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Evening all. My friend has managed to fry the ECU in his Fiesta mk5 (51-plate, 1.25 manual, petrol), due to ignoring a faulty coil pack and carrying on driving the car for a couple of weeks. Car currently runs on at most 3 cylinders and is shaking fit to bust.

The dead ECU has been diagnosed by our friendly local mechanic. New ones cost £800, blah, blah...

I'm looking at used replacements on eBay, but what parts and procedures - and what keys - do we actually need?

My "boss" for whom I sell used cars (a former Ford dealership owner) says we need three keys, of which the most important is the red one (also a black one and a black one with a red chip??).

My mate who manages a Halfords maintenance centre says similar, but adds that one can get around a missing red key by using the radio code (??).

Meanwhile, none of the used ECU "kits" (with door locks, dashboard instruments, etc.) seem to come with a red key, only black keys.

Can we just replace the ECU?

How much would we be looking at to get stuff recoded?

What is the most cost-effective option that will actually work and get my friend back on the road?

Unfortunately, fitting new locks all round is going to be an expensive job, but anyway, it'd be great to know what the options are, from peple who have experience.

Over to you! And thank you!
 
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