6 Types of Control Modules in Modern Cars

6 Types of Control Modules in Modern Cars – If you enjoy all the technology in today’s new cars then you agree with technological advances. This is the fruit of developing science and technology, especially for four-wheeled vehicles. Not a few are asking how it can happen. This can happen because every vehicle has a mini-computer. This mini-computer helps organize sensors and actuators in each of their respective functions. Then, what are the types of modules in a car?

Read more: ECM vs PCM vs ECU what are the differences?

6 Types of Control Modules in Modern Cars


6 Types of Control Modules in Modern Cars

In the current era, car technology is developing very rapidly, starting from the more sophisticated basic car features, and safety features to entertainment features. The latest car technology uses computers to regulate and control every part of the car such as to control the engine, brakes, body, and so on. The computer is usually referred to as a control unit or module. The module works based on input from sensors or switches and then produces output through the actuator. As technology develops, the modules in cars are also growing and there are more variations. The following will explain the basic modules that are common in a car.

1. Engine control module (ECM)

Engine control module or often also called ECM and some people say ECU. This is a control unit that functions to regulate the work of the machine. ECM aims to produce effective and efficient engine power. An engine system that uses a control unit as its main control is called an engine management system.

ECM is a computer system that is integrated with other components in the car. With the ECM, the fuel combustion process can be done automatically. We can say, the function of the ECM becomes the “brain” of a car. An ECM also protects the engine if there is a disturbance in the vehicle. When the car is experiencing interference, the connected sensor will immediately send a special signal. This module then receives and reads the signal. Well, from this signal the ECM then deactivates the vehicle system.

Read more: 6 Symptoms of TPS Sensor Damage

2. Transmission control module (TCM)

TCM serves to regulate the performance of the automatic transmission by shifting the speed gears automatically. All of this works based on data from vehicle speed sensors, engine RPM, and engine load. But there are several other inputs as a reference for determining the appropriate speed gear when the vehicle is running. The shape and type of TCM vary depending on the type of automatic transmission in the car. But in general, the way TCM works is almost the same, namely using a solenoid to move the speed gear position.

Read more: Mitsubishi CVT Transmission Maintenance is Easy

3. Electronic brake control module (EBCM)

EBCM or also called ABS control unit. EBCM is a control unit whose job is to regulate the work of the ABS system. For this one module, we may have heard it many times. Its function is to regulate the braking system to prevent the wheels from being locked or slipping when on slippery roads. This module also plays a role in several safety systems such as the electronic stability system (ESC) and hill start assist (HSA).

6 Types of Control Modules in Modern Cars
6 Types of Control Modules in Modern Cars – 1. Engine control module: 2. Transmission control module: 3. Electronic brake control module: 4. Body control module; 5. Airbag control module; 6. HVAC control module.

The ABS control module works to regulate the pressure in the brake lines based on input from the speed sensors mounted on the four wheels. The EBCM is also connected to the dash panel so that when there is a problem with the ABS system, the EBCM will provide information on the ABS indicator on the dash panel.

Read more: 7 Causes Of ABS Lights On, What Are They?

4. Body control module (BCM)

BCM is a control unit that regulates the electricity in the car body such as interior and exterior lights, wipers, washers, and other electrical components of the car body. BCM is the center of the electrical body of the car. If the BCM is damaged, the main electrical of the car will not work, besides the BCM is usually a bridge between the high-speed CAN bus and the low-speed CAN bus, so it is almost certain that if the BCM has a problem, the electrical body or even the engine will experience the impact. BCM is very susceptible to water. Therefore, if the car is flooded, we can make sure that the BCM must be replaced.

Read more: What is a Local Area Network on a Car?

5. Airbag control module

An airbag control unit is a control unit that regulates the airbag system. This control unit works with input from several sensors such as impact sensors and safety belts. The cables in the airbag system are very sensitive and there should not be the slightest bad connection in the airbag cable cables. This happens because the airbag control module reads the resistance on each sensor or on the airbag component. So if the cable connection is bad it will increase the resistance which will then be read by the air control unit and the effect will make the airbag indicator light up.

Read more: Car After Collision: Can Airbags Be Repaired or Should They Be Replaced?

6. HVAC control module

The HVAC control module is responsible for regulating the work of the AC and Heater systems. This control unit usually contains buttons or panels to adjust the air conditioning temperature, blower speed, airflow, and other AC system settings. The HVAC control module usually has an information screen that displays the current AC condition or mode. In some cars, the HVAC control module is integrated with the head unit. So that the AC system settings can be done through the head unit.

Read more: Causes of AC Not Cold when the Car is Stopped

In addition to the control module above, some types of vehicles are equipped with additional modules, the number will be even greater if the car has more sophisticated technology. In this article, it will not be explained in detail, but may be explained in another article. Some additional control modules are as follows:

  1. Keyless control module.
  2. Gateway control module.
  3. Radiator fan control module.
  4. Door system control module.
  5. Immobilizer control module.
  6. Transfer case control module.
  7. Differential control module.
  8. Parking brake control module.

There may be some that have more than the number of modules we listed above. Therefore, to complete the information that we have compiled above, please write down the type of module that we have not recorded in the comments column.

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