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Hello all:
I bought my wife a 2008 XL7 and have been having a myriad of problems that seem random, leading me to think the main ECM is wonky. Shortly after buying, the control cluster started pushing a 'service traction control' warning, sometimes paired with 'engine power reduced'. The latter of which killed power to the point you could only get up to about 10-15 mph while stuck in traffic. Then just as suddenly, it stopped.
Shortly after, shifting started getting rough, where it would sporadically decide to shift out of one gear, then pause before shifting to the next. During this process, the throttle would stay engaged, revving the engine near redline before hitting the next gear; causing a significant lurch. I tried using manual shifting when it happened the first time, and entire gears were skipped in the shifting process, but that only happened the first time.
At this point, I was thinking it was the TCM or other transmission issues, but the car kept coming up with something else to throw at me. Soon after, it would randomly throw the 'engine oil pressure low' warning despite there being plenty of oil in the car. Then it started randomly going into power save mode if the radio was left on with the engine off for more than a couple minutes. When this happened, even trying to jump the car did nothing until 15-30 minutes later when it would decide it felt like starting up again.
A couple times on cold nights, it would start with extremely high rpm until it abruptly died. The only way to keep it running was to two foot it with the brake and accelerator to keep the rpm up while stopped.
Lately, it has decided to ignore me turning the key to start it for a few tries before starting. Once after about 15 turns to start with no result, I let the key back to run position and released the key, only to have it turn over a couple seconds later even though the key was no longer in the start position.
And for some reason, the rear wiper will randomly engage when opening or closing the back hatch.
So, is this thing haunted, is it full of separate issues, or can I tie this all back to the main ECM being messed up?
If it's the ECM, can I order a new one from a parts store plug and play, or do I need to get it reprogrammed before installing?
 

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which engine model? This sounds more like you have a bad power supply connection. To start the diagnostic process and stop you tossing money on something that may not actually be faulty, check all the power connections and grounds, especially the battery to body ground, and the main power connection from the battery terminal to the main fuse and onto the fuse box under the hood.
 

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Just like any other computer,, garbage in, garbage out, do not condemn the ecu until you confirm all inputs are good.
 

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which engine model? This sounds more like you have a bad power supply connection. To start the diagnostic process and stop you tossing money on something that may not actually be faulty, check all the power connections and grounds, especially the battery to body ground, and the main power connection from the battery terminal to the main fuse and onto the fuse box under the hood.

Agree with you GV that possible poor earth (corrosion) could be the problem. Or indeed there may be two separate issues. Starting & cranking - earth;
Problems with gear shifting could be 'burnt/failing/low level' Automatic Transmission fluid.
It always helps to know engine variant and World location - neither were given by Gungnir.
.
 
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