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Replace ECM Computer on '01 Jetta: New or used ECM?

Hi everyone- Tuckaseegee here. My wife has an '01 Jetta VR6. Great car, but has had some reliability issues over the years. It’s started running a bit rough and is kicking out multiple codes on the check engine. The mechanic (who we think is pretty good) has diagnosed it as a bad ECM computer. He says there’s no way that as many things are as wrong as the ECM says. I believe they’ve tried to reset it, and it runs well for a bit, then startes to run badly, and kisks out a bunch of codes again. He’s recommending we replace the computer.

He gave me a quote on a new computer of $690 for the part (w/labor on top of that). I suggested we try looking for a used computer, as there are some on ebay for ~$150. He’s open to this idea, but says he’s heard from some vw folks that we could be risking serious compatibility issues when we try and enter a second VIN # into the used computer. He’s looking for a remanufactured ECM, and is still doing some research on the issue.

Since this car has given us some trouble, our goal is to get this problem fixed, spruce up the vehicle and sell it. Thinking of buying a new TDI wagon.

What do you guys think? If your computer was bad, would you replace it with a new one or a used part?

I called him today and he said based on a conversation with some other specialists, he’s no longer sure it’s the computer. I got him to give me the codes. Here they are:

17832- Secondary air injector system bank 1 P1424
16684- Misfire P0300
16686- Cylinder 2 mis-fire P0302
16804- Catalyst system cylinder bank 1 operation too low P0420 intermittent
16795- Secondary air injection faulty flow P0411 intermittent
18011- ECU defective P1603 intermittent

Yeeeesh! What do you guys think is causing all of this? Any ideas? I’m putting out a call for all of your collective wisdom and brainpower to help me figure out the best way to proceed.

ECM failures show either a failure to communicate at all or with other computers in the car or display codes in the P0600 to P0606 range,look the description of these codes up. P1603=Internal control module ,Self Check.

You have the wrong man on the job. Mans gotta know his limitations.

When I have to replace an ECU on a vehicle, I obtain them from a local auto recyler. However, when doing this the old ECU has to be removed so they can match the replacement with the serial numbers on the ECU’s. The VIN isn’t enough.