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Old 12-24-2014, 12:44 PM   #1
pslebow
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Default BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

Based upon the discussions here and on other sites I mistakenly believed I could buy a used BCM for my 2001 LW200 and program it to learn the codes for my particular vehicle. According to several experts and the dealer, the BCM and all other controllers in the car are VIN-specific. If a used BCM is installed with a different VIN, the system will give an error and not let the car run or even be programmed - manually or with the dealer Tech 2 scanner. Salvage yards are selling these knowing they cannot possibly work.

The only choice is to have the existing BCM sent out for repair (see Klein Bottle Computer) or buy one from the dealer at $465 plus installation.

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Old 12-24-2014, 03:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

Somebody's giving you misinformation because there are members here that did exactly as you did - replace their ecm/pcm/tcm/bcm from salvage regardless of the VIN and restored their car back to operation. What you may be misinformed about using a used bcm (presuming in working condition); they retain odometer mileage and has never been proven by anyone here that it was re-programmed to reflect the owner's mileage. This is basically implying deliberately buying a used bcm with lower mileage to replace the one in a car with high mileage to sell the car............... Only new blank bcm's from GM's Tech II scantool are programmed to the owner's mileage based on the old bcm reading. In addition, remotes are also programmed by GM only, so the old remotes will work on the new/used bcm.

What you were never informed about using used bcm's; in order to use one, a Passlock (GM's theft deterrent system) relearn is performed (posted many times here) so the new-used bcm learns the password of your Passlock system - essentially marrying the bcm to rest of the electronics. Not performing this relearn procedure, similar to those thinking car electronics are plug n' play like home computers, find the car won't run at all. Passlock is embedded into engine electronics, ecm/pcm/tcm/bcm, as a way to prevent stealing on the go with a box of spares. A thief isn't likely to sit around waiting for the 30 minute relearn procedure before stealing a car. DIYers here repairing their own cars can sit around all day performing a relearn to save on paying for a new bcm when used ones work, albeit a different mileage displayed.

As a new member, you'll gain a lot of free info about your Saturn from here. All other sites not specifically dedicated to Saturns are more or less simply passing on good/bad/old wives tales. Sharing info here separates truth from fiction. Spend some time reading threads (here) that interest you and you're likely to come away with a different impression...............

Perhaps "the Saturn way" has taken on more meaning with Saturnfans.......

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Old 01-01-2015, 11:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

Thanks for the update but I believe we may be both correct. According to a GM forum site, BCM's prior to about 2003 were EPROM programmed with the vehicle VIN and therefore not reprogrammable. Also, from what I've read, its not just the Passlock feature that needs to be synchronized (easily done with the sequence shown on this forum) with your ignition module but all modules (BCM, ECM, etc) in the car are VIN synchronized as well. If one unit has the wrong VIN it generates an error and a no-start. The VIN can be programmed into a new replacement part but not the original EPROM. So it may work in a Saturn VUE but not a 2001 L200.

I even called the shop the used-parts dealer claimed they used all the time to program used BCM's and he said no way for that car.

I would love to have it done but there's no one in my area willing to do it. If you know of a shop that will do it, please let me know.

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Old 01-01-2015, 02:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

Saturnfans are made up of members bent on DIY repairs regardless of what shops, dealers or third party electronics repair shops say. Business is in business to make money. Anyone taking an active part in reducing costs (every DIYer) usually means getting dirty attempting to reduce/eliminate/verify/expose what businesses can or won't do while determining facts for themselves. Searching for DIY repairs isn't a business model, its just the cheapest repair possible with every DIYer assuming all the risks. The DIYer assuming bcm replacement on his own are usually successful with a few failures here and there. Saturnfans threads are largely about DIY repairs.

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Old 01-01-2015, 03:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

Quote:
Originally Posted by pslebow View Post
If you know of a shop that will do it, please let me know.
Try calling these guys . . . http://www.autoecms.com/

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Old 01-13-2015, 08:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

The saga continues...
People have individual experiences and assume they are applicable to others with similar situations...NOT! A used L-200 BCM is, in general NOT compatible with another L-200 of the same year. Yes, I was able to have my used BCM "programmed". The programmer followed the Tech II sequence perfectly - the key works, even the remote key BUT the gauges pegged full tank and overheat, the dash lights flickered. Even with a download of my VIN-specific information, there are still parameters that may not be correctly programmed. As an example, even though the fuel sensor was reading correctly according to the diagnostics, the digital signal sent to the gauge was improper.
I sent my original to Klein Bottle Computer who believed they repaired it. After a week without my car, hooked it up, same problem. Odometer is now up to 380K miles, warning lights on dash gone berserk. KBC refunded my $120 plus shipping. Honest guys.
I was able to return the used unit I bought for $35 and have ordered a new AC Delco replacement part from Amazon. The programmer will only charge me a $40 fee to program this new unit.
Big row with GM customer service and dealer. Even though my VIN is in the range of vehicles in the 02-C-02 GM campaign due for a free computer upgrade, they have fine print saying "selected" vehicles in the range - gotcha! mine is not on the "selected" list - or so they claim.
Tune in next week when my replacement BCM arrives...

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Old 01-13-2015, 10:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

what is the bulletin or campaign # as that is not a good one.. I think I know the one you mean but could be wrong.if I had seen this post earlier I could have told you most all gm bcm's after 1999 started to phase into 1 shot programing to comply with the fed mandate to make odometers tamperproof.something that could not be done if it was a flash ee prom based module like the ecm or ipc... it

was made to be programed with the vin&milage 1 time..if a dealer tec gets the wrong rpo"s entered during programming the dealer eats a new bcm....as a side note and warning to others.. all gm's starting around 07 on some models and to all 2010 and up.playing swaptronics with modules will lock out the entire vehical evan if you swap the original unit back as all of the 18 to 36 modules on the comm bus will have seen a miss matched vin# in the doner module and failed the vin security handshake and will need a techline vci# to unlock it during a programming event from tis2web..

...
shure you can trust the government,just ask us indians all about it...

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Old 01-19-2015, 07:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

Success!

I purchased from Amazon (also available on eBay) a new replacement BCM for $200. The car started up without any programming in a default mode: zero on the odometer with "airbag" and "security" lights on, remote key not functioning of course. Car drove perfectly.

I called 5 dealerships and got estimates to reprogram from $70 to $220. I instead used a mobile tech company - he came out with a Tech II tool and uploaded the latest firmware, automatically read my VIN from the ECM and programmed into the BCM. Remote key works. Had to do the full 30 min key relearn sequence (the tech said the 10 minute sequence rarely works even with the Tech II). Since I did not know the mileage due to GM's f**k up with the software( jumping 5 miles every 1/10 of a mile!) I wasn't going to reenter 400K miles. I guessed at it and he was able to set the odometer mileage using the setup software.

Bottom line - total investment $380 vs $650 from the local dealer.

I have my Saturn back!

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Old 01-20-2015, 03:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

That's a great deal. Congrats! I wish I wasn't so rushed to get my car done, otherwise I might have explored other options. As it is, I didn't get burned too badly at the dealership ($550 for the whole job), but I would have loved to do it without them.

Just curious, what was the name of the outfit that came out and did the programming? Maybe they have other locations that I can keep on file for any future issues.

Andy

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Old 02-06-2015, 09:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

The outfit only operates in Maryland/DC area:
rmsautodiagnostics.com
I believe they have just changed their business model and only plan to deal with auto repair shops. I am sure there are other similar companies out there.

You didn't do too badly at $550 but it sure was satisfying not to be under the dealer's thumb. Its the principle.

I still get a rush when I start the car and the dash trouble lights don't go off like a Christmas tree, gauge needles flip flopping, and I don't have to play a game of shift-lever roulette, wondering if the car will shift out of park when I start it!

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Old 02-07-2015, 12:17 AM   #11
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

Interesting company. Thanks for the link. Yeah, there must be others like them, but you did well.

Andy

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Old 06-12-2015, 11:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

the post are few months old but wanted to jump in here when i read this about bcm's. ive been on here before trying to figure out my saturn (which still sits unusable ggrr). so after many futal atempts through hours of searching google and this site and working on car. I decided to take to a shop to have it diagnostic, to save me from just throwing parts at to get it running. now the car will start just fine and run for about 3 sec, then it dies. It will do this over and over and over. there are no check engine lights security light does not flash.

so the shop tells me few days later the bcm is bad. they ran all their testing and found it to be bad, they also suspect the ecm could be bad as well. but apparently wont know til they put a new bcm in the car. of course when i asked if putting both of those parts in and it still did same thing then what? he said then we need to keep searching lol.

anyway I purchased a bcm that was pulled from a running car and installed in the car. after the 30min re learn procedure it stated right up and died again in the usual 3 secs. so they shop said now you need to buy a ecm i must be bad. so agian i asked if you do that and it still doe same thing do i geta

refund.

...
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

Quote:
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...so again i asked if you do that and it still doe same thing do i get a refund.
See, that's what irks me regarding all these diagnostics that you pay for at auto repair shops. I used to own an electronics repair shop (TV, stereo, etc.) and I never would have gotten away with charging anyone 'anything' for job if the unit still wasn't fixed. I wouldn't have wanted to do that even if I was entitled to.

Andy

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Old 06-12-2015, 11:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

oh they would have fixed it for around 2000. but im not convinced their diagnostics are dead on . didn't sound like they even had faith in that when he said if replacing both didn't fix then they would keep looking. I said i brought it here to find the problem not throw parts in it. . to finish (hit enter too quik lol) so i get a used bcm from a running car. i installed it did the 30 minute relearn and .............it started ,,and died 3 sec later. the shop said well you put in a used part, so we don't know if its a good part until ( for another 100) re diagnose it. my argument that it came from a running car and still does exact same as old one got know where. he still stands behind his diagnostics that the old one is bad and i know need a ecm. so now it sits in back yard as i decide or try to figure out what to do next. oh and when i put the new old one in all lights in dash do as should everything same except the mileage is way different.

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Old 06-13-2015, 12:09 AM   #15
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdshwk View Post
so agian i asked if you do that and it still doe same thing do i geta

refund.
The answer to your question should be yes, but most likely will not be.
1) Is your fuel filter good? If so then,
2) Do you know that you have adequate fuel pressure at the injectors from the fuel pump?
If that checks out okay....

Well, this start/run issue has the earmarks of a failing crankshaft position sensor. If you perform a search in the L Series Forums you'll find a plethora of stories regarding intermittent problems with this component.

I'm not saying that I know your crankshaft sensor is bad. But If I were to attempt to correct this problem by replacing parts then I would start there. The sensor isn't that expensive and not terribly difficult to replace. This forum also has many posts where there are explanations of how to test this item as well. The crankshaft position sensor is located behind the oil filter mounting/adapter.

Minimally, I am leery of the diagnosis relating to either the ECM or BCM at this juncture. It appears that the shop is not confident about its own diagnosis. This is a recipe for frustration both for you and for them and the resulting unhappiness, irritation, and anger that are likely to follow from a failed repair attempt.

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Old 06-13-2015, 12:13 AM   #16
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

Installation of a used BCM means that your odometer will read the mileage within that BCM's memory. It cannot be erased or changed. This is another item well discussed within these forums.

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Old 07-22-2015, 07:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

So what happens if the new BCM is not programmed, just the mileage and fobs are affected? Any other issues?

I have an 03 L200 4cyl with 135000 miles. It was my dad's in Illinois until 4 years ago when I got it from him and have had it in Louisiana. About a year ago while driving the security light came on but did not come on the next start up. Eventually it started coming back on more often, along with the wrench light. It seemed like it would only come on when it was hot out (never came on in the morning). Also the fuel and temp gauges started acting haywire where the needles would swing from normal level to empty/cold back to normal while driving. Then the security and wrench light pretty much came on every time I drove with the gauges still acting funky. The only service done to the car around the time this all started was two times in about a week my car needed a jump from having a bad battery (got a new battery at autozone after this).....

fast forward to now. The gauges do not swing any more, they just stay at the dead bottom empty/cold(tho sometimes the fuel needle will swing up to the correct level for a short time). I left work one day a month ago and stopped at subway before coming home and upon getting back in the car it would kick on and then stall with the security light flashing. after some google searching right then and there I tried the 10 minute key trick but that did not work. got it towed to mechanic and they got it to start and didn't know what was wrong but suggested bcm because of gauges and security light. drove it home and thought it was a fluke that I got stranded because it didn't happen again.

but then it did again after work when I stopped at the post office 10 minutes away. now the security light does not come on while driving but the wrench is still on and now the seat belt light stays on the whole time.

so I noticed a correlation between car running for a short time, shutting it off, then starting again a short time after that with getting stranded/car immediately stalling after starting. so if I went some where like the post office id leave the car running. however when I'd go to work and get back in the car 8 hours later, it would start fine. also in the mornings leaving for a work with the car sitting over night it would start fine.

got stranded again at the gas station 2 weeks ago -- left house, drove 2 minutes to gas station, shut off, got gas, turned on--car stalled. got towed back to the house again. so for 2 months basically the only thing I notice that works is if I let the car sit all evening/night, go to work in the morning, sits at work all day, then I go home...until the other day when I got in the car at 6am and it did the same thing -- first time it didn't stay on after sitting all night. This morning was extremely hot and humid, not sure if that played a part.

Obviously passlock is what is causing this stall as the security light flashes after it happens. The 10 minute trick does not work. One time after the stall at my house I put it in neutral and it started up but that hasn't worked since that 1 time. No radio or headlight issues. Locks and remote and trunk works fine. other gauges and warning lights fine. ac does blow hot air but that might be bc no Freon and ac system is bad (compressor does blow tho). another side note is that I had a really worn down key and one time I was able to accidentally pull the key out while it was in the start position (prbly just due to key being worn and ig cyl plus had security light on and guage problem way before that incident).

Ive narrowed it down thru research to BCM, ig cylinder, ig switch, corroded or loose wires or connectors (the tin being oxidized)...fuses look good, battery should be good tho I do know u low voltage can cause a problem....am I correct that the bcm is located above the glove box in this model? seriously contemplating taking a stab at buying one on amazon and installing it (I am not super tech savvy and def not electrical savvy) but saw one of the responses above stating the car started and ran fine (after 30 minute procedure) without programming.........so back to my original question, does a new bcm really need to be programmed? does my passlock problem sound like it is BCM related and would it be difficult for an amateur to replace? whether I fix the bcm or not, would a homemade bypass or one from newrockies solve this problem?

SORRY THIS IS SO LONG AND THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR THE HELP AND INSIGHT!!

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Old 07-23-2015, 05:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

alwayssomethin, you assume all risks when replacing a new or used BCM regardless whether they need programming or not. New bcm's need programming for at least the mileage so when they're programmed, GM will add remotes when they're presented. Whether or not a new blank BCM works without programming is still no assumption that it will work with only one member stating success but still following up with programming.

All gauges and indicators in the instrument panel are driven by the bcm with exceptions; ABS/TC, airbag and one or two other indicators. ABS and airbag indicators are driven by their own modules.

When security flashes during starting, Passlock (BCM controlled) disables injectors. When not flashing, a different symptom may be showing with more than one problem here. This might be more than a bcm issue and difficult to diagnose on public message boards. Advanced troubleshooting above the average abilities of most DIYers.

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Old 07-23-2015, 07:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

thank you for the response fdryer, I really appreciate it. I went ahead and ordered a new BCM on amazon for $265 with no tax and free shipping. I took out the old one today to see how hard/easy it was and it was pretty straightforward. 3 screws under the glove box, 6 screws holding the box in place, disconnecting battery cable, pulling out glove box bulb/connector, disconnecting 4 connectors behind bcm(I had blue, green, pink, and gray). Then slid out bcm casing from the top of the box using the grid holes. Opened the plastic casing on the bcm to inspect (did not see anything that looked out of the ordinary but I am no expert).

when I get it I am going to put the old one back and drive to dealership or local mechanic who has a tech2 and just bite the $100 or so programming fee. If i cant get the car started with old bcm (car stalled on me again today leaving work) i will install new one and get a tow to dealer/mechanic. again, mechanic has the tech2.


i don't want to take a chance of screwing up new bcm by not getting it programmed. the only reason why i asked about the programming is because i am a paranoid person and would hate for dealer to screw me some how by ruining my new part or trying to tell me something was wrong/something else wrong.

btw, the part on amazon is acdelco and the one i pulled out was a Motorola. hopefully that wont matter. amazon says the the acdelco is compatible with my car plus reviewers stated that it worked on their 2003 l200's.

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Old 07-31-2015, 02:59 PM   #20
alwayssomethin
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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2003 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: BEWARE BCM replacement - Can't program used part

Update

Couldn't get the car to stay running last night with old bcm so I had it towed to dealership and switched out the bcms in the parking lot...dealership programmed my new bcm and fobs (had to tell them to do this after they said my car was done, even though I told them earlier to do it)....car starts up, does not stall, fuel and temp guage working, no security or wrench light (goes off), seatbelt light shuts off...am I finally fixed with passlock? God, I hope so.

Side note 1: green headlamp? light flickers a few times when I start the car and then shuts off. Never did that before.

Side note 2: guy said they couldn't get mileage from old bcm so they entered 135000 which was my approximation. Now it says 135080...maybe it updated to proper amount while driving somehow? Ill keep my eye on it.

Side note 3: my Saturn manual said there was a way to turn passlock off by having key in run or acc and slowly pressing panic button 4 times but within 5 seconds, then press unlock. This did nothing for me however.

Thank you so much to the saturnfans community and all the helpful info!

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