What Causes a Cummins ECM to Break?

  • What Causes a Cummins ECM to Break?

    What Causes a Cummins ECM to Break?

    To understand why a Cummins ECM fails you likewise need to know how it runs and its purpose.

    Cummins ECM Operations

    The Cummins Engine Control Module is responsible for your cooling system, fuel delivery, engine timing, and charging system. It also provides split-second monitoring and data activity to ensure vehicle safety and functionality. Since it is essentially the “brain” of your engine you simply can’t operate without it.

    Common Reasons for Cummins ECM Malfunction

    Component Failure

    The most common problem you will face is component failure. An ECM uses the same components as your phone, a laptop or an ipad. The semi-conductors that are used might have a shorter life expectancy than you would expect. After all, they are assessed for performing long-term with hourly testing.  These parts were built with the idea of them wearing out in mind, but there are other factors to consider.

    Weather and Environment

    Any ECM is very susceptible to its environment and the weather. The same way your phone won’t turn on if it’s too hot or too cold your ECM similarly has operating temperatures that it needs to stay at. A Cummins ISX ECM is reaching operating temperatures of over 220 degrees Fahrenheit and it constantly fluctuates. These conditions are critical to the proper functionality of your electronic components.

    Engine Vibration

    ECMs are usually manufactured directly on the side of your motor. The mechanical vibration you get from the engine wears down any electronic components mounted near the source. This is also how voltage spikes occur and damage the internal circuits inside your ECM.

    Water Damage

    Rain water and other forms of moisture deteriorate your metal parts and circuit board of your ECM. A special sealant is recommended to prevent moisture build up.


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