by Dave Blundell


A vehicle typically has as many as a dozen or more electronic controllers, many of which are networked to communicate with each other. These computerized devices go by many different names, including electronic control unit or engine control unit (ECU), transmission control unit (TCU), or transmission control module (TCM).

While these terms may have specific meanings in a formal setting, similar terms are often used interchangeably in practice. What may be a TCU to one manufacturer is a TCM to another, yet both electronic controllers perform the same or extremely similar functions.

Most automotive control modules ...

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