You will stand a better chance of completing your journey when you know the different codes that can be shown in your Ford. This is because you will diagnose and fix a serious code on the spot without relying on strangers’ mercy. You should thus make an effort to understand the various codes associated with your Ford. Specifically, you should have the meaning and fixes of codes related to the engine and the transmission at your fingertips. Ford B1342 is one of those codes you should always remember. But what does this code mean? How can you fix it? What are its symptoms? Let’s examine it in detail.
What does it mean?
Code B1342 in your Ford indicates an engine control module (ECM) issue. The ECM is a component in your vehicle that controls the airbags, ignition, anti-lock braking system (ABS), etc. If one of the parts that make up these components malfunctions, code B1342 will be produced in the OBD II system. As you can notice, these are important parts of your car; hence they can affect its operation.
Symptoms of code B1342?
Because the ECM performs a critical role in your Ford vehicle, code B1342 is expected to be accompanied by many symptoms. Below are the major symptoms you will observe when you get this code.
1. The check engine light will come on
Whenever there is a problem with the engine, the check engine light will come on. Therefore, you can always expect to see an illuminated check engine light when there is code B1342.
2. Poor braking
Code B1342 will be shown when there is an issue with the anti-lock braking system (ABS). As such, you may get a poor braking performance alongside code B1342.
3. Misbehaving airbags system
If the problem with the ECM is linked to the airbags, the airbags will likely misbehave. For instance, they can come out even when there is no accident.
4. Engine misfires
The ECM controls the combustion in the engine. If it goes bad, the engine will have a poor mixture of air and fuel. This will cause combustion issues such as engine misfires.
5. Poor fuel economy
A bad ECM may allow more fuel into the engine than needed. As a result, the engine will end up consuming more fuel.
6. Engine stalling
Code B1342 may also be accompanied by poor engine performance. For instance, the engine may start stalling regularly. This happens because a malfunctioned ECM will allow less air or fuel into the engine than needed; hence affecting the combustion process. This will result in the production of power that may not be enough to move the vehicle.
What causes code B1342?
Since the ECM controls many areas in your car, code B1342 can be caused by many things. As such, it may take time to identify what is causing it. However, four issues generally make the ECM malfunction. These are;
1. Abnormal system voltages
The ECM requires a voltage of between 12.5 to 14.5 to function optimally. Anything above that can affect its performance. A lousy regulator or damaged fuse can cause abnormal system voltages. Excess voltage in the ECM will damage it, resulting in code B1342 being produced. This is usually the most common problem affecting the ECM; hence it should be one of the things you check when the code appears.
2. Faulty wires
The ECM has many wires that perform different functions. They could be voltage or sensor cables. These wires can get bad in many ways. For instance, they could be displaced from their position and made to lie next to sharp objects which cut them. Electric shorts can also make them defective.
Similarly, the acid from the battery can corrode the wires, breaking them into different parts. Either way, a damaged wire will not supply the voltage needed by the ECM. Likewise, faulty sensor wires will not transmit the signal from each vehicle part to the ECM. The result is a malfunctioned ECM indicated by code B1342 in the OBD II system.
3. Aftermarket accessories
Aftermarket accessories such as stereo systems and additional headlights can also cause code B1342 in your Ford. This is because the functionality of the ECM is created according to the number of components in your vehicle. As such, the ECM may not add more components to its list without affecting its performance level. For instance, aftermarket accessories may drain a lot of voltage from the battery, depriving the ECM of the required voltage. Also, aftermarket accessories may introduce bugs into the ECM, which affects its performance. Nevertheless, the wiring of such accessories may be wrong, creating electric circuit issues in the ECM.
4. Bad ABS Module
The ABS module controls the ABS, but itself is managed by the ECM. If the ABS module gets faulty, it may start drawing more voltage, hence affecting the ECM’s operations. The ABS modules can go bad in several ways. For instance, if it gets exposed to water, its wires will develop electric shorts. Similarly, they can go bad if hard rocks hit them. Fortunately, you can quickly tell if the ABS module is bad. Unresponsive brake pedals, illuminated ABS warning lights, and speedometer failure can accompany a malfunctioned ABS module.
5. Faulty Airbags
Like a bad ABS module, a faulty airbag can consume more electric voltage than usual. This will deprive the ECM of the optimal voltage required to function well. As such, you can expect to receive code B1342 when you have bad airbags in your Ford. This can happen when you recently had an accident and failed to repair the airbags.
How to fix code B1342
You can fix code B1342 by repairing or replacing the components mentioned above. The procedure may require technical know-how; hence you may want to take your car to a mechanic shop. But if you’re going to fix it yourself, do the following.
1. Check and fix the abnormal system voltages
The first thing you can do is check the amount of voltage that the ECM receives using a multimeter. If the voltage exceeds the required amount, you have a voltage issue. You can then check if the fuse is damaged. If the fuse is bad, replace it. However, if the fuse is okay, proceed to diagnose the regulator. A good regulator will have a voltage of 13.5 to 14.5. If the multimeter exceeds that, the regulator is faulty. Fortunately, a bad regulator can be repaired, hence saving you the cost of getting a new one. The process is technical and time-consuming, though.
2. Replace the wires
Replacing the voltage or sensor wires is the only option if they are bad. You can use a multimeter if it’s hard to check if they are damaged. Bad cables will not record a voltage reading in the multimeter.
3. Remove the aftermarket accessories
If you recently installed aftermarket accessories, removing some of them may fix the problem. Also, rebooting the ECM can eradicate the bugs caused by aftermarket accessories. This will, in turn, eliminate code B1342.
4. Repair the ABS Module
As mentioned, an issue with the ABS module can easily be noticed. Unfortunately, repairing the ABS module is complex; hence you should consult a mechanic.
5. Replace the Airbags
If you recently had an accident, you should check if the airbags are in good condition. If they are not, replacing them will eradicate code B1342 in your Ford vehicle.
Is it safe to drive with code B1342?
Code B1342 indicates that the components associated with the ECM are bad. These parts play a critical role in your car. Therefore, they can expose you to grave drivability issues when they malfunction. It’s possible to have few symptoms associated with code B1342, but the more you use the car, the more symptoms come up. You should thus make sure that you fix it as soon as possible.
Many codes indicate a problem with your Ford vehicle. Some of them are serious, while others are not expected to cause adverse issues in your car. Code B1342 is one of those codes that should be resolved as soon as possible, as it can cause grave consequences. This code is caused by abnormal system voltages, lousy wiring, installation of aftermarket accessories, bad ABS modules, and defective airbags. Its symptoms include poor braking, illuminated check engine light, misbehaving ABS light, engine performance issues, etc. The good news is that most of its causes can easily be fixed.