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Removing the ECM for Testing and Repair

Have you checked your ECM? Many times a failing engine control module or ECM can give bad readings about an engine's performance. Many times this leads an owner to purchasing parts you may not need (i.e. distributor, coil, injectors, O2 sensors, ISC (idle speed control, idle air control). 

The dealership cost on these units is anywhere from $650-$2000.  This doesn't always include reflash when needed or key/security immobilizers and transponders which are the new very serious and potentially very expensive reality. Before you spend any money, consider a second opinion on the diagnosis.  We have been rebuilding, testing and selling ECM's over the Internet since 1997. Many of the units can be tested by our technicians.  When available a repair or replacement service can be applied.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In some rare cases it is better to leave ECU removal to the professionals due to some labor intensive mounting by some "ingenious engineers".  Our recommendation is if you are not the mechanic, get a price to remove and then re-install the ECM after servicing or replacement to determine if it is in your time/financial budget.

 

FINDING AND REMOVING THE ENGINE COMPUTERS

 How to find the ECM for the Laser (1989-94), Talon (1989-98)  Eclipse (1989-1999) OBD-I, II:

click on thumbnail pics to enlarge


                                          
 

Eclipse/Laser/Talon 1.8l Test car         Eclipse/Laser/Talon 2.0 turbo test car

 

  

1991-99 Eclipse/Laser/Talon ECM excludes 1995-99 Chrysler non-turbo      

How to remove the ECM for Eclipse/Laser/Talon ECM engine controller (excludes 1995-99 Chrysler non-turbo):

Be sure to unplug the battery terminals before removing unit!!! The ECM for engine control is located under the console area near the firewall of engine compartment inside the car. To find it you must remove the small plastic decorative caps and remove the Phillips head screws on both sides of center console area.  This area is under the shifter and emergency brake. After removing screws from both sides, remove the trim panels on both sides to expose the areas under the console. Now look toward the front of the car in the center, under the stereo & A/C area of dash. The ECM is sitting upside-down with 3 plugs in it. It is gold in color and the size is approximately 6"x5"x1.5".  You will need a 10mm or 12mm socket or wrench to unscrew the 3 fasteners holding the ECM in place. It is in there tight, so take your time. To remove the 3 plugs connecting the ECM to the wiring harness, you must depress the small tab in the center of each plug and pull down or in an outward motion. 

 

How to find the ECM for Galant, Diamante, Lexus ES300, LS400, Camry, Mirage, Colt, Summit (most), Excel & Alantra models (1989-1999) Also for Mazda 626 & MX-6, Ford Probe PCM engine/transmission combo control unit (1993-94):

                              

1991 Galant 2.0 DOHC test car

 

Galant/Mirage/Colt/Diamante/Summit:  harness on left is for auto trans TCU with unit removed and harness pulled.  Harness on right shows unit removed for  with molding removed as well as unit unattached from harness.


                              
 

1990-95 Galant ECM       1989-95 Mirage/Colt/Summit ECM

 

How to remove the ECM for Galant/Diamante/ES300/LS400/Camry/Mirage/Colt/Summit:

Be sure to unplug the battery terminals before removing unit!!  Inside the cab on the passenger side remove the trim on the underside of the glove compartment. There should be three screws holding the trim piece in place. This exposes the ECM which in most cases is mounted in the kick panel area of the passenger side or underside behind glove box and sometime the unit is mounted in a receded position, back into the kick panel area. Sometimes the unit is recessed and you may not see anything but the wiring harness. Use your 10 or12mm socket or wrench to remove the mounts.  Unplug the 3 plugs by depressing the tab in the center of plug and pulling away.

 

How to find the ECM for Stealth/3000GT engine control computers ECM (1990-1999) OBD-I

 

   3000GT SL test car

 

Interior of 3000GT/Stealth with ECM (engine controller) shown un-mounted & removed from center console with harness attached.  The TCU (transmission controller-auto trans only) is located between console frame shown and firewall.  It is the unit you see mounted.

 

click on thumbnail to enlarge

1991-99 3000GT/Stealth ECM

 

How to remove the ECM for 3000GT/Stealth ECM engine controller:

Be sure to unplug the battery terminals before removing unit!!! The ECM for engine control is located under the console area near the firewall of engine compartment inside the car. To find it you must remove the small plastic decorative caps and remove the Phillips head screws on both sides of center console area.  This area is under the shifter and emergency brake. After removing screws from both sides, remove the trim panels on both sides to expose the areas under the console. Now look toward the front of the car in the center, under the stereo & A/C area of dash. The ECM is sitting on its side with 3 plugs in it. It is gold in color and the size is approximately 6"x5"x1.5".  You will need a 10mm or 12mm socket or wrench to unscrew the 3 fasteners holding the ECM in place. There are 2 fasteners on the drivers side and 1 on the passenger side. It is in there tight, so take your time. To remove the 3 plugs connecting the ECM to the wiring harness, you must depress the small tab in the center of each plug and pull down or in an outward motion. 

 

How to find the ECS for Stealth/3000GT/Diamante suspension control computers(1991-1998)  

                   

                    ECS unit 

 

How to remove the ECM for 3000GT/Stealth/Diamante ECS electronic controlled suspension unit:

Be sure to remove the negative battery terminal before attempting removal of unit!!  Many of the higher end Stealth/3000GT models and some Diamante models have a computer controlled suspension option.  These computers are located in the passenger rear hatch area.  Remove the plastic window panel just to the right of the passenger rear tail light removal panel.  There you will see the gray colored computer if you car is equipped with it.  It is mounted by three screws.  There is a harness with 2 smaller plugs in the unit.

Important note for all drivers of Mitsubishi vehicles with Electronic Controlled Suspension ECS modules:

These models cars utilizing the Mitsubishi ESC have internal component failure much like the ECM's.  The bad news further is the damage can not always be seen before it may directly or indirectly adversely affect irreparable damage to the ECM or its divers which control idle, coil pack drivers, and ignition.  So a suspension module which is not repaired replaced or disconnected, can and often does do major damage to the ECM.  You may see the adverse affects of the failed or failing ESC in an ECM with symptoms including no start, rough idle, misfire of coil packs or no firing of same coil pack even when interchanging with good coil pack.  Often the symptoms may not occur or show until engine reaches operating temperature.  Be sure to disconnect your ECS module BEFORE reinstalling repaired or new ECM unit.

 

How to find the ECM for Mazda MPV 2.6 liter 4 cylinder only (1990-1999) ECM engine controller:

The engine computers for the MPV's are usually located under the carpet of the passenger side floor/foot rest area.  Remove the carpet, which may require loosening the door jam or trim areas of passenger kick panel.  Once the carpet is pulled back you should see a large (and you'll find out soon, quite heavy) "bash" or protection plate.  This can be removed by extracting the fastening screws to the plate and moving the plate to the side.  There are two plugs in the unit.  Depress the center of the tab and pull away from the unit

Mazda B2200i/B2600i PU 1990-1996

                                                  

B2600i/B2200i test truck                 Mazda PU B2600i, B2200i ECM

 

How to remove the ECM for Mazda B2200i/B2600i PU ECM engine controller:

Be sure to unplug the battery terminals before removing unit!!  Inside the cab on the passenger side remove the trim on the kick panel to the right by removing the Phillips head screws.  This exposes the ECM.  Use your 10 or12mm socket or wrench to remove the mounts.  Unplug the 3 plugs from the harness (on Mitsubishi/Dodge) or 2 plugs from the harness (Mazda) by depressing the tab in the center of plug and pulling away.

How to find the ECM for Montero, Mighty Max, Dodge Raider, Dodge Ram, D-50 Pick-ups (1990-1999):

                             

Montero 3.0 test truck         ECM removed from mounting

Montero/Mighty Max/Ram/Raider/Pajero ECM shown removed from mounting location passenger side kick panel removed and harness unplugged

 

Montero/Raider ECM unit

 

   Mighty Max/Ram-50 PU ECM

 

How to remove the ECM for Montero, Mighty Max, Dodge Raider, Dodge Ram, D-50 Pick-ups (1990-1996) ECM engine controller:

Be sure to unplug the battery terminals before removing unit!!  Inside the cab on the passenger side remove the trim on the kick panel to the right by removing the Phillips head screws.  This exposes the ECM.  Use your 10 or12mm socket or wrench to remove the mounts.  Unplug the 3 plugs from the harness (on Mitsubishi/Dodge) or 2 plugs from the harness (Mazda) by depressing the tab in the center of plug and pulling away.

 

How to find the ECM for Tracker, Sidekick  models (1989-1998)

                                                 

PIC 1: Tracker/Sidekick 1.6 liter tbi test car

PIC 2: Tracker/Sidekick ECM is mounted under the steering column on a bracket.

 

 

Tracker/Sidekick ECM 

 

How to remove the ECM for Tracker, Sidekick  models (1989-1998) ECM engine controller:

Be sure to unplug the battery terminals before removing the unit!!  Inside the drivers side floor board area, look directly up toward the steering wheel/console area.  You will see the unit which is gray/blue colored and likely to be covered in plastic for protection from water.  The unit will have a number designation of 33920 as a prefix and 5 digits after designating specifics of unit type.  Do not remove the black control box which is located in close proximity or the ignition/fuel relay which is also close or in some cases, attached to the unit.  The mounts are on the top on unit and are somewhat more difficult to get to.  Some have removed part of the console to get to the area, but this is not always required.  Remove the 2 plugs from the harness by depressing the center of the plug and pulling away from the unit.

 

How to find the ECM for Samurai Models (1990-1994)

                          

Samurai test car             

 

Samurai ECM

How to remove the ECM for Samurai Models (1990-1994) ECM engine controller:

Be sure to unplug the battery terminals before removing the unit!!!  The engine control unit is located on the passenger side kick panel usually just below the glove compartment.  Be advised the relays are attached to the unit!! So exercise precaution.  The mounts are on the bottom and the top.  When removed take your time to remove it from the tight area.

 

How to find the TCU for most Mitsubishi model transmission control modules:

 

Most Mitsubishi/DSM transmission controllers are in center console mounted on a bracket. Shown here is unit removed with harness pulled out (harness on left).

  

1990-99 Eclipse/Laser/Talon auto transmission controller ECM TCU removal directions:

If you have an Mitsubishi vehicle 1989-1994 with AT (automatic transmission), you will have a TCU or transmission control unit. These computers are also failure-prone. We can test and repair most TCUs 1989-1994 as well. The TCU for most Mitsubishi's is located behind the stereo dash area towards the front of the engine control ECM usually, closer to the firewall. The TCU is set differently in that it is laying flat or horizontal as apposed to the ECM, which is normally vertical and upside-down.  The other possibility is under the emergency brake area. NOTE:  not all the aforementioned cars have problems with the TCU's.  Call for more info.  Look for the unit towards the front of the center console near the firewall.  It is attached to a mounting bracket that should be removed first.  There are mounting bolts near the firewall and the back of console.  Be careful when removing the unit with mounting bracket due to the wiring harness attachment.  Remove the Two or three plugs by depressing in center of tab and pulling away from the unit.

How to find the ECM and Transmission Computers for most Honda's 1989-1999:

 

 

Honda Accord 2.2 l test car

 

                                            

Location ECM and TCU (shown)        1991-92 Honda Accord 2.2l auto transmission TCU

 

How to remove the ECM for 1990-94 Honda Accord/Civic ECM & TCU:

The engine and transmission computers for the Hondas are usually located under the carpet of the passenger side floor/foot rest area.  Remove the carpet, which may require loosening the door jam or trim areas of passenger kick panel.  Once the carpet is pulled back you should see a large (and you'll find out soon, quite heavy) "bash" or protection plate.  This can be removed by extracting the fastening screws to the plate and moving the plate to the side.  There are two or three plugs in each unit.  Depress the center of the tab and pull away from the unit.  The transmission computer is the one with the prefix part number "28100"  and the engine controller has a prefix of "37820".  The transmission TCU controller will manifest malfunctioning by shifting problems or lack of shifting.  Most transmission computers when failing, your car will likely be in "limp mode" or "fail safe" mode which is 3rd gear and reverse only and the "D" or "D4" or "S" or Sport light light will flash or stay lit.  The engine computer ECM malfunctioning will manifest as drivability, ignition, fuel or spark problems.  Be sure to check your distributor and ignition components before investing in an engine controller.

OBD-II ENGINE COMPUTERS FOR ECLIPSE/LASER/TALON/SEBRING/AVENGER 2.0 NON TURBO:

 

  

1995-99 only Eclipse/Laser/Talon 2.0 non-turbo Chrysler/Mopar ECM

 How to find the ECM for 1995-99 only Eclipse/Laser/Talon/Sebring/Avenger 2.0 NON-TURBO ECM engine controller and removal directions:

Most OBD-II (1995-2001) for the DSM's 2.0 NON-TURBO's (turbo's are still where the 1st generation ECU's are located, see above) are manufactured by Mopar/Chrysler.   They are located in the engine compartment often mounted to the engine.    This of course is a dangerous environment for the computer and has proved to be quite costly on the delicate unit and subsequently on the consumer!  Most of these units require programming to VIN specs and we can accommodate most units with a factory reman flashed to current mileage and VIN like it was never gone!  We just need the old unit for core or you will likely be charged an additional core fee.  Call for details.

 

OBD-II ENGINE COMPUTERS FOR CHRYSLER/MOPAR

Most OBD-II (1995-2005) are located in the engine compartment often mounted to the engine.    This of course is a dangerous environment for the computer and has proved to be quite costly on the delicate unit and subsequently on the consumer!  Most of these units require programming to VIN specs and we can accommodate most units with a factory reman flashed to current mileage and VIN like it was never gone!  We just need the old unit for core or you will likely be charged an additional core fee.  Call for details.

 


OPENING THE ECM FOR EXAMINATION:  

IMPORTANT NOTE:  It is relatively easy to find and remove most of the units yourself. it is usually safe to open the unit which is also very easy (accept the Chrysler/Mopar units). This will allow you to look and smell for burns or corrosion. If you see nothing, it does not necessarily mean you have no problems, but it may help you verify your diagnosis. You may put any personal I.D. marks on the unit before sending it in if it makes you more comfortable. All units determined not repairable will be returned to the customer upon request at owner's expense.

If you have any questions, please

Toll Free call  800.817.7531 sales & tech support

in South Florida call  954.514.7751


 


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