Never trust new parts!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Gh0stRider, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Gh0stRider

    Gh0stRider New Member

    I've had similar things happen before, but thought I would share this one with you guys.

    A friend of mine busted the connector housing off of the ECU on his car when he was changing a bad motor mount. (Leaned on the ECU connector trying to shift the engine to line up the mounting bolts)

    Anyway, he ordered a new ECU, flashed with his vehicles firmware and the engine refused to start. It would sputter a little but not start and run.

    I went over and verified fuel pressure, and I was getting spark on cylinders 1 and 4 but not 2 and 3. Checked the resistance of the prmary and secondary on the coil pack and it checked OK. Then I put a test light on the 2 control pins to the ECU. Cranked the engine and the light blinked. Good! Put the test light on the other pin and it went on solid - no blinking. BAD! The new ECU has a shorted FET driver!

    My friend was in total disbelief that a new part could be defective, so I messed with the old ECU with the broken connector, and got the car started and running on the old ECU. But the old one cannot be used as the waterproof seal is broken and the locking tabs are gone. But it did provide hard proof that the "remanufactured" ECU was bad.

    We used for the pinouts and wiring diagram. Well worth the subscription. Kicks the cr@p out of Chilton manuals.

  2. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    sorry ghost but "re-manufactured" is not new.... You get what you pay for... especially with car parts. not surprised one bit.

    A good junkyard or ebay find would have probably fixed the problem and been cheaper too.
  3. Gh0stRider

    Gh0stRider New Member

    No kidding eh? :dunce: :jester:

    This particular ECU is known to have problems with intermittent solder joint that need to be reflowed, and the firmware is vehicle specific. If I bought one from a junkyard, I'd probably have to have it flashed by the dealer or a garage with the proper equipment. And who knows if the junkyard unit has other issues. New units are not available from the manufacturer anymore. (13 year old car) So a reman unit is the only choice to do the job right.

    I have also had brand new parts (not reman) either fail out of the box, or a short time after installation. I don't screw around with reman alternators and starters as many of the shops simply clean up and repaint old parts, replacing only the bare minimum to make them function. The last straw for me was several years ago when a reman alternator pooped out a month after installation. The replacement was free (under warranty) but the car nearly left me stranded. (and with an expensive tow bill) I miked the slip rings on the replacement to find that they were already worn beyond the manufacturers wear limit. Sure looked nice because they had cleaned up the slip rings on a lathe, but the micrometer told a different story.

    The company that remanufactured this particular ECU could be one of cr@ppy shops that doesn't apply all the hardware upgrades. It is obvious that they didn't test the coil driver functionality on this one. Greed and cost cutting at its finest.
  4. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    what kind of car is it... a pos chevy cavalier or something?

    HONDA is the only way to go... I have never even heard of a bad honda ecu. And I know for a fact that not only will an ecu work in another car of the same make and model... many of them will work on completely different cars with completely different engines.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  5. Gh0stRider

    Gh0stRider New Member

    Worse, a POS Chrysler. LOL

    Seriously though, even Honda ECU's go bad. Every car has its idiosyncrasies. Look at Toyota. Not quite as bulletproof as CR would lead you to believe. Decent cars, but all cars have problems.

    Many manufactuers use the same ECU for many different models and engines, but like I said before, the model specific firmware needs to be flashed into the memory for your particular engine.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  6. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Back when I was about 17, I worked for a battery company. Anytime someone came in for a new battery, we took the old one, cleaned it up and charged it for 24 hours. If it held a charge, wham, a reconditioned battery went on the market. Corroded battery terminals sell lots of new batteries. There is a alternator company in Birmingham I do trust. They do rebuild the products they sell, new HD diode bars and bearings. Lots of places just slap on some paint and let it go.
  7. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    I bought 2 of those "remanufactered" starts a while ago must have only had the paint reconditioned. Each one failed within 2 weeks requiring replacement which was a PITA because engine had to be lifted to access the starter. After the 2nd starter failed, I got a junkyard part and paid $300 in labor to replace it. It lasted the life of the car.

    I try to rebuild/recondition certain car parts myself if possible. BTW, I just got a new ECU that I got reflashed with a great tune for my diesel Jeep Liberty. It rocks and our Liberty is now averaging 26.68 mpg with mixed driving.