What is a computer? Where is it located? If it is going bad, how will I know?

Asked by Apr 07, 2014 at 03:00 PM about the 1997 Chevrolet Lumina

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I cant pass the emissions because my car
keeps bringing up different codes.
Everywhere I took it they told me it might be
my computer going bad... can someone
plez explain to me everything I need to
know about a computer on a 97 chevy
lumina

8 Answers

95,235

If you are having a bunch of codes that don't mean anything then you might have an ECM going bad, but first you need to make sure all of the powers and ground paths are clean and tight, then clear the system and run a relearn for the ECM, usually about 20 minutes driving normally will do this, if the check engine turns on again then have the codes read and repost back here for further diagnosis. The computer or ECM controls all of the fuel delivery, spark timing and on some vehicles the charging system, that is why it needs a good power and ground pathway, ECM's do fail but I have found that a lot of problems are related to either a power supply or ground, this can be very time consuming.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
Best Answer
10,245

On your '97 the PCM is under the hood, just ahead of the passenger wheel under the relay box. If you have the 3100 engine the parts will be fairly cheap, the 3.4 is vary rare and harder to fix (usually only in the LTZ but there are some LS's with it?). Follow tennisshoes advice. You can also pull and clean the contacts on the large connectors on the PCM. Try not to break the plastic clip retainers. You can also inspect the wiring harness and plugs at the various sensors. We need the codes or a detailed description of what failed on the emissions test and how your car is running. If you are sure it's the computer you can try to find one at a wreckers to swap in. The '97 -'99 ECM for the 3100 engine only from the Buick Regal, Cutlass Supreme, Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix will be the same. '96 may work but I've heard the computer is different, so I don't recommend trying. All cars before '95 are OBD1 and will not work.

Many codes have popped up including things we have already changed

95,235

The ECM will remember that there was a failure and still have a light and a code, you need to clear the system before trying to retest, the best way to clear it is to disconnect the negative battery terminal, turn on the headlights, wait 30 seconds, turn off the headlights, reconnect the battery , start engine and drive normally, the ECM should relearn in about 20 minutes of driving unless there is still a hard fault then the check engine light will turn right back on and you can get the code..

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Thanks so much... I will update when cleaning

40

My Chevy Lumina 2001 wont even start.. It went dead suddenly on the highway after shuddering for a couple times after I restarted the engine..changed the battery, the Dynamo and the ECM yet it wont start.. A friend told me to changed the entire security system and then it may start.. Can you help? can email on ans4211@yahoo.com Thanks

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Hi my name is Ronnie we change the Lumina engine 3100 we put it in a Malibu 3100 98 and if it starts but it died right after it starts what could be the problem we think we got all the plugs at the break we checked them and check the grounds the batteries charged and it just won't start like it's not getting gas can you help

Hi my name is Ronnie we change the Lumina engine 3100 we put it in a Malibu 3100 98 and if it starts but it died right after it starts what could be the problem we think we got all the plugs and we checked them and check the grounds the batteries charged and it just won't start like it's not getting gas can you help

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