7 Symptoms To Detect PCM Failure On 6.0 Powerstroke (Easy Solutions)

The PCM device is the brain of a vehicle, and if it fails to function properly, your engine performance will decrease. Actually, the PCM device does not get damaged completely; instead, it gives you symptoms that it’s in trouble.

The most common symptom of the 6.0 Powerstroke PCM failure is that it will decrease your car’s performance and turn on some of the warning lights on your dashboard. However, there are other symptoms that can help you be sure about the issue.

To that end, here we’ll go through the top symptoms of 6.0 Powerstroke PCM failure so you can spot the issue immediately and save your car from a major malfunction.

Why Does the 6.0 Powerstroke PCM Fail?

PCM devices are built to last for a long time; however, they get damaged for several reasons. Mostly, software bugs for overheating are the culprit when there are problems with the PCM malfunction.

Besides that, thermal stress, excessive vibrations, and voltage overloads can also cause the PCM to fail.

6.0 powerstroke pcm failure symptoms – (7 symptoms to Detect)

As we know, the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) device controls the engine and transmission, so any disruption in its operation will result in serious engine and transmission problems.

Here are the top seven symptoms you should be aware of:

#1- The Engine Will Struggle to Start

The first sign of PCM device failure is when you start your car and it doesn’t start quickly. When the PCM fails to synchronize the ignition timing, the engine will struggle to start normally.

However, ignition problems can also happen for many other reasons. For example, the engine will not ignite properly when the battery goes bad or offers low voltage.

Hence, it is always ideal to consult with a mechanic to find out the actual cause.

#2- The Engine Stalls or Misfires

As you know, the PCM controls multiple engine operations, like engine speed and fuel injection. Hence, when the PCM malfunctions, there will be issues with the engine. And stalling or misfiring is one of the most frequent issues the engine may have after a PCM failure.

Basically, when your PCM becomes faulty, it cannot send signals to the engine, and the stall happens. However, misfiring within the engine can happen for other reasons as well.

#3- Poor Engine Performance and Transmission

Another major symptom of the PCM malfunction is that it eventually decreases your car’s overall performance, and as a driver, you will feel it! The speed may slow down, and you can see problems with gear shifting and more.

When the PCM fails to function properly, the engine can be out of sync with multiple criteria, which eventually makes the vehicle offer poor overall performance.

#4- Several Warning Lights Can Turn On Automatically

If you have a modern car, you will notice that it offers many warning lights on its dashboard, and you will get notified if there is a problem with your PCM device.

The first warning that you will notice when the PCM is failing is that it will turn on the “Check Engine” light. Some other lights, such as the “Traction Control Malfunction Light” and “ABS,” can turn on for a PCM failure.

However, the warning lights can turn on for other issues as well. You can watch this video to understand all the different types of warning lights and their meaning.

#5- Fuel Economy Will Drop Suddenly

Another big sign of PCM failure is that your vehicle will consume more fuel than it used to. When your engine gets into trouble, such as with problems with the fuel injection system, it can directly affect your mileage.

However, your fuel economy can drop for other reasons as well, but you should always keep this in mind as an early symptom of PCM failure.

#6- Your Vehicle Can Fail at the Emission Test

If your car’s PCM device is really faulty, it may emit more greenhouse gas and other toxic gases and fail the emission test.

Although it cannot be the actual reason, there is a high possibility that the PCM is responsible for this issue, as the PCM device controls the fuel-to-air ratio of the vehicle. And if the ratio is not balanced, the emission rate will be high.

#7- Turbo Performance Can Drop Down

Last but not least, a defective PCM may hinder the vehicle’s turbocharged performance. Typically, when the PCM device fails, the engine loses turbo power, as the turbocharger offers additional power without compromising fuel efficiency.

Well, these are the most common symptoms of PCM device failure. Now let’s look at why the PCM fails, how you can tell if it has failed, and what to do if you suspect it has failed.

How to Tell Whether Your PCM Is Faulty or Not

Whenever you see any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you need to perform an OBD code scan to be sure whether your PCM device is the cause of those symptoms or not.

Basically, an OBD code scanner (or OBD II) is a dedicated device to check if the PCM is going through any OBD error codes or not.

To do this, you will need an OBD scanner, which you will plug into your car’s OBD port, and then start the diagnosis. Once the scanning is done, you will have to search the error code on Google to see whether it says the PCM device is faulty or not.

This code scanning is incredibly helpful in solving many electrical and mechanical problems since it provides you with specific codes that can tell you if the PCM or other parts of the car are faulty.

You can watch this video to learn how to run an OBD diagnostic for an idea.

What to Do If Your PCM Device Has Been Damaged

It’s hard to say that in most cases, you cannot repair a faulty PCM device if it has been badly damaged. You can only fix a PCM device when the problem is minor.

On the other hand, the PCM device contains many critical circuits.

Therefore, unless you are an expert, you shouldn’t try to fix a bad PCM device. In that case, calling a nearby car mechanic and changing the whole PCM device would be better and save you time.

Read also >> 9 Most Common CPS Failure Symptoms On 7.3 Powerstroke (Easy Solutions)

How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Bad PCM?

If the PCM only requires reprogramming, you can repair it by spending anywhere from $80 to $150. However, if reprogramming does not solve the issue, you will need to opt for a replacement.

PCM failure related (FAQs)

Are PCM and ECU the Same Things?

ECU stands for Engine Control Unit, while PCM stands for Powertrain Control Module. Although the name suggests they are different, they can sometimes be used as interchangeable parts.

Is it Safe to Drive a Car With a Faulty PCM?

You can drive the vehicle if the PCM is somewhat functional. However, if the PCM does not function properly and you get the symptoms, you should not drive the car.

How Often Do You Check the 6.0 Powerstroke PCM?

You should perform an OBD scan after every 6 months. This check will help you ensure that the PCM and other components of the car are working properly.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Bad 6.0 Powerstroke PCM?

A replacement for a Powertrain Control Module will cost anywhere from $949 to $1028. In addition, the estimated labor cost range is anywhere from $76 and $96.

Final Words

The PCM device is one of the most important components in a car, as it controls how the engine and transmission system will work.

In this discussion, we talked about the top seven 6.0 Powerstroke PCM failure symptoms and explained how to run an OBD test so that you can take quick action and save your car engine from severe damage.

We believe this discussion helped you become aware of any potential future problems with your car. Furthermore, contact a local mechanic or inquire about a warranty if necessary.

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Mahir Ahmed


I'm the guy responsible for ensuring honest, informative, accurate and helpful guide to the reader.

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