Programming a Ford PCM is pretty straightforward and simple compared to many other types of vehicle units. However, it becomes easy through the one thing that Ford does differently. The one thing they do differently is the fact that the built data from the old PCM is transferred to the scan tool. The built-in vehicle specification and calibration details can then be transferred to a new, salvaged or remanufactured PCM that is being installed.
Are there are complications along the way?
Complications arise when you are tempted to replace a PCM that is dead or not communicating with the programming device or a scanning tool. In such instances, you are going to have to use a different method of telling the PCM what is needed just as the built-in data information should be.
The Ford recommended procedure should be this – the PCM should be performed when replacing the module. If the information cannot be transferred from the original module, the built-in data must be used properly to configure the module.
What does the procedure entail?
The procedure entails having to purchase a new PCMfrom any company that offers genuine Ford motor craft items. You only need to purchase a new one if the previous one is damaged or does not communicate.
Once purchased, you can then use the vehicle identification number to acquire the built-in data for the particular PCM you are replacing. The built-in data is usually multiple lines of hexadecimal numbers that are entered into a dialogue box in the programming software.
Connect your Ford scanner or flash programming device to a diagnostic link connector. Leave your ignition key in the OFF position. With the key off, attempt to connect with the vehicle using the PCM software.
The programming software should show a status bar for 45 seconds as it tries to communicate with the vehicle. Note that the communication attempt will fail because the key is off. It will ask you to turn the key on and off again as it attempts to communicate to the vehicle.
Once this process is complete, the software will ask you if you want to make another attempt. Choose no. You are then asked to choose from a list of vehicles to communicate with. Your choice on this page should be able to show all other on top of the list at the top of the non-domestic vehicle models.
The software needs you to provide some numbers from the actual ID label on the old PCM in order for the software to identify the vehicle you are intending to communicate with. Always use the actual PCM’s label to get the information that you need.
Then enter the VIN and mileage as required. The VIN information is important if your state has an OBDII inspection center or program that requires a VIN read. The VIN is read from the DLC for the positive vehicle identification purposes. This step is vital and should be not be skipped.