There are few parts as critical to keeping a big rig or truck engine running smoothly as the electronic control module (ECM). This is the central nervous system of large trucks that delivers the vital electric current to the different apparatus on the truck that need it for them to perform their function. With the tough, cold winter weather we are now experiencing, it is important to have tips one can follow to help make sure their trucks ECM stays in top running condition.
Garage the Vehicle
This is by far the single best way a truck owner can help a private or commercial truck’s all-important electronic control module survive the winter cold, especially if the garage is heated. An enclosure will also help to keep the effects of the cold minimized by eliminating wind as a factor too; it will keep moisture from being blown into the sensitive electronics of the ECM and also prevent the winds additional cooling effects from becoming a concern. This will also tend to cut down on the freeze/thaw cycle of the ECM which could produce some potentially harmful moisture inside the module. Every attempt should be made to garage a vehicle as much as possible during the colder months when the truck is not being driven.
Allow the Engine to Warm Before Driving
Engines produce a lot of heat in a short amount of time. In a matter of 5 to 10 minutes of idling, a big rig or other truck’s engine will be at the proper operating temperature despite the outside temperature. This will help to ensure that any part, including the ECM, which got extremely cold while the truck was not in use; will once again be closer to their recommended operating temperature. This method is extremely effective for reducing stress on the ECM and preventing unwanted moisture inside the ECM when combined with garaging the truck in the colder months.
Get the Electronic Control Module Tested
No driver ever wants to run the risk of getting stranded because of a bad ECM; this is especially true during the colder months. It is recommended that the truck be taken to a specialized truck electronics company to have the ECM tested.
During the inspection and testing, it can be determined if the way the information the ECM processes to direct the electricity throughout the vehicle is working correctly. Any glitches in the ECM that were detected can be repaired at this time too; this may go a long way toward preventing what might have been a costly and annoying breakdown in the future. Even if the control module is found to be functioning properly, this is still a good time to have it cleaned and have its calibration doubled checked just to be safe.
It is highly advisable for any truck owner to take the steps outlined above to help keep their truck’s all-important electronic control module working properly.
George N Anderson is a freelance writer, blogger and business owner. He loves traveling, reading up on and learning about new things, playing sports and sharing useful companies like DSO Industrial that offers remanufactured ECMs and ECUs for truck engines.
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