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Old 05-27-2021, 12:27 PM   #1
saturnmommy
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1997 SL1
Default computer for 97 SL1

Anyone know the cost for a new computer for the 97 Saturn SL1 SOHC? The repair shop is looking for and is actually testing a used computer for the car right now, but when I ask about a new one they tell me its in the thousands of dollars. Does anyone know the price on a new computer for the car or where you can get one? I know they figure the car is not worth much but its my baby and I am just trying to do my research and due diligence too.
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Old 05-27-2021, 12:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: computer for 97 SL1

Why new??? You can get a "rebuild" (thoroughly tested and programmed for your specific vehicle) for about $150.

I fear they don't know what is really wrong and are just trying to scare you away with the cost of throwing a PCM at it. Can you/they provide any details of what tests and test results indicate the PCM is bad?
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Old 05-27-2021, 01:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: computer for 97 SL1

Usually plenty of good used ones on eBay.
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Old 06-01-2021, 04:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: computer for 97 SL1

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Originally Posted by billr View Post
Can you/they provide any details of what tests and test results indicate the PCM is bad?
It's related to her overheat issue in this thread
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...18#post2361818

I responded in that thread - it is probably not the computer, but the wrong temp sensor installed (parts place probably shipped the temp sender made for 91-96 S-series for the temp gauge, rather than the ECTS meant for the 01-02 S series). This parts mistake happens fairly often.

There has been only 1 or 2 documented problems that were actually a failed computer in the entire history of Saturnfans.com. So it is really unlikely to be a computer problem and I agree that it is just the shop running out of things to look at, so they blame the computer.

Don't waste your money on a computer, they are wasting their time.
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Old 06-02-2021, 05:57 AM   #5
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1997 SW2
Default Re: computer for 97 SL1

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Originally Posted by billr View Post
Why new??? You can get a "rebuild" (thoroughly tested and programmed for your specific vehicle) for about $150.
Does this mean a custom programming could also be done, one not emissions focused but rather focusing on maximum MPG or horsepower?
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Old 06-02-2021, 08:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: computer for 97 SL1

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Does this mean a custom programming could also be done, one not emissions focused but rather focusing on maximum MPG or horsepower?
Swap the factory PCM for a Megasquirt or similar and do what you want with the tuning. The part of the program that says how the engine runs and how the transmission shifts is encrypted and nobody's created a tool to fix it.


I'm still confused on why the OP needs a new computer. Symptoms point to the sensors and/or wiring saying coolant is under-filled and both OP and their shop is like a train on the tracks going after an over-temp condition that doesn't exist.
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: computer for 97 SL1

"Does this mean a custom programming could also be done, one not emissions focused but rather focusing on maximum MPG or horsepower?"

No, I was referring to a place that will program to any OEM config.

If you want to deviate from OEM, I concur that MegaSquirt is the best way.
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Old 06-02-2021, 03:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: computer for 97 SL1

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Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
I'm still confused on why the OP needs a new computer.
shop tech: I replaced the sensor but it still has problems. *scratches head* I don't actually know how to troubleshoot electrical beyond replacing parts.

service advisor: Maybe you can throw another part at it, at the customer's expense to see if that fixes it?

Shop tech. Sure! When I can't figure stuff out, I always blame the computer, because nobody understands computers.

Quote:
Symptoms point to the sensors and/or wiring saying coolant is under-filled
Agree. per other thread, ECTS and connector have been recently replaced. I'd say either wrong part or bad job on wiring/installation.
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