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Discussion Starter #1
I have recently taken my Alfa 156 in for an MOT. The only thing it failed on was that the ABS warning light was coming up. My airbag light was also on and so I asked them to do a diagnostic. I have since heard today that I need a new main ECU. According to my mechanic it will cost £1,200 for a new one from the main dealer :eek:. He is currently waiting to hear back about the price of a Bosch one. I was just wondering if anyone can give me any advice on obtaining a good ECU cheaper as it currently doesn't seem cost effective to buy a new ECU seeing as my car is only worth around £2,500. I really love my Alfa and so if anybody can help it would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Sounds like bs, take it too an independant Alfa garage and get a second opinion, and even if it is the ECU it will be a cheaper fix.
 

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one in a million ECU's blows up.... as said before a BS story !!!
 

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Abs light is likely to be the brake pedal switch @ £12.43.
Airbag is probably due to a dodgy connection, Alfadiag will tell you which one.

You hopefully shouldn't be paying for more than £15 worth of parts and an hour of labour.

The guy that told you it needs a new ecu is trying to get you to pay for his christmas!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for you advice guys. I'm still waiting to hear back from my mechanic, in the past I have always found him to be honest but for this kind of cost I think a second opinion is definitely the way to go. If, given the worst case scenario, it is the main ECU that is causing the lights to come up would this constitute an MOT failure given that the car is mechanically sound? also would a salvaged ECU work? The other option I have discovered is to have the ECU repaired, does anybody have any experience of this?
 

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eBay's always a great place for ECU's, and generally if you get yourself a cheap ECU you can get it fitted at an independant dealer for around 50 pounds, it shouldn't be more than an hours labour :)

Lee
 

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Can,t see why its an engine management unit or maybe ihave read wrong more likly to be an abs ecu, but in any event you can check to see if there is any feed back from the sensors individually, I have an abs unit I think I came accross one not so long ago , but as I say they never really give problems.
 

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OK- ABS ECU's do fail; I've changed several, and they are not cheap new. The most common cause of failure is water ingress into the multi-connector, resulting in corrosion of the ECU pins. (If this is the case, and you are very lucky, you may be able to simply clean the contacts.) The good news is that these cars are getting old now, so it should be possible to find a good used one.

What was the actual error?

MOST IMPORTANT: check the ABS fuse!! And I don't just mean with a meter; if its the type that has a "bolt-on" 50A fusable link in the battery-mounted fusebox, break off the red plastic cover so you can see the actual fuse, and inspect very carefully. They have a tendancy to corrode and fracture, sometimes causing an intermittent problem which is very easy to mis-diagnose as ECU failure, as the error codes this produces are misleading.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well my car failed it's MOT because of an ABS warning light coming up. My mechanic has said that I need a new Main ECU . On reflection it makes sense that he means the ABS ECU (I wasn't aware there were different ones). Thanks Foxtrot Oscar, I will ask my mechanic to check the ABS Fuse, would be great if that is all it is. If it isn't then I will have to go down the reconditioned unit route. But at least things are looking a lot better than the options of selling my car or spending out £1,200 to fix it.
 
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