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ECM Question

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I have a 2016 Malibu M235 with the 6.2L supercharged Indamar raptor engine.

We were riding yesterday and hit a decent wave with the boat.... pretty jarring to the dash area.

Soon after, a "service" alert came up on the dash. Then an "ECM" alert came up on the dash console. The boat was still running at that point. When I turned the boat off later, it would not restart with the electronic start. It would also not restart with the actual key. The boat is not even trying to turn over. I turned the ignition/main breaker on/off a few times, but the engine would never fire or turnover again. A couple of times when I reset the boat, the "ECM" alert came up.


After a few more resets, the ECM alert no longer comes up. In looking through the diagnostics at the dash, there are no active or inactive codes logged. Also, the hour meter at the dash has reset to 0.0 hours. I have checked the main fuse and ECM fuse in the the fuse block on the engine. Both fuses appear ti be functioning.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the problems:

1. Since it occurred right after the hitting the wave,  small chance it could be a loose connection? Is there any particular connection that would cause the ECM alert, or the hours to reset?

2. Is it the ECM?

3. Any other items to suggest checking before taking the boat 3 hours back to the dealership?


Thank you for your help.


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I doubt the ECM is bad, I would bet money it is a loose connection.  Do you have a scan tool?  

Have you checked to see if something came un-plugged?  Thats where I would start.  I had a similar thing happen on my 2013 23 LSV. I opened the rear hatches and after an hour of looking around the engine bay, I found a connection that came loose.  I hooked it back up and all was good.  Keep us posted.

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I don’t have a scan tool at the lake with me.


i am hoping it is a loose connection and that the alerts would be pointing me to a loose connection pertaining to the ECM.


Does anyone have a wiring diagram fir the M235? Or know how wiring for ECM ties in at dash? Where is the ECM    On the 6.2 L indamar?

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The battery connections, battery switch and breakers, port side power post in the engine compartment, starter cable connection, and the ground cable on the starter mount and port exhaust manifold would be a good place to start.

The ground cable and wire connections under the dash, power cables going to the power modules, dash power button, and the boat harness plugs at the dash and engine should be checked next.  Then the connections on the port aft breaker panel and helm side panel should be checked.  If there are still problems then all of the connections on the power modules and viper controller need to be checked.  All connections should be clean and tight.  Loose or corroded connections can cause voltage drops.

On Malibu boats 2016-2019 the ECM communicates with the Viper II dash contoller, paddlewheel, diagnostic connector, and Zeroff GPS, using CAN buss 1.  The yellow/green and green/yellow wires that go from the engine to boat harness plug and to the helm harness carries the signal.  There is a second CAN buss that connects other boat components to the Viper controller like the aft I/O module and surf gate controller, surf band module, depth transducer, helm rotary switch, steering wheel controls, and the primary and secondary power modules that use blue and white wires for the signal.

You can check the status of the two CAN bus circuits and modules from the right hand screen settings on the System Diag page.  A problem with the CAN 1 wiring, connector plugs, or a component connected to the CAN will cause an ECM loss of CAN alarm at the helm and often disable the smart start auto crank feature.  This is a boat system alarm and not an alarm initiated by the engine ECM, so there will be no stored diagnostic codes in the ECM.

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Looks like there may be an issue in the  “digital perko” on the master fuse panel. 


sometimes when I turn it on/off, all power will come back on and other times limited voltage will return to the boat.


does anyone know if that perko can be bypassed. I am trying to get to the back of the master panel to see if it can be bypassed or if it is all an integrated unit.

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The switch I am trying to remove is the “dual circuit plus” in the master fuse panel.

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The switch is a fairly common Blue Seas Dual circuit plus mini switch that you can get from your dealer, West Marine, or Amazon. 


Inside the observer storage area there should be a large carpeted access panel held by angle brackets and screws at the front and rear of it that will allow you to remove the panel to gain access to the back of the switches and breakers.  Remove the battery negative cables before messing with the connections on that breaker switch panel.  Take some photos so you can put everything back the way it was.  There are alot of wires in there.

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That was the problem. The blue sea circuit panel housing was broke off the switch… All the cables and the repeated vibration broke the little bracket.


the intermittent voltage from the broken switch was causing the ECM alert.


thank you for the gelp



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2019 25LSV.

Interestingly. This morning we get set to board. Then, a communication loss with ECM while still on the lift. No solution and everything is fine at first glance. So out comes the multimeter and I start checking continuity on the wiring harness. What the hell. Teach the 9yo how to fold one end of the meter on a wire 5’ away. Motor skills right? And focus… don’t look at the bird! Focus please….

My forehead is bruised with a DUH. The kill switch had a loose crimp in the housing. I mangled it getting it out so I can’t say how it happened. But A little solder and fairly ugly surgery on the crimp and housing and it’s all good as new. And the hull will crack before that new joint fails.

Let me just say there are sooooo many wires in this boat! I was so focused on continuity of the CAN bus I didn’t check the obvious things first (after power though).  That kill switch will throw some interesting errors folks. They don’t stick. But they do pop up on the display. 

Anyone remember the way they wired in that kill switch before? Some quick connects. My first boat half a life ago. Day one. On the water. No start. No nothing. The quick connect had come off that kill switch. After an hour melting in the Texas Sun we figured it out (from the memory of a post about the kill switch on MBO). 

Folks, before a tow to the dealer. Check that connection out if you have these symptoms. 

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