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Do I REALLy need a new Computer????

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 24 Jul 2012, 11:51 pm
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Default Do I REALLy need a new Computer????

First off, sorry if this is too long, I just don't want to leave out any important info...
I have a 2005 pt turbo ltd edition with 91,000 miles. About 5 or 6 months ago, the cruise control started malfunctioning. I could turn it on and set it and it would work fine, but if I tapped the brakes and didn't reset it within a couple minutes, it would go off and I couldn't turn it back on. By going off, I mean pressing the button wouldn't show "cruise control" on my odometer. I lived with this as an inconvenience. About 3 months ago, the check engine light started coming on for a few days and then would go off for a few days. I didn't notice any difference in the engine or gas mileage..but, it did seem like the gas gauge was not going down like it normally did (it would go from full to 3/4 in one day about 100 miles after I filled the tank). I figured it was maybe a bad gas cap or 02 sensor. Every time I made plans to take it to the shop, the light went out, then about 2 weeks ago, the light was on and the engine idled VERY rough when I was waiting to turn out of a grocery store. I thought it was going to stall on me so I drove straight to my (old) mechanic and had him run the codes. He got 2 02 sensor heating codes and a cruise control code. He said he was going to have to research them and get back to me. The next day he said he was still researching it but it looked like it was more than just the 02 sensors and he wanted me to bring it in and have them run some diagnostics on it. Well, that fell through because his shop is disorganized, so today I took it to another shop.

They said the codes were poo37 and 31, they spent 3 hrs diagnosing ($270) and this is what they said: oxygen sensor heater circuit performance, olms test 02 sensor heaters ok, no voltage from computer, connections to computer good, RECOMMEND REPLACE COMPUTER. Also has code 586 cruise control, checked over cc system, all good, may be caused by computer, may have to retest after computer replaced.

They quoted me $900 for the computer ($600+ and will take 2-3 wks to get) and labor. They said it is not an urgent repair and I should be ok to drive the car (as did my old mechanic). I cannot find anything that says replacing the computer is common or even necessary. I don't want to fork out $900 on something I don't need. Especially when I DO need to replace the timing belt, and planned on doing that this fall. I gave them a $200 deposit on the computer and told then to order it, but I think I made a mistake.....

Any ideas?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 25 Jul 2012, 12:34 am
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Default Re: Do I REALLy need a new Computer????

Quote:
Originally Posted by flwrchk View Post
First off, sorry if this is too long, I just don't want to leave out any important info...
I have a 2005 pt turbo ltd edition with 91,000 miles. About 5 or 6 months ago, the cruise control started malfunctioning. I could turn it on and set it and it would work fine, but if I tapped the brakes and didn't reset it within a couple minutes, it would go off and I couldn't turn it back on. By going off, I mean pressing the button wouldn't show "cruise control" on my odometer. I lived with this as an inconvenience. About 3 months ago, the check engine light started coming on for a few days and then would go off for a few days. I didn't notice any difference in the engine or gas mileage..but, it did seem like the gas gauge was not going down like it normally did (it would go from full to 3/4 in one day about 100 miles after I filled the tank). I figured it was maybe a bad gas cap or 02 sensor. Every time I made plans to take it to the shop, the light went out, then about 2 weeks ago, the light was on and the engine idled VERY rough when I was waiting to turn out of a grocery store. I thought it was going to stall on me so I drove straight to my (old) mechanic and had him run the codes. He got 2 02 sensor heating codes and a cruise control code. He said he was going to have to research them and get back to me. The next day he said he was still researching it but it looked like it was more than just the 02 sensors and he wanted me to bring it in and have them run some diagnostics on it. Well, that fell through because his shop is disorganized, so today I took it to another shop.

They said the codes were poo37 and 31, they spent 3 hrs diagnosing ($270) and this is what they said: oxygen sensor heater circuit performance, olms test 02 sensor heaters ok, no voltage from computer, connections to computer good, RECOMMEND REPLACE COMPUTER. Also has code 586 cruise control, checked over cc system, all good, may be caused by computer, may have to retest after computer replaced.

They quoted me $900 for the computer ($600+ and will take 2-3 wks to get) and labor. They said it is not an urgent repair and I should be ok to drive the car (as did my old mechanic). I cannot find anything that says replacing the computer is common or even necessary. I don't want to fork out $900 on something I don't need. Especially when I DO need to replace the timing belt, and planned on doing that this fall. I gave them a $200 deposit on the computer and told then to order it, but I think I made a mistake.....

Any ideas?

ECU's dont usually just die, usually a short causes them to die.

Have you replaced the alternator lately?

I've seen alternators suck so much power when they are going out that they toast an ECU.

Any fusable links pop in the past 6 months? Battery pop? anything even with the least significance to electrical other than what you've already stated?

Heres a cool trick. Unplug the battery :-D wait about 10-15 mintues, then re-connect.

It will take about 100 miles of driving for the ECU to reboot itself and recollect all the data. But it may cure a few issue that could have been caused by a short.

Other than that.......im clueless.
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 12:51 am
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Default Re: Do I REALLy need a new Computer????

I haven't replaced the alternator or any fuses, but I do have rat damage in several places and had to have the wiring in the front right headlight fixed about 1 1/2 yrs ago. I also had to have the battery cables replaced around the same time because the battery was leaking and the corrosion traveled up the cable.
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 01:13 am
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Default Re: Do I REALLy need a new Computer????

Quote:
Originally Posted by flwrchk View Post
I haven't replaced the alternator or any fuses, but I do have rat damage in several places and had to have the wiring in the front right headlight fixed about 1 1/2 yrs ago. I also had to have the battery cables replaced around the same time because the battery was leaking and the corrosion traveled up the cable.
Well that could cause a short. ummmmm im stumped.

Check autozone for the ECU. i've seen the much cheaper than $900. more in the $300-$450 range. shop around........if you can find a better price.......do it......


Also i dont know what they are charging for labor to change it, its not very difficult at all. And when they order it the cars VIN is programed in so they dont have to do anything with programming it.

All they do is unplug the old one and plug in the new one........

I would ask how long in labor hours your looking at. I did the ECU on my 99 neon last year and it took me about 30 minutes.
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 09:49 am
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Default Re: Do I REALLy need a new Computer????

He quoted me $600 for the ECU the rest labor. he said they have to program it to my car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pluminator View Post
Well that could cause a short. ummmmm im stumped.

Check autozone for the ECU. i've seen the much cheaper than $900. more in the $300-$450 range. shop around........if you can find a better price.......do it......


Also i dont know what they are charging for labor to change it, its not very difficult at all. And when they order it the cars VIN is programed in so they dont have to do anything with programming it.

All they do is unplug the old one and plug in the new one........

I would ask how long in labor hours your looking at. I did the ECU on my 99 neon last year and it took me about 30 minutes.
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 10:40 am
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Default Re: Do I REALLy need a new Computer????

Somebody posted a linky for a inexpensive PCMSs

IF you've had grounding issues (and Rodent issues!!) before, I'd strongly suggest taking time to clean grounds, and spend some of your own time with an ohmmeter checking grounds.

This isn't highly technical, and from sounds of it you didn't like paying to have then dink around to just give you codes
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Do I REALLy need a new Computer????

I have absolutely no idea how to find and check much less clean grounds. I asked him if rat damage caused the computer to short and he said he doubts it since the rat damage is at least a couple years old and they checked all the wires and there was no damage. I am even more confused now because some people say no programing is necessary and others say it is. The mechanic says it is. On top of it all, this is the first time I have been to a new mechanic in 13 yrs and I am very leery, even though he was recommended by several people. I just don't want to y $900 for something I don't need or can get for less, but I don't want to fork out another $275 for a second opinion.
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Do I REALLy need a new Computer????

$239 here...

2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser ECM/PCM
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 01:26 pm
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Default Re: Do I REALLy need a new Computer????

An ohmmeter is only a few $$ at sears.

All you need to do loosen ground wires (prolly 5/16 / 8mm, these sizes are the same) and srape clean.

You can disconnect O2 sensors, and test connector pinout for a good ground.

None of this is technical- It's just not alot of fun, unless you convince yourself it is.
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 03:08 pm
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Default Re: Do I REALLy need a new Computer????

Quote:
Originally Posted by flwrchk View Post
He quoted me $600 for the ECU the rest labor. he said they have to program it to my car.
They do not program it, the manufacturer does when they order it , usually included in the price of the ECU. if they want to program it themselves they are looking for extra $$ to charge you in my OP
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