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Old 04-03-2010, 08:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Re: knowledgebase - How To: Reset ECU (Engine Control Unit)

Question about the how to in knowledgebase for resetting ECU.
We just received this car (wife bought from her parents).

I left the battery off overnight (earth only) and at ignition-on it still displayed the flashing Cruise with solid Check Engine Light (CEL) that I had hoped would have reset it.

Is the
start > idle to operating temp overheat > thermo fans switch on
remainder of the step necessary to reset the ECU?

I'm skeptical because the instructions also say to remove both battery terminals, which seems like overkill, and that we don't really know how to reset the ECU.

I have read other ECU resets here for cars that included an alarm system, and an example of simply disconnect battery, turn key in ignition, reconnect battery.

Until wife comes back from work with her car (06 Forester 2.5 auto) I won't be able to try anything.

I haven't searched for the factory service manual yet, but I'll do this in the meantime. If anyone reading this can PM me with a link for an '06 Forester I'd appreciate if you beat me to it =D
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you have a CEL code stored, you need to have it read to see what the problem is. Resetting the ECU will not clear all CEL codes.

Reseting the ECM:
  • Disconnect the battery. Only "one" battery cable needs to be removed, normally the ground.
  • Press the brake pedal a couple times to drain any residual charge.
  • Reconnect the battery. All the electronics have been reset, so the clock & radio will need to be reset.
  • When starting the engine after having the battery disconnected, turn the key to start, but don't operate the starter for 5-10 seconds. I find my engine starts easier if I do this.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, i read instructions like these that noted it has a startup diagnostics for the first 10seconds after reset, that may explain the starting ease.

Thanks for the code behaviour info, it seems it has onboard powered memory, imagining CR2032 type.

I suppose it's off to the OBDII threads for me to look for read/reset tools...

The good news is I got to open her up fully loaded with washing machine in back, IKEA furniture crammed into cabin, and it performed smoothly and powerfully.

OT: i like this smiley


PS: Thanks Bobby, I've read many of your posts in searching around. David.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2.5x_sleeper View Post
If you have a CEL code stored, you need to have it read to see what the problem is. Resetting the ECU will not clear all CEL codes.

Reseting the ECM:
  • Disconnect the battery. Only "one" battery cable needs to be removed, normally the ground.
  • Press the brake pedal a couple times to drain any residual charge.
  • Reconnect the battery. All the electronics have been reset, so the clock & radio will need to be reset.
  • When starting the engine after having the battery disconnected, turn the key to start, but don't operate the starter for 5-10 seconds. I find my engine starts easier if I do this.
Bobby...
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Most auto parts stores will read the CEL code for you, but most won't reset it.

I have a shop grade OBD2 scan tool, but the one I use most is the Scangauge II. You can view my SG2 installation here.

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Old 04-04-2010, 06:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I bought a good code reader/earache for $20 at Costco.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I bought a good code reader/earache for $20 at Costco.
Sweet...link?
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subie 2003 View Post
Sweet...link?
I can't find it online. I just stumbled across it in our auto area of the warehouse.


This is what it looks like
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey, folks. Notice that deepfraught lives in Australia. He might not have access to Costco, Autozone, and the like!

deepfraught: A post over at the Australia / New Zealand Forum might produce a recommendation of a place where the code could be read free of charge, or a good local source of a code reader. Or info about any possible Oz-unique aspects of the computer in your Forester.
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks all,

I just bought the Scangauge2 from the Aussie distributor for it.

I have a similar item for my Nissan Micra (pre-OBD2, Nissan diags "Consult" port) from an Aussie guy who custom engineered it at ECUtalk.com and I'm very impressed.

I imagine OBD2 should be a lot more common and a lot cheaper for its mass use, so the $20 item from Costco doesn't surprise me.

The Scanguard is still a better value option than organising a dealer visit so I didn't hesitate. Later if we're on a country holiday and something odd pops up, we can hopefully reset and have the convenience of cruise control until getting it home to look under the bonnet.

PS: added detail to my location so it's obvious at a glance :)


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Hey, folks. Notice that deepfraught lives in Australia. He might not have access to Costco, Autozone, and the like!
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2.5x_sleeper View Post
If you have a CEL code stored, you need to have it read to see what the problem is. Resetting the ECU will not clear all CEL codes.

Reseting the ECM:
  • Disconnect the battery. Only "one" battery cable needs to be removed, normally the ground.
  • Press the brake pedal a couple times to drain any residual charge.
  • Reconnect the battery. All the electronics have been reset, so the clock & radio will need to be reset.
  • When starting the engine after having the battery disconnected, turn the key to start, but don't operate the starter for 5-10 seconds. I find my engine starts easier if I do this.
Bobby...

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But how about the driving?

I've once heard that you have to drive very easy for the first 30min.

Fact or fable?
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -RC- View Post
But how about the driving?

I've once heard that you have to drive very easy for the first 30min.

Fact or fable?
I just drive as I normally do.

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Old 04-15-2010, 10:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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^ Like the good bruddah said, don't worry about it.

The car will typically stumble a bit as it comes to a stop, as it "re-learns idle," and yes, it's possible that it may even cut-out a couple of times, then. But that usually corrects rapidly, and is not tied in to whether you drive hard or easy during the re-learning process.
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I got back home last night picked up the parcel with Scangauge2 and followed the little quick-start guide. What a fantastic device.
I started just thinking of it as a tool, not especially interested in the gauges.
I found code P0719 and P0000, cleared them.
Test drove to fill up and use the "First Fill" calibration, tested the cruise control that now worked again. A little confused, I decided to abort, since you need to keep it in car for all trips anyway, which I'm not just yet.

Wife drove to work with it, no problem, but near end of trip on way back, the code came back, after stopped no code, taking off slowly with traffic it came on.

Now I'm off to look for a thread/link with the applicable OBDII diagnostic trouble codes, and service manual for troubleshooting flows.

We just went for a drive out to dinner and back, cleared the code first, and no problem (must be my driving ;)

PS: between ECU resets and clearing codes, no differences in running or performance problems experienced... but intent on solving the problem, don't need a moody temperamental family car =P

Last edited by deepfraught; 04-16-2010 at 06:08 AM.
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