ACtronics diagnoses Ford Transit fault

ACtronics diagnoses Ford Transit fault

ACtronics gets to the bottom of what’s causing problems in the instrument panel on a 2017 Ford Transit Custom.

At first, it seemed like a simple case: on a 2017 Ford Transit Custom, the info display on the instrument panel kept on flickering and failing. The instrument panel was therefore immediately removed and sent to ACtronics for repair. However, during the entry test prior to the repair, the instrument panel appeared to work just fine. Could there be something else going on?

Unfortunately, it sometimes happens a vehicle is sent to the workshop with some strange electronic malfunction, but the real cause of the problem is hard to find. In modern vans, performing a proper diagnosis is becoming increasingly difficult. So, in these cases it really helps when you’re pointed in the right direction. The Ford Transit Custom in this story (type 2012-2018) was just such a case.

Right after the instrument panel was sent back from ACtronics to the workshop, it was refitted into the car. All seemed okay for a while, but the Transit soon started to suffer again from several strange malfunctions. For example, the remote-control sometimes didn’t respond when pressing a button. However, the remote-control’s battery was recently replaced. Maybe a switch within the remote control was starting to fail? But after a thorough investigation all seemed fine regarding the remote control. So, what was causing this problem? And could it be related to the failing display?

Then, for no apparent reason, both rear light units failed. This couldn’t just be a coincidence: there must have been an electronic fault somewhere within the vehicle. So, looking for further clues, the Transit was read for error codes again:

  • U0073-88 – communication bus interface module disabled
  • U0155-00 – no communication with the IPC control module (Instrument Panel Cluster)
  • U0558-64 – invalid data received from the front control/display interface module

Of course, these descriptions do not exactly tell you what the problem is, but we can draw an important conclusion: there are several modules triggering a fault code. So, what do these modules have in common? For starters, it’s important to check both ground and power supply. The power supply should be a constant feed without any fluctuation.

ACtronics diagnose problem on a Ford Transit

Power struggle

This, indeed, turned out to be the problem: there simply wasn’t a decent power supply towards multiple devices. Strangely, though, the van was able to start with ease. “So, it can’t be the battery”, you might think. However, in this generation of the Transit Custom, two batteries are located under the driver’s seat. One is the starter battery, the other is to supply power to the on-board network. And you might have guessed it by now: that second battery turned out to be the cause of all the problems. Needless to say, after replacing the battery, all problems were immediately resolved.

Unfortunately, this situation is common with the Ford Transit Custom. So always check the second battery in case of strange malfunctions.

Although in this case the instrument cluster was working perfectly fine, these devices do indeed regularly malfunction. Strangely enough, we’ve noticed the number of revision requests increases during the winter period. We suspect the lower temperatures are causing this increase. So, keep in mind there is a bigger chance of a defective instrument cluster in this period.

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