Engine Control Computer

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  #1  
Old 03-16-10, 12:27 PM
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Engine Control Computer

My son is thinking about repairing his grandfather's 1990 Oldsmobile Delta 88. It was passed on to him when his grandfather passed away. It needs the engine control computer replaced along with other things. Could somehow give me an idea about how much the part would cost and an estimate of the labor cost to have it replaced at a mechanics shop? Just trying to figure out if the car is worth bringing back to operating condition. Thanks!
 
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Old 03-16-10, 12:41 PM
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What and who, determined that the computor needs replaced?
Is it driveable?
 
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Old 03-16-10, 12:54 PM
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Engine Control Computer

A friend of my son's who is what you call a backyard mechanic believes it is the computer. The car will not start at all. He has tested the battery and alternator and they all seem to be fine when removed from the car and tested on a machine. Hope this information helps. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-16-10, 02:37 PM
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We really do not have enough information about your situation. If it has been several months since the car has been run, you could very well have fuel related problem. Today's gasoline can go bad in just a few weeks. Of course if the ignition is the problem, no spark, you could still have a fuel problem as well.
Before replacing parts unnecessarly, I would have a qualified mechanic look the car over.
 
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Old 03-16-10, 04:39 PM
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Second Giles' remarks; there are probably a dozen items more likely (and cheaper) to be causing the no-start than the computer.

First thing to do? Read the codes; it's DIY on the old GM stuff. Here's how:

Troublcodes.net Trouble Codes OBD & OBD2 Trouble Codes and Technical info & Tool Store. By BAT Auto Technical

But to answer your question, about $300 for the computer.
 
  #6  
Old 03-16-10, 08:28 PM
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People tend to blame parts they don't understand as being the cause of problems.

Unlikely the computer is the problem.

If you can get a "factory service manual" for this vehicle (order from helminc.com), it would give detailed testing proceedures to determine if the computer is functioning properly or not.

As to not starting, if the vehicle has gas in it over a year old, siphon out the gas and put in new gas.

Then try this...

Check the basics, Fuel, Spark, Air.

Fuel: While someone is turning the key to start, have someone else spray starting fluid into the throttle body (just a light spray - two seconds). If you get a response, then this is a fuel problem.

Spark: Remove a spark plug and place the side screw portion against a piece of body metal or engine metal (grounded to battery negative/ground). Then watch as someone turns the key to start. See if there is spark. Advanced spark testing is to use a spark testing tool which would typically have a gap of .25 inch. You should see a crisp blue spark. This is a larger gap than a spark plug and tests that the coil is producing a high enough voltage. (Good spark as opposed to weak spark.)

Air: Slightly press on the accelerator while trying to start. Normally the throttle is completely closed and the IAC (Idle Air Control) valve adjusts to admit air into the engine. By pressing slightly on the accelerator, you are bypassing the IAC valve and allowing air to enter the engine.

Combination test: While someone slightly presses on the accelerator and turns the key to start, have someone else spray starting fluid into the throttle body.
 
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