Ford F150 PCM Failure Symptoms-[Explained and Solved!!]

If you doubt that your PCM is failing, you’ll need to be sure about the right symptoms. 

So, want to know about the Ford F150 PCM failure symptoms? 

PCM failure symptoms include an illuminating check engine light. You won’t be able to connect the OBD2 scanner. If you can, PCM-related error codes will show. The engine will have starting problems, stutter, stall, misfire, and backfire. You’ll also face irregular shifting and lower fuel economy. 

But, there’s so much more to discuss. So, keep on reading the article till the end. 

Ford F150 PCM
From youtube channel of ProTech Auto System

Ford F150 PCM Failure- 9 Symptoms 

A failing Ford F150 PCM should show the following symptoms: 

Reason 1: Check Engine Light Turns On

When the PCM fails, the self-diagnostic cycle of your Ford F150 fails. The engine performance becomes bad and the transmission also malfunctions. Thus, the check engine light comes on. 

Reason 2: OBD2 Scanner Unable to Connect

If the PCM is bad on your Ford F150, you won’t be able to connect the OBD2 scanner to the vehicle. 

It happens because the PCM relay and diode in the fuse panel malfunction. Thus, the PCM becomes unresponsive and the OBD2 scanner doesn’t work. 

Reason 3: PCM-Related Error Codes

And, if the OBD2 scanner works, you’ll see PCM-related error codes in Ford F150. If you encounter the codes P0600- P0610, and U0100, it’s probably a problem in the PCM. 

It can be a problem in the control module memory, programming, processor, performance, or output. 

Reason 4: Starts Roughly

If the Ford F150 PCM is bad, the car may start roughly or take several attempts to start. Here, you might have a short wiring harness in the PCM. It especially happens in the winter. 

Reason 5: Low Mileage

Another sign of a bad PCM on Ford F150 is high fuel consumption. As the malfunctioning PCM can’t give proper instructions, the air-fuel ratio also gets messed up. 

Thus, the fuel economy decreases. The turbo is also unable to produce a proper boost and the vehicle will accelerate more. 

Reason 6: Engine Stutters And Stalls

A malfunctioning PCM will also make the engine of Ford F150 stutter and stall. The PCM controls the valve timing, fuel delivery, emission functions, and ignition timing. Thus, faulty PCM delays or even stops an engine from running. 

Reason 7: Failed Emission Test and Increased Emission

If your Ford F150 PCM is bad, there will be higher emissions. That’s because it’ll supply the engine with more fuel than necessary. So, the emission rate becomes higher. The smoke will also be oddly colored and foul-smelling. 

Thus, the vehicle will result in an emission test failure. 

Reason 8: Irregular Shifting

With a faulty PCM on Ford F150, you might also face shifting issues. As the PCM also controls the transmissions, abnormal gear shifting may happen. Commonly, it happens because of water damage in the PCM. 

Reason 9: Engine Misfires or Backfires

Again, a faulty PCM on Ford F150 can’t control the air-fuel ratio properly. As this mixture flows through the engine, it misfires or backfires. In this case, also, the check engine light will come on.

How to Fix Failing PCM?

Now that you know your Ford F150 PCM is failing, the only thing left to do is fix it. If it’s not repairable, you’ll have to replace it. Let’s see the process for both. 

Test And Repair

Repairing the PCM yourself is not recommended as it’s too complex. Take it to a professional and he’ll do the job for you. But, you can test the PCM to make sure it’s bad before taking it for repair.

Just follow the steps below to test your PCM: 

Step 1: Check if the PCM battery voltage is low using a multimeter. Connect the two probes of the multimeter with the battery’s terminals. Make sure that your multimeter is in DC volts. If the reading is 12V, the battery is OK. 

On the other hand, if the reading is less than 10V, check for loose connections. The PCM’s wires might be worn out, loose, or faulty. If so, replace them. 

Step 2: Test the vehicle with an OBD2 scanner. If any error codes show up for the PCM, you’ll know that it’s bad. Some common PCM fault codes include P0600 and P0606. With the Ford F150, people also face fault codes like P0606 and P0603. 

Step 3: Check if the PCM is updated. If not, a simple update might even fix the problem. 

You can also watch this video to learn more about faulty PCMs on Ford F150:

Replace PCM

If the PCM isn’t repairable, of course, you’ll need to replace it. You can do it yourself. Just follow these simple steps: 

Step 1: Open the vehicle’s hood and disconnect the negative terminal of the battery. 

Step 2: Locate the PCM. It depends on the year and model of the Ford F150 where the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) is located. F-150s with newer PCMs usually have the connector protruding through the firewall behind the driver’s kick panel. 

Under some models, the PCM is located behind the kick panel on the passenger side. Depending on the model, the PCM may be located on the right side of the cowl, which can be accessed from the engine compartment. 

Then, disconnect all the connectors from the PCM. 

Step 3: In the Ford F150, the PCM should be bolted with four 10 mm screws. Remove them with a wrench. Then, just pull out the PCM. 

Step 4: Make sure the new PCM you buy has the exact same part number as the previous one. Screw the new PCM in and connect all the connectors. Then, reconnect the negative terminal of the battery. 

With that, your PCM should be replaced. You can watch this video for visual guides:

You can also get it done by professionals. In that case, it’ll cost about $700-$1500 including the labor charges. 

Reset PCM

If you find no problems in the PCM, simply reset it. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the hood of the vehicle.

Step 2: Disconnect the negative battery terminal of the battery. This will cut power to the PCM. 

Step 3: Wait for about five minutes and reconnect the battery terminal. This will automatically erase the memory and reset the PCM. 

See this visual guide for additional help.


Can PCM Drain The Battery?

Vehicle batteries can be drained by PCMs (Powertrain Control Modules). The PCM can cause a parasitic drain on the battery when it remains powered up despite the engine being off.

Can A PCM Lose Its Memory?

Yes, a PCM can lose its memory. In computerized engines, this is caused by to loss of voltage. Thus, the adaptive memory settings of the PCM are erased. For example, the adjustments saved into the PCM over time.

Can My Car Run Without PCM?

No, a car can’t run without PCM. A PCM controls all the engines and transmission operating parameters. Thus, the car won’t even start without the PCM. 

Bottom Line!!

Hope you got to know everything about Ford F150 PCM failure symptoms. Still, we’d like you to know one last thing. A faulty PCM can also lead to severe and pricy transmission damage. Thanks for reading the whole article. 

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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