AutoECMs Blog — ecu car


What is an ECU - Electronic Control Module?

What is an ECU?

An Engine Control Module or Electronic Control Module (ECU) acts as the brain for your car. In fact some people call it the brain box.

ECUs are generally used to monitor and control engine functions such as determining what position the gas pedal is at while idling. This allows the car to know that when you step on the accelerator how much gas it needs to feed the engine based on the amount of throttle you’re giving it.

ECUs also control transmissions, telling the car when to switch gears while driving an automatic transmission vehicle. It can adjust the gear ratio depending on what setting it is put in - such as reverse, drive, overdrive, or sport. 

And some ECUs (known as Body Control Modules) control the function of the windows, door locks, and sunroof - basically all the accessories in or on your vehicle.

Before manufacturers switched to using engine control modules and a large network of computers to control the vehicles functions, everything was manual. Typically the only non-mechanical item in an older vehicle was the radio. Windows, door locks, and all the basic functions drivers now expect in their vehicles were manually operated. 

One of the primary functions of an ECU is monitoring a series of a cars actions to register errors with how it is operating. If an error is detected the ECU will generate a trouble code.

Once the ECU notices the problem and generates the trouble code, it will cause the check engine light to come on. When you notice that your check engine light is on, you should take your car in to have it examined by a mechanic.

The mechanic will hook your car up to an OBD scan tool like the Autel MaxiScan MS300 CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool for OBDII Vehicles and will register any OBD error codes that it may be sending. At this point the mechanic will inspect the location of the error and advise you of any ECU repairs necessary.

Unfortunately if your ECU is malfunctioning you may need to have the ECU repaired or replaced. If your ECU is damaged or the motherboard is corroded you will need a total replacement. Corroded or burned ECUs are generally not repairable.

ECU’s are integral to the operation of modern cars. These are not simple mechanical devices that you should attempt to repair on your own. Make sure that if you are experiencing any problems with your ECU you take it in to a mechanic as soon as possible.

The average cost for a brand new ECU from the original manufacturer runs around $1,500 per unit. Refurbished ECUs like the ones sells can cost a lot less and are a suitable replacement for your defective ECU.

AutoECMs has an extensive database of part numbers for most makes and models of cars/trucks/vans and more. The best way to confirm you are getting a suitable part is to pull the defective ECU from your vehicle to confirm the part number your specific automobile requires.

To learn more about ECUs, here are some good links that will explain the components of an engine's computer network.

Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions about your specific part or need to know availability and pricing. 1-800-900-0194 


DPC-402 Hardware Code Ford Engine Computers

The DPC-402 P/N is a hardware code for the PCM in a Ford truck or van. There are multiple engineering numbers associated with the DPC-402 hardware code.  

If you are looking for DPC-402 Ford PCM’s give us a call at AutoECMs to find out if we have the engine computer you need in stock.

AutoECMS sells remanufactured engine computers and can get you the part you need to get your FORD vehicle back on the road this week.

As much as we love talking to our customers on the phone, we are always super happy when you purchase a part on our webstore directly. We LOOOVE web orders!

If you place a web order you will receive an email from us saying we got your order... and we will send you a tracking number and receipt for your records to the email address you provide when you place the order. If you have any questions about your order, please don't hesitate to call or email us!

We process orders Monday through Friday between 8:30AM to 6PM. Orders which are received on the weekend will be processed the next business day.

Call AutoECMs anytime at 1-800-900-0194 for more information about FORD DPC-402 parts or to check availability and stock levels.


dpc402, dpc-402, dpc 402, F81F-12A650-AD, f6tf-12a650-aua, F7TF-12A650-AYE, F7TF-AYE


Remanufacturing's Environmental Edge [Infographic]

Remanufacturing History

Every year millions of tons of automotive parts are pulled from cars and cycled back into the supply chain as remanufactured auto parts or sold off as recycled raw materials. This practice has been going on since the 1940's and onset of WWII when automotive suppliers began recycling automotive and truck parts to support the war effort. Natural resources were scarce during wartime, and many of the resources we did have in the U.S.A. were going to the war effort to build planes, ships, tanks, and so on. 


Advantages of Remanufacturing

The advantage of remanufacturing is best explained in the book The American Edge: Leveraging Manufacturing's Hidden Assets by Professor Robert T. Lund. Lund says that: "Remanufacturing differs from recycling also, most importantly because it makes a much greater economic contribution per unit of product than does recycling." (1)

Remanufacturing used parts has met the demand for quality replacements for defective auto parts since WWII. Reintroducing used auto parts back into the supply chain has become a global business supporting more than just the military industrial complex. Every-day garages and small shops purchase remanufactured parts from suppliers such as AutoECMs to get their customers back on the road. 

As a remanufacturer AutoECMs finds cores that will be used in the remanufacturing process and assess them as needed for their functionality. Unusable parts and raw materials are collected and transported to recycling centers which specialize in their disposal. Usable parts are remanufactured for consumers such as yourself.


The Life Cycle of an Auto Computer

This infographic on the Life Cycle of an Auto Computer shows the path an electronic control module takes before it gets to the consumer as a remanufactured auto part. When a car is ready to be taken off the road its usable parts are recycled either into Raw Materials or Usable Parts. Auto Computers are a highly sought after component and often pulled out of cars to be remanufactured and re-sold.


The benefits of remanufacturing create a win/win situation for the environment and the automotive repair industry. Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association outlines the benefits of remanufacturing in 4 key points below:

  1. Energy Conservation: Automotive and truck parts are kept out of the resmelting process longer because of remanufacturing. As a result, millions of barrels of oil or comparable forms of energy are saved.
  2. Raw Material Conservation: Remanufacturing gives a product numerous lives instead of just one, thereby saving on raw materials. Rebuilders annually save millions of tons of natural resources such as iron, aluminum, copper, by warehousing used parts and putting them back into service.
  3. Landfill Space Conservation: Landfills are spared from the dumping of of millions of tons of iron, aluminum, copper, etc., because of the monetary value the industry places on parts. The core charge AutoECMs charges ensures parts are returned to be recycled and reused.
  4. Air Pollution Reduction: Keeping parts out of the resmelting process benefits the environment by reducing the air pollution that is generated by resmelting. (2)

With an aging vehicle, electronic parts become obsolete very quickly. Remanufacturing is often the only way to provide replacement parts for older vehicles thus keeping them on the road longer than would be expected. By selling remanufactured parts, AutoECMs sustains aged vehicles and helps keep them out of landfills.


AutoECMs is mindful of the environment by:

  1. Providing consumers the opportunity to purchase remanufactured auto computers.
  2. Recycling the bulk of our paper products with the local waste management facilities.
  3. Re-using viable plastic and paper goods where possible in shipping.
  4. Sizing to fit product packaging to cut down on empty space used during shipping.
  5. Recycling metal components, such as brackets, not needed by the end consumer.

AutoECMs is committed to keeping a small environmental footprint where possible.

Our goal is to tread lightly on the environment while providing a sustainable solution to the automotive industry.

AutoECMs is a proud member of APRA: Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association


See what customers are saying about AutoECM's products and services.

Read the [Testimonials] today.              

Phone: 800.900.0194






Cost: Should I Buy a New, Used or [Reman] ECU?

You climb into your Ford Escape like you would on any ordinary day, but you notice that something is wrong... Your engine light may be on, you get a no start, or your wipers and lights are going crazy so you take your car to the nearest auto repair shop to find out what is wrong with it. 

Why is an ECU Part Number Essential?

For every vehicle an automobile manufacturer sells, there is a specific electronic control unit (ECU) that belongs to that car. The item you seek may have different part numbers within the same make/model/year. Within a particular model there can be multiple options available.