Need a Used Computer for 1995 Honda Odyssey!

HI! Just spoke with my mechanic, who believes the computer on our beloved 1995 Odyssey has died, which is why the engine died last night. Unfortunately, Don’s salvage yard connection doesn’t have one (and hasn’t since he bought one 4 years ago - not 4 us.). Honda of course doesn’t make the replacement part (37820P1EA50) any more (and it would cost $800 if they did, which is more than we are willing to put into her.) My mechanic said the salvage guy would let him borrow a computer to make sure it would cure the problem, and then charge about $200 if it was the fix. Plus some labor.
Looking for ideas, helpful suggestions, a computer. Would an Accord computer of the same vintage work? We are in St. Louis, MO.
Thanks very much, Paula J.

EBay or a local parts house would be best but I’m hesitant to recommend an ECM right off the bat.
There’s a number of things that can cause an engine to die suddenly and not restart before laying the blame on the ECM.

I have no way of knowing how the diagnosis, which may or may not correct, was arrived at and I apologize up front if this is coming across as a condemnation of the mechanic because it’s not meant that way.
Without knowing what’s missing (spark, fuel pressure, injector pulse, etc) I can’t provide much input.

An ECM can be a pricy and often not returnable guess if the root cause turns out to be a bad ignition switch, crank sensor, or even a 25 cent popped fuse.

We have a spark. When my mechanic (who is great, and services Hondas) tested the computer, there was no output. Car dies, engine light comes on. Don got it to restart, died after going around the block. No fuel moving? Don thinks the brain is dead: not telling the car what to do. I don’t know much, have trusted Don with my Hondas since 1983. Thanks, Paula J.

There’s used ones on eBay for 40 or 50 bucks and I would advise that any ECM be year and model specific. Quite often multiple variations of ECMs are used in the same year. One errant pin connector could throw a monkey wrench into the works.

He’s the one with hands-on the car so I have to abide by the diagnosis. I’m only saying that while ECMs do fail now and then it’s not very common and this is just my 2 cents but a replacement ECM is a last ditch guess if it comes down to it.

An intermittent fuel pump, main relay, ignition switch, or faulty distributor could also cause this kind of symptom and those parts are all related to one another.
Aged fuel pump draws excessive electrical current (heat) which in turn can burn main relay points which in turn can cause ignition switches to fail due to heat degradation. I’m not saying that any of those are the cause; only possibilities.

Confused by your post, if the salvage yard doesn’t have one, how is it the mechanic can get one from the salvage yard for $200? Explain. If that’s possible, $200 seems pretty reasonable price for a used one. And since if it doesn’t work you don’t have to pay the $200, seems like a good plan.

If the problem is you can’t find the part anywhere, there’s a company named Module Master I think that might be able to help. Sometimes they can repair existing computers in their lab and send them back to you. Module Master – I’ve never used them so can’t provide a recommendation one way or the other – is just one company that is reported to do this, there are others. Using Google will bring up a list of them I expect. Search for “automobile computer module repair” or something like that.

One more thing, this is something that is easy to misdiagnose. Make sure the shop has already verified spark, spark quality, fuel pressure, compression, and checked for vacuum leaks.

There was a company that would take your PCM and repair it. That company would also repair digital dashes, enviornmental control modules, etc. It will probably require that the van be out of action for a week or more.

I will look around for the information that I have. In the mean time Google Power Control Module, Engine Control Module, electronic speedometer, digital dash, HVAC control modules, whatever. I just Googled Electronic Control Module Rebuilding and came up with a company, Cardone, that may just fit the bill. Hopefully, responders will provide a ‘yea or nay’ on this company.

Come online you all!!

Hope this helps you.

Rock Auto lists A Cardone brand Computer for this vehicle, Autozone charges $372.99 with a $53 Core Charge (You’ll get the core charge back after you send in the old one)
1995 HONDA ODYSSEY 2.2L L4 : Electrical : Engine Control Module (ECM Computer)
A-1 CARDONE Part # 722245
{#37820P1EA50, 37820P1EA50RM} Reman. Engine Control Computer
with OE # 37820-P1E-A50
with OE # 37820-P1E-A50RM
Price Core Total
$252.99 $67.50 $320.49

From the symptoms listed, it sounds like it might be a fuel delivery problem

Not sure I’d be ready to condemn the module, without some more definitive testing

And it sounds like maybe that hasn’t happened yet

At least that’s how I see it

My mechanic said the salvage guy would let him borrow a computer to make sure it would cure the problem, and then charge about $200 if it was the fix.

We have a word to describe that sort of repair procedure. “Swaptronics.” It’s the replacement of part after part until the problem is fixed.

You can be sure that if I recommended a replacement computer, that the problem with the car would be corrected by replacing it, not plug it in and see. That’s because the testing and diagnosis would show definitively which part on the car had failed.

I’m not saying your car doesn’t have a bad engine computer. I’m just saying that it should be properly and completely tested and verified as good or bad. A capable scan tool, a labscope or high end voltmeter and a wiring diagram are all that are needed for this.

Aren’t fuel pump relays a common problem with older Hondas? A cheap thing to test. I’m surprised that it would run at all if it was a computer problem.

@texases is right. Main relays are next to the fuse panel and usually fail due to cracked solder joints, but with a 95 i would replace it. A main relay will cause no fuel pressure.

Hello all! Thanks ever so much to knfenimore, who gave me the link to the correct part on Ebay, without trying to second guess my mechanic of 30 years, who was spot on in his diagnosis! Knfenimore, I spoke with Don the Monday morning after you posted. I ordered the part ($109.99 incl. shipping directly to JAMCO). It arrived Weds. afternoon (a day early), Don installed it on Thursday morning and called me to report “your car is running.” So for a total of about $230., including an oil change, we have our Odyssey back on the road! Yeah!! Is this a great country and community or what?! (We actually spent an additional $100 to have the thermostat changed: it was stuck in an open position, and Don was concerned it would get unstuck during the summer, and then stick in a closed position. Bonus: we now have heat in the car! )
Again, my thanks to all of you who took my question and researched to find the information I needed to save the life of my car! Paula J.

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It’s great that you’re rolling again and while I’m certainly not trying to come across as a wet blanket here it should be kept in mind that quite often the main relay is a symptom of, rather than the cause of, a problem related to a problem like this. Note my prior comment about parts relationships.

If an issue develops in the future you need to consider a failing ignition switch or fuel pump with the latter often being the root cause of the problem. The pump draws a lot of electrical current even when new and once aged along with a partially clogged filter the amount of current (meaning heat) jncreases and that in turn causes relay and ignition switch contacts to burn.