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Discussion Starter #1
I'm the new owner of a used 2003 E. I took it on my first road trip (550 m) in slushy snowy salty conditions. The next day upon returning home I washed it; even misted under the hood to knock the salt off of the engine. I drove it away from the car wash and about 3 miles down the road after stopping at the post office, I started it up and put it in reverse and it started bucking back and forth. It felt like a cylinder wasn't firing correctly. The engine light was blinking, and a light emission of white smoke was coming out of the tailpipe.
The Honda dealer servicepeople had a hard time diagnosing the problem. They tell me they need to replace the ECM. This part is over $1000.
Any thoughts?
 

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Sorry, this diagnosis is beyond my scope. I'm sure the professionals will answer you soon. It definitley does not sound good. I know for myself- I wait until warmer spring weather to clean my engines. Don't know if washing it in cold could've hurt it anymore than washing it while warmer???? I hope it works out to some minor fix for you.
 

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Sounds to me like you hosed off a hot engine. That is the clue to your problem.
this is not a problem. you can hose the engine down even when it is on, as long as you dont get the water on filters or an open fuse box, etc. i bet it was the salt that got stuck in something. dont blame it on water hitting a hot engine. most newer engines are fine with water on them, this includes the element.
 

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probably soaked a plug(waterlogged)and now its acting up. pull the plugs check for water. try to dry out anything that might have been hosed down while cleaning.hopefully something just has to dry out.could be connecters by the tranny(maybe)
 

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if you could read the codes yourself, you might determine why the dealer would say that you need a new ECM
my guess is that they are gouging you for unnecessary work.
a new ECM is less than $500, and it can't be $500 for labor, even if it needs programming. get a second opinion
with all of that-it is conceivable that water shorted a connector and fried your ECM-but these are waterproof connectors-im not buying it
 

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Discussion Starter #7
joe123,
Yeah that's what I have been suspecting. The E ran fine for three miles after the wash, Then the problem started. Water is going to get into the E's engine considering the open wheel wells, so it seems like this could be a design problem.
Where do you find a listing for a $500 ECM?
Thanks for the responses everyone.
 

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Caution !!

If you do decide to pull the plugs, Blow out the plug cavity with compressed air first!

If that cavity filled with water, and you pull the plug, The water goes into the cylinder. Depending on just how Full that was, you stand a chance of getting a respectable amount of water in it. Or in several cylinders.

Water does not compress. So after installing the plugs, with water in the cylinder/cylinders, you may Hydro lock the engine.

Dom
 

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To me, it sounds like a bad ignition coil. The flashing CEL indicates a catalytic converter damaging misfire. Should be easily checked by anyone with a decent scan tool and swapping around the coils. If the misfire moves, then it is a coil and not an ECU. ECU typically dont go bad unless they get wet and I believe Honda keeps the ECUs in the passenger side kick panel. If it is a coil pack, you may also want to replace spark plugs since you are there already. On several occasions I've seen individual coil packs go out due to excessive spark plug gap which is usually age related.
 
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