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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am fairly new to this forum; in fact I just registered not 5 minutes from writing this post. So, if this is not the right thread for the issue, please advise me.

  • Mini Cooper S 2006 (R53-Manual) -- First and only owner.
Problem Description:
  1. Car has been dormant for almost a year. I used to start it every month or so but circumstances forced me to leave it as is for almost 4-6 months.
  2. Almost a month ago, I decided to tune it up and fix some underlying issue. Bought a new battery(the old one couldn't keep its charge). I bought a 540A 60Ah battery. A bit oversized, but it was the closest one I could find.
  3. First few start tries, the engine cranks but doesn't start. Then it reverts to the tick, tick, tick sound, which to me indicates that the battery has been drained(concurred with multimeter)
  4. I suspected it might be one of the following:
    • Starter Motor
    • Ignition Coil/Plugs/Wires
    • Alternator
    • Fuel Pump
    • Battery
    • Ignition Switch/immobilizer
  5. To make sure, I asked a friend of mine who has an Autel scanner to come and check it. It couldn't connect.
  6. I ordered a Veepeak(OBDCheck VP01) to test it myself.
  7. The ObdCheck could not connect to the ecu; I tried various apps, all stated that ecu connection failed. Ignition was on during all tests.
  8. I visually checked the ecm and found 3 damaged pins(97, 96, 95). Image attached.
    Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Bumper
    Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Hood Bumper Automotive exterior

  9. From various online sources I found out that pin 97 is for the main relay, and pin 95 is for ignition.
  10. I tested to see if there was any short between them, the pins seem to be isolated in a static state. I am assuming that the reason for ecm-OBD scanner recognition failure is due to a short somewhere.
  11. I checked the main relay(first one in the fuse box--engine side-K6300) and it was somewhat hot.
What I need assistance with?
  • How can I test the ECM; mainly the visually damaged pins to determine if it's functional or not?
  • What could have caused the damage? If I am forced to buy a new one, I need to make sure it doesn't happen again.
  • Is there a way to force the ECM to be recognized by the OBD Scanner? Bypassing something or externally connecting it.
  • Given my initial assumptions for the failed start and apparent power drain(point 4), is it safe to also assume that the underlying cause of the issue is the ECM pin damage? Or is it that the ECM pin damage is a result of another underlying issue?
  • I was able to start the car by jump starting it, however, it would not hold rpm and immediately stop.
  • I changed the ignition coil, wires, and spark plugs recently.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A part of me died....

Thankfully, there is no apparent damage to the major engine components(still waiting for the official report). However, in regards to the ECM, if it wasn't damaged before, it's surely damaged now. Due to the chaos of the situation, I used water.
From what I can tell--visual inspection, I'll need to replace the fowling parts:
  • Housing, intake muffler
  • Cover, intake muffler
  • Intake duct
  • Intake manifold
  • many rubber boots
  • Cover, control unit
  • various connection pieces
  • Cylinder head cover
  • Front panel
  • wheelarch trim
  • Various wires
  • Various sensors
  • Radiator/trim/seals/covers/fan--not sure which as of yet. Possibly all.
  • Various hoses.
  • Starter motor?
  • Alternator?
  • ECM...this is the only one I am dreading.
  • Anything made of rubber/plastic.
Budget: 1000 Euro.

Estimated parts cost: 2000 Euro(without ECM/Programming), assuming all parts are new. I'll try sourcing used parts, but I doubt I'll find what I need.

Estimated labor cost: Unknown.

I'll keep this thread open; I'll update it frequently.

7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
sorry to hear of your misfortune. I hope it can be fixed.
If it is of any consolation to you, and I am by no means an expert, but it looks like the DME was already damaged, so there is probably little you could have done to avoid it. The photo isn't the best but it looks like the plastic around the pins melted, which would indicate a short somewhere. That might have caused the (electric ?) fire you experienced. It would be interesting to know what caused it, but I suspect with the subsequent damage it might be hard to locate it.
Also good job managing to extinguish it and safe as much as you did.
The fire was due to a leak from the main fuel pipe(the one connected to the engine). Not sure what caused it in term of spark/ignition. The mechanic's theory is that there was a major electrical issue somewhere to the left of the engine seeing as how the concentration of damage was to the left side of car.

It's not as bad as I assumed; mainly plastic parts were damaged. A few sensors and wires. The verdict on the starter motor and alternator is still unknown. My main concern is the ECM/DME. The workshop stated that they can source a used one from a totaled car and reprogram it. I am not that well versed in these matters, so I accepted.

7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·

I had a ecu done by someone mike told me about down in plymouth sent my old one to them and had a new one returned to me with very good cpms from them and back in about 5 days all my info for keys also had my remap moved over and plugged iy in and all worked not cheap but about half the price of main dealer sorry to hear of your troubles these cars can be a pain when they go wrong
dealership just for ecu replacement is around £1500 , by time they charge a big fee for their own diagnostics ie 2-4 hours of checking stuff and ruling out everything else before pulling the parts cannon ,, must admit spent a lot of hours on yours I just take on the chin as out 10 cars I do 3 will be a nightmare so it evens out over a year ie no extra charges to sort out of old running issues as such and just the parts it needs , unlike garages they hit the owner for every hour and then some, that said if had big over heads and was doing it as my full time job things would be different,
I was able to source the ECM. To save on expenses, I took on the job of removing and installing parts(except the wire harness job). So the workshop isnt charging me that much(The owner is a close friend on mine.)

Dare I suggest breaking the car for parts and then buying another one?
I was wondering what your insurance company had to say. Looks like a total loss because damage in dollars probably close to the cost of the car. I would suggest starting again and not use this car. You will be chasing some small issue from now on.
It's on my mind and seems to be the logical choice. However, there is a sentimental value that I cannot ignore. We've been together for 16 years; It's strange talking about an inanimate object this is the first car I ever bought.

The fire didnt last that long. A minute max; there is no apparent damage to major engine components. I was able to source the parts for cheap(mostly used parts--plastic parts, rubbers, hoses...etc). The parts I sourced are essential for starting the engine. When the engine starts and I am satisfied with it, then I'll move to road-ready parts.

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