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Engine brain box needs replaced..purchase dealer parts, refurb or junk out car?

(2000 Dodge Stratus)
in Niles, MI on July 12, 2012
car has had modules replaced twice..last time by certified mechanic..mechanic advises brain box needs replacing before blows modules again..wondering whether it will be worth the investment of purchasing a new brain box and the labor to install and program or better to say goodbye to the car
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of Greg's Orange Auto on July 12, 2012
on July 12, 2012
rate car condition at fair value ($1300-1600 top) ..part, dealer new brain box $6C +programing & labor
of Greg's Orange Auto on July 12, 2012
off the car unless you can't live without it
of RMX Automotive, Ltd on July 23, 2012
If memory serves, the ECM (or "engine brain box") handles all ignition control on your car. There is no separate ignition module on the Stratus. If you already had some sort of "module" replaced twice, the cause is probably
elsewhere. The main wiring harness to the ECM, the battery cables,
and the alternator are all good candidates. Corrosion in the plug
that goes into the ECM is the first thing I would look for. If the ECM
was replaced twice, and worked for a while each time, oxidation on the pins was probably
scraped off in the process, then grew back after a while. A loose connection at the battery
can cause voltage spikes that can fry the computer, or a faulty voltage regulator in the alternator can have a similar effect. Before you scrap it or throw more money at it, get a second opinion. If you are working with an independent shop, try to find another one that has good reviews. If you are working with a big chain auto-repair company, get your car towed to an independent shop ASAP. It's also worthwhile to check with the dealer or with
the manufacturer for recalls and service bulletins that may shed some light on your problem. And before you spend any more money on "modules", have a look at the fuses. Good luck.
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