Petrol ECUs had been in existence since the 1950s but were almost considered as experimental at that time. Bosch introduced the Bosch “D” system in the early 1970s, which was used in such prestigious models as Mercedes, Porsche, Jaguar and Volvo. The first use of petrol ECUs on a mass scale was in the mid 1980s when Austin Rover introduced a simple carburettor control ECU supplied by Lucas. This was used in the humble Maestro / Montego, and was effectively an automatic choke and drive for the temperature warning light. Fuel injected versions of similar models such as the Rover 820, used petrol ECUs, again manufactured by Lucas.
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A plethora of vehicle manufacturers followed suit, introducing fuel injected sports models using a petrol ECU, usually running alongside carburetted versions in the lower specification versions. Stricter emission regulations introduced in the early 1990s led to most vehicle manufacturers switching from the use of carburettors to single point injection units with a petrol ECU as standard on all vehicles. At this point in time virtually every vehicle being produced used at least one ECU, so the potential market was huge. ( Some vehicles had separate ECUs for fuel / ignition / transmission etc. )
Petrol ECUs have evolved over the years with vehicle manufacturers varying the systems fitted to models from the ECU manufacturers available. Identifying the specific ECU fitted to specific car has become a challenge – this is the reason that ATP always request part number identification from the original ECU in your vehicle before we can supply a replacement.
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Present day petrol ECUs are individually programmed to the actual vehicle – for example, 1 part number of ECU can be fitted to several different models / specifications / engine sizes etc. This is made possible by having a “part programmed” ECU which is then tailored to suit the actual vehicle on installation. If you would like to know more about any of our ECU services then please get in touch today.