Used Engine Computers
Older cars, especially cars which have suffered water damage, will invariably need to have their computer replaced. A laborious and time consuming process, this is additionally frustrated by a lack of good replacements. Most mechanics or buyers at home will be forced to rely on inferior aftermarket parts, which may be lacking in compatability or function. This can lead to real problems with the car's "check engine" sensors or the timing of the fuel injectors. Obviously the ideal would be to replace the old computer with a new one made by the manufacturer, but this can be difficult in cars made ten or more years ago, since most car companies do not make computers for an extended period, nor do they keep them in manufacture when newer, better computers are invented.
- Alfa Romeo
Fortunately, the advent of car recycling in the modern economy makes used engine computers easier and cheaper to get than ever before. With more and more persons choosing to repair their car instead of replace it, cars which would have once been crushed into scrap are now instead dismantled for parts, with experts stripping useable pieces out of the vehicle before the bodywork, plastic and frame are crushed. This "parting out" process enables owners of older cars to get the original parts for their cars years after the production run has ended.
These "rescued" parts offer many advantages over aftermarket parts. First, there is no doubt as to the new part's compatability. Many aftermarket parts are produced without appropriate blueprints, engineering diagrams or other essentials, and thus they are "near fits" which have been reverse engineered from existing samples. This means that they may not retain all of the compatability or functionality of the original part, since they do not have the original engineering. Additionally, aftermarket parts are generally cheap and flimsy, since they need to compete price-wise with parts scavenged from cars which have been parted out. This causes them to not last as long, necessitating further replacements in the future.
Used parts, meanwhile, are identical to their counterparts in terms of engineering and manufacture. Engine computers, like most computer parts, are produced using large-scale manufacturing techniques to ensure that the end product is identical and of high quality with as few build errors as possible. These computers are also built to last, since they were intended to live as long or longer than the car. Therefore they will not only be compatible with the computer they are intended to replace, they will last longer and work better.
Used engine computers offer clear advantages in terms of compatability, price and longevity over aftermarket parts. While not as good as parts specifically manufactured to be replacements, they are the best option when a specific sort of engine computer is no longer produced by the original manufacturer. They are also generally cheaper than new or traditional aftermarket parts, offering increased incentive for use and purchase. Therefore, anyone who needs a new engine computer would do well to pick a used one.