Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2005 Nissan Altima - Computer Shot

I need a computer for my 2005 Nissan Altima is there a way I can buy a used computer is a good place to start.

Just thought but you could try Google.

I second what It_s_Me said:

But also try eBay: 2005 nissan altima (computer,ecu)

Since the computer for a given year, make and model will come in different configurations you will need to know the exact alpha-numeric designation of the computer you will be replacing. There should be a sticker on the old computer with that info.

Please tell us how you arrived at the diagnosis of “Computer Shot”

I’m saying this because many . . . perhaps even most . . . engine control modules are needlessly replaced because of a misdiagnosis or plain old guessing

Perhaps if you told us a little more about what’s going on with the car . . .


He didn’t even say which “computer” needs replacing, let alone why. In general, used computer modules are not a viable option for anything newer than the mid-2000’s, especially if you live in a state where emissions testing is required.

In the old days, you’d simply go to a junkyard and find a similar car with the same engine and transmission options if you’re looking for a PCM, or similar body options if you’re looking for a BCM. No programming was required–just plug and play.

Now, the VIN and mileage are stored in these modules, and by design are very difficult or even impossible to change. Also, with the advent of chipped keys, a swapped BCM or PCM is likely to trigger the anti-theft system and prevent your car from starting. Also, in some states, the VIN reported by the PCM must match the VIN on your car, or you fail emissions. With a used PCM, you’d be unable to pass emissions testing, even if the car runs fine and has no error codes set.

I agree with the comments of db4690. In all of my years I’ve only seen 2 bad engine management computers. One was definitely wasted and the other was iffy at best.

Every computer I’ve replaced was acquired from a local auto recycler.