How to Reprogram a Ford PCM

How to Reprogram a Ford PCM

before you install your part check out this technical tip from
CARDONE Industries today we’re going to replace an original
Ford powertrain control module with a replacement unit. This replacement unit
has a “F” at the end the part number which means the module must be Flash
programmed with the correct calibration programmable parameters and vehicle
identification number after the replacement module has been
programmed there may be additional steps required to set up the passive
anti-theft system if the vehicle is so equipped. Before you
can start with the programming make sure you have all the tools you
need including a PC with internet connection that meets the minimum requirements for
the Ford software and a Ford approved J 2534 tool or Ford vehicle
communications module you also need a subscription to the Ford
module programming applications for the J 2534 tool or integrated diagnostic software.
It’s also recommended to connect a battery charger to the vehicle during programming or learn procedures
to ensure that proper battery voltage is maintained. If the vehicle has a PATS type “E” system requiring keys to be
programmed into the replacement PCM than all the keys used on the vehicle
including valet and spare keys should be gathered up to set up the PATS
system. The Ford application should indicate how many keys are
required for programming before beginning the PCM replacement
it’s important to ensure that any vehicle conditions that may have
caused damage to the original PCM are resolved. Inspect the vehicle and
perform any necessary diagnostic procedures or TSB’s
related to the vehicle to ensure the replacement PCM will not be damaged
by an existing condition failure to address a problem on the
vehicle may lead to unsuccessful vehicle repair,
damage to the replacement PCM and void the warranty on the replacement
PCM the preferred method of installation
process is to transfer the programmed information from the original PCM to the replacement PCM by selecting
programmable module installation for this to work the original PCM must
still be installed on the vehicle and communicating with the reprogramming
tool follow the prompts on the Ford system to
create a new session identify the vehicle and retrieve the
available information from the original PCM. Once the
identification has been completed select the toolbox tab from the upper
left hand corner of the screen and follow the prompts through the
module programming and programmable module installation if any programmable information was
missed the system may request that you provide the missing vehicle
information. If you do not have the information available it can accessed from The calibration label should also be filled out and applied to the vehicle or PCM as required. If the original PCM is not available or will not communicate, than the
replacement PCM and will have to be programmed through manual steps If the replacement
PCM is installed for identification then you should select “NO” when the PCM
application is identified on the Ford programming system. The
application may appear to be correct but unless the exact calibration desired
has been identified in replacement PCM it should be considered the
wrong calibration for the vehicle. After stating that the application identified
is not correct, follow the system prompts to enter the correct information so the
replacement PCM can be programmed with the proper calibration. When
programming the replacement PCM using manual steps updating any programmable parameters may require the PCM to be completely
programmed again. After the calibration and parameters have been programmed proceed to the programmable module
installation to select and program the correct VIN,
if the application requires it at the end of the programming event, the system should clear any diagnostic trouble codes that
may have been set. The calibration label also should be filled out and applied to
the vehicle or PCM if the vehicle is equipped with a PATS
system it will have to be set up after the
replacement PCM has been programmed. If the replacement
PCM has been programmed by the manufacturer, the programming would
not include setting up the PATS system so that setup must be performed with the
replacement PCM on the vehicle. To identify the type of PATS system
on the vehicle check the key code lookup
section at refer to the appropriate chart by
vehicle and model year to determine the system requirements and
follow the procedure for setup take note that 2 keys are required to
meet the minimum requirements for most PATS systems. For some applications the module that contains that PATS control
function is not the PCM though the PCM has been replaced Also, some newer types of PATS systems may not
be set up using J 2534 tool due to the communication
protocol used for the PATS system on those vehicles. Thanks for taking the
time to watch this technical tip

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Do all Cardone Ford PCMs have to be reprogrammed? I have an 02 Ford Ranger 3.0 with no alarm system… Also, can a new Cardone PCM be be installed and replacing the old one before reprogramming?

  2. I have a Fiesta ST 2013 european model. The fiesta ST 2014 american model has a different ECU, it is MAP tuned instead of MAF, and i think its both hardware and software different. The cars should be very similar except for different ecu.
    You think its possible to make an american ECU work on my car? Im looking at the ford module installation with IDS. If i replaced the ECU and programmed it using my European VIN Number, could this work, would it install the correct software, or would i need to use an american VIN to make this work. Will it install software by looking at the modules hardware ID. As I understand there are several modules that also stores the VIN number.

  3. hi i have ford freestyle with cvt transmission, and would like to swap with a ford five hundred 6 speed automatic transmission, how i can find the right pcm that match with my car

  4. I have a used chrysler sebring pcm and need to know the vin number of the car it was hooked up to, anyway of getting a vin number from a module without the car?!?!

  5. thanks for the post, question with this VCM tool I really needing to get it being in the auto repair business, but since I'm starting out flashing can i use the tis like GM on a 3 day pay system or with FORD must I purchase the yearly subscription?? What I'm asking is say if I want to copy info from old PCM to the new BCM do i need a sub to be able to use the VCM to let me do this? thanks

  6. hello i can really use your help, I would like to get a ford VCM because like again today I got another ford that i need to replace the ECM. if i purchase this tool do i have to buy a yearly subscription or can i pay as i need it, also can i use the tool off line by taking the old data from the original ECM and move it to the new one without logging into the web. Im told wo=ithout a sub, the VCM will not work. Thanks

  7. thanks very good video
    can use used PCM for Ford 08 Explorer or must be new pcm ?
    do i have to do security programing if it is type C pats?

  8. Hi pls I have problem with my Ford Windstar my mechanic sparked wire from radiator side and the car refused to crank all lights was so normal in dashboard .pls help me .

  9. Is it possible to copy a pcm to a different one? I am doing an engine swap from a 1993 5.8 l v8 f250 xlt to a 2001 3.8 l v6 mustang. Id much rather just reprogram it than redo all of the wiring.

  10. I have an enquiry for the pcm. I use ford explorer 1997 v6 SOHC. I have a failure on ignition system. So, I ordered a second hand pcm with the same number, but it is from v6 OHV. Will it be a problem? Now, the engine is running good but I am not sure for the transmission program. Will it be the same? Many thanks in advance for your advice.

  11. I have an 04 f150 5.4 truck that someone put an 05 4.6 in, also a used pcm that they apparently programmed the keys to. My problem is that the computer is looking for vct's that this engine doesn't have and the symptoms are like they are stuck. Can this be reprogrammed to delete vct's?

  12. Ford is such a ripoff. Have to have a subscription. People wouldn’t need to reprogram anything if they made things right the first time

    Can you imagine buying a computer and then dell making people pay a monthly subscription fee to install software updates? Give me a break

  13. Can I possibly change some parameters on it, different than what it calls for like tune it to my engine with performance upgrades?

  14. I've ECU programmed my Ford Ranger 3.2 and it went from 200 to 270 horsepower and it even had the fuel consumption reduced I'm very impressed

  15. Having a Ford vehicle with all the computers locked, where you need a subscription to proprietary Ford software, as well as a special Ford programming tool, is like having a vehicle with a lock on the hood, and only the dealer has the key. What I would like to know is, how can I do this without paying Ford anything? You can buy a programming tool on Ebay for less than $50 that will allow communication with many different vehicle computer systems, but it doesn’t support most Ford vehicles. You can also get open source software to reprogram your system to tune it for better performance or just to control it your own way. Why does this not work with my Ford? Looking at I find that a Ford VCM II costs $1,499.99 from the Ford Rotunda, while the required software subscription costs $49.95 for 2 day access, or up to $849.00 for a year. And this only allows one PC to use the software, and it is locked to that particular PC. It’s obvious that Ford does not want shadetree mechanics to work on their own cars. Access to the computer systems is more important with every new model year. So what are we supposed to do?

  16. Hey, if anyone can help or has the answer to this absolute predicament PLEASE READ: I have a 2008 3.0L ford fusion, got the car with only one key and now I've lost it. So I replace the ignition cylinder and have two new keys that work for it. Only thing is when the guy went to reprogram my keys he did a perameter reset with there being NO new PCM in the vehicle. Now the scanner reads as the car can't connect with the PCM. Looked into it, turns out perameter reset should only be done if necessary.

    So my question is this, basically how do I "undo" that perameter reset? Or even, what do I do now?

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