6th Gen Bronco Limp Mode & Bad PCM (Powertrain Control Module) Replacement at 1600 Miles: Covered and Replaced Under Factory Warranty
We recently had our PCM replaced by Ford Service in Roseville, California, and although they replaced the unit under warranty, it took 18 days. If you don’t have the extended warranty, Ford does not offer you a rental car during those 18 days (or however long it takes to repair the vehicle) and they will not arrange a tow truck to pick up your vehicle – wherever it breaks down. Thankfully I have AAA and extra vehicles that I can drive at any time. If you don’t have AAA and/or extra vehicles you can drive, you would be pretty upset.
You can read the description of what happened, but essentially, we were driving on the road and the Bronco randomly went into limp mode, and then the engine shut off completely. I tried to restart the Bronco and it would not start. I hopped out, disconnected the + battery terminal for 5-10min, reconnected the terminal, and the Bronco was able to start. Upon starting the Bronco, it made some strange mechanical noises and was in full limp mode. At this point, I was less than a mile from home. I limped to my driveway and called for a AAA tow to Ford of Roseville. Ford ended up replacing the PCM at no cost.
My situation was about as good as it gets, however, things could be much worse if someone is farther from home or leans on limp mode for too long until something else breaks. The purpose of the check engine light, and limp mode, is to tell you that something is wrong with your engine so driving for too long while in limp mode is never a good idea.
Can you imagine wheeling solo, hours/days away from home and this happens to your vehicle? Stuck in limp mode and then your rig shuts down?
All in all, the only thing to consider here is that at any time, your Bronco can go into limp mode, and then shut down.
In any case, I wanted to share this for a few reasons.
- I don’t think there are too many cases of a random PCM failure documented on the Ford Bronco.
- Maybe it will encourage you to head out with other vehicles, instead of solo.
- If you wheel solo, you should consider a satellite communicator like the InReach, or something similar.
At the end of the day, the service advisor was awesome. Ford was helpful in getting the PCM replaced and the Bronco is now back on the road.