6.0 Powerstroke PCM Failure: (6 Symptoms To Detect)

6.0 Powerstroke’s PCM is the central computer system that collects the data from various sensors and runs sub-systems smoothly.

It also gives you warnings about engine problems. But it can go bad like other parts of the vehicle. 

Knowing 6.0 Powerstroke PCM failure symptoms, you will be able to figure out troubleshooting steps.

Signs of A 6.0 Powerstroke PCM Failure

Starting and stalling problems are the primary signs of detecting a bad 6.0 Powerstroke PCM.

However, those who have spent a few years with car engines know that those signs are also caused by different parts’ failure.

Without running certain diagnostics, it is hard to tell if the module is the real reason for the issues you are facing. 

What Are the 6.0 Powerstroke PCM Failure Symptoms?

Let me describe how to detect a bad 6.0 Powerstroke PCM by talking about other symptoms here. 

Therefore, by reading the full list, you won’t have to throw stones in the dark. 

1. Turned on Engine Light

Whenever something irregular happens in any part of the whole engine, the PCM shows warning lights.

But there is a possibility of getting a warning without any actual problem in the engine. 

For such cases, you have to assume that the PCM has somehow become faulty. Hire a mechanic or take the vehicle to a nearby shop for scanning. 

2. Stalling or Misfiring 

The engine may stall or misfire while starting or running. As there are no patterns of the problem, you can face them at any time. 

When PCM becomes faulty, it misses sending signal and systems go out of sync. As a result, the injectors can’t get enough fuel to run. 

3. Poor Engine Performance

I have already mentioned out-of-sync situations. Therefore, the engine can’t perform to its full potential. 

You suddenly start to experience decreased mileage, and loss of power in acceleration. 

The engine starts consuming more fuel to run resulting in decreased fuel economy. 

4. Not Starting the Engine 

Having problems with starting the engine or failing completely to run it can also indicate a faulty PCM. 

After turning the keys, the engine tries to crank but can’t get started due to an improper functioning and unsynchronized system.

Now, you may disagree with me on this because lots of other reasons can be the cause. 

So, you should have the engine checked by an expert mechanic to find the exact cause.

5. Failing at Emission Test

Even after ensuring all components working perfectly, your truck can fail at the emission test.

Therefore, you can suspect or blame the PCM. Because it helps the transmission system control the fuel mixture. 

A bad PCM can’t do that properly. Therefore, the engine emits more carbon particles from the exhaust. 

6. Erratic Turbo Performance

It is not a common symptom. One customer had a turbo installed and replaced twice due to bad performance. 

Both replacements happened within three weeks. After a thorough investigation, it was found out that the PCM became faulty.

How’s that? Well, it uses the backpressure of the exhaust to control the turbo. As the turbo wasn’t getting good feedback, its performance got erratic. 

Pro Tip:  The signs and symptoms of a bad 6.0 Powerstroke can occur due to various other reasons. That is why you should treat the problem of fixing particular parts. If it is not solved, you can carry on checking the powertrain control module. 

What to Do When You Detect A Bad 6.0 Powerstroke PCM?

You have probably known that it is not possible to repair a bad powertrain control module. 

Don’t blame the PCM right away without inspecting some parts. Firstly, check the battery condition and ensure the right battery voltage. 

Secondly, see the condition of the glow plug, ICP sensor, CPS< CKP, and FICM voltage. Furthermore, inspect the wiring harness and look for wire chaffing. 

If those are working fine, you can move on to changing the bad PCM of your 6.0 Powerstroke engine. 

Before you start replacing a bad 6.0 Powerstroke PCM, you should conduct the following troubleshooting steps first. 

  • As PCM is located at the driver-side fender, you have to remove the battery to access it.
  • Before removing the battering disconnect all connections. For factory battery, using an 8mm socket can hold down the bracket. 
  • Now, remove the connections from PCM. Carefully unplug the retaining clip. 
  • To remove the bolts, use a 10mm socket wrench. 
  • Before installing the newly bought part, make sure that there is no wire chaffing. Repeat the same steps in a reverse manner. 

Once you are sure that the problem is in none other than the suspected part, you can change the old one. 

Any owner can do it by themselves following some simple steps. Or take the vehicle to the mechanic and let them do it. 

Is Replacing A Bad 6.0 Powerstroke PCM Expensive?

Yes, it is slightly expensive. As it controls the whole computerized system of the vehicle, you can’t get a cheap replacement. 

The cost should be under 430 bucks excluding the labor cost. I have already told you how easy it is to do it yourself. 

So, don’t need to hire a mechanic in this regard and spend more unnecessarily. 

How Often Should You Service the 6.0 Powerstroke PCM?

Whenever you get time after every 6 months, do a software check of the PCM to ensure everything is working fine. 

It is not mandatory. Because PCM doesn’t go bad easily. 

Whenever you face any symptom mentioned above, check the system. 

I’m not emphasizing regular checkups because lots of users have talked highly about the part. Possibly, you won’t have any bad experience in 10 or 15 years.

Final Thoughts

Like any other engine, this one can go bad or cause problems sometimes. However, that doesn’t make it totally unacceptable. 

Knowing 6.0 Powerstroke PCM failure symptoms, you can easily pinpoint the cause of the issue and act swiftly. 

Overall, it is a good-performing reliable engine that lasts for a long time.

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