Powertrain Control Module Explained Powertrain Control Module Explained
A powertrain control module, also known as PCM, consists of electronic control units that are used to control the different functional units of the vehicle. Essentially, the PCM is the brain of the engine control system. In the event of a PCM malfunction, the whole engine system will also go haywire. Monitoring and regular maintenance of the PCM is very important.
Diagnosing a Problem in the PCM
There are 2 main reasons why the PCM may fail, namely, environmental reasons and voltage overload. A power surge or a short in the solenoid may trigger a voltage overload, which can damage the PCM. On the other hand, environmental factors, such as poor weather, can expose the system to moisture. Moisture can short circuit the system and cause corrosion, which can lead to serious damage. Note that once your system is corroded, its integrity will be compromised and you will to either need to do extensive repairs, or replace your system to get your vehicle working again. other problems that can cause the PCM to malfunction are thermal stress and strong vibrations.
Using a Card Reader
Diagnosing a problem in the PCM is best done with the use of a card reader. The card reader is designed to reflect the problems in the PCM in codes, which you can easily understand using the code interpretation table on the card reader.