ECU, or Engine Control Unit, is an electronic control unit that functions to control a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine to ensure optimal engine performance. It operates by reading values from a multitude of sensors within the engine compartment thru interpreting data by the use of multidimensional performance maps and engine actuators adjustments
- It serves as the brain of the vehicle. It operates the engine and adjusts measured contents, for example, oxygen sensors, water, air temperature, and adjusts spark timing. It aims to operate the vehicle as efficiently as possible.
- Modern engine control units use a microprocessor that is capable of processing engine inputs from engine sensors.
- An ECU is composed of hardware and software or firmware.
- ECU aftermarket or upgrade modifications is possible through the use of a programmable ECU in place of the genuine shipped ECU. Some of the upgrade possibilities include turbocharging, achieving a naturally aspirated engine, fuel injection, spark plug and transmission modifications.