Any PCM replacement: Your experiences/suggestions?


phil-l
06-08-2011, 12:40 PM
Hi all -

Some of you have followed my intermittent/heat-related low-voltage problems here:

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=1063344

After yet more research and testing, I've concluded I don't have a bad alternator.

However, one of the potential culprits behind this problem is the PCM (Powertrain Control Module, sometimes known as the ECM Engine Control Module; basically, the computer that controls the engine and some other related functions).

While I have not yet confirmed that the PCM itself is bad in my van - I did start doing some research on potential PCM replacement strategies. Some thoughts:

- I see tantalizingly cheap Windstar PCM's on eBay - but I also read warnings that PCM programming is required, both to make the PCM work with a specific vehicle, and to handle the embedded-chip ignition key security system. But the information I've seen is often vague and inconsistent. Can anyone confirm such issues from actual experience?

- I've seen on-line providers that claim they can remotely program a new PCM based on your vehicle's VIN, and other part numbers that are printed on the PCM itself (i.e., they mail it to you - so the vehicle isn't out of service for long). Has anyone used any of these services?

- Are there other DIY-able approaches out there?

Thanks in advance for any insights from the Windstar community!

mark_gober
06-09-2011, 09:59 PM
Hi all -

Some of you have followed my intermittent/heat-related low-voltage problems here:

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=1063344

After yet more research and testing, I've concluded I don't have a bad alternator.

However, one of the potential culprits behind this problem is the PCM (Powertrain Control Module, sometimes known as the ECM Engine Control Module; basically, the computer that controls the engine and some other related functions).


While I have not yet confirmed that the PCM itself is bad in my van - I did start doing some research on potential PCM replacement strategies. Some thoughts:

- I see tantalizingly cheap Windstar PCM's on eBay - but I also read warnings that PCM programming is required, both to make the PCM work with a specific vehicle, and to handle the embedded-chip ignition key security system. But the information I've seen is often vague and inconsistent. Can anyone confirm such issues from actual experience?

- I've seen on-line providers that claim they can remotely program a new PCM based on your vehicle's VIN, and other part numbers that are printed on the PCM itself (i.e., they mail it to you - so the vehicle isn't out of service for long). Has anyone used any of these services?

- Are there other DIY-able approaches out there?

Thanks in advance for any insights from the Windstar community!

Not on a Windstar, but I did purchase one of those PCMs for a girl I worked with's Town and Country, and it worked perfectly. Literally, straight from the box to the van and it fired right up. I bought it from automotivecomputerexchange.com. I actually purchased it through their ebay store and it was about $50 cheaper than they were listing it on their regular website.

Good luck.

Mark

mark_gober
06-09-2011, 10:09 PM
Also,

PCMs ABSOLUTELY have to be reprogrammed. Your key's security info is stored on the PCM. I know from experience. I actually have a perfectly good PCM that came out of a 2001 w/ a 3.8l. I was having an OBD scanner problem and had access to that PCM from a van with a siezed motor. I pulled it and stuck it mine, turned the key and nothing. Thats because the security info on my key did not match the info on the ROM in the PCM.

Mark

P.S. Send me a PM if you are interested in the PCM and I'll make you a hell of a deal on it.

Add your comment to this topic!