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Counterman Education Center

Understanding Powertrain Control Modules

When a customer needs a replacement PCM, identifying and selecting the correct unit is critical.

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Known by many acronyms, vehicle computers use input from multiple sensors to make decisions about how to keep the vehicle running correctly throughout a wide range of conditions and then send their own signals to various actuators, modules and solenoids.  

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You can think of these as “if/then” functions. If the PCM receives signal “X” from a particular sensor, then its programming prompts it to do “Y.” If it does not receive this particular signal, it may do nothing, or if it receives a different signal, then it does “Z.”  

At its heart, a PCM operates in binary language, which is a series of ones and zeros that can represent “yes” or “no” answers to a question.

This video is sponsored by The Pronto Network.        

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