CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2002 Toyota Sienna check engine light

At just over 100,000 miles, the check engine light and the tire pressure light came on and will not go off. We have had the tires checked, and also the computer diagnostic gave engine codes indicating a problem with ECM. We were quoted $1500. to replace this module, and were also told we might even need a new catalytic converter, but there is no way of knowing at this point because the module is faulty or not working. We have no intention of spending $1500 on a 7 year old car, but what about the emission inspection? (We live in MA) Any advice you could give is much appreciated.

Why won’t you spend $1,500?

I’d get another opinion and another price before I did anything, but without a functioning ECM you’ll never know if your van is functioning correctly or not.

I doubt you can pass an emissions inspection with the light on.

If you don’t pay, you won’t pass. There is no repair except getting a new or junkyard computer.

You can purchase a used ECU for about $100 on EBAY (example below) with a 30 - 60 day warrenty. Disconnect your battery and remove your ECU from under the passenger or driver seat (should take 5 minutes or less – super easy, slightly harder than changing a lightbulb) and copy down all the numbers on your unit. Make sure that your replacement unit matches those numbers, and when you install it that you don’t have rust that might be keeping your ecu from getting a proper ground to the body of the car (unlikely, but it happens). I’ve seen ECUs fail to function in Northern climes (I’m from Michigan) when repeated water / slush on the floor corrodes the ground.

Good luck – your car will start right up, with no trouble lights.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2002-2003-Toyota-Sienna-V6-1MZFE-89661-08080-ECU-ECM_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2em20Q2el1116QQitemZ130155992049QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

My 2002 Sienna has 149,000 or so. If I were there, I’d sure be glad to give you $1500 for that vehicle if it isn’t all wrecked up. That is what you are talking, you’d get rid of it for that amount, if you think about it.

With only 100,000 miles that car should be good for another 150,000 miles. Cars take repairs to go that far.