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Old 08-28-2004, 10:38 AM
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very important oboII question

i have a very important question about the obo II computer. the way i understand it, the oboII computer runs just about everything on a car from 1996 and up. i have a 97 geo metro with a 1.3 liter in it that has apparantly a bad brain in it. during a testing phase at a ase shop, the car wouldn't start but yet the computer showed that the car was running and going about 2 miles an hour. that much everybody agrees on. the question is this; the shop told me that the oboII computer is strictly fro that car because it has the vin # imbeded in it. they also state that the only way to fix it is to send it in to see if it can be reprogrammed. cost is about $500 plus labor. they said that another computer from the same car would not work in this one because of the vin# imprint. i have heard differently from another scource. which is correct? can i go to a junkyard and pick up another computer as long as it is from the same year, make and model as mine? or am i stuck with fixing this one?

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Old 08-29-2004, 04:33 AM
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Try the junkyard one from a same year car with the same tranny and with the same emissions. (federal or Cali.)
But consider that you own a throw away car. If it has high miles or has had a hard life (as in teenage driver) this would be a good time to get rid of it before it starts draining your wallet.
My brutally honest opinion would bet to sell it to the recyclers and do the dance of joy as it slides into the jaws of the crusher, but that is just me.
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Old 08-29-2004, 06:56 AM
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yah, i will agree with that. it was never built to run great distances like it did this summer. it is a good car to learn on. it is soo simple under the hood. maybe donate it to a high school ?
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Old 12-12-2004, 07:08 PM
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Reprograming

Your 1997 GM computer can be reprogrammed by the dealer while you wait. This is from Mario Swartz, former general
service manager at a cadillac/gm dealer and is currently the senior
professor at SFCC Automotive Tech in Gainesville,winning school for the 2003 best tech schools in the nation. .

Last edited by hotmetal800; 12-15-2004 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:03 PM
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Program

hotmet hit it on the money. We used to down load and reprogram PCM's while cutomer's waited. About a 1 hour process.
$500 to reprogram a PCM? Man, we are in the wrong business.
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Old 12-12-2004, 11:06 PM
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They told you 500.00 labor no parts.There ripping you off friend!
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Old 12-12-2004, 11:51 PM
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I've never heard of that vin imprint on and OBD II PCM, but I am a retired Ford tech not that familiar with GM. I recently bought a 95 Tbird (OBDII) with a bad PCM (no idle speed and no egr operation). After testing there were codes for the egr and isc. I just happened to have a neighbor with an identical car that I maintain for him so I borrowed the pcm. My car worked fine and passed the tests and even the smog test. I took the PCM to my local Car Quest parts store and they have a contract with some outfit in Florida and they sent it to them and they repaired the grounding drivers in the PCM for $125 + shipping as per original estimate ($150 total). The estimate from the dealer where I used to work was $250 and that was with my employee discount.

Reprograming is for calibration issues and updates. If your PCM has a hard fault in the hardware or software the reprogramming wont do any good.

The OBD system on your car only runs the engine management system, not "just about everything on the car" as you previously stated.
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Old 12-13-2004, 02:36 AM
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It seems like bad drivers are a common reason for processers to fail. Personally I would rather pay double for an oem Ford part unless I was fixing it to sell. After just 30 years of driving Fords and at least that long wrenching I can say Nobodys quality compares with Henry's when it comes to parts for one of his cars, especially electrical.
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Old 12-13-2004, 10:42 AM
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I absolutely agree willoybilly. I did buy the Tbird only for repair and resell. OEM parts have a lot more components built into the product like electronic filters to rid the system of glitch's. !st thing i do in diag is tell the customer to replace all the aftermarket parts like Standard Plus, Pep Boys, and Kragen, before I can diag a driveability problem. I have never sent a PCM out for repair before but I thought I would give it a try this time. It seems to be working fine for now but for how long.
Ok, I do go to Pep Boys for oil and stuff like that.
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Old 12-13-2004, 03:31 PM
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I usually try to get genuine ford parts first....but when your ford is a 1969...the dealership doesn't offer a whole lot...at least not around here...
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