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Old 08-30-2006, 02:52 PM   #1
trwolf
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2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Wrench 2002 L300 ECM/Battery Problem

I went out of town last week (figures, it always happens when I'm gone). My wife was driving, when our car started "acting funny" (from what I could gather over the phone---hard to start, poor idle, lack of power, clunking into gears-Automatic tranny). She took it to dealer and was told the battery had leaked, gotten on a cable, and ECM was damaged as a result of battery problem. They wanted to replace battery, cable, and ECM. Three hours for battery and cable ($500) and one or more hours for ECM ($500).

Should the two issues be related? I get it that batteries go bad (especially in TEXAS heat) and that they may leak onto the connection cables, but three hours labor to replace these seems like a lot. Now how does the battery going bad cause the ECM to go bad?

From what I've read, I cannot just go down to AZ and buy a new $350 ECM because of some programming issues?

I'm skeptical of the local dealership's advice, since they wanted $150 to tear my steering column apart to begin diagnosing my turn-signal problem last year (hazards but no turn sigs). I read from the forum here and replaced the part myself for $25 and 2 minutes labor (THANK YOU Saturn Fans!).

Any help is greatly appreciated. My wallet is small and my faith in this dealership is even smaller.

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Old 08-30-2006, 03:10 PM   #2
trwolf
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Wrench Re: 2002 L300 ECM/Battery Problem

Oh I forgot to say...

Yes the SES was on, but the dealer reset it. She drove it home, where it awaits my next move.

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Old 08-30-2006, 04:16 PM   #3
bigc791
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Default Re: 2002 L300 ECM/Battery Problem

Look at how the positive cable is routed. You will then see why they come up with 3 hours. i would replace the battery and cable first and see if the ecm continues to throw false codes
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2002 L300 ECM/Battery Problem

When my battery died, I jumped my LW2 (aka LW300), tripped 34 codes, keyless entry for the trunk wouldn't work, SES light came on, no Speedo and no odometer. I reset the codes, the car hasn't had an issue since.

I think the low voltage really screws with the ECM and BCM, but clearing the codes once the battery is replaced may be all you need.

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Old 08-30-2006, 05:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2002 L300 ECM/Battery Problem

You may be the victim of the dreaded AC-DELCO side-terminal-cracking-leaking-acid-into-the-cables-corroding-internally-leaving-no-visible-evidence-on-the-outside-until-you-are-stranded-miles-from-home syndrome. There are other threads revealing this problem traced back to the positive terminal breaking off allowing battery acid to leak out. Removing the cable and visually inspecting the battery terminal for leaking fluids is the only way to confirm this and then replacement of both battery and cable. Saving $$$ if you can do it yourself and buying a battery other than an AC-DELCO brand.

As bigc791 suggests, repair the battery/cable first then see if the ECM problem rears its ugly head. That will be expensive since the dealer must program it.

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Old 08-30-2006, 07:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2002 L300 ECM/Battery Problem

The replacement delcos have the issue taken care of. They even have the longest free replacement warranty out. But if the delco scares you interstate is a great choice too.
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2002 L300 ECM/Battery Problem

Upon checking the car that had been parked since my trip, it started without issue. Despite this fact, I replaced battery and cleaned the cable connections with baking soda and water. I couldn't find anything obviously wrong with the Delco battery (the outside of the + post was corroded badly, but the inner threads of that post were still intact).

Car started and ran fine with new battery and cleaned cables, but SES was still on. Took it to Advance Auto parts and had codes read and cleared. The codes were:

DTC codes

U2105
CAN Bus
Error With
Engine Control Sys

P1780
TCM
MIL Request

Anyone know what any of that means? I assume the last line is the clearing codes request.

Also, does anyone know the exact location of the ECM on the car? 2002 L300 3.0L

Oh yes, after the codes were cleared everything has been fine. No problems have arisen and I've been driving it daily.

Thanks for the help...

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Old 09-07-2006, 08:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2002 L300 ECM/Battery Problem

Good to hear you're on the road again with a new battery and no codes.

DTC U2105 isn't listed in the FSM for '02-03 L300 V6' but under GM's generic code for Can Bus Error ECM and Lost Comm with Engine Control System. In short it means the computers communicate with each other via a two-wire bus line (controller area network) for system integrity. When comm(unications) is lost this would be considered a catastrophic event similar to finding no dial tone when calling 911. I would interpret this as a trouble code generated just after the electronics lose battery power, especially when there is intermittent power such as the episode your wife went through, then power returning to confuse the computer. It then generates codes that may/may not make sense. Someone else may have to spell it out better than myself.

DTC P1780 TCM Requested MIL Illumination; xmission control module requesting the maintenance indicator light be turned on. I'm guessing another bogey from loss of battery power that the xmission computer misinterpreted from intermittent battery power again. This may be from the rough running and balky shifting occurring and the xmission computer seeing this as incorrect conditions and turning on the MIL light.

The ECM is located (looking from the front bumper) right after the rear intake runner feeding into the rear cylinder banks. Its approximately 6x6 inches and gray colored on top. If you haven't had any troubles since replacing the battery then you've solved the problem by cleaning the cable corrosion and replacing the battery insuring a constant reliable 12 volt power source to the electronics.

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Old 09-07-2006, 09:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2002 L300 ECM/Battery Problem

Thanks for the information...

I thought it was odd that the dealer claimed the ECM was damaged by corrosion from the battery. Especially if the ECM is not under or even near the battery tray.

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Old 09-08-2006, 01:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: 2002 L300 ECM/Battery Problem

crazy question, but how many miles do you have on your L car....

And has the light turned back on, or even worse, possibly take it back to advance and see if there are any pending codes stored....

If they returned after the cleaning, the problem isnt gone....

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Old 09-08-2006, 06:08 AM   #11
trwolf
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Default Re: 2002 L300 ECM/Battery Problem

Well as of last night I have 55,534 miles on the car. I have not had any lights, but I have not taken it back for pending codes yet.

I did the replacement/cleaning on 9/2/06, so I figured giving it a week or so of driving in town (less than 10 miles each way) would be a good trial before any long road trips.

Any specific reasons why you asked about the miles? Is there some pending doom on the horizon at 70,000?

As a side note, in Post #2 above:

"Oh I forgot to say...

Yes the SES was on, but the dealer reset it. She drove it home, where it awaits my next move."

I was mistaken. The dealer did NOT reset the SES. They just let my wife leave. Had they reset the codes, I probably wouldn't have had to do anything but clean/replace.

Last edited by trwolf; 09-08-2006 at 06:15 AM..

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