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Old 08-04-2018, 01:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Tustin, CA
Posts: 86

2005 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Wrench ECBM replacement for VUE

More or less posting this here for my own personal history/reference, but may come in handy for anyone experiencing the same issue.

My folks have a 2009 Vue Hybrid with 60,000-ish miles on it. About 2 years back while driving around LA freeways, the TC/ABS lights suddenly lit up. They'd go away for a while after the car was turned off, but eventually began staying on all the time.

Scanner said a rear wheel sensor was bad. Dad being the mechanic he is, ordered and replaced it but that didn't change anything. It went ignored for a while but after a few months not only did the SES/Brake lights appear, but the green "eco" light stopped coming on and the car no longer turned off its engine at idle. Well ok then.

A trip to the dealer concluded the ECBM was bad and would cost $1400 to replace, way out of budget. The car still ran normally (sans hybrid feature) so it was put off, until this summer when that first required smog check arrived in the mail, forcing our hand.

Dad searched around on the internet and ordered a new ECBM for $550. Due to his age he wasn't quite able to get up and down from underneath the car so I helped with the install. The ECBM is held by 4 torx screws down behind the battery and placed just annoyingly enough that it was difficult to undo even with our arsenal of sockets, but eventually got the new one installed without removing any other major parts. Took about 2-3 hours.

The SES light immediately went off and the hybrid feature started working again. However the ABS/TC/Brake lights were still on. Dad had read that the ECBM would probably need to be programmed, something only certain auto shops can do. With the SES light off we could have stopped at this point but it's probably a good idea to address the Brake light in case there was a real problem. It cost another $150 and about an hour's time, but Dad got the car back with all lights extinguished, and passed the smog check a week later.

So the total cost of the ordeal was about $800 and a few hours of our time. I should have posted this right after installation so I'd remember more details, but if this happens to anyone else, at least you have a general idea of what to do, taking the expensive dealer route or the more economical DIY.

Joey Kincer


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