A few weeks ago I got a CEL tested and the reader said ECM. Then the CEL went out. So when I brought it to Midas to have it looked at for a second opinion I was told essentially to “go home, wait for the CEL to come on again.” Two days later my car wouldn’t start.
It’s an 06 CE. It has 130k miles on it, so reading online that an ECM could go out at 125k miles I thought the worst and having called multiple shops in town, I got the impression that the only people who could do an ECM that wasn’t plug/play was the dealer.
What I thought it was/wasn’t really isn’t important. The dealer refused to touch the car until they could run a $130 diagnostic. Begrudgingly I greenlit this and they found some problems like a leaky gasket, a serpentine belt about to pop and a bad starter. I opted to get the starter replaced (aftermarket) and drive the car home and let my buddy fix the rest of the stuff.
It drove off the dealer lot. Started this morning and then died at Starbucks 10 minutes later. Wouldn’t start until my buddy jumped it from his car (it started even easier than it usually does on a good day without a jump) at that! Went to leave work, it wouldn’t start. So it’s spending the night in the museum lot.
I went to an autoparts store after work and they said it likely couldn’t be the battery because all my lights come on and the radio comes on. What they don’t know is that I’ve been told a couple times that the battery charge was low (one guy in 2021 said it’d be a miracle if I made it thru the winter) and my beams are so dim that my girlfriend refuses to drive my car at night. So I kinda think it might be the battery–and if it is, why wouldn’t the dealer pick up on it?
Please help. I’m on fixed income and short of yelling at the dealer (which I already did) I don’t know where to go.
Unfortunately I won’t be able to answer that till tomorrow when I get back to work and can test the car, I seem to remember the CEL is still on. It’s been on non-stop since just before the car failed. She told me on the phone explicitly they didn’t even pull the ECM to look at it, despite getting the same code reading that autozone did about the bank 1 being lean in the ECM.
Dealer called back (about a week before they’ll get to it if I do bring it back) and said something to the fact that they think it might be because I have an “aftermarket key…something something immobilizer…ecu.”
She couldn’t explain why it started right up when we jumped it from a buddy’s car. Nor why it started up slightly after that but then 6 hours later wouldn’t start. Is that not a dead battery?
and take a peek at the battery connections while you’re getting the battery tested. If it jumped super quick, it’s a good possibility that the battery connections are just loose or dirty and you hooking up jumper cables wiggled it enough to make good contact.
ECM faults are rare by reports here. The more usual problems affecting starting are sensors, actuators, starter motor, battery, and alternators. If this problem happens again
verify CEL turns on with key in “on” , engine not started
determine whether or not CEL then turns off after cranking & engine starts
If CEL remains on after engine starts, determine the corresponding diagnostic code(s), and post here
Ask shop do the basic battery/alternator quick-check: Before first start of day battery should measure about 12.6 volts; then immediately after starting engine, 13.5 to 15.5 volts. If different from that, post the number here.
Best of luck, hoping you have the problem solved now.
Huh, belt not cut? Let me take a look again. It’s cut now, fixed it for ya.
I was at the dealer for a recall maybe 50k miles ago. The kid warned me that I had bad oil leaks from both the front and rear seals. Thanked him, went to another shop and no leaks when the put it on the lift. It was a miracle. They wouldn’t charge me for the inspection so I scheduled plug changes with them. I guess I don’t blame the dealer since that was the kids job to find problems. Still I like to reward honest mechanics.