Several 1G owners have found that the electrolytic capacitors in their ECUs leak after roughly seven years. This problem is not limited to DSMs, engine computers or even the automobile world - many types of equipment suffer from similar problems, as electrolytic capacitors are commonly used in electronic equipment.
Excessive leakage can cause very troublesome damage to the printed circuit board (PCB) inside the ECU. This is very difficult to fix unless you have access to professional soldering equipment and tools. For those that do, they will find the repair difficulty on a par with any typical conformally-coated through-hole PCB repair.
For more details see the "How to Replace the Capacitors in a 1G ECU" page, from our friends at Technomotive.
Andreas Santoso offered to provide the required replacement capacitors for $1 plus a SASE. He later changed this to $2. See the archivesfor details. This offer is old and is likely out of date, but others may make the parts available.
As a special note for 1999 owners, the 1999 ECU may have had some type of build problem involving the throttle position sensor and the ECU. The single owner that reported the problem apparantly had it fixed under warranty. As a bonus, the replacement ECU was EPROM-based. No other owners have reported any problems, so this was likely to be an isolated case.
The Last Word: Still need caps? Try here.