Error Code P0610 is defined as Control Module Vehicle Options Error. This code is a generic trouble code, meaning it applies to all vehicles equipped with the OBD-II system, especially those made since 1996 up to present. It commonly applies to Dodge, Ford, Jeep, and Mazda. Specifications on the definition, troubleshooting, and repairs, of course, vary from one make and model to another.

When Error Code P0610 is stored, that means the PCM (powertrain control module, also known as ECM or engine control module in other vehicle makes) has determined a problem with the internal control module. This malfunction is related to the part of the PCM that recognizes, monitors, and controls specific options for the vehicle.

These supporting control modules include (but not limited to)

  • The antilock brake control module
  • Antitheft control module
  • Body control module
  • Climate control module
  • Fuel injection control module
  • Instrument panel control module
  • Proximity alert control module
  • Transmission control module
  • Turbo control module

Every time the vehicle’s ignition is turned on, and the PCM is energized, the controller automatically performs self-test. Aside from running internal controller self-tests, the CAN (controller area network) also compares signals from each individual module to ensure they’re all communicating and working correctly.

If the PCM is unable to recognize vehicle equipment options or if certain option characteristics don’t match the vehicle identification number (and other protocol), then the Error Code P0610 will be stored, while simultaneously activating the Check Engine light. In some cases, depending on the severity of the condition, it may take multiple failure cycles for the Check Engine light to illuminate.

Common Symptoms

This code causes drivability issues, such as:

  • Erratic transmission shifting (for automatic transmission vehicles)
  • Increase in fuel consumption
  • Rough idle
  • Vehicle idling or stalling
  • Lack of power upon acceleration

Other codes may also be present.

Possible Causes

The most likely cause for this problem is open or shorted PCM or faulty PCM. Other causes include:

  • Corroded or damaged connectors or wiring to CAN bus harness
  • Defective or damaged CAN bus
  • Loose ground strap for the control module
  • Insufficient control module ground
  • PCM programming error
  • Failed PCM power source

How to Check

Start the diagnosis by connecting the OBD-II scanner, read the codes stored in the PCM and see if there are any related codes that may be the root of the problem. After reading all saved codes, do a visual inspection of all circuits and wirings. Check the connectors and wirings using an ohmmeter to ensure there is no open or short circuit.

Then, check the PCM, CAN bus, and other relevant components.

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.

How to Fix

Depending on your diagnosis, common repairs for this code include:

  • Repair or replacement of damaged connector or wiring to the CAN bus harness
  • Replacement of defective CAN bus
  • Repair of a loose ground strap for the control module
  • Repair, replacement, or reprogramming of PCM

This code is usually caused by electrical failure or communication failure, which means it can set off other codes and symptoms. It’s best to address P0610 first and fix it before moving to the next problem.