November 21, 2010 at 5:45 am #1223
After reading all the online posts about the Nissan Quest ECM rusting and leading to possible failure, I decided to do some preventative maintenance work this weekend. Most of the people said the repair can be in the $3000 range if done at a dealer. I also read that the ECM should be covered under the 8 years emissions warranty but many are reporting that Nissan is refusing to pay for it because the warranty does not cover rust.
I live in Georgia, so I don’t get all the snow and salt that others in the north gets. After pulling the ECM out and inspecting the location of unit, I am pretty sure that if you live in an area with lots of rain/snow/salt, your ECM will eventually rust and fail. The reason for this is the ECM is installed directly under the windshield plastic cowl. The open mesh on the cowl will drain all the water DIRECTLY onto the ECM. With the way this thing is designed, you might as well duct tape the ECM on top of your hood because it gets drenched with whatever pours down onto your car.
Here is what I did to the ECM. Disconnected the negative of the battery. Removed the ECM and cleaned all the surface rust. Painted the ECM heatsink with a high temp silica/ceramic paint. Sealed the edge of the ECM with silicone. The reason I also silicone the ECM is because I read a post where the guy said his ECM fried and rusted but the enclosure didn’t have any holes.
IMPORTANT: I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU DO ANYTHING STUPID AND DAMAGE YOUR ECM, SUCH AS NOT DISCONNECTING YOUR NEGATIVE ON THE BATTERY, OR BENDING OR BREAKING THE ECM CONNECTOR, OR PAINTING THE CONNECTOR CONTACTS, ETC!!!
This picture will show the most vulnerable area where water will drip to the underside of the ECM and sits there to cause the rusting (I also silicone this whole front area – which is not shown in this pic)
Then just reinstall everything in reverse order, reconnect the battery, start the car and drive around for the ECM to relearn your driving environment (you should not have to reprogram anything except for clock/radio/maintenance reminder)
November 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm #4661
I am doing it next. Although I don’t have any trouble, this preventive is better then shelling out 3k. Mind me asking where you got the paint and the silicone from?
ThanksNovember 23, 2010 at 5:25 am #4665
The paint I used is VHT High Temperature Exhaust paint (silver) which contains silica and ceramic. I bought it at a performance car shop for $10. You might be able to find it at other auto parts store, or use other high temp, or engine block, or brake caliper spray paint. Most of these types of spray paint can resist oil and chemicals so water shouldn’t be a problem.
Another thing I want to point out about the ECM connector:
To Remove it – You do this by swinging the latch from one side to the other fully, and this action will make the connector pop out (you should not need to pull hard on the connector for it to release).
To Reconnect it – When you reconnect the ECM connector, gently push the connector into the socket so it sits squarely, then swing the latch from one side to the other. This action will mechanically lock the connector in all the way.November 23, 2010 at 7:33 pm #4668
Wow really simple to do
BUT I would still would be really nervous to mess something up lol. Got my ECM replaced under warranty twice.
They could not figured out the electrical problems I was having so they did the most obvious thing.
I don’t remember the first, but the second was when I shifted from park or reverse to D it would go right into 4th gear and be really sluggish like when you shift to soon on a standard. (Periodically like may once every 2-3 months)
There was no signs of tranny issues…
AND THE KICKER IS THE PROBLEM IS STILL THERE AND WARRANTY IS OVER.
Nissan refuses to do anything about it, I HATE MY LOCAL DEALER. I believe they give me the run around because I did not buy the vehicle there.November 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm #4681
Awesome, thanks for the info, mine was so badly corroded, it was about to go, I guess I saved a bunch, its quite simple. The car gave me a heart attack when it failed to start after putting it back, gave it a little gas and it was up and running fine. Works like a charm. Will do an inspection of the part again this time next year to see how it holds up to the elements.
Thanks again.December 1, 2010 at 2:12 am #4682
Thanks for the update. This preventative work is a no brainer for less than $15 to do. The placement of the ECM is so poor that the rusting is inevitable. I don’t have to worry anymore if it’s raining outside. Actually it rained here in Georgia today, and I purposely put the car out on the driveway to get a good wash.April 27, 2011 at 1:04 am #4893
I am wondering if the issue that ya’ll are having is the same as mine….I have a 2004 Nissan Quest it has 107,500 miles and it has a clicking sound abd won’t go into drive, it doesn’t move but when i put it into reverse it works fine but there is a “thumping” sound when I shift gears. Is this the ECM or something else? Please any input would be great. Thanks so much!November 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm #5236
After finding this post by chance I decided to take a look at my ECM and see what shape it was in. I have to tell you that your post was a life saver. The pictures of your ECM were super nice compared to the shape mine was in. There was corrosion to the point that the bottom of the ECM had pockmarks! I followed your detailed instructions, installed it back and, so far so good. I’m grateful for the time you took to post this. It is a must for all Quest owners with this type of set up.April 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm #5648
I guess I missed something here. If I suspect my ECM is bad (whirring sound stays on when keys are removed, sounds like where ECM is, Rad2 fuse/relay removed stops sound, engine SEEMS to run hot but temp display says fine), why would painting fix or seal the exterior?? There are still places water can get in, and if there is rust inside, what can you do?
RonOctober 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm #5987
wish i would have found this post before i bought our 04. :~
getting ecm replaced right now because it is throwing codes to do with emissons.
ECM was corroded and shorting out
thanks CIRRUS for posting
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