There are several modes of fuel injection box failure - All ECU's are subject
FI controllers generally save maps by "flashing" or "burning" or "writing"
the desired map into the "Flash" memory area of the microprocessor in the
FI controller - or - into a less common "Prom" (programmable, read only
In a power commander, for instance, when you hit "Send" table or map, it
burns the map into the flash memory area.
Failure mode: You write a map and it seems to work fine, but some
time later, days, weeks or months, the map changes back to the originally
programmed map (or something else) - dumping your custom map. You reprogram
the map and it works fine for a while, but eventually gets lost again.
It looks like if the map gets lost once, that that FI controller will
likely do it again and should be replaced.
If you know what the FI controller microprocessor is, you can do an
internet search and "program loss" for more detail.
High rpm output loss - feels and sounds like a "rev limiter)
This is a dying controller box. The output circuitry is internally shorting
or developing a permanent open circuit (somewhere internally). It may happen,
then if you let the unit cool, it may work OK, till it's hot again. It is
extremely hard on the vehicle's stock ECU, slamming it with unexpected transient
voltages. It is possible to ruin the stock ECU if the FI controller fails
in this mode.
Input precision and data processing corruption
Sometimes the FI controller will begin to fail and it will provide scattered
rpm or throttle position information. This can be caused by a failing analog
to digital converter, poor physical signal conditioning, poor software filtering
or simply sloppy programming. If it "was" ok and stable, and begins, at
some point in time, to provide "scattered" data (like this did last night
on an 05 999s Ducati -
Communication loss (intermittent or permanent)
When you are programming or monitoring a running engine, the FI controller
intermittently locks up the tuning software. Communication error notifications
appear on the computer screen. You computer may lock up and need to be rebooted.
This is more likely to happen at around 8000 rpm, not so common at lower
BIG warning. The FI controller is sending voltage
spikes to your computer. These spikes relatively easily travel though
a poorly shielded mini plug USB comm system.
Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)
Usually follows the above. VERY bad for your computer. Voltage spikes
have entered the system and scrambled the computer processor or memory and
the system is shutting down.
Blue Screen of Death and ensuing hard disc death
Repeated attempts (2 or 3+?)to continue using an FI controller that
has flakey USB communication and is generating BSOD's is entirely likely
to destroy your hard disc. The voltage spikes, entering through a poorly
shielded USB system (cable and internal shielding or internal hardware design
) scramble the hard disc control and the arm will chatter across the hard
disc, physically ruining it.
It seems that it's not an every day occurrence, but I've lost 2 laptop hard
discs over the last few years while tuning and experienced many BSOD's -
and only when using an FI controller with a "mini" USB connection.
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The extension of the laboratory
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