How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dodgerench Your Own Question
Dodgerench
Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3401
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
4486286
Type Your Dodge Question Here...
Dodgerench is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We can't clear a p0601 code on a dodge caravan it's been

Customer Question

We can't clear a p0601 code on a dodge caravan it's been setting for about a year with a dead battery.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Goood morning and welcome to JustAnswer!. This is Ed.

I'm afraid you've entered the wrong model year. Would it be a 2003? The P0601 code didn't exist until around the 2000 model year.

The results will likely be the same (PCM replacement required), but rarely there will be a software update for this code. Let me know what year your van is or shoot me the last 8 digits of the VIN (so I can do a more detailed search) and I'll get back with you.

Talk shortly,

Ed

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Don't be sorry (I'm the one who has the bad news).

Nope, no TSB updates were found, so you're stuck with a CHECK ENGINE lamp being on until the PCM (engine controller) can be replaced.

P0601 is alternately described as PCM INTERNAL FAILURE or PCM CHECKSUM FAILURE, either of which can't be fixed. The checksum error occurs in the portion of the PCM that can't be accessed with normal flash updates, so even though the code is typically symptomless, you'll never get rid of the burning MIL lamp.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Replacement controllers can be had through the dealer, aftermarket parts stores (NAPA, etc), a junkyard or the internet. No new PCMs are left, so you're going to be stuck using someone's rejected/ recycled or rebuilt PCM no matter what.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

The correct part number for your van is vitally important, as PCMs (for some reason) are connected to the airbag system and if a mismatch occurs, you'll have a disabled airbag then... and yet another light on all the time.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

PLUS there's the added complication of factory theft system or no theft system, which in the wrong combination will render your van... dead. That's something you can avoid by skipping the junkyard part option.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Factory rebuilts are horribly expensive, costing in the $500 to $800 range, plus they have to be programmed by the dealer (me).

Aftermarket controllers can come pre-programmed with VIN and SKIM (theft) already installed, so it's plug-n-play.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

My best advice would be to avoid the actual internet suppliers, because they often supply nothing more than programmed, untested units. Their exchange policy is liberal, but you may well wind up with another PCM sporting a P0601, just like the one you have right now. I had one customer that had the bad luck to pull three of these units in a row before the supplier accused their van of causing the code to set.

No way. The P0601 is caused by one thing and it's always internal to the PCM. I took it to the top (the STAR boys, our technical help department) in case they had an unpublished cause for P0601, but it comes exactly as advertised. P0601 = bad controller. No outside influence can cause it.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Well, that's about it, I'm afraid. If you stick with a Mopar or major auto parts chain, you can get a good part. If you go with an auto parts store or internet, you can probably save some money. The best combination would likely be an auto parts store. You get pre-programmed convenience, an actually-tested unit and a guarantee.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Aside from the irritating CE light being on all the time, chances are good that your van will run perfectly fine in this state. I know of no actual running problems caused by a P0601... ever. You may not pass your local emission test with a MIL illumination, but not everybody has testing in their area.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

I'll leave you for now. Be sure to write if you have any questions or problems.

So sorry,

Ed