Things to Know Before Replacing Your PCM

August 28, 2018

Things to Know Before Replacing Your PCM

Car problems are never fun. And they never come at a convenient time.

The good thing about today’s cars is what is known as the PCM, or Powertrain Control Module. This is your car’s “brains”, the computer that runs the show. It controls your engine and ignition, your fuel injectors, and your emissions system. And when your PCM is malfunctioning, so will the rest of your vehicle.

So How Do You Know When Your PCM is Malfunctioning?

There are some symptoms that may indicate that your PCM is malfunctioning and may need replacing.

  • Your car may not start
  • Your car may stall after starting
  • Your car may not be performing properly
  • Your check engine light may illuminate with a repair code

Your car will give you feedback in the way of these codes. If any of the following codes appear during a diagnostics test, your PCM could very well be the culprit.

  • P0600 – Serial Communication Link
  • P0601 – Internal Control Module Memory Check Sum Error
  • P0602 – Control Module Programming Error
  • P0603 – Internal Control Module Keep Alive Memory (KAM) Error
  • P0604 – Internal Control Module Random Access Memory (RAM) Error
  • P0605 – Internal Control Module Read Only Memory (ROM) Error
  • P0606 – ECM/PCM Processor
  • P0607 – Control Module Performance
  • P0608 – Control Module VSS Output ‘A’
  • P0609 – Control Module VSS Output ‘B’
  • P0610 – Control Module Vehicle Options Error

Further tests should be conducted to confirm if it is indeed the PCM that is the source of the problem. Sometimes your auto mechanic will be frustrated with trying to detect the source of the problem and will immediately blame the car’s PCM. Unfortunately, over 50 percent of PCMs returned to the manufacturer after warranty replacement have nothing wrong with them.

Why Did Your PCM Malfunction?

It can be very helpful to determine what exactly caused the demise of your PCM in order not to duplicate the problem and prevent any further damage. If there was a short in the solenoid or actuator circuit, this can cause excessive voltage that could damage your new PCM. Other causes such as thermal stress, vibration, or even water intrusion can cause corrosion or damage to the new unit.

Make Sure to Get the Right PCM

It is crucial to get the correct PCM for the make and model of your car. There is a broad range of PCMs and it can be easy to mistake one for another. It is handy to have the PCM number as well as the year, make, and model of your car when ordering a replacement PCM.

AutoPCMS is dedicated to helping you get the longest life out of your car. That’s why we offer same-day shipping and we have a wide selection of replacement PCMs, ECMs and ECUs for Dodge, Cadillac, Chrysler, Jeep, Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Ford, Mitsubishi, Chevrolet, GM, and more! Call us today at 1-800-886-9926.