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ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Ehybrid: 12:03pm On Jan 18, 2020
This thread is dedicated to faults/problems of engine control module (ECU), popularly called brainbox, and other electronic controllers/modules present in cars.

Symptoms of these faulty modules and resolutions (repair possibilities and/or replacement) will be discussed.

Feel free to post your car electronics related problems here.

Contributions from our respected car gurus on NL are very welcome.

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Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Properoo(m): 12:08pm On Jan 18, 2020
This is the type of discussion I have been waiting for on NL for a long time
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Ehybrid: 12:16pm On Jan 18, 2020
Properoo:
This is the type of discussion I have been waiting for on NL for a long time

OK. Stayed tuned. Feel free to make your own contribution or post any car electronics challenge you may have.
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Ehybrid: 12:31pm On Jan 18, 2020
Let me start with a background story:
Auto diagnosis and repair became my new found hobby in 2015/16 (I now do it as a freelance job). Back then, there was this 2000/01 Mitsubishi Space Wagon rotting away in one corner of a friends auto shop. I later learnt the ECU (brainbox) was the problem with the car. While a replacement brainbox cost 25k - 30k, the car owner was given only one option of getting his car back on the road which would gulp over 100k (money he couldn't raise).
The challenge with this fix is that most auto techs recommend a complete engine change (or at least change of top cylinder), replacement with a new ECU and modification of the existing car wiring to fit the new ECU and Engine.

Some folks are still facing this challenge, so my next post will be on this vehicle.
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Ehybrid: 3:09pm On Jan 18, 2020
Vehicle Make: Mitsubishi
Model: Space Wagon / Space Star / Carisma (1998-2003)
Trouble Symptoms: Misfiring, Loss of power, Damaged/burnt coils, No start.
Cause: Most common failure is getting burnt coils. No start may be due to water flooding or bridged wires in the car.
Resolution: If it has been determined by a competent auto tech that the ECU (brainbox) is faulty, the options available are:
1. Change engine, brainbox, and modify wiring (re-wire): this is the most expensive solution and seems to be the most common option given to the car owners by auto techs.

2. Change brainbox, immo box, and key: this is a cheaper option recommended also. The ECU, immo box and key set for you model may not be readily available but patience and diligent search has paid of for some.

3. Buy a replacement brainbox with same part number and match ECU to car: this was shied away from because the immobilizers of these cars could not be synced with a used ECU from another car. Syncing of these model years is actually possible.

4. Repair the defective brainbox: within the brainbox, there are transistor drivers for the coils. These drivers get shorted when the coil goes bad for any reason. Once shorted, replacement of the initially bad coil is of no use as the faulty drivers will burn/damage the new coils. A competent electronics tech with some auto wiring knowledge can identify and replace these drivers in the brainbox. After the driver replacement, simply plug in your brainbox and enjoy...no immo syncing is required for this option.

NOTE: For options 2-4 above, ensure the defective coils are replaced with good ones, else, they will damage the repaired or replacement brainbox.

Here are some pictures of these class of ECUs

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Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by boliswitpassprik(m): 9:57pm On Jan 18, 2020
Ehybrid:

Vehicle Make: Mitsubishi
Model: Space Wagon / Space Star / Carisma (1998-2003)
Trouble Symptoms: Misfiring, Loss of power, Damaged/burnt coils, No start.
Cause: Most common failure is getting burnt coils. No start may be due to water flooding or bridged wires in the car.
Resolution: If it has been determined by a competent auto tech that the ECU (brainbox) is faulty, the options available are:
1. Change engine, brainbox, and modify wiring (re-wire): this is the most expensive solution and seems to be the most common option given to the car owners by auto techs.

2. Change brainbox, immo box, and key: this is a cheaper option recommended also. The ECU, immo box and key set for you model may not be readily available but patience and diligent search has paid of for some.

3. Buy a replacement brainbox with same part number and match ECU to car: this was shied away from because the immobilizers of these cars could not be synced with a used ECU from another car. Syncing of these model years is actually possible.

4. Repair the defective brainbox: within the brainbox, there are transistor drivers for the coils. These drivers get shorted when the coil goes bad for any reason. Once shorted, replacement of the initially bad coil is of no use as the faulty drivers will burn/damage the new coils. A competent electronics tech with some auto wiring knowledge can identify and replace these drivers in the brainbox. After the driver replacement, simply plug in your brainbox and enjoy...no immo syncing is required for this option.

NOTE: For options 2-4 above, ensure the defective coils are replaced with good ones, else, they will damage the repaired or replacement brainbox.

Here are some pictures of these class of ECUs



kudos OP, following.... grin

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Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by oluwealth(m): 7:24am On Jan 20, 2020
Hi Sir
Pls I need a brainbox for my Toyota Avensis 2004
My VIN is SB1BH55L80E066871
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Ehybrid: 8:18am On Jan 20, 2020
oluwealth:
Hi Sir
Pls I need a brainbox for my Toyota Avensis 2004
My VIN is SB1BH55L80E066871

Are you sure you need a new brainbox?
You may just have an electrical fault that needs proper diagnosis.

What is the issue with your car?

1 Like

Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Ehybrid: 3:26pm On Jan 20, 2020
Vehicle Make: Mitsubishi
Model: Montero (2000 - 2003)
Trouble Symptom: Misfiring (missing coil/injector signal), Burnt/Damaged coils, No power (no check engine light)
Resolution:
Misfiring and burnt coils - for cases where the coils persistently get damaged, ensure there are no shorted/frayed wires in the harness. If all wiring is verified OK, replace or repair brainbox. Easiest way to replace (especially for those based in Lagos) is by buying a set of brainbox, immo box and key gotten from another car of same model. An alternative is to buy the a Tokunbo brainbox and find someone to do the immobilizer matching.
The repair option is the cheapest but should by done only by someone who savvy in the use of a hot air gun and soldering iron.

No power/ no check engine light - be sure to verify there is no Main Relay trigger signal (called main relay earth by most re-wire) before concluding the brainbox is faulty. Note that there is a direct battery voltage supply to the ECU even when ignition is turned off. This power supply should not be missing. The car's wiring diagram is a good reference.
For simple cases, replacing the relay transistor brings the ECU and car back to life. For more complex scenarios (e.g. missing 5V), which can occur when wires are accidentally bridged, simply apply your basic electronic circuit trouble shooting skills.

I'll post pictures of these ECUs when I get to the workshop.

1 Like

Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by oluwealth(m): 5:59pm On Feb 18, 2020
Ehybrid:


Are you sure you need a new brainbox?
You may just have an electrical fault that needs proper diagnosis.

What is the issue with your car?

The gear selections stopped at gear 3
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by montero4(m): 11:56am On Feb 24, 2020
I have used my Nissan Altima 05 with 2.5L for more than a year now. But recently, I discovered this sudden loss of power on climbing hills, usually on a distance trip of about 2hrs or more. I was advised to check my catalyst for blockage,
which I did but they are both free and not clogged. And recently plug coils burn on a monthly basis to weeks and finally daily, usually on the the 3rd coil is affected. On Saturday, my elecrrican checked the wires on the 3rd plug line and connected a resistor to help reduce the current coming to the line. In less than 24hrs , I noticed my car jerking again. When I checked, the 1st plug coil was affected. He insists I change my brainbox and crankshaft sensor. Any other view to this plz?

Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Nobody: 1:09pm On Feb 24, 2020
montero4:
I have used my Nissan Altima 05 with 2.5L for more than a year now. But recently, I discovered this sudden loss of power on climbing hills, usually on a distance trip of about 2hrs or more. I was advised to check my catalyst for blockage,
which I did but they are both free and not clogged. And recently plug coils burn on a monthly basis to weeks and finally daily, usually on the the 3rd coil is affected. On Saturday, my elecrrican checked the wires on the 3rd plug line and connected a resistor to help reduce the current coming to the line. In less than 24hrs , I noticed my car jerking again. When I checked, the 1st plug coil was affected. He insists I change my brainbox and crankshaft sensor. Any other view to this plz?
Check the negative battery cable at the transmission end.

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Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by montero4(m): 4:44pm On Feb 24, 2020
Costee:

Check the negative battery cable at the transmission end.
plz throw more light let me quickly work it out
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Nobody: 5:14pm On Feb 24, 2020
montero4:
plz throw more light let me quickly work it out
Trace the cable on the negative terminal of the battery to the gearbox where it's grounded. Ensure its not frayed nor corroded at the ground point.
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by montero4(m): 7:18pm On Feb 24, 2020
Costee:

Trace the cable on the negative terminal of the battery to the gearbox where it's grounded. Ensure its not frayed nor corroded at the ground point.
OK! I will have them so that by tomorrow
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by kayphyzee(m): 7:51pm On Feb 26, 2020
oluwealth:


The gear selections stopped at gear 3

Hello, I suspect it's an electrical/wiring fault. Please meet a competent Technician who should trace the wire trays from the gearbox to the ECU etc. I had a similar issue with my vehicle only to find out that it was a unconnected wire.
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Ehybrid: 9:06pm On Mar 21, 2020
oluwealth:


The gear selections stopped at gear 3


Sorry for my late response. If you've not resolved this, I would recommend you ensure a competent auto tech does a comprehensive diagnosis before changing the brainbox.

PS: The brainbox may be the culprit as I've heard of some such cases...
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Ehybrid: 9:34pm On Mar 21, 2020
montero4:
I have used my Nissan Altima 05 with 2.5L for more than a year now. But recently, I discovered this sudden loss of power on climbing hills, usually on a distance trip of about 2hrs or more. I was advised to check my catalyst for blockage,
which I did but they are both free and not clogged. And recently plug coils burn on a monthly basis to weeks and finally daily, usually on the the 3rd coil is affected. On Saturday, my elecrrican checked the wires on the 3rd plug line and connected a resistor to help reduce the current coming to the line. In less than 24hrs , I noticed my car jerking again. When I checked, the 1st plug coil was affected. He insists I change my brainbox and crankshaft sensor. Any other view to this plz?

The coil drivers on these brainbox fail such that the coils are never fully turned off even when they are not supposed to 'fire' the plugs.
The solution to this is to repair the brainbox or replace with a good one.

Also, first consider:
1. Verifying all ground connections are good ad suggested by Costee

2. Verify the capacitor across the coils power supply is ok and not having corroded contacts. The capacitor is wrapped in the wire harness.
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Nobody: 10:40pm On Mar 21, 2020
montero4:
I have used my Nissan Altima 05 with 2.5L for more than a year now. But recently, I discovered this sudden loss of power on climbing hills, usually on a distance trip of about 2hrs or more. I was advised to check my catalyst for blockage,
which I did but they are both free and not clogged. And recently plug coils burn on a monthly basis to weeks and finally daily, usually on the the 3rd coil is affected. On Saturday, my elecrrican checked the wires on the 3rd plug line and connected a resistor to help reduce the current coming to the line. In less than 24hrs , I noticed my car jerking again. When I checked, the 1st plug coil was affected. He insists I change my brainbox and crankshaft sensor. Any other view to this plz?
Any update?
https://www.nairaland.com/5712078/perfect-condition-nissan-altima-2005#87649715
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by montero4(m): 7:57pm On Mar 28, 2020
Yes oh. Two days after the incidence, I made up my mind to go get a new brain box. However,
on getting to the market one guy who I heard many described as a Nissan specialist advised me to change my Altanator. He said my altanator diodes a bad. And I did just that and have my problems solved. Since then, my car have been moving on smoothly without any issues.
quote author=Costee post=87649830]
Any update?
https://www.nairaland.com/5712078/perfect-condition-nissan-altima-2005#87649715[/quote]

1 Like

Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by goddy2times: 10:49am On Dec 11, 2020
Please my sienna van has similar issues. It has poor acceleration, loss of power, jerking and poor fuel milage. I have changed fuel pump severally, changed plugs but no improvement. The car also misfires. Somebody advised me to check the brain box or gear box. What do I do?
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Edex2020: 12:16pm On Dec 11, 2020
I have engine and ECU and OBD ISSUES who can help?

https://www.nairaland.com/6307465/g-wagon-restoration-car-guru
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by myrax7(m): 11:41am On Oct 18, 2021
Ehybrid:
This thread is dedicated to faults/problems of engine control module (ECU), popularly called brainbox, and other electronic controllers/modules present in cars.

Symptoms of these faulty modules and resolutions (repair possibilities and/or replacement) will be discussed.

Feel free to post your car electronics related problems here.

Contributions from our respected car gurus on NL are very welcome.


2: Model : Nissan sunny 1.3 Ex Saloon / Nissan sunny N16

3, Year: 2006

4: manual

5: 4 cylinder

6: Petrol

7: Vehicle is starting and idling is ok but there is no power signal to first ignition coil,Hence the running of engine isn't smooth and difficult t climb hills atimes.
Rewire says/confirms that Brainbox/ECU isn't ok
I have tried my best to get a replacement brainbox but all are not compatible with the car.

Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by calculation(m): 12:27pm On Oct 19, 2021
myrax7:



2: Model : Nissan sunny 1.3 Ex Saloon / Nissan sunny N16

3, Year: 2006

4: manual

5: 4 cylinder

6: Petrol

7: Vehicle is starting and idling is ok but there is no power signal to first ignition coil,Hence the running of engine isn't smooth and difficult t climb hills atimes.
Rewire says/confirms that Brainbox/ECU isn't ok
I have tried my best to get a replacement brainbox but all are not compatible with the car.
Is like this is similar to my Nissan primera experience. I can't explain here. I don't think ECU is your problem since engine start and idle, rather misbehave during movement.
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by lanrexdo(m): 9:48pm On Oct 22, 2021
So what was the solution to the problem??
calculation:

Is like this is similar to my Nissan primera experience. I can't explain here. I don't think ECU is your problem since engine start and idle, rather misbehave during movement.
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by calculation(m): 10:05pm On Oct 22, 2021
lanrexdo:
So what was the solution to the problem??
Suspecting a broken part in the engine that normal trigger CPS
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by eduman07(m): 7:03am On Oct 23, 2021
Ehybrid:
This thread is dedicated to faults/problems of engine control module (ECU), popularly called brainbox, and other electronic controllers/modules present in cars.

Symptoms of these faulty modules and resolutions (repair possibilities and/or replacement) will be discussed.

Feel free to post your car electronics related problems here.

Contributions from our respected car gurus on NL are very welcome.

Please I need a lasting solution .
Am using a
vw touran 2005 model with an Fsi engine 2.0.
At first I started noticing after 15 minutes drive ,the car will flashing a check engine light and it will be jerking as if the plugs or coils are not working.
But after the scan was done ,it was not a misfire but and (injector 1 cylinder open circuit).
We brought out the injectors and service them and the seem to be fine .
Now we took the Injector 1 and send it to cylinder 4.
Started the car and it ran for 15 minutes and the jerking came back again .we scanned it again and it still showed injector 1 cylinder open circuit again.
Rewire is suggesting we change the ecu brain box that it might be the problem.
Since we check the socket wirer to the injector and it was good and tight.
Rewire is suggesting and ecu replacement..
Please I need help on this issure
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by lanrexdo(m): 9:05am On Oct 23, 2021
I need an experienced rewire that deals with electrical Sentra issues.
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by Mazeepac(m): 7:10pm On Oct 24, 2021
Pls I need help, I have a 2007 Honda Civic FD Car was in good condition until i experienced overheating which damaged the engine. I decided not to repair the engine so I got another engine the new engine looked very clean and all components intact and complete the technician that went with me confirmed that engine pressure is perfect, after installation engine refused to start an electrician was called who latter brought another ECU, the new ECU started the engine but the serial number is different from my stock ECU. The engine sound very bad, hesitant acceleration and misfire which I suspected to be a communication problem. I need a good Auto Electrician with ECU experience that can help correct this.
I read online that I need to get an ECU that is the same serial Number with my stock ECU, then use a good OBD11 programmer to Swap ECU and latter Copy My VIN to the new ECU. I need help with this
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by davessales039(m): 2:46pm On Mar 02, 2022
For anyone who is in need of SRS system reset, kindly view my thread below.

https://www.nairaland.com/7005508/airbag-light-reset-srs-module
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by kayobeyi: 1:25pm On Apr 21, 2022
Hello sir,

I have a toyota avensis 2007 model. The issue with it is that one out of the four injector nozzles is not not working because electrical power doesn't get to it.

My rewire said the problem is from brainbox, but I don't believe my brainbox has an issue.

Is it possible that the brainbox is powering the remaining 3 nozzles and not powering one?

Please what is the solution to my problem.

God bless you
Re: ECU (brainbox) And Car Electronics Related Problems by GracedVictory: 8:04pm On Apr 23, 2022
Please I need an TCU for 2018 Toyota Prado. Anybody got one?

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