The Volkswagen engine control module performs the task as suggested by the name — it controls the engine of your car. This part, often called the Volkswagen ECM, is an on-board computer meant to operate your car’s major systems. It is made up of hardware (a circuit board) which is encoded with the needed software program that tells your car how to run properly.
The ECM for Eurovans, Touaregs, and other Volkswagens is essentially the brain of the vehicle. Should the ECM malfunction, it could impact many of the systems of your vehicle. It can also be very difficult to determine if there is a problem with the ECM. If the ECM is not functioning properly, it doesn’t “know” to alert you of the problem. Instead, it will usually throw codes for other systems of the car that are actually working just fine.
If you do find that your Volkswagen ECM is bad or going out, it's best to replace it with a genuine VW ECM. Replacing the ECM with a new OEM unit is not very difficult and can usually be done with hand tools. Only the factory unit will completely restore the functionality of the VW ECM.
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