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Hi! I have a 2005 Camry with 182,000 miles. I love my car and have taken care of it. I hope it will run another 100,000 miles. We had problems with the car stalling out earlier this year, and the Mass Airflow sensor code came up. We replaced that and the car has run fine since- no stalling, starts every time, runs smoothly.
We took it in to the dealership is last week to have the timing belt replaced. When I picked up my car, the check engine light was on and the service dept. told me that the Mass Airflow sensor code was showing up. When I turned my car off, it wouldn’t start. Then, I was told it was the ECM, which needs to be replaced. I was also told that the ECM was fried before I took my car in, but that the car ran fine (and no check engine light) because of the engine ‘memory’. Once they disconnected the battery to replace the timing belt, the memory was wiped clean.
I understand about the engine losing memory but how is it possible that my car was running fine if the ECM was fried?
I’m really trying to understand this. Thank you! 😊
 

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Various Toyotas
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You must have a V6 engine since you took it in for a timing belt replacement, because the I4 uses a timing chain. You said "earlier this year"---do you mean like a month ago? No check engine light when you brought it to the dealer, and upon picking up your car, it now has a CEL and won't start? They did something wrong.
 

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There is no "engine memory" and if the ECU goes out it's no different than if the motherboard on your computer fried it doesn't even know how to turn on. It's rare for ECUs to go out and I would make sure the dealer did a thorough diagnostic, could be as simple as a blown fuse.

You said when you picked it up the check engine light was on and when you turned it off it wouldn't start. I assume the car started when you picked it up and that's when you noticed the check engine light on. That kills the dealer's ridiculous story since if disconnecting the battery would cause it to lose "engine memory" then they wouldn't have been able to start it to pull it out the service bay. It really could be just luck of the draw that the ECU went out when it did but the dealer shouldn't have made up that story.

Also all dealers and good mechanics use a external power plugged into the OBD port when they disconnect the battery to keep from losing the cars radio presets and owner settings like Bluetooth connections.
 

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Your car drove into dealership = ECM was fine. They accepted vehicle in good working condition and signed for it, when they accepted. "engine memory" is bulhockey.
 

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There is no "engine memory" and if the ECU goes out it's no different than if the motherboard on your computer fried it doesn't even know how to turn on. It's rare for ECUs to go out and I would make sure the dealer did a thorough diagnostic, could be as simple as a blown fuse.

You said when you picked it up the check engine light was on and when you turned it off it wouldn't start. I assume the car started when you picked it up and that's when you noticed the check engine light on. That kills the dealer's ridiculous story since if disconnecting the battery would cause it to lose "engine memory" then they wouldn't have been able to start it to pull it out the service bay. It really could be just luck of the draw that the ECU went out when it did but the dealer shouldn't have made up that story.

Also all dealers and good mechanics use a external power plugged into the OBD port when they disconnect the battery to keep from losing the cars radio presets and owner settings like Bluetooth connections.
Agree to disagree. I've seen those memory savers short out and burn thru a seat. I dont mess with em
 

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It seem like it was working until stealership fixed it. Insist nicely for a resolution. From my own experience, ever since stealership smoked my engine when I took my camry in for a simple oil change service, I never trust those animals again, and never took it back for service
 

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The ecm will keep a basic memory after the battery is removed. When you restart it will relearn thing like idle speed, fuel curve, etc. If it died they probably shorted the battery somehow. Positive to negative will do that.
 

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Bottom line is, if the ECM “dies, fries, goes out“ the car will not run. ECM problems are only common amongst people who can’t figure out what the real problem is.
 
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