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Ford Explorer Engine Computers

A Ford Explorer engine computer is often referred to as an ECM, or engine control module; or a PCM, which is a power control module. This modern computer can receive input from any system in the vehicle and instantaneously provide an appropriate amount of power to the engine based on the current conditions.

How does it work?

The Explorer's engine computer is powered by the car battery. The computer is designed to transmit a regulated voltage of electricity to every information system that the vehicle uses to function, including additional devices on the network, additional control units, and engine sensors. The engine computer is critical for monitoring the vehicle systems and ensuring that they are all operating correctly.

What happens when the engine computer isn't working properly?

The ECM may not ever need to be replaced, but when it does, it usually occurs between the first 75,000 and 125,000 miles. A failing ECM results in data be interpreted incorrectly, failed operations, failed connections, and erroneous calculations.

A failing ECM can cause persistent malfunctions in most of the vehicle's systems. The engine light is likely to come on soon after the ECM has begun failing. If the ECM has failed, the car may not start or may shut off randomly.

How do you replace the engine computer?

When it's time to replace the ECM for the Ford Explorer, you usually view the parts available by the year and specific cars. These units may come pre-programmed from the Ford factory or as flash units with programming specific to the car. The Ford computers are typically designed to be vehicle-specific, whether it be an automatic transmission or a manual transmission.

The first step in replacing the Explorer ECM is having it assessed with diagnostic testing. The Ford Explorer ECM is usually found in the engine bay, but it may be wise to check your manufacturer's reference manual for an exact location of the part. The Explorer ECM can be tested once any obstructions have been removed. If the ECM fails the diagnostic test, you can begin removing it from the Ford Explorer and replacing it with another working Explorer ECM.

Once diagnostic testing is completed and the panels and obstructions have been removed, the Ford ECM should be relatively easy to remove. If you do not see the ECM in the engine bay or under the front seat, some panels may need to be removed. Disconnect the car battery before attempting to remove the ECM. Disconnecting the electric from the computer allows you to the isolate the power.

You can use a socket wrench to unscrew the bolts securing the Ford Explorer EMC so you can remove it and replace it with the new model. Secure the bolts with the socket wrench and reconnect the electric supply to the Ford ECM. Once it's pushed in all the way, the wire harness locks back in place. Afterward, use a socket wrench to reconnect the car battery.