Ford f150 PCM Failure Symptoms (Signs to Look Out For)

bad pcm symptoms

In an attempt to find out more about America’s most beloved vehicle, I have taken an interest in the Power train control module and found out all I can. I have been conducting research into how I can spot the Ford F150 PCM failure symptoms.

Symptoms of a PCM failure in Ford F150 are: Check Engine light is On, Vehicles Fails to Ignite or starts roughly, Poor fuel economy, Fails Emissions test, Engine stalls, Random Shifting, PCM error code.

What is the PCM on a ford f150?

The PCM or Powertrain Control Module is the brain of the vehicle. It is from here that the whole car is managed. This includes the car’s charging system, transmission, emission controls, and communications.

The PCM manages both the Engine Control Module and the Transmission Control Module of the car. A fault in this module can result in serious problems, as the systems will not be able to communicate. This can disrupt the functionality of different components altogether.

What Causes the PCM to Fail?

There are primarily two reasons that can cause the failure of a PCM; a short in a solenoid or actuator circuit that results in a voltage overload. And if not repaired the component will damage any proceeding PCM as well.

The second reason is environmental, where it can be corrosion, thermal stress, or vibrations. Corrosion primarily can cause irreversible damage to electronic connections. Damage from thermal stress and vibrations tends to be repairable.

Symptoms of PCM Failure in the Ford F150

  1. Check engine light – this is a sign that there is a problem with the car and does not specify what issue it is and therefore it is advisable to have it addressed early.
  2. Rough start – imbalances in the air-to-fuel ratio, improper timing, or a wiring short can all result in this kind of issue but can also be an indicator of an ECM issue.
  3. Fuel Economy – all other problems being catered for, an air-to-fuel ratio imbalance can cause poor gas mileage and the TCM and ECM systems are both under the control of the PCM.
  4. Fail Emissions test – a failure to mix the gas and air properly can result in a lot of carbon monoxide emissions and this would be the failure of an emissions test.
  5. Engine Stall – In terms of cost and repairs having it be an issue with the PCM or ECM is the best-case scenario.
  6. Random Shifting – this is the more severe of the symptoms of a PCM failure that can be as a result of a faulty sensor or water damage.
  7. Error code – the advantage of an error code is its carrier with the specific area of concern to be addressed once you know what the code is. Any indication that these issues have surfaced, means you need to take your F150 in for a check-up to avoid the possibility of being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

How to fix a PCM related issue

To address the PCM problem you need to adequately know what the specific fault is and what the appropriate PCM module for your vehicle is. Any minute difference can cause the car to not function optimally.

The cost of an OEM PCM for a Ford F150 costs around $500 – $1000 with a labor charge of about $120. You can also rummage through a junkyard for some spare or old PCM that you will need to reprogram.

The process takes only about 30 minutes and the labor cost can range between $80 – $150. In the case of micro-cracks caused by thermal stress or vibrations, YouTube hosts a variety of videos on how to address this problem.

Final Thoughts on F-150 PCM  Failure Symptoms

In the case of a PCM showing all the above symptoms, it is advisable that you take it in for service immediately. The use of an expert to address the issues with your car’s brain is paramount as any small problem can reduce the skill of the vehicle to a large degree.

You should also be familiar with the error codes to be able to know the specific regions of the onboard computer that the car is saying as causing issues. You should try as much as you can to prevent water from affecting the PCM board. As well as shielding the motherboard from the harsher influences of the environment.

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