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Error Code P060F is defined as Internal Control Module Coolant Temperature Performance. This error code is a generic trouble code, meaning it applies to all vehicles equipped with the OBD-II system, particularly those made since 1996 up to present. It’s particularly common among Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Honda, and Mazda vehicles. Specifications on the definition, troubleshooting, and repairs, of course, vary from one make and model to another.
When Error Code P060F is stored, that means the PCM powertrain control module, also known as ECM or engine control module in other vehicle makes) has determined a fault in the ECT (engine coolant temperature) sensor circuit. Other controllers may also detect an internal PCM performance error fault (in ECT sensor circuit) and contribute to this code being stored.
The Internal control module monitoring processors are the ones responsible for the self-test duties of various controllers, as well as overall internal control module accountability. Both the TPS/APP sensor input and output signals are subjected to self-test and constantly being monitored by the PCM and other related controllers. The TCM (transmission control module), TCSM (traction control module), and other controllers are subject to the interaction with the TPS/APP sensor.
ECT sensors come with a thermal resistor dipped in hard resin and sealed in a metal or sometimes plastic housing. Brass is the most commonly used metal for ECT housing. ECT housing is specially designed to thread through a coolant passage in engine intake manifold, cylinder head, or block. As warm coolant passes through and across the ECT sensor, thermal resistance level in ECT sensor decreases. When engine coolant temperature decreases, resistance will increase, and the ECT sensor circuit voltage will reduce as well. The fluctuations in resistance (which leads to circuit voltage variations) are interpreted by the PCM as changes in coolant temperature. ECT sensor input data is important in calculating fuel delivery and ignition timing strategy.
Every time the ignition is on, and the PCM is energized, self-test for internal ECT circuit automatically starts. Aside from running internal controller self-test, the CAN (controller area network) also compares signals from each individual module, making sure that all controllers are working properly. These tests are performed simultaneously.
If the PCM sees any discrepancy between the onboard controllers, which indicates an internal ECT sensor error, then Error Code P060F will be stored, while simultaneously activating the Check Engine light. In some cases, multiple failure cycles may be necessary to confirm the problem, depending on the perceived severity of the condition.
Common symptoms for this code include:
- Drivability issues such as hard starting
- Harsh or erratic shifting (for vehicles with automatic transmission)
- Rough idle
- Increase in fuel consumption
- Hesitation upon acceleration
- Defective controller
- Programming error
- Insufficient ground in control module
- Open or short circuit or connectors in CAN harness
- Defective ECT sensor
- Corroded electrical (ECT) sensor
- Open or shorted circuit between the PCM and the ECT sensor
How to Check
This code is quite a challenging problem to diagnose, and many times, it involves reprogramming issues. Thus, without the right tools and reprogramming equipment, it will be impossible to replace a defective controller and complete the repair.
If the PCM power supply codes are present, then obviously, they don’t need to be rectified before attempting to diagnose this code.
There are many preliminary tests that can be performed prior to make sure a controller is defective. A diagnostic scanner, DVOM (digital volt/ohmmeter), and reliable vehicle information is needed for diagnosis of this code.
The first step is to connect the scanner to the vehicle diagnostic port and retrieve all stored codes, including their freeze frame data. You need to write down this information, just in case the problem proves to be intermittent. After writing down all pertinent information, clear the codes and then take the vehicle for a test drive to see if the code resets, or if the PCM enters readiness mode. If the PCM does the latter, then you have an intermittent problem, which is more difficult to diagnose, as it means you would have to wait for the problem to develop more before you can successfully diagnose. If the code resets, however, then continue with your preliminary diagnosis.
When trying to diagnose this code, refer to your information source or TSB (technical service bulletin); looks for signs and symptoms parallel to the stored code. Search for the year, make, model, and engine of your vehicle. If you are able to find the right TSB, then you may get the best diagnostic information for your problem.
Use vehicle information source to obtain component locations, connector face views, connector pin-out charts, wiring diagram, and diagnostic flow chart related to your vehicle’s error code.
Then, use the DVOM to the test controller power supply fuses and relays. Next, test and replace any blown fuses as necessary. Fuses must be tested with circuit loaded.
If all fuses and relays are running well, check whether the controller related wiring and harness are in order. You may also want to check chassis and engine ground junctions. Again, use your vehicle information source to obtain ground locations as related circuits. Test ground integrity using the DVOM.
Then, check the system controllers for any signs of water, heat, or collision damage. Any controller that is damaged, especially by water, is considered defective and must be replaced.
If controller power and ground circuits are intact, then there’s a good chance the controller is defective, or there’s a programming error in the controller. Thus, controller replacement requires reprogramming. In some cases, you may want to get aftermarket reprogrammed controllers. Some vehicles and controllers require on-board reprogramming that may be done only through the dealership or a qualified shop.
Checking the ECT sensors and circuits
Any stored ECT sensor codes must be checked to make sure the engine is not overheating. The engine must have the right amount of coolant and run within the acceptable temperature range.
To check the sensor, probe the reference circuit pint of ECT sensor connector using the positive test lead of the DVOM. Then, use the negative test lead to probe the ground pin.
With key on engine off (KOEO), test for the reference voltage (usually 5V) and ground at the ECT sensor connector
If both reference voltage and ground are present on their respective connector pins, plug-in the sensor connector to check for the signal circuit of the ECT sensor using positive test lead of DVOM (negative probe connected to known good engine ground). Check the actual temperature of the coolant using an infrared thermometer. Then, check the temperature to voltage (this is found within the vehicle information source). Compare the actual voltage with the desired voltage range to determine if the ECT sensor is working correctly.
If the ECT sensor fails to reflect the right amount of voltage (based on the coolant temperature), then there’s a good chance it’s defective, which means it must be replaced.
If the ECT sensor shows the right degree of voltage, then use the DVOM to test the signal circuit at the PCM connector. If there is no sensor signal at the PCM connector, but can be detected at the sensor connector, that means you may have an open circuit between the two components.
How to Fix
Depending on your diagnosis, possible repairs include:
- Replacement of blown fuses
- Replacement and reprogramming of defective controller
- Replacement of ECT sensor
- Repair or replacement in the open circuit between PCM connector and ECT sensor
Unlike most codes, this code is likely caused by a programming error or defective controller.
It is important to test system ground by connecting the negative test lead of DVOM to ground, and the positive test lead to battery voltage.