When you get an error code in your Ford, many thoughts start running through your mind. It can ruin your beautiful day if you don’t know what it means. This is because you may have heard that an error code may indicate a massive problem in your car. That’s true! Some codes indicate that your Ford’s engine or transmission is failing; if you don’t resolve them, it could be disastrous to you and the vehicle. For example, code P1703 is a braking issue that must be fixed to avoid getting into accidents. This article will explain everything you need to know about this code.
What does code P1703 mean?
P1703 is an error code that indicates the brake pedal position (BPP) did not cycle high or low when you ran the Key On Engine Off (KOEO) On-Demand Self-Test. As such, it is a braking system trouble code. The KOEO Self-Test is conducted when the engine is off but the key is on. This test will check the PCM’s components, such as solenoids, regulators, circuits, sensors, and relays. However, it won’t examine the Injector Driver Module (IDM).
Symptoms of code P1703?
Many symptoms can accompany code P1703. However, these symptoms are also associated with other codes in your Ford. Therefore, you shouldn’t entirely rely on them to determine if your car has code P1703. The significant symptoms that you will likely get when there is code P1703 are:
1. Car will not start
Modern vehicles have an ignition-shift interlock. This feature prevents your car from shifting gears unless you have stepped on the brake Pedal. If the brake pedal is faulty, you won’t be able to shift the gears. Also, sometimes this feature creates a no-start condition. So, if your Ford failed to start, you may have code P1703.
2. Illuminated check engine light
A problem with the braking system will usually make the check engine light come on. Therefore, you should check it whenever you suspect that your car has code P1703. But as mentioned above, almost all car problems will result in an illuminated check engine light; hence you shouldn’t rely on it entirely during diagnosis.
3. Engine misfires
When you press the brake pedal, you activate the brake booster. The brake booster relies on power from the engine vacuum. Therefore, if the brake pedal malfunctions, you will use excess force, which damages the booster. A damaged brake booster will allow extra air into the engine, causing an imbalance in the air-fuel mixture ratio. This will cause the engine to misfire and even stall. As such, if you are experiencing engine misfires, there is a likelihood that your Ford has code P1703.
4. Poor fuel economy
Excess air in the engine will activate the PCM to allow more fuel into the engine cylinder. As a result, your Ford will consume more fuel than usual. Therefore, if you have noticed poor fuel economy, diagnose the trouble code P1703.
5. Brake lights will misbehave
Code P1703 is usually accompanied by brake lights that misbehave. For instance, the brake lights can illuminate continuously even when the brake pedal position switch is off. It can also fail to come on when you turn on the brake pedal position switch. This happens because an issue affecting the brake pedal position will also affect the brake lights.
Causes of code P1703?
Code P1703 is mainly associated with issues that affect the brake pedal position. This could range from minor issues, such as circuit problems, to more severe ones, such as a damaged brake pedal switch. Here is a description of its causes in detail.
1. Brake Pedal Position Switch wires are shorted
Your Ford has a brake pedal position switch that sends signals to the electronic control module (ECM) when pressed. The ECM will in turn activate lights to warn other drivers that you have applied brakes. This switch has wires which can develop electric shorts that damage them. Electric shorts can occur when water enters the switch circuit. When the brake pedal position wires develop electric shorts, the brake pedal position will fail to cycle high or low during the KOEO self-test. Consequently, code P1703 will be shown in the OBD II system.
2. The Brake Switch is damaged
Although the brake switch is built to last the lifetime of a car, it can get damaged along the way. This happens when its components wear out. It can also get damaged when you apply excess price while pressing it. A broken switch will not cycle during the KOEO self-test, resulting in code P1703 being produced.
3. Misadjusted Brake Switch
The brake switch may not be broken but just misadjusted. This occurs when debris or rock particles enter the switch circuit and misalign it. Excess force while pressing on it can also displace the switch from its actual position. A symptom of a misadjusted brake switch is a continuously illuminating brake light. When that happens, you will get trouble code P1703 in the OBD II system when you run the KOEO self-test.
4. Poor electrical connection in the Brake Pedal Position Switch
As mentioned above, there is a circuit in the brake pedal position switch. This circuit may break due to loose connections and a damaged fuse. Also, the person you hired to maintain it may have connected it poorly. Therefore, if you came from the mechanic shop recently, you should check the brake pedal position switch circuit to confirm that it is not causing code P1703.
5. Faulty Brake Pedal Position Sensor
The Brake Pedal Position Sensor detects the brake pedal’s position and relays information to the PCM. The PCM will, in turn, initiate measures that will either stop the car or let it move. If the brake pedal position sensor gets bad, the PCM will detect it, and code P1703 is thrown.
6. Low Voltage
The brake pedal position switch relies on voltage from the battery to operate. If the voltage is below the required amount, the brake pedal position switch will not cycle when you perform the KOEO self-test. Although it’s rare for the voltage to cause this issue, checking it will help you eliminate all causes of code P1703.
How do you fix code P1703?
You can resolve code P1703 by fixing the above issues. Below is how you can go about it.
1. Check and fix the wires
You can check if the wires are shorted using a test light. You have shorted wires if the test light shows no power in the cables. Shorted wires cannot be repaired; hence the only solution to code P1703 is to replace them. Fortunately, it’s easy to install brake pedal switch wires.
2. Diagnose and replace the brake switch
The brake switch has two ports: power and ground output ports. One of these ports can get damaged resulting in code P1703. Luckily, with a multimeter, you can quickly check if the brake switch is bad. The Power port should always show power, even when the switch is not pressed. On the other hand, the ground port should only show power when the switch is pressed. Any deviation from these two conditions indicates that the brake switch is faulty. It would help if you replaced it instead of repairing it.
3. Readjust the brake switch
One way of diagnosing a misaligned brake switch is to check if it activates the plunger. If you examine that it does not, it is misaligned. The brake switch can get misaligned if the bracket that holds it in place gets moved. The good news is that by appropriately adjusting the bracket, you can get rid of code P1703.
4. Fix the electrical connection
The first step here is to check if the fuse is damaged. In most cases, a blown fuse can easily be noticed since its glass window will have a brown or purple color. A blown fuse needs to be replaced. However, if the fuse looks fine, check the connections to ensure they are firm. If they are not, tighten them to eradicate code P1703.
5. Replace the brake pedal position sensor
You should also check the brake pedal position sensor to ensure it is okay. A multimeter can diagnose it easily. Just insert the multimeter wires into the sensor and press the pedal. If the sensor is defective, the multimeter will detect no voltage. Remember to turn on the car when running this test.
6. Replace the battery
If you cannot find the issue causing code P1703 in your Ford, it may be time to check the battery. You can test if the battery is fine by using a multimeter. If the multimeter reads a voltage below 12.6, the battery is bad. Replacing the battery will eliminate code P1703 and other codes in your Ford.
Is it safe to drive with code P1703?
Since code P1703 indicates an issue with the brake pedal position, it is unsafe to drive with it. Driving when you have a problem with the brake pedal position can lead you to an accident. It can also get you a traffic fine.
To sum up,
Code P1703 in your Ford indicates that the brake pedal position has failed to cycle high or low when you run the KOEO self-test. This happens when there are issues with the parts that make it work. These parts include the switch, the circuit, the cables, the sensor, and even the battery. Symptoms associated with code P1708 are illuminated check engine light, misbehaving brake light, difficulty starting, and poor engine performance. Luckily, the issues causing it can easily be fixed.