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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

Hyundai, ECM Woes

Q: We recently took our Hyundai in and were told that the ECM unit needs to be replaced. It is still under the 8 year/80,000 mile warranty. The technician told us that the clip holding the wiring harness failed to hold and that the wiring harness hit the axle and shorted out the ECM. Obviously their fuse system failed as well. When the service manager said he could call the district manager - the district manager told him over the phone it was due to "outside influences" which, I guess, in automotive speak means it was an act of God and therefore I get to pay the full freight. My question is: If indeed their clip failed, their wiring harness was not properly insulated, their fuse system failed - wouldn't it be Hyundai's responsibility to honor their warranty? PS - I spent over 2 hours making calls to Hyundai corporate before they finally informed me that this same district manager has the final call on the warranty issues I am questioning. "great system to be judge, jury and no one else to report to".

A: You know that's a really good question. But, I have to ask, if you drove your car to the dealer with this problem what part of the computer failed? My experience with bad computers is really bad, as in you can hardly get anywhere with the vehicle. Or you just can't get anywhere. Car computers are real tough pieces of silicone. I've seen wiring harnesses melted together and after the repair the computer shook itself and went back to work. Yet I do recall a Ford I was working on and I applied power to the wrong wire, I didn't see the magic smoke (that's the white stuff that drifts out of electrical type things when you really mess-up) but the computer suffered irreversible damage from that faux pas. What that means is that the engine did not run until I bought a new computer. Maybe that was an act of god. Maybe that's why manufacturers hire those type of people to be judge & jury. In any case I had no problem sleeping after buying and installing the computer. I just never made that mistake again. I'm sorry I'm wandering- back to your problem. I'd suggest calling your states department of consumer affairs and see what they suggest. For our readers info, a replacement computer for a Hyundai can easily exceed the value of the car. So when it's all said and done, if the dealer can't help you, I bet you can find a used computer for a much more affordable price.

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