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Old 01-27-2015, 04:56 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,420 times
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I've got a '96 Ford Aspire. 3 months ago I put a new transmission in it which means I've now spent 2 grand on a car I can't sell for $800. I NEED this thing to pass smog but they say the computer isn't rebooting even after driving it "hard" for 150 miles. What the heck do I do? I understand it has to do with the ECM chip losing it's emission settings when the battery was disconnected. But how do we get it to reset?? I've got too much tied up in this car to scrap it.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Carmichael, CA
2,036 posts, read 3,150,284 times
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I don't know anything about cars but you can talk to the Smog Referee--they might be able to help.
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
32,255 posts, read 14,513,687 times
Reputation: 23200
Quote:
Originally Posted by atimmons View Post
I've got a '96 Ford Aspire. 3 months ago I put a new transmission in it which means I've now spent 2 grand on a car I can't sell for $800. I NEED this thing to pass smog but they say the computer isn't rebooting even after driving it "hard" for 150 miles. What the heck do I do? I understand it has to do with the ECM chip losing it's emission settings when the battery was disconnected. But how do we get it to reset?? I've got too much tied up in this car to scrap it.
Call a Ford dealer, I'm not sure about Ford's but my husband has had to have the computer 'flashed' on his BMW a few times.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
5,705 posts, read 12,629,706 times
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I had a similar problem with my ECM not working properly to pass smog on a great running Nissan Maxima which was also a '96. After taking it to multiple mechanics including one who specialized in auto electronics I found out the price to replace the ECM (which it needed) was almost as much as its KBB value. So after much deliberation I ended up selling to a neighbor who's daughter lived in TX where she would have no problem driving it legally. It worked out for both us, though I definitely lost money with the brand new set of tires I just put on the thing. That was a few years ago and it's still running great for her today.

Like the songs says 'sometimes you gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.' In California it's getting more tricky with the tighter controls on smog laws and decently running cars with ECM or sensor problems. It seems like a crazy reason to get rid of a car if it drives fine! But you definitely don't want to drop too much more $$ into it if the cost to repair will be close to the value or more. What if it's another $1000+ to fix properly?

Best advice: Try to get an estimate from a trustworthy mechanic without spending too much more money on the thing. Then you'll have a better idea of where to go next. Just don't throw more money at blindly as it sounds like it has the potential to become an even greater money pit. If you've already spent too much on it compared to its actual value you may need to chalk this one up to life lessons learned... Then cut your losses. But you might get lucky and find out it wouldn't be that much more.

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 01-27-2015 at 10:58 PM..
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Sylmar, a part of Los Angeles
4,297 posts, read 2,731,848 times
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Would a junkyard computer fix it?
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:56 PM
 
384 posts, read 460,448 times
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transmission doesn't have anything to do with smog or exhaust. We need more infomation. First thing to do is take to a any shop to have it scan for codes. Autozone will do it for free
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
32,255 posts, read 14,513,687 times
Reputation: 23200
Quote:
Originally Posted by atimmons View Post
I've got a '96 Ford Aspire. 3 months ago I put a new transmission in it which means I've now spent 2 grand on a car I can't sell for $800. I NEED this thing to pass smog but they say the computer isn't rebooting even after driving it "hard" for 150 miles. What the heck do I do? I understand it has to do with the ECM chip losing it's emission settings when the battery was disconnected. But how do we get it to reset?? I've got too much tied up in this car to scrap it.
Are the codes not showing that they reset? All of them or just some of them? It is not a matter of driving 150 miles, I just went through this with a car. There is a 'drive cycle' that you have to follow to get them to reset. Sometimes you can drive 500 miles and they won't reset unless all of the steps in the sequence are met. They vary from car to car but here is a link with some information How to Perform a Basic Drive Cycle

I bought an OBD2 scanner from Amazon for $20 and downloaded the app "Torque" on my phone. The scanner is just a little thing that plugs in to our OBD2 port and communicates to the App via bluetooth. I then did the drive cycle until I only had one that wouldn't reset, and California allows you to have one that is not reset as long as there is no check engine light. I was told that will change sometime this year so that they all have to reset though. In order to get the data on "emission readiness" you have to use the menu in Torque and add "Emission Readiness /DTC" to the display.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:24 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
5,705 posts, read 12,629,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veritasveritas View Post
transmission doesn't have anything to do with smog or exhaust. We need more infomation. First thing to do is take to a any shop to have it scan for codes. Autozone will do it for free
It's not the tranny. It's the ECM 'not rebooting' after being disconnected from the battery following tranny work. The real question is was that the straw that broke the camel's (ECMs) back or is there a relatively inexpensive fix to get it going again. Sometimes with older cars one thing can lead to another. And if the computer electronics (ECM, sensors, etc...) start going it can become a losing proposition. While codes are nice to know its only a starting point in diagnosing more complex problems like a bad/faulty ECM.

Derek
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
5,705 posts, read 12,629,706 times
Reputation: 6237
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
Are the codes not showing that they reset? All of them or just some of them? It is not a matter of driving 150 miles, I just went through this with a car. There is a 'drive cycle' that you have to follow to get them to reset. Sometimes you can drive 500 miles and they won't reset unless all of the steps in the sequence are met. They vary from car to car but here is a link with some information How to Perform a Basic Drive Cycle

I bought an OBD2 scanner from Amazon for $20 and downloaded the app "Torque" on my phone. The scanner is just a little thing that plugs in to our OBD2 port and communicates to the App via bluetooth. I then did the drive cycle until I only had one that wouldn't reset, and California allows you to have one that is not reset as long as there is no check engine light. I was told that will change sometime this year so that they all have to reset though. In order to get the data on "emission readiness" you have to use the menu in Torque and add "Emission Readiness /DTC" to the display.
Good troubleshooting. It was the 'check engine light' not turning off that did it for my Maxima. That was the beginning of the end leading to excessive costs to repair the problem - new/used ECM replacement.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:18 AM
 
384 posts, read 460,448 times
Reputation: 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
It's not the tranny. It's the ECM 'not rebooting' after being disconnected from the battery following tranny work. The real question is was that the straw that broke the camel's (ECMs) back or is there a relatively inexpensive fix to get it going again. Sometimes with older cars one thing can lead to another. And if the computer electronics (ECM, sensors, etc...) start going it can become a losing proposition. While codes are nice to know its only a starting point in diagnosing more complex problems like a bad/faulty ECM.

Derek
Ecm rarely go bad.
Its probably the obd2 monitor not ready. I would reset it and drive more on it.......... 500 miles should fix it.

Last edited by veritasveritas; 01-28-2015 at 10:32 AM..
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