Programming Fail 2006 Malibu

Michael Mobile Technician Clinton, Utah Posted   Latest  
Discussion
Programming
2006 Chevrolet Malibu 3.5L (LZ4) 4-spd (4T45-E)
Programming Issue

Yesterday I was called to program a second hand ECU for a 2006 Chevy Malibu. The replacement ECU was from a 2007 Equinox. I was aware that Global A vehicles were a problem, but these are pre-2010 vehicles. revbase​.​com/BBBMotor/TSb/D…. On previous used GM modules, all I had to worry about was the service number being the same. In this case, I was sorely mistaken.

When doing the ID, the original ECU reported the VIN no problem. When the donor was switched out, the TIS software reported that it could not communicate with the module. When trying to ID the replacement module, it would only ID as a 2007. I took both ECUs back to the office and tried programming on the bench. No luck there. I then tried programming with the "Tech2remote" feature. I was able to update the original but it had and error trying to reprogram the donor. I tried to clone the ECU using Alientech and FGtech. Neither could get into the ECU. Finally I tried HP Tuners. Still no luck getting in to either controller.

It appears that this controller requires a unique seed key to open it up for programming. So the 2006 Malibu key is only compatible with another 2006 Malibu. Even though the service number is identical, it is a no go. I believe the ECU is regarded as an E78. I see the same module used in many late model vehicles. I have spoken to other mobile guys that say that you can use second hand if it is from an identical vehicle.

What I am wondering is if other mobile guys have found this problem and what their remedy is?

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Neil Mobile Technician
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Neil Default
 

I have attached the interchange the salvage industry uses if you were to order a used ECU. A 2007 Equinox is not interchangable, but a 2006 will supposedly work.

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Rusty Owner/Technician
Oakham, Massachusetts
Rusty Default
 

When I'm asked to set up a used module I always tell the shop that my standard programming fee will apply and I will attempt the standard routine. If it fails, they pay and I leave. It's not worth wasting a lot of my time to save them $$ The process repeats when they source a new "replacement" It's a management issue rather than a technical one

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Adam Diagnostician
Palatine, Illinois
Adam Default
 

I'm not sure on the exact procedure, but SPS will query data from the module to determine if the part number/software number is correct for the VIN of the vehicle. If not, iirc, you get a 6××× error popup.

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Kevin Technician
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Kevin Default
   

I have experienced this a number of times. Some of the fixes I have seen have been listed below. - Another used module, sometimes it helps getting the module from the exact same type of vehicle ,other times it can actually cause a problem where the calibration is so identical GM gives you the programming warning that it’s the same and DOESN‘T allow the programming to proceed. (There is ways

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Rick Diagnostician
The Woodlands, Texas
Rick Default
 

Michael, I have run into this numerous times before with service numbers. From doing some research on this issue, I have determined that the virgin service number PCM communicates using the communication language (for lack of a better term as the communication protocol is almost always the same) from the software within it. This PCM after being programmed may communicate in this same language

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Matthew Owner/Technician
Beecher, Illinois
Matthew Default
   

I understand when shops sometimes source used PCMs, like when new is over $800... but these PCMs are only around $250. I would think your troubles to do this will cost more than just doing it with new from the beginning. I agree, this is a management issue of the shop and not yours. I would charge twice to program, once for the failed used programming and once for a new PCM. And then another

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Michael: My response isn't going to answer your question. I have a question though. Are you sure that you have the correct part number? I see 2 possible current modules for this beast- … or … and neither of them are listed for any 2007 application. HTH, Guido

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael Default
 

Hi Guido, The tag from the wrecking yard said 2007 Equinox. The vehicle being repaired is the 2006 Malibu. So the wrecking yard could have been wrong on the year. The service number was identical between the two.

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Michael: Not having the part number being used, all I can offer is speculation. In no particular order: 1: There was a previous part number which has been superseded by the second part number (IIRC) that I listed. More than once, GM has neglected to fully support the module with an updated calibration. (Think what used to be VCI. This requires a call to Delco.) 2: If this is a Bosch

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael Default
 

Thank you all for the help and information. As many have said it is just not worth your time to mess with trying to make it work for the cheap customer. For me, it is a flaw in my personality. I can't stand failure. It seems that this is a puzzle and there is a key somewhere on how to solve it. I know this is going to happen again and again. So in spending time trying to crack this nut, the goal

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Matthew Mobile Technician
Bartlett, Illinois
Matthew Default
 

I feel ya, I often spend waayyy too much time on cars. Sometimes they are fixed or diagnosed.... but I need to know more. Time spent learning is invaluable though, every hour spent at work cannot always be billed out... but the more we learn the more we bill long-term.

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Jaime Diagnostician
Ocala, Florida
Jaime Default
 

Michael, we are cut from the same cloth. I too will insist on finding a way to make the impossible happen. I will usually succeed, and when I do, hope to HELL I can make up my losses on future jobs. Not the best business model, I admit, but a better one would not fix the flaw in my personality either.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael Default
 

It would be really great if we could get a database started on this forum. (Like a google doc) We could list the issues and the remedies. This way we could reference the data when things go sideways. Is it my software? Is it my hardware? Is it the vehicle network? or is it an incompatibility with the PCM? It would be a real time saver for those of us who program often.

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Scott Manager
Claremont, California
Scott Default
   

Hi Michael, I appreciate your thoughts on this and have a suggestion for a potential solution. We recently released a new message type here titled "Resource" When one posts a resource type, the message doesn't flow into the main feed of content and is discoverable via search. Essentially, we're creating a resource library which I believe would support what you're suggesting. Soon, there will

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael Default
 

Thanks Scott, I will look over the Resources option.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael Default
 

So more research into this PCM. Information on the hardware is hard to find. It looks like the ECU Hardware is a P05. It was produced only one year for a select few engines. It is very similar in look to the E67 or E83 hardware. The reason HP tuners did not work is that it is such an oddball, it was not worth reverse engineering. That would explain why the Alientech and FG Tech failed as well. I

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