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Car ECU Electrolytic Capacitors Leak/Burn/Dies

Posted on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 at 3:55 pm

This is also a very important preventive maintenance, especially ECU (Electronic Computer Unit) over than 15 years, when the capacitor face a lifespan issue cause by temperatures and ripple currents, electrolyte leaked and will damage your beloved ECU, the most terrible disaster is, your car will stop automatically and your mood change dramatically.

I attached the bad capacitor on the Honda’s ECU that I collected from Mr. WWW, this will happen to your ECU too, it is only a matter of time, so, beware!

Scary enough? The solution is simple, replace all the electrolytic capacitor that available on your ECU board. But, make sure you buy the right and quality replacement, especially the capacitance value (µF), the voltage is not critical, as long is higher than spec, for example, if your spec is 10µF 10v, you also could use 10µF 35v or 50v, this also will give you advantage, cause usually, the higher voltage rate, the higher durability but also come with the big size dimension.

Today I will replace electrolytic capacitor on my Honda 37820-P30-901  ECU (not all P30 series Honda ECU have same capacitor number/location) , I did do original parts (Nichicon PR Series) and replacement parts comparison that I could get from Element14, I sort all the best to find the very best, this is the final list, which is stock available;

Note : N = Nichicon, R = Rubycon, P = Panasonic

Model (Series) N PR R ZLJ N PR R ZLJ
capacitance value (µF) 220 220 100 100
Voltage Value 35v 50v 35v 35v
Case Size (DxL) 10×12.5 10×16 8×11.5 6.3×11
Impedance 0.24 0.053 0.5 0.17
Allowable Ripple 325 1650 190 700
Load Life (hours ) 2000 10 000 1000 7000
Location on Board C27 C27 C94 C94
Order Code (Element14) NA




Model (Series) N PR P FC Type A N PR N HE
capacitance value (µF) 47 47 220 220
Voltage Value 10v 10v 10v 10v
Case Size (DxL) 5×11 4×11 6.3×11 6.3×11
Impedance 2.1 1.3 0.58 0.22
Allowable Ripple 75 120 180 340
Load Life (hours ) 1000 1000 1000 4000
Location on Board C36 C36 C31 C31
Order Code (Element14) NA




Model (Series) N PR N HE S N PR N HE
capacitance value (µF) 33 33 100 100
Voltage Value 35v 35v 10v 10v
Case Size (DxL) 5×11 5×11 5×11 5×11
Impedance 1.9 0.58 1.9 0.58
Allowable Ripple 85 210 100 210
Load Life (hours ) 1000 5000 1000 4000
Location on Board C32,C28 C32,C28 C34 C34
Order Code (Element14) NA




For references:

Good Capacitor Series

Listed from left to right, good to best:

  • Rubycon: YXG, YXH, ZL, ZA (disc.), ZLH, ZLG, MBZ (disc.), MCZ
  • Panasonic: FM, FK, HFQ (disc.), FC, FA
  • Nichicon: HZ, HE, HD, HV, PW, PM, PL
  • Chemicon: KY, KZE, KLH, KZG, KZH, KZJ
  • Unicon: KGM, KXM, KEM

OK, stop with the technical data, if you have skill to soldering, you will save some paper on your wallet, otherwise, you could borrow somebody skill, just  DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE POLARITY.

The targets

The parts

The tools


This is the first time I wrote other than oil leakage, current leakage also could be dangerous, didn’t see, silent, until  it appear, like a ghost! Will scare you until your wallet is leakage too…

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