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I'm pretty sure the ECM is bad on my niece's 2000 Sentra,

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I'm pretty sure the...

I'm pretty sure the ECM is bad on my niece's 2000 Sentra, we're getting the P1605 code with the transmission issues others have described, no overdrive and trans feels like its taking off in 2nd gear etc... My question is whether or not a used ECM will need to be programmed to the vehicle. It does have a factory remote for unlocking doors etc... but doesn't have a "chip" key. Also, I see some mention on posts here of a possible broken wire by the radiator support which I did not check for when trying to diagnose the problem. I disconnected the battery to take out the ECM and when I reconnected battery the CEL immediately returns. Which in my experience, means there is an open fault akin to a broken wire. So, my questions are, does this ECM with part number EM JA56L64 B40, last 8 of the VIN is YL306380 and production date of 3/00, if replaced, need to be programmed and should I look at the wire by the radiator first, which is hard to do because the car is 230 miles away or is it safe to assume the ECM itself is bad based on what I've discovered so far?

Mechanic's Assistant: Does the light stay on, or does it blink?

Stays on.

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Sentra yourself? What have you tried so far?

Myself, and I've done everything described above except looking for a potential broken wire at the radiator.

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Nissan
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Answered in 1 minute by:
8/5/2017
Nissan Mechanic: Mechanic01, ASE Certified Technician replied 6 months ago
Mechanic01
Mechanic01, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 2,077
Experience: Owner at Baltic investments
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Hello my name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with all of your vehicle questions today. Give me one moment while I review your question and come back with a answer. Please be aware I do not know your skill level or abilities so I will be asking a lot of questions and in a lot of cases we will respond to each other quite a lot before we find a solution. As far as phone calls are concerned that is the system prompting you, not me, and they do cost more money, I prefer text but in some cases a phone call is required.

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Nissan Mechanic: Mechanic01, ASE Certified Technician replied 6 months ago

any ecm needs to be programed to the vehicle no matter what, the whole system operates off the vin number with the other systems, that code could also be a bad wiring issue or connector which is pretty normal on those models

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I've seen some posts where people have replaced the earlier ECM's with exact part number without needing to have it programmed, but only on vehicles without factory alarm system. This is the model that only has the one ECM, it does not have a TCM behind glove box and only a remote for locks, there isn't a security light. Car was a one owner and dealer maintained before I gave to my niece. I have a some experience in automotive diagnostics and I personally removed the ECM to inspect connections etc... which seemed to secure and without any corrosion or damage, the car came from California and has been in Las Vegas for 4 years, both considered as dry states. ECM also looked as if it has never been removed from vehicle before. So, am I not reading it right when others have said they've replaced without programming?
Nissan Mechanic: Mechanic01, ASE Certified Technician replied 6 months ago

That may have worked on a few vehicles , but the procedure is to program the ecm to the vehicle

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