1997 Nissan Altima trouble shooting after flood damage

Tiny
TDWATKINS74
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 NISSAN ALTIMA
Electrical problem
1997 Nissan Altima 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive

my wife's 97 altima gxe recently had some flood damage. Did not get into the engine but did reach high enough inside to submerge the ecu(behind the center console behind the radio). The car was completley dead and replaced the battery. As soon as the new battery was hooked up the radiator fans kicked on and run continuesly? Brake lights and other lights work. Car will fire but will not start. Can you point me in the right direction as far as process of emlination to fix the fan problem as well as getting it started. Is there a way to test the ecu? Also after water had gone down the car did start and idle fine, put in reverse, then in drive and died. Went to start it again and battery was dead. Thinking maybe the fan killed the battery? Something arcing in the fuses? Please help!
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Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 AT 1:59 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi tdwatkins74,

Thank you for the donation.

Situation don't look good and the most likely problem that you have is a damaged ECU.

When wter gets into the ECU, it would cause shorting if power is not disconnected. The situation was made worse when the engine was started.

The cooling fans are controlled by the ECU and I would suggest removing the ECU and drying it out to retest. The chances of it being unaffected is almost zero.

When water gets to any electronic parts, they should be dried before attempting to use them failing which t is going to damage them.

Ensure you have the interior dried out before attempting to reconnect the battery.

To test ECU you would have to confirm what is missing causing the non starting and check if the required voltages are present for the igniton and fuel system.

Get the ECU cleaned and dried out before we proceed with the next step. Unplugging the ECU should have the coolings fans stopping.
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Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 AT 4:17 PM
Tiny
TDWATKINS74
  • MEMBER
O.K. I have pulled all interior from car and dried out inside. Pulled the ecu and opened up. Definetly damaged. Found some replacements online execpt none have the same id#. The car was bought in california. Dont know if that makes a difference, but have not found any yet on ebay that match id# does this matter? Is there something else that can be done? The top # is 5ZE1WL (the WL is the only difference). Bottom # is JA18F65 and 6723. Please help.
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Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 AT 2:55 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
California emission controls are more stringemt than others so the correct ID does matter. With a different PN, you could fail emission test.

I could not find any data pertaining to the PN difference and would try to get my fellow technicians to assist.

Sit tight and hopefully we can get some good news.
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 9:25 AM
Tiny
TDWATKINS74
  • MEMBER
I guess really my question is will the car even run with a non- Cali ecu? Here in good ol' Kentucky we do not have emission testing anymore, so no big deal there.
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 3:17 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
To start the engine should not be a problem, just that the emission specifications are different, the Check Engine Light might be showing. Other than that it should be ok.
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Friday, August 14th, 2009 AT 9:17 AM

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