It’s been almost a year since the last post on this problem and I just resolve it last month.
But, since these threads serve as a kind of problem/troubleshooting archive, I’ll post the history of my solution.
I decided to send my ECM (EECU) to a “rebuilder” and chose Direct Automotive Products (DirectAuto.com
) who subed-out their ECU repairs to an outfit named Python. Python was unable to detect a problem but re-soldered the CBs and charged me for a “rebuild”. The returned ECM preformed with the same malfunction.
DAP and Python accepted a warranty return, but again were unable to bench reproduce the problem. They continued insisting that the error was on my end, even though I provided detailed report and evidence of my extensive on-board testing and determination that the problem was in the ECU itself.
DAPs web site promised that there would be no charge if the ECU was un-repairable (they’ve changed their web site now). In the end, after I got Discover Card involved, DAP agreed to charge me for testing only, and refunded the balance.
My intention here is not to flame DAP, but in retrospect if I’d known in advance that one could never speak directly to a DAP warranty agent (e-mail only) I certainly would have considered alternative vendors (“your mileage may vary”).
A local technician recommended Auto ECMs (AutoEcms.com 877-687-3267
). AutoECM sends you a replacement in exchange for your core. In contrast to DAP, you have no down time. However, another tech told me that in their experience, they would receive a replacement that had different problems and had to keep exchanging until they received a working unit.
In the end, I purchased a factory refurbished unit from the Nissan Dealer and the problem disappeared.
Observations and speculation
* All the techs with whom I discussed the problem stated that they rarely see ECM problems.
* DAP & Python stated that most problems were resolved by resoldering, that is to say, cracked solder joints are the common problem.
* I suspect that Python and other non-factory “rebuilders” only resolder and play the percentages.
* Even a vendor who exchanges may merely send used, untested and/or merely resoldered units and also play the percentages.
* Historically the USA auto fleet turns over very 15 years, but some reports suggest that this will likely change (with difficult economic times) and extend to 20 or 25 years.
* It seems likely that older vehicles will begin showing component failure in the electronics.