The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) or onboard computer is the brains of the vehicle’s engine control system. This means that when the PCM malfunctions, then the engine and other microprocessor controls will not work, for example, the transmission, charging system, different emission controls and many more.
Your automobile PCM should only be replaced after a professional has made a diagnosis. Here are a few things that you should consider when purchasing the right PCM.
1. Check by hardware type
This is the code, which is always printed on the top pin section of your automobile PCM. This is the section that it should be labeled on the OEM Ford parts. When making a purchase or order online, you must ensure that you are ordering with this number in mind. The hardware type is usually made of 3 alphabetical characters that are followed by a dash and then an additional 3 to 5 characters.
2. Confirm the service ID
The service ID is usually the number that is found next to your hardware type number and a barcode. This code is a representation of the right calibration number for the specific device type. It is important for you to use the right hardware code when making your purchase. This is because there are new calibrations recognized by one “F” appendix. With the right service ID, you will get the right Ford PCM.
3. Confirm your Ford ID number
Some PCM modules may not have the hardware type indicated on its label. In such a case, you must purchase your PCM using the Service ID number. The service ID number is the number containing “12A650” code incorporated in the middle of its part number. Using the right diagnostic tools, you can easily read your Ford ID number. This number can come in handy especially when your PCM does not have a hardware type.
4. Correct PCM identification is important
With so many and different PCMs available today, accurate identification and correct replacement are crucial to avoid unnecessary returns. Most PCMs may appear to look the same outside, but with different calibrations and wiring inside.
If you install a wrong PCM on your vehicle, it will run but will encounter problems. When it comes to PCM replacement, close enough is never good enough. Therefore, you must always use the right replacement for the specific application.
5. Look for a reliable auto dealer
When searching for the best PCM for your vehicle, you must find the right vehicle parts dealer. There are countless dealers both online and offline today. You can easily get a long list of the available auto dealers in your local area within minutes. However, only the trusted and reliable dealers will have superior quality PCMs that suit your vehicle model.
The health of your vehicle’s PCM plays a crucial role in the general health of your automobile. Your PCM should be maintained properly for it to function effectively. You should never overlook any indicators or signals that your vehicle shows.
This will ensure that any problem is detected early and repaired with utmost professionalism to prevent further damage. When it comes to your vehicle PCM, you should never take chances and ensure that you consult a seasoned technician.