How to reprogram Ford F-150 computer

You might find yourself wondering why you even need to reprogram the Ford F-150 computer or what it is. Well, as most novice car experts you can easily overlook so many parts of a car or not even notice. One of such things is what controls the proper running/functioning of an internal combustion engine.

This is the engine computer or the ECU (engine control unit), which is basically your vehicle's computer. And not your regular personal computer that uses the software. The engine control unit is responsible for controlling a series of actuators on the internal combustion engine to make sure it's working optimally.

The engine control unit works by a system referred to as a closed-loop system. This system works by monitoring the output of the system to control the input of the system. And this is pivotal in managing the emissions and fuel consumption of the engine. The ford F-150 series, while being a reliable truck as most ford vehicles are, have had a lot of complaints of engine problems from users.

This can be problematic as engine problems can result in several vehicle issues, e.g., engine corrosion and engine emissions .Engine corrosion and the other problems associated with having a faulty engine are bad and can be expensive to fix. But engine emissions are especially detrimental.

With stricter emission laws and more awareness of protection, damage to the systems engine computer could possibly attract a huge fine. Worse of all, it can also be damaging to the environment. The solution to a faulty engine control unit is to be aware of its symptoms. Also, know when and how to reprogram it, and meet a professional technician.

How to reprogram Ford F-150 computer

This is why in this article, we'll not only be taking a look at how to re-program your Ford F-150 computer to avoid these issues we'll also outline how to detect them. The following topics will be discussed under this:

  • How to know when to reprogram the Ford F-150 computer
  • Steps to reprogram ford F-150 computer
  • Problems associated with a faulty engine control unit

How to know when to reprogram Ford F-150 computer

The engine control unit has to be one of the most important and powerful components found in modern vehicles. Problems that might arise due to a faulty engine control unit could cause many problems to the vehicle as a whole.

Engine Control Unit in a car

That's why it's important that you, as an owner of the F-series, specifically the ford F-150 series, should be able to identify when your Ford engine control unit (ECU) is damaged or needs reprogramming. Here are some ways you can identify problems in your ford F-150 computer. Thus be able to do the necessary repairs:

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Your ford won't start.

A very clear sign of a faulty engine control unit or your ford F-150 computer won't start, or it would be hard to start. Although your ford not starting might be due to a completely different reason, but a faulty engine control unit might be a good place to start in assuming what's wrong with your vehicle.

The Ford's computer is responsible for many intrinsic functions of the car. And a faulty engine control unit might cause many functional problems for your vehicle. This is why diagnosis early on could save you a lot of trouble in the future.

Still, you need to take your vehicle to a professional technician to help you properly diagnose the problem. And if it does happen that it's Ford's computer acting up, then all the necessary measures would be taken.

The car engine would have performance issues.

A faulty engine car engine might cause the entire vehicle to have performance issues such as loss in fuel efficiency, acceleration problems, and other issues. This is because, like we earlier mentioned, the car's engine control unit is responsible for a lot of the functions of the engine, and a problem in the engine control unit would lead to a decline in your vehicle's performance.

Check engine light is on.

Check engine light

Your vehicle's dashboard has so many indicators to point out to you what part of your car needs repair or just general checking. And a clear sign that you might have a faulty engine control unit is that the check engine light would be illuminated.

However, there are certain times when the check engine light would be lit, and the problem won't be related to the vehicle's engine control unit, or it could be that there's actually no problem at all. This is why taking your vehicle to a professional technician is essential for conditions relating to your car's Engine control unit.

Misfiring of engine

Another even glaring sign of a faulty engine control unit is random engine behavior.Even though sometimes the symptoms tend to come and go, a faulty engine control unit tends to cause the vehicle to have a case of the engine misfire. And this problem is unpredictable so that it can happen at random moments.

And engine misfiring sounds can be unsettling. But having a noisy engine may be unrelated to the car's computer. In the instance that your car engine is being noisy, this article can help resolve the problem. Or you can simply call a professional to take a look.

Increase in vehicle emissions

Since the engine control unit is responsible for the amount of fuel consumed by the vehicle, a fault in the car's computer system will increase fuel emissions.These emissions have a bad smell and are usually foggy.

Steps to reprogram Ford F-150 computer

As has already been clarified, the engine control unit of all vehicles is responsible for many vehicles' functioning. A fault in this computer could cause many issues for your vehicle. It's strongly advised that any arising issue should be diagnosed and dealt with by a professional technician.

However, sometimes quick troubleshooting or what is also referred to as reprogramming of your Ford's computer is all that it takes to fix the issue. And you can do this by reprogramming the vehicle's computer.

Even though it might seem daunting at first, the actual process of reprogramming the computer doesn't take much time or effort. In fact, it would go a long way in resolving issues that the vehicle might develop as a result of a faulty engine control unit. Now, here's how you can do that in these four easy steps:

  • Open the hood of the car.

The first step in reprogramming the engine control unit is to open the hood of your ford. This is to start the process of resetting the fords engine computer unit.

  • Loosen the lock nut

Secondly, you must loosen the lock nut using the appropriate tools, such as a pair of pliers or a wrench. And you can find this lock nut on the negative battery cable connector with a socket and a ratchet.

  • Pull the connector

After you've loosened the lock nut, the third step is to pull the connector from the negative battery terminal.

  • Wait

The fourth and final step would be to wait for about two to three minutes. During this time, the engine control unit will drain all the electricity that it usually stores for backup.And once all the electricity has been let out from the engine control unit, it resets on its own.

Problems associated with a faulty engine control unit

A faulty engine control unit could cause your vehicle to develop a list of problems. Some of these problems are:

1. Decrease in acceleration

The car's engine is responsible for the control or regulation of the speed of the vehicle. That's why a fault in the engine control unit can cause a decrease in the acceleration power of the car.

2. Reduction in fuel efficiency

A vehicle's engine regulates the power output of the car. Thus, in turn, regulating the amount of fuel consumed by the vehicle. In the case that the engine control unit gets damaged, the car's Engine is unable to properly regulate the fuel usage of the car.

As a result, your vehicle would not be able to use the car as efficiently as it should. Thus making your car use up too much fuel. This inability to properly regulate fuel usage is what in turn causes a high level of emissions from the vehicle. This will attract a fine and damage the environment.

3. Decrease in-vehicle power

The engine control unit is the computer's brain, and it is responsible for functions relating to the car. That's why when a fault is present, the overall power supply to the engine and the car as a whole would decrease.


As frustrating as it might be, reprogramming your ford F-150 engine control unit or computer is very doable. Plus, it would barely not take any time at all.

Resolving the arising issues of your engine control unit as early as possible might be what saves you from spending a lot of money on future repairs and in some cases, even getting the assistance of a professional. However, if the issue of the engine control unit still persists after reprogramming or resetting, then it's in your best interest to have it looked at by a professional.

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