Non-ECU Diesels - Paul Robinson
In the ?Cavalier Replacement? thread, David Woollard made the point:

?It is still a point everyone has to learn that ECU fuel injection in old cheap cars is going to be a major problem in years to come, often they aren't worth fixing.?

He went on to suggest a (non-ECU) Xantia diesel.

This is a point that is regularly made, for the benefit of those of us that don?t get our hands dirty opening the bonnet, could someone clarify which popular diesels of the last five to ten years are non-ECU?
Re: Non-ECU Diesels - Michael
can't answer the ecu diesel question but does not the same argument hold for ecu-petrol engines? It was certainly a point well aired in the days when points and condensers were making way for computer chips. Ultimately, a car becomes more expensive to repair than replace for one reason or another. Years ago, rust was a major problem on car longevity, along with an engine life expectancy of 50,000 miles. Nowadays, rust and engine life are much improved and the "next most expensive component" steps up to feature in the repair or replace calculation. On balance, I wouldn't swap my ecu for a set of points.
Re: Non-ECU Diesels - Richard Hall
I think that as ECU controlled engines become more common, we will become more familiar with diagnosing and repairing faults. Having owned two vehicles (Golf 1800 and Audi Coupe GT) fitted with the astonishingly complex and unreliable Pierburg 2E2 carburettor, I find the electronic engine management on my current Audi a delight to work on in comparison. For most modern vehicles you can get a great deal of information on fault diagnostics from the Internet, and as these cars become cheaper, and fall out of the main dealer repair network so that they are being worked on by small independent garages, the components industry will get geared up to supply replacement components (reconditioned ECUs, idle control valves etc) at a sensible price. Already this has happened with things like oxygen sensors, where for most cars you can buy one from a motor factor for a fraction of the price a franchised dealer would charge.

I suspect the biggest problem we will face in future is actually cheap and nasty wiring looms and connectors. Even German electrics are not what they once were - take a look under the bonnet of a Mk3 Golf, and you will see electrical connectors that would disgrace a Yugo. (The Mk4 may be better - I haven't had a close look at one yet.) Tracing wiring faults is difficult enough already, and given the increasing trend to load down even basic superminis with electrical toys, it won't get any easier. Perhaps I should set myself up as a vehicle electrician....
Re: Non-ECU Diesels - David Woollard
Paul,

I can only say that on Citroen anything after 1996 is likely to involve an ECU.


Richard,

But you love a challenge and were raised on Heralds...right! For the guy who doesn't want to do an Internet course in vehicle electronics then the less gizmos there are the easier/cheaper the car will be to run.

Example:

'97 diesel Xantia with ECU control of idle speed, idling far too fast. Goes to well regarded local MOT/service station. "Sorry mate that's a Citroen only job, its got an ECU". A week later the Citroen dealer declares the car "about as good as you'll get it, it's all ECU controlled you know" and declines to look any further.

Had it been a '95 model with the conventional injector pump our local agricultural dealers would have sorted it because it would have been the same as a thirty year old tractor.

Needless to say when it came here a very determined attitude saw it correctly repaired.

I know what you mean that we will have to get used to the ECU cars in time because soon that is all there will be left on the road.....but while there is a choice at the older end of the market I'd go for simplicity.

David
Re: Non-ECU Diesels - Dave N
You'll get someone sending you a snotty remark, recommending older technology. I did when I mentioned the good old fashioned engine in my Land Cruiser. Something about wrecking the enviroment.
 

Value my car