1997 Toyota Avalon 97 ECU Failure

Tiny
CREGK
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 TOYOTA AVALON
  • 180,000 MILES
My 97 Avalon died while traveling down the road at 50 mph with no warning. We had it towed to the Toyota dealership and the problem was diagnosed as a bad ECU. I had the dealership removed the ECU and I sent it to a repair center in Miami. Upon repair I took the ECU back to the dealership for for reinstall. The car still would not run. The dealership says the ECU was not repaired. I sent the ECU back to Miami and they said all their techs could not find a problem with the unit. I then ordered a used ECU from ebay and the car still will not start. The dealership says bad ECU from ebay also.
I'm stomped at this point I think its highly unlikely both ECUs are bad. Then dealership says I had to tow my car out of there or start paying storage fees. I have the car at home now but I need help, has anyone experienced any problem like this before and where do I start looking to figure this thing out.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 AT 7:23 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
What does the paper work you got from the Toyota dealer say?Are there any details about what failed on the computer?Also the first time you sent the computer in for repair did they find a problem with it that needed repair?
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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 AT 7:49 AM
Tiny
CREGK
  • MEMBER
The paper work from Toyota simply says computer failure and the company from Miami say they replaced internal components and the unit passed a bench test. The Toyota dealership also claimed to have replaced my computer with another customers ECU of the same type and my car stared and ran fine but I wonder if they said that just to get rid me or to convince me buy one of their $1800.00 ECUs from the parts dept.
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+1
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 AT 1:07 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So it cranks and won't start?If so what are you missing spark fuel pressure etc?
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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 AT 1:22 PM
Tiny
CREGK
  • MEMBER
I have spark but not sure how to check fuel pressure. When I sprayed engine starter into the intake it would react but but not catch and run.
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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 AT 2:38 PM
Tiny
CREGK
  • MEMBER
By the way thank you Saturntech9 for your assistance, much appreciated.
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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 AT 2:42 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Let's check the injector circuit first the black wires with a red stripe should have battery voltage with the key in the run position? Do you have a test light a computer safe one?
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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 AT 9:28 PM
Tiny
CREGK
  • MEMBER
Hi Saturntech9,

I just happen to run into one of the Toyota mechanics at the dealership while picking up parts for another car and he confirmed to me that my car ran with a computer out of another customers car. I then went to a local junk yard and matched up the numbers from my old ECU and tried it one more time and after much cranking the engine finally started. I guess the dealership was telling me the truth all along.
Thank you again for your assistance with this problem and fortunately I didn't waste a lot of your time.
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Monday, October 21st, 2013 AT 4:14 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Sounds like you need to talk to the person that fixed your ecm and find out why a junk yard one works and your old repaired one doesn't?You didn't waste mine time I am here to help people. Thanks for the update glad its running again.
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Monday, October 21st, 2013 AT 8:06 PM

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