QOTW #40 – Classic Vanquish Electrical Care

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Welcome to BamfordRose and another question of the week. As always, it really helps us if you can like, subscribe, comment on our videos and suggest any other questions that you’d like us to address.

This week is about classic vanquish. So, this is 2000 model-year up to the S model, which finally went out of production in about 2007. We’re calling this video electrical care. This is because now that car is aging. There’s a lot of the electronic architecture, which is becoming obsolete and unable to repair.

Specifically, and the reason for this video, the engine ECU. I’ve been made aware of a few cars that have got ECU folds and because the ECU refurbishers can no longer buy replacement chips and microprocessors, it means the factory, of this moment in time, has no route to supply a replacement ECU for a classic vanquish. That’s a bit worrying. Because obviously, the car is completely immobile and whether it’s true or not, I don’t know this is just what I’ve been going on. There is no planned route to supply an ECU for those cars, which means that ultimately this problem.

If there are a collection of cars and mobile, it’s going to have to be solved in the world of the aftermarket. Getting hold of something like a motet ECU and remapping the Vanquish to run on the different controller. All that is obviously a huge undertaking for someone that would look at doing such a project.

I just wanted to cover a couple of things today. First, electrical care which is to avoid the conditions which could fry the ECU and any other electrics on the car. Vanquish, as a habit of flattening is battery, real quick. So, it’s obviously wise to leave on trickle charge. If the battery does go flat, from the experience of cars that have gone wrong brought into this garage, what frying electrical components is? When someone uses a boost pack. So, a battery jumper pack. But it’s got a boost facility. Now this really gives a voltage spike to all electrical components on that car, and could potentially take out the ECU.

Now the ECU is supposedly tested for reverse polarity and/ or gross errors. But there are some voltage spikes which that ECU is being supplied with, that are taking out other chips rendering that ECU useless. So, if it wasn’t a complete power spike failure, we’re then seeing cars which have failed a driver, for a throttle driver, for a fuel pump driver, for a spark plug coil. It’s these specific microprocessors that are obsolete and the ECU remanufacture can’t get their hands on.

On those particular cars, we can do some things in software like, if it was a throttle driver failure, with our experience the ECU runs the throttle, it just then runs its legislated onboard diagnostic test and fails that and then that’s what puts the car into an error state. So we can do things like remap the ECU to be less sensitive in the diagnostic check and it’s doing, and then not return a failure mode where the circuit is functioning fine.

There’s a number of electrical failures on Vanquish, parts are becoming scarce. And as I said at the start the message in this video is to really take care of your vanquish’ electronic circuit, always leave it on trickle charge. If you have to jumpstart the car, it’s fine to jump off of another car. Because this is 12 volts and it shouldn’t come with a spike. But I would connect directly onto the battery and the donor car of the power supply, just Rev that car up for a bit to put some charge into the vanquish’ battery. You’re not trying to start it on a completely flat battery. And yeah, just give the car the easiest time of coming back to life, instead of trying to crank on an adequate power supply.

Because of the risks involved, because these components are now obsolete, I just wouldn’t take the risk at all really. I, as we instruct in this workshop, we never jump, because of this reason. So. As inconvenient as it was, if you had a flat battery, I wouldn’t jump it off of another car. I’d connect it to a charger, wait until this sufficient charge and then crank start off the car’s battery.

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