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About To Send ECM Out For Repair - Need Advice Quickly ! Topic is solved

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mrbrian200
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Re: About To Send ECM Out For Repair - Need Advice Quickly !

Post by mrbrian200 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:43 am

abscate wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:56 am
Has anyone gone inside an ECU to see if these drivers are repairable? There is no way a firm is going to. Do this of course, especially since a $25 PnP and $100 doublebug clone is cheaper and faster
Anything in there is repairable or replaceable unless the board burnt up in some sort of catastrophic event. The issue becomes a matter of time and cost, which is where cloning and replacement/reprogramming comes into play as it becomes cheaper to replace it rather than pay a tech 10-20-30 hours or more to reverse engineer, trace issues and repair it. If a new ECU costs in the neighborhood of $1000 you get maybe 10 hours of tech time until you reach the point that a new ECU is cheaper. If a used/good ecu can be had for $100-200 you get at most a couple hours (tech + business overhead expenses) which effectively limits board level repairs to relatively minor fixes. Such as replacing a few discrete components -if- the problem is obvious (transistors, resistors, etc, or maybe one packaged SOC if the data/program code is available or can be read/transferred from the old chip easily.

If one has the expertise and can do this themselves at home without paying somebody else + business overhead then sure, spend two weeks figuring it out and fixing it if you want. But X can't do that if they expect to stay in business.

RichHale, thank you for correcting me on the specifics of how that CP driver works. I never dealt with a failed ECU coil pack driver circuit, thus I was assuming it operated more like an electronically controlled magneto (where current is dead, applied momentarily via completing the ground, the spark is generated at the end of the pulse width as the field collapses). I wasn't aware that the current stays on and is merely pulsed off to collapse the field/generate the spark. The method I envisioned (LED across the ECU to ground) would still work, except blink on instead of blink off, much like the $10 tool that probes across the coil pack instead of the ECU.
Since I probably (I know I do if I 'dig') have a suitable LED just floating around somewhere I would more than likely save my $10. Most people would buy the tool, however.



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Re: About To Send ECM Out For Repair - Need Advice Quickly !

Post by abscate » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:01 am

A ECU from a pick and pull is a 10-20 dollar item, so the economics of repair just suck.


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Re: About To Send ECM Out For Repair - Need Advice Quickly !

Post by RickHaleParker » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:33 am

Since I probably (I know I do if I 'dig') have a suitable LED just floating around somewhere I would more than likely save my $10

If you use 5ma LEDs and a 3K current limiting resistors you should OK.


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Re: About To Send ECM Out For Repair - Need Advice Quickly !

Post by jcb » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:31 pm

As promised, this is a follow up to precopster's last post:


However, first I must begin by saying the most recent posts (by mrbrian, RickHaleParker, and abscate) have taken the thread to several levels above my reckoning. As an older "nuts & bolts" guy, I will try to absorb what is being said rather than comment. But I'm certain there are a lot of younger guys learning a lot from your back and forth dialogue.


To precopster :


Don't know whether you saw my comment as to your first post on this thread. Somehow I missed it and sent the ECM out for repair before I saw it. Otherwise, I MAY have changed course. I will describe the capitalized "may" in a bit. But first, I must say that I had never heard of "DICE" until I started searching MVS for something to help with my ECM problem. I really still don't know much about it, only that a lot a guys seem to have difficulty making it work. I've seen a few threads that get into computer program logic to troubleshoot why it isn't working, and that's not the thing I care to deal with. You also asked if I had VIDA and a laptop. I don't have VIDA but guess what, I do have a laptop running Window 10 ( which might not be good because some of these type programs still need Windows XP )., By now you probably realize I'm not conversant in this type of approach. However, I'm usually willing to try, but the real reason for avoiding that approach is a frustrating situation I had to deal with two years ago. So this involves another fairly long short story if you care to read thru it :


It involves a problem with my son's 1998 BMW 323. The car wouldn't start and eventually I used my scanner to check for codes. The scanner would not communicate with the car. After stumbling around for awhile, I finally found a thread on a BMW forum that talked about how deterioration of the lower front windshield rubber seal could allow water to enter the firewall cavity that housed the ECM. Sure enough that was the problem and the ECM was toast.


So what to do. Called the local BMW dealership and about $2,000 to replace and program it after you had it towed in. They refused to deal with programming a used ECM. Called quite a few independent guys who didn't seem to want to deal with a used one either - not the right test equipment / no guarantees, etc. So I started a thread looking for options. Got a lot of input, as usual some good and some not so. Part of the problem was not wanting to have the car towed to someone who couldn't get it done. Decided to get a good "used" one on eBay from the same year and model car that had matching part numbers. Some claimed this would work without doing anything else. However, the immobilizer reared its head and the car wouldn't start after installing for that reason.


Then a guy showed up on the forum and said he could get me out of trouble by reprogramming the ECM and bypassing the immobilizer (EWS system in BMW language) at the same time, guaranteeing it would come back "plug & play". So I sent it to him in New Jersey and he worked his magic for less than $200. Got it back, and low and behold the car started and ran well. However, soon a CEL code showed (think it was P0600). It would clear but soon came right back. As Maryland has an emission testing program, this was not going to work. The thread input said this code is often the result of a mismatch in transmissions - manual vs auto and I couln't verify what tranny the donor car had. Called the guy in Jersey and he said that the trans didn't matter. After some back and forth, he said to clear the "adaptations" and this would go away. I asked if all I have to do then is use my scanner to do this or disconnect the battery. The answer was "NO" , it has to be done with specific BMW programming equipment ! After arguing that this was supposed to be plug & play, guess what it took to resolve this last issue.? He mailed me his laptop that had the correct BMW program (on Win XP) , I connected it to the goofy circular plug in the engine compartment, called him and he connected to the laptop over the internet, clearing the adaptations as we followed his directions running the car.


Talk about a brave new world ! It worked, but I don't particularly want to go thru that agony again. Hopefully methods have improved, or Volvos are easier to deal with than BMW's, or just perhaps Volvo guys are simply smarter !


Bottom line is that this whole episode took well over a month to resolve. So now you understand the capitalized MAY in my response.


Hopefully now, with two lifetime guarantees, I won't have to deal with this issue again on this car - but I wouln't count on that either !


JCB



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Re: About To Send ECM Out For Repair - Need Advice Quickly !

Post by abscate » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:04 am

Jcb....the guys here who do remote programming on ECUs are usernames Yagger and doublebug.

I think mike has done over 100 successful clones as have many others here, using the owners Dice interface and an Internet connection to these guys.


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Re: About To Send ECM Out For Repair - Need Advice Quickly !

Post by RickHaleParker » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:50 am

As an older "nuts & bolts" guy, I will try to absorb what is being said rather than comment. But I'm certain there are a lot of younger guys learning a lot from your back and forth dialogue.

If you still have one of the old fashion test lights. Retire it to the dust bin and get a Computer Safe Auto Logic Probe https://www.harborfreight.com/computer- ... 98709.html. The old fashion test lights draw enough current they can damage the input/output of the computerized components.


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Re: About To Send ECM Out For Repair - Need Advice Quickly !

Post by jcb » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:01 am

abscate,

I think you mentioned those two names in an earlier post. Despite my prior experience with the BMW outlined above, I would probably have explored going that route in some depth, but I somehow missed both yours and precopster's posts. Just one final word on the BMW experience. I didn't want to diminish the abilities of the tech who did the ECM programming and EWS by-pass. He stuck with me as unanticipated problems arose, things that likely often occur in such situations. My lack of knowledge didn't help either. For example, I do seem to remember him early on saying that when I got it back, to clear the "adaptations" after plugging it into the car. I wrongfully assumed that was simply using my scanner or disconnecting the battery which resets (I thought) the adapters he was referring to.

RickHaleParker,

Thanks very much for the advice. The one I have is from Harbor Freight but may well not be the computer safe version. I use it rarely, relying on my multitester for most things. In this case, I used it only in the bitter end to confirm the ECM signal ground to #1 cyl that I already suspected.

You've actually helped me in another way - I was thinking about possible "stocking stuffers" for two of my sons. Harbor Freight is always a good resource for such things. So I'll get three of them so they won't need to continue borrowing my stuff !

JCB



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Re: About To Send ECM Out For Repair - Need Advice Quickly !

Post by RickHaleParker » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:45 am

Adaptive reset for some models of BMW.
I'm pretty sure it works on the '98 323i. It worked on a 323i that I replaced the throttle body on.

1. Turn key on do not start.
2. Push accelerator pedal to floor and hold for at least 30 seconds.
3. Turn key off
4. Release accelerator pedal
5 Do absolutely nothing for at least 2 minutes.
6. Start car.
7. Take the car for a cruise, don't get on it, just cruise.
8. After 30-40 miles of cruising, give it hell.

If your kids are going to be driving BMWs you might want to invest in a Rheingold kit. They have kits for diagnostics and programming. http://rheingoldusa.com/conc/index.php Nice stocking stuffers ;-)
Last edited by RickHaleParker on Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: About To Send ECM Out For Repair - Need Advice Quickly !

Post by abscate » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:13 pm

We have one pre LCI X3 BMW - I understand in 2007 all Hades broke loose with adaptations and stuff that is just unmanageable for a DIY driver. About 72% of BMWs are leased, so most don't care. I love our X3 but it will be the last BMW in our driveway for that reason.


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2 Volvos
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8 Boats- with a big pointy metal thing on top

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Re: About To Send ECM Out For Repair - Need Advice Quickly !

Post by RickHaleParker » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:28 pm

I love our X3 but it will be the last BMW in our driveway for that reason.

Go here: http://rheingoldusa.com/conc/index.php


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