has escaped your control. You might have problems while changing your gears, such as feeling a hard shift, or the shifts might even be delayed. Come to think of it; the latter might prove to be dangerous if you are driving a manual gear vehicle.
This symptom might be masked in an auto gear car and might not even be noticed until the problem has progressed further. Talking about gears, there can be an acceleration loss. You will see a loss in momentum, and your journey will feel bumpy.
6. Increased Fuel Consumption
If the price of petrol isn’t mortifying already. In an economy where you would rather put a blindfold on while passing a gas station, a fuel drain is not what you want. A blown ECM fuse will miscalculate the amount of fuel required and will frequently overshoot.
This will cause a significant amount of fuel to be wasted. If you notice an unreasonable increase in the number of trips you take to the gas station, an ECM that is dead from a blown fuse might be the cause.
7. Dynamo/ Alternator Stops Working
The dynamo is the part of your car that charges the battery. When the ECM fuse blows, your dynamo slash alternator will give out pretty soon. If you hear strange clanking, rattling, or other mechanical noises coming from your car, it is suggestive of a collapsed dynamo.
But it is important to remember that your dynamo might shut down for other reasons, such as a splash of water that found a way to get inside, corrosive agents that leaked from another location, etc.
8. Does the Battery Drain Faster or Not?
In today’s episode of Mythbuster, we will explain that the battery doesn’t drain faster, contrary to popular belief. If you had physics in high school, you would remember that the function of a fuse is to take the insult from an elevated electric surge by blowing itself off.
A blown ECM fuse (that is dead and doesn’t conduct electricity any longer) will just stop sending commands to your battery. So yeah, your battery won’t drain energy faster. If you suspect an energy drain, it is more likely that your battery is just dead and is completely unrelated to the ECM fuse.
It seems like a blown ECM fuse can cause several things to go off track. Now that you know what are the symptoms of a blown ECM fuse, you can self-diagnose your car and save some bucks.
You can just replace the ECM fuse, and everything will be as good as new.
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