Stolen Engine Control

toyota

#1

We live in Southern Africa- we imported a car from japan in during shipment the Engine Control (ECU) was stolen. The immobilizer like is blinking- we don’t have the code to sync the ECU with the key. The toyota dealer couldn’t make it work. They said if we buy a new ECU and transponder key, they might be able to make it work. Will that really work? Do we need to have a code for the old computer. Hate to import the parts from Japan only to find it won’t work. What about if we only buy a new transponder key- will the old computer communicate with a new key?


#2

If the ECU was stolen, what are you using for an ECu right now?


#3

You have opened what’s commonly known as “a can of worms.” This is unlikely to end well. Why did you have to import a vehicle from Japan? Couldn’t you have bought a vehicle in southern Africa?

I have to ask the same question keith asked, "If the ECU was stolen, what are you using for an ECU right now (thank you, Keith)?

If there’s no ECU, what’s making the “immobilizer like (sp)” blink?

You haven’t told us the year of your Prado (Land Crusher). Please provide more information. Information is always helpful. More information is even more helpful.


#4

Where do you suppose Japanese cars in southern Africa come from?


#5

I have no ideal where they come from.

Do you have some first hand knowledge?

If so, please enlighten the rest of us. We’re always eager to learn.


#6

There’s a pretty fair number of questions that could be asked about this problem.
Toyota has a dealer network in SA so why import a Toyota?
What does the shipping company have to say about this?

While on the surface the question may sound downright stupid but surely this car is not running?
Towed to the dealer and the dealer discovered this ECU theft or what?


#7

I suppose they come from Japan. I imagine that involves importing.


#8

Southern Africa is not necessarily ZA.

All Toyotas in southern Africa are imported. Perhaps this was a special configuration (armour, left/right hand drive).

What does the ECU do?


#9

The ECU controls all engine fuel injection and emissions functions.


#10

OK, this is the story of the car, a 2002 Prado. To make a long story short, buying imported cars from Japan is a common practice where we are. They are used vehicles that sell for much cheaper than what you would buy at the dealer or a second hand car locally. To replace the stolen ECU, we bought a used engine control which we installed in the car, which is how the key light started blinking. Then we figured we had to program the engine control with the master key, so we took the car to the Toyota dealer to be reprogrammed. However, when they install the Tech 2 Diagnostic to program the engine control to the master key a message appeared that said wrong key code. We do not have the code for the master key or for the used engine control that we bought. They are telling us if we buy a new engine control and a new transponder, maybe they will make the car start. Now my question is if we have to have the code for the old key and the old engine control to be able to program the new ones, or they come with a new code to be programmed?
We checked the car for all possible problems like spark plugs, fuel pump, battery, etc. We also put a quick start into the air duct in the engine and the car started for 2 seconds, so we know that the fuel injector is not releasing gas into the engine. The problem is programming the key and the engine control I thought that the engine control could be reprogrammed, but it sounds like without the four digital code it cannot be done.


#11

Thank you. Obviously I’m not up to speed on the modern world. Why would someone steal it?


#12

That’s about as good a question as could be asked. The only thing I can think of would be if someone in the shipping process needed one for themselves and decided to heist it or this vehicle was purchased sight unseen and someone had already relieved the car of the ECU for whatever reason.

The OP says they replaced the missing ECU with a used unit. Well, not all units are the same even on the same year model as there may be a dozen or more different ones.
A imported vehicle from Japan brought into South Africa with a used ECU from who knows what or where can open up a can of worms.

The OP says the ECU was stolen during shipping so I’d like to hear the story behind the shipping.
The car was obviously loaded onto a ship so surely the records would indicate if the car was driven on board or whether it was dragged.
If it was driven on and had to be towed off then there’s some suspicion but this is a pretty murky story at this point.


#13

If someone stole it, hopefully the person that received it is also experiencing the fun you’re having trying to make it work with their vehicle.

I would think the dealer would be able to use their factory scan tool and delete all keys from the computer, then re-add yours. At least with my Chrysler, that’s what needed to be done to add a second key when I only had one. Toyotas of course could be different, and of course with mine, I brought them a running vehicle. At this point, maybe calling or emailing someone higher up in Toyota might be useful. Perhaps a decent locksmith could help you as well. I’m sure this has come up before.