I live in Mexico City and it’s the rainy season. Five or six days ago a heavy rain fell and flooded my street for an hour or so. I didn’t think it got too deep, but apparently I was in about the worst spot and when I got into my car the next day I experienced a very damp sensation and noticed small puddles on the floors. I soaked up the water a bit and, thinking the water hadn’t gotten very high, tried to start me car. It turned over but never started. I tried a few times without luck. I let it sit another day to “dry out”. I tried to start it the next day and, again, no luck. I waited another day, did some more drying inside, and tried to start it again–still no luck.
At this point, after having done a bit of research on this discussion board, I realized I was gonna have to do a bit more work to dry my car out and, more importantly, that I may have more dire troubles since my ECM/PCM (i.e. the computer) was partially submerged in the flood. (After pulling the center console out–that wraps around the shifter stick–I verified that the water went as high as about the bottom of the stick which was high enough to put the ECM at least halfway under water.)
Finally, I pulled the ECM box out, praying it wasn’t full of water. After bringing it inside and taking the side plate off, it didn’t appear too bad. Though the plate makes a pretty good seal, dirty water DID leak in through the bottom—where the connectors attach to the circuitboard—and made it about one inch up the circuitboard. One connector had some powdery residue on it, which may have formed when I heard the snap, crackle, and pop (a few times) when I turned the key to ON. I only hope my ECM/PCM is not toast at this point.
Today, with the ECM pulled out, I tried to start my car once again. It didn’t.
So, finally, here are my questions:
- With everything else in working order, can my car start without the ECM/PCM?
- If this is the case (that it CAN start without an ECM), what could be likely causes of it not starting? I haven’t done anything with “blowing out the water” or checking for spark, as I don’t have any tools with me (though I can easily get tools to change the plugs).
- I checked the oil on the dipstick and didn’t see any signs of water, though I’m not sure it’d show up there. Is it absolutely vital to change the oil and filter (and trans. fluid, and fuel filter…) before the car is started?
- If I do need to replace my ECM, can I install a used one from another 98 Honda Civic LX without needing to install new software or reset it (or whatever) as others on this discussion board have said at times?
Thanks very much in advance! Dean G.