2006 LX 470 - Electrical gremlins, ECU re-program

Joined
Jun 20, 2018
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Hey all! long time reader, first time posting...I have a 2006 LX 470 150K miles with electrical gremlins, but like in the movie (Gremlins) when they get wet.

It all started with an intermittent starting problem. I could go weeks without an issue but every so often the truck just wouldn’t start (would crank and crank but wouldn’t start) If it was in the parking lot at work I would just get a ride home and come back the next day and it would start.

Then it happen to me at a gas pump. So I had to have it towed to a small mechanic shop (no longer in business). He thought the battery could be weak and said he would hook it up and see if he could get it started. Called the next day and said I need a new battery. It took him several days to get back to me but he got it started and wanted me to pick it up right of way. I believe he may have reversed the polarity of the battery when trying to start it because he had to replace the circuit breaker on the positive terminal (I discovered this later when a friend pointed it out) On the way home I noticed the radio didn’t work and as it got dark that my headlights weren’t working either.

I checked all the fuses in all 3 fuse boxes (literally twice) then my windows stopped working. Since two of them were down, I gave up and drove it to the Lexus stealership. They hooked it up and were able to get the windows up. They told me that I would need a new master window switch and crank case position sensor is bad (I have to manually override to put it in gear) which would cost around $1,100 to start and the ECU could be damaged as well. So I picked up the truck to ‘think’ about it. Thanks to a IH8MUD forum I discovered I could send my ECU to a repair shop, but they confirmed that the ECU was beyond repair.

Since then I bought a used window switch and an ECU from a donor ’06 LX 470. I installed both and nothing. Took it to another steaslership and got the same run around. I told them that I replaced the master switch and ECU and they told me it was not possible to reset or reprogram the ECU that’s only done for re-keying. They came back with a similar list plus a few others that ‘might’ fix the problem. This time to the tune of $3,800

Currently, the dash is lit up like a Christmas tree. It will start (sometimes) display screen, windows, AHC, sunroof, lights don't work but the door lock button and rear windows will vent open and closed.

My question is has anyone tried to re-flash or reset and ECU? Is my truck total F’d ? What are my options, places to start etc. I don’t want to send this truck to the grave …
 

suprarx7nut

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Nothing about your situation tells me you need anything done to the ECU. If a donor ECU didn't set it straight, other problems still exist.

The 06-07s can have a weak fuel pump that sometimes can't start a hot car. That may have been your initial problem. Bummer that the retired mechanic may have blown up your car;s electrical system.

The electrical problems sound like a catastrophic failure that's damaged many parts, perhaps a wire harness (or three). If you have the time to DIY, buy a multimeter, the EWD for this vehicle and take a weekend to troubleshoot circuits. One by one, in painful detail and care. If you don't have the time or don't want to do it DIY, find yourself a good specialist shop that knows these well. You may have to travel for one. The cost to tow a few hundred miles would be worth it if there's no good shop near you.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
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Location
Maryland
Thanks @suprarx7nut. I appreciate your feedback. I"m willing to wait for someone who knows what they're doing. I don't want to make and already bad situation worse (as done before). Luckily i have an '03 Tacoma to drive. Meanwhile, i'll continue to search for someone in the MD/PA/VA area. i can drive the truck, although it would have to be early in the morning since the A/C and windows don't work - its a sweltering greenhouse.
 

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