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Old 03-04-2013, 10:05 PM   #1
9erFaithful
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2001 ZX3 probably heading to pasture !!!

After weeks of dealing with this vehicle, now the dealership today says the PCM needs replaced along with the coil as it's missing on 1 and 4, and without these getting replaced the car will never run again. They also said that is fuel in the Catalytic converter as well, I knew that yesterday as raw fuel smell was evident.

They quote $2400 parts and labor... is there a lot of labor involved replacing these?

At this point for a 2001 with 146K it's probably not reasonable to pay to get it fixed, so I've declined and will have it towed back to my house.

The car otherwise is in great shape... no dents, great paint, good interior, 2 month old tires..... what do you think I can get for it as it, with of course selling as non-running and advising of needs to potential buyers.

Thanks all.


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Old 03-04-2013, 10:09 PM   #2
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ECU can be had for $250 or less online. Coils are like $40. Both are plug and play. I just bought a MOPAR ECU for my Jeep for $657 from the dealer, so I do not know where they are getting their prices from. Total bill for ECU+shipping, reflash and rental car for 2 weeks was $1300
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:13 PM   #3
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So this would be something that someone who has good mechanical knowledge, could repair without much problem? Not me of course, but a neighbor who works on cars wants to tinker with it. What about the fuel in the CAT.

Once the issue came up yesterday, I only ran the car maybe two miles before surrendering... there was smoke that came out of the CAT however.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:23 PM   #4
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Fuel will evaporate.

ECU and coil you can do yourself, with common tools.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:33 PM   #5
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What's the dealership's reason for wanting to replace the PCM (ECU)?
At the very least, I'd get a second opinion from another mechanic.
Funny how they choose two of the most expensive parts on the car to replace...
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:08 AM   #6
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Yeah, ain't it funny??? They always manage to pick what seems like the most expensive parts, how ridiculous. I haven't changed expensive parts like that and others mentioned here onsite commonly in a whole string of cars and mine last forever with usually an average repair bill of maybe $25 max. Often for $10 or less.

The fuel won't evaporate, it's in an enclosed pipe. If you light it all off at once it will melt the cat and then you get to get another one. Driving on 2 missing cylinders may have already done it anyway, but if not, whirling starter over for a bit will somewhat purge the pipes. Then start car and let it run up to half warmed up or a little more and then stop, let it cool to stone cold and repeat. Idea to not get cat totally red hot while trying to purge it. Do it in bits and pieces so temperature does not overwhelm the matrix. Burning the load up little by little may save the cat and it may go back to running normally. Of course you MUST fix the missing before doing this.

I'd be curious why they want to change the PCM too.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:13 AM   #7
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Replace the coil and then see how it runs. The ECU rarly if ever goes bad from what I've seen, in fact I can't even remember anyone ever having a bad one on here. If it is bad you can easily get one at a junk yard, same with the coil or get a new coil since they are not that expensive at all. It's ridiculous what the dealer is saying here. It's almost as if they want you to abandon the car there so they can easily fix it and turn around and make a huge profit on it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:03 AM   #8
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Thanks all .... Ya I'm going to give my neighbor who knows a lot of vehicles a shot with it before I get rid of it if it's expensive to fix.

Dealers reason for PCM and coil replacement was said they both were bad, one wore out the other, but one thing is they don't know which one failed first.

After more research, it's beyond me how they could come up with this much to repair... it seems both parts don't take long to replace?
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:46 AM   #9
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9erFaithful search youtube for how to replace these things. The coil pack is SO easy to replace and I imagine the PCM is as well. Once you know the location of these parts, they're simple to unbolt, disconnect and reinstall.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #10
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I bet if you replace the coil pack it will run. How do you 'wear out' a computer.
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