2001 Toyota Solara ECM Replacement

Did they tell you how much they charge for this service? The dealer gets at least an hour labor.

30 something to come out and give me an estimate, then I can make a decision based on the estimate I suppose.

Well that first carlock place was going in a bad direction. They wanted $39 ‘service fee’, quoted me $175 over the phone … then the tech called me, and stated that the ECM would need to be reflashed, and that is much more complicated, so that would be over $300, so I cancelled the call.

Called (different) Toyota Dealer, they said they’ll reflash me for $115 + tax. So I’m driving it there tonight on the ‘bad’ ECM, and plugging in the ebay one in the parking lot. Fingers crossed !

It’s been a journey so far, hope it works!

Wow, a more winding road … Toyota says that the two keys I have are “sub keys”, and can’t be reprogrammed to go with my used ECM, and the only way I can get a master is with a new computer. So it looks like I’m back to pulling my old and seeing if this place in Texas can rebuild mine.

Even curious-er … Rebuild place received my ECM, and says they can’t find anything wrong with it. They did say they don’t test logic of the devices, strictly continuity, so whatever I’m experiencing (according to them) might be 'baked in the chips". I’d be willing to follow others advice on this comment trail that it might not be the ECM, but I would think the blow dryer under the dash treatment does point to the ECM. I’m calling the dealer again, to see if Nevada’s bulletin can be applied against my car.

The problem you are having appears to be temperature sensitive and I doubt the shop is checking the ECM under cold conditions that cause the problem you are having so even if the problem is with the ECM in an area they can test, they still may not see a problem. It still leaves the ECM module as questionable.

I usually like to assume that the ECM is one of the last things to look for a problem with. Most the time things like wire connections to the module or devices tied to it are the real problem areas. From what you have stated though the ECM could be the real problem. Hopefully the shop has truly proven that the trouble is with it and not something else under the dash that the added heat is making it work correctly.

I’ll bet it’s a cold solder joint in the ECM.

Well, I’m still puzzled. Received the rebuilt ECM yesterday, installed it last night (below freezing, car has been idle for over a week) and it started right up. Let it sit overnight, and symptoms are the same (car turns over, but never catches). SOOOOO, what am I left with? Maybe when they rebuilt my ECM, they re-used a defective part? I did give them a write-up, as I the ECM tests fine under room temp …

And now the ECM rebuilt engineer tells me they used none of my parts on the rebuilt ECM, so those out there that doubted it was the ECM can rightly spam me … but I’m still left with the fact that a blow dryer directed under the glove compartment starts the car …

What I would do in a no-start situation is spray some aerosol carburetor cleaner into the intake tract somewhere and see if it starts and runs for a few seconds. That will at least point you into some kind of direction about what’s missing; spark or fuel.

Personal opinion only, but I still think the hair dryer is coincidental.

Hmmm…I’m not nearly as knowledgeable as most of the posters on this thread but if it were me, at this point I would start thinking about kludging a small wrap around heater over this temperature sensitive ECM. You could use a very small 12v lamp or a resistor of appropriate resistance to get the desired temperature. If wrapped in insulation, I would think it would use so little power that it would not in any way compromise the battery between start ups. I don’t have any idea how this ECM is mounted so it may not be possible but just an idea. My background is computer maintenance and I agree that problems on the board itself is not as likely as problems with the connection to the board. Integrated logic hardware is generally super reliable!

@njcarowner61 Do you have a factory service manual for your specific model year car? Ebay is a good place to buy the whole set. I’ve done that for several of my cars. They’ve been well worth it over the years. Even though I do this day in and day out, there’s nothing like being able to go straight to the source.

Hi Anyone, gotta update this post. To reiterate the problem - when the temp falls below freezing overnight, car cranks but refuses to ‘catch’. NEVER has this problem during the Spring, Summer, Fall. This has been going on for close to 3 years.

After another season the car refuses to start when the temp falls below freezing (overnight). Things I’ve already done - replaced the battery, run thru several cycles of dry gas (thinking it was water in the tank) injector cleaner (friend theorized dirty injectors weren’t providing proper fuel during cold), had manifold cleaned out. Finally replaced the ECM with a rebuilt last year (Toyota’s diagnoses), but the problem continues. Their analysis was done when it was below freezing and wouldn’t ‘catch’. As it was late in the season last year, the non-starting was only a minor inconvenience, but now its back. Had it towed to my local service station that I trust, and they now say they see no signal between the ignition and the immobilizer, and theorize the battery in the immobilizer is low - cold weather degrades it enough that there’s no signal. He said he thought it was either the keys or the immobilizer having a low charge, but the two keys I have are sub-keys, so I’m guessing I can’t get them copied. Anybody have any advice on where to procure an immobilizer (other than dealer, who wants $462) , and what it would take to replace ?

Fuel pump?