Onboard computer

I have a 2001 Mazda Tribute. Though the vehicle runs fine the check engine light has been on for about 3 months. My local service station told me that I need a new ECM and have found a reconditioned one for little money. Now they tell me it will be $350 just to update software. The Mazda dealership tells me that 90% of time the updating doesn’t work and I am wasting my money. I have just found somewhere on the internet that remanufactures the exsisting computer and no updating is required. They also told me that if I have Mazda try updating the troubled ECM as 80% of the time that does the trick and I won’t even need their services. Getting a lot of different info. Don’t want to spend too much on a car that is not worth much now.

Any feed back is welcome.


Alan Abley

Hopefully the trouble really is with the ECM and not something external to it. The units are pretty reliable but they can have trouble like anything else. It is one of the last things to suspect for trouble though.

If you can get a replacement ECM for under 100 dollars then it may be worth trying out. Even if the ECU wasn’t updated I wouldn’t think a good ECU would cause the CEL to turn on.