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Is a DIY reprogramming of a PCM cost-effective? (07 Ford Fusion)

tspirestspires Posts: 1
edited August 2015 in Ford
My wife's 07 ford fusion is going into limp mode and spitting out errors that line up with a commonly known issue that relates to the PCM. The suggested fix is reprogramming the PCM.

The repair looks pretty simple, but with the cost of the programming adapter and maybe software/licensing tools I'm not sure if it would be cost-effective to fix it myself or just take it to a mechanic.

I've looked into renting the programming adapter (J2534 Pass-thru) but it doesn't look like any part stores in my area has one to rent out.

I'm also having a hard time finding consistent repair costs for this online.

Any recommendations on making this a DIY V.S. paying a mechanic simply because they have the necessary tools/software licensing available?

Is there an other option out there for getting my hands on the J2534 Pass-thru? Is it common for a local mechanic/dealership to rent one out so I could do the repair myself?

I'm certain replacing the PCM (if necessary) would be completely fine to do myself in terms of cost, I'm just not sure about the reprogramming of the module.

Thanks

Answers

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,091
    tspires said:

    My wife's 07 ford fusion is going into limp mode and spitting out errors that line up with a commonly known issue that relates to the PCM. The suggested fix is reprogramming the PCM.

    While one of the possible remedies might be a software update, or at the very least include an update, the first thing that needs to be confirmed is what calibration level the car is already at. Have you confirmed that the PCM's present calibration to be one that is out of date?
    tspires said:


    The repair looks pretty simple, but with the cost of the programming adapter and maybe software/licensing tools I'm not sure if it would be cost-effective to fix it myself or just take it to a mechanic.

    It isn't even cost effective for most shops to invest in the tools and training that are required to work at this level. As far as how simple it is or isn't you shouldn't expect any two flashing events to work out the same. Problems can and do occur and that's when the skill demand really climbs in a hurry. Flash fails when they occur on Fords are usually recoverable with the factory IDS scan tool but not always possible with the J2534 tool.
    tspires said:


    I've looked into renting the programming adapter (J2534 Pass-thru) but it doesn't look like any part stores in my area has one to rent out.

    I'm also having a hard time finding consistent repair costs for this online.

    It's a mistake to even consider price shopping this, you really need to search out experience and that is going to cost more. Shops/Techs who have made this kind of an investment typically do it for several manufacturers and attend more training each year than an average tech does in ten years. When I teach the reflashing classes we spend as much time on PC skills and setting up their PC"s or laptops with the correct software to support the different websites. Currently I have four different laptops dedicated to this kind of work with them each running different operating systems from XP to Windows 8. One of them required partioning the hard drive into three sections to support Ford, Mazda, and Honda.
    tspires said:


    Any recommendations on making this a DIY V.S. paying a mechanic simply because they have the necessary tools/software licensing available?

    Rethink the perspective here. The shops and techs don't simply have this available, this is an added expense for them while they try to compete for consumer's support. The ones who have made this investment have done so at the sacrifice of profits, while assuming risks that most of the rest of the shops in town most likely haven't.
    tspires said:


    Is there an other option out there for getting my hands on the J2534 Pass-thru? Is it common for a local mechanic/dealership to rent one out so I could do the repair myself?

    It is not common, and I don't know anyone who would even consider renting out these tools. For one thing it would violate the software license agreement with the tool manufacturer, as well as with the vehicle manufacturers website EULA.
    tspires said:



    I'm certain replacing the PCM (if necessary) would be completely fine to do myself in terms of cost, I'm just not sure about the reprogramming of the module.

    If you have to replace the PCM you will also have to retrain the PATS, and you aren't going to do that without a subscription to Ford's website. (Owning and using an IDS includes that subscription which has to be renewed every year or it turns off)

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