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Old 08-12-2008, 04:43 PM   #1
mjs1138
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Default Replace PCM in 2000 L-series wagon

I'm trying to change a PCM (engine computer) on a saturn 2000 L-series wagon. The old unit starts and runs the car but is giving intermittent service lights. The new unit won't start the car and while cranking the security light blinks. Is there something special about changing the PCM I don''t know about? Thanks --- Mike

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Old 08-12-2008, 06:04 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Replace PCM in 2000 L-series wagon

The factory Passlock vehicle anti-theft system is preventing your ECM from being recognized by the body control module (BCM) until you perform a re-learn procedure that allows electronic communications between the mini-computers to recognize each other in a timed event taking 10 minutes, 3x before the ecm and bcm synchronize with each other. Cuts down on theft of parts and more importantly, kills the fuel pump and either the ignition system or injector pulses when activated by attempts to steal the car (as in flashing security indicator). Internal passwords are established for so each time Search the threads for the procedure.

Why are you replacing the ecm when its quite possible that members here, including Saturn techs, can help you find the problem? Virtually every PCM/ECM is rugged, reliable, and trouble-free. On the other hand, the early L-series have BCM failures costing hundreds of dollars just to replace. Reading the threads will give you some idea of where problems lie. The first task is to retrieve the code(s) once the original ecm is put back, look up their brief definitions in the How-to library on page 5 titled OBD II Powertrain Codes, then post the codes here for follow-up by anyone familiar with the codes and the symptoms. Describing the symptoms also adds to the overall picture of your car's problem. There's a wealth of information just a few key clicks away.

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Old 08-12-2008, 09:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Replace PCM in 2000 L-series wagon

fdryer, thank you for your reply. I'm trying the ecm replacement (purchased from bone-yard) for several reasons. This car is a flood-car (I knew this when I purchased it back in 2002). It's had intermittent service / service engine soon lights through out its history. I just had the dealer replace the throttle body for the second time in 3 years as this is what the codes were telling them along with other codes O2, knock sensor, those were also replaced and I'm still getting the lights as well as intermittent engine cut-outs while driving; reduced power light also activates sometimes. Sunday (8/10/08) the lights came on again, stopped at parts store that reads codes. Well, they said the throttle position sensor, among other codes were on. I'm loosing confidence in the dealership to diagnose and figure that the new ecm (for $100) was worth a shot.

I'm going to return to the dealership and have them match the ecm to the care and see what happens. If that fixes it I'll argue with them about why I paid all the other money to them. If not I will do as you suggest - work up all the codes, symptoms and history and return here to the forum.

Thanks again --- Mike

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Old 08-13-2008, 03:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Replace PCM in 2000 L-series wagon

Ahh, a flood car. I understand now. This may present a special problem in connections EVERYWHERE. Where ever flood water (and all it implies) touched, it most likely corroded connections whether visible or not. With care and lots of time it may be a project to go through every wiring connection methodically to expose every terminal as much as possible to ensure that any electrical connection wasn't subject to the corrosive effect that flood water will have on every part of a car. All the ground connections included. All the fuse boxes too. The multiple terminals on the ECM, BCM, and TCM should be visually checked, male and female terminals for any signs of corrosion. There are magic fluids available for helping remove corrosion as well as neutralizing ongoing corrosion. Marine products in spray form work this way to enhance good electrical connections. Just Google anti-corrosive or other key words to find the product. Using a fine brass bristle toothbrush from Home Depot helps to scrape and polish terminals. Hopefully you'll find the little nooks and crannies that corrosion tries to kill the signals needed for the EFI system to work right.

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Old 06-29-2010, 03:40 PM   #5
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Happy Re: Replace PCM in 2000 L-series wagon

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
The factory Passlock vehicle anti-theft system is preventing your ECM from being recognized by the body control module (BCM) until you perform a re-learn procedure that allows electronic communications between the mini-computers to recognize each other in a timed event taking 10 minutes, 3x before the ecm and bcm synchronize with each other. Cuts down on theft of parts and more importantly, kills the fuel pump and either the ignition system or injector pulses when activated by attempts to steal the car (as in flashing security indicator). Internal passwords are established for so each time Search the threads for the procedure.

Why are you replacing the ecm when its quite possible that members here, including Saturn techs, can help you find the problem? Virtually every PCM/ECM is rugged, reliable, and trouble-free. On the other hand, the early L-series have BCM failures costing hundreds of dollars just to replace. Reading the threads will give you some idea of where problems lie. The first task is to retrieve the code(s) once the original ecm is put back, look up their brief definitions in the How-to library on page 5 titled OBD II Powertrain Codes, then post the codes here for follow-up by anyone familiar with the codes and the symptoms. Describing the symptoms also adds to the overall picture of your car's problem. There's a wealth of information just a few key clicks away.
new to the site so hello..!! "quick question regarding the quoted answer.." im thinking of buying a pcm because my mechanic friend and I narrowed down the error codes to the pcm but if i buy one, am i going to have to bring the lw2 to the dealership and have it programmed for another 100-150 bucks on top of the 150 im gonna pay for the used pcm aswell? thanks -JR

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Old 06-29-2010, 05:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Replace PCM in 2000 L-series wagon

I don't think so as the only change needed would be to the remaining oil life counter needing programming to match yours. Leaving this out just means resetting the OLM and changing the oil and filter so the OLM is in sych with the new oil change. Or not change the oil and filter and wait for the next change reminder unless you change at shorter intervals.

You should be able to use your used pcm immediately after performing the relearn procedure.

And welcome to Saturnfans.

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Old 06-29-2010, 07:00 PM   #7
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Thumbs Up Re: Replace PCM in 2000 L-series wagon

Thanx much .. can you direct me to a link with the relearn procedure? -JR

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Old 06-29-2010, 08:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Replace PCM in 2000 L-series wagon

The procedures have been repeatedly posted and some searching here should turn up at least one.

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Old 06-30-2010, 08:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Replace PCM in 2000 L-series wagon

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
The procedures have been repeatedly posted and some searching here should turn up at least one.
My recollection was I had to have the dealer perform the replace/recode process. But it's been a long time since I did that so...

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