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Regency Generators Knowledge Base

What is an engine ECU / ECM on my generator? Why is it important? How can it Help? What is an ECM?

What is an engine ECU or ECM on a generator?

An ECU (Electronic Control Unit) or ECM (Electronic Control Module) are both terms to describe the 'brain' of an electronic engine. An ECU is a type of computer, which takes a variety of inputs from sensors on a diesel engine and uses the information to control unit injectors or the engine actuator. This in turn controls the speed of the engine, by varying the amount of fuel injected into the engine cylinders.

Why is an ECM important? How can an ECM Help?

An ECM / ECU is designed into the engine by an engine manufacturer. Not all engines have ECM / ECU fitted to them.

Because of the wide range of signals and sensors that are fed into and from an ECM / ECU, they can help with lowering emissions, reducing fuel consumption and improving overall engine performance. Because they monitor the engines parameters, they are also used for diagnostics as they store special codes, called a DTC (diagnostic trouble codes).

What is the difference between an ECM / ECU?

The terms ECU and ECM are interchangeable. Different manufacturers refer to them differently, but they perform the same function. 

What are the advantages / disadvantages of an engine with an ECM / ECU?

Advantages Of An ECU / ECM

1) It monitors more of the engines parameters to enable faster response to changes in speed and environmental conditions.

2) It can detect some faults from the engines sensors and shut down the engine to prevent failure.

3) It can communicate with other control elements in the system to provide operator feedback and information. Usually these are provides by diagnostic lights, or by Diagnostic Trouble Codes DTC

Disadvantages Of An ECU / ECM

1) Additional cost, ECU's are more expensive than mechanical governors.

2) Software is often required to adjust parameters, which may be limited to the dealer only.

3) Additional wiring is required over a standard mechanical governor.