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Ford F150 Speedometer Calibration

Ford F150 Speedometer Calibration

Speedometer calibration on F150 trucks is essential when you install smaller or larger tires than the original size or change the rear gear ratio. Otherwise, PCM will not calculate the accurate speed, and you can violate the speed limits set by various state laws.

You can do Ford F150 Speedometer Calibration by 5 methods. Free FORScan software, tuner, and calibrator tools are the easiest methods to correct the speed readings on the dashboard. The inline calibrator tool is suitable for non-stock tire sizes beyond programming limits. You can also do it manually for earlier models of the truck.

This article will guide truck owners regarding correcting speed measurements according to the actual values. We will cover different methods and tools available in the market. You will also find the testing method after calibration and cost comparison in various ways. 

Reasons to calibrate the Ford F150 speedometer

A speedometer is a vital part of the instrument cluster to display the speed of your Ford F150 truck. Its calibration means it depicts the accurate value according to the rotation of the wheels.

It is imperative that various zones have speed limits set by the city administration, and their violation can result in a ticket.

Therefore, it is a recommended practice to recalibrate it periodically, especially after every tire change or when you add any lift or leveling kit to your vehicle.

In addition, the diameter of tires directly correlates with how much distance it will cover in a single revolution. Therefore, you must calibrate it after changing the tires to smaller or bigger than the stock ones.

Moreover, with time, the speedometer can get worn out and result in inaccuracies. Therefore, its periodic recalibration is mandatory to avoid speeding tickets.

Furthermore, you can present the calibration record as evidence in court that the speeding violation results from an inaccurate speed display.

Methods to calibrate the Ford F150 speedometer

Several methods are available to calibrate the speedometer on your F150 pickup truck. You can hire the services of a workshop, mechanic, or dealer to do the job for you.

You can even do it by yourself by getting the necessary tool required and adopting the procedure mentioned in this article.

Using Forscan

FORScan is a software tool used to read and program the various configurations of Ford vehicles. It is the easiest method to calibrate the speedometer on 1996-2002 models.

You should have a version of FORScan installed on your Windows, Android, or iOS device. Connect it with PCM using the recommended connector for that device.

Move the ignition key to the ON position with the truck not running. Go to the Body Control Module in FORScan and enter the hex code worked out from excel spreadsheets available online according to the circumference of the tires on your truck.

Write that data to PCM and follow the on-screen instructions in the software. After turning the ignition key to the OFF and then ON position, click on the STOP button.

The next step is initializing the PCM and changing the ignition key’s status when prompted in the module.

Similarly, initialize the TCM module from FORScan and follow the on-screen prompts. It will complete the calibration procedure if you correctly enter the tire size.

Using the speedometer calibration tool

There are several third-party calibration tools available for its speedometer. Each tool is compatible with specific models of the truck.

These plug-and-play devices work by connecting them with the OBD port on the vehicle under the dashboard.

Next, you select the new tire size and rear gear ratio if available on the calibrator. Following the instructions on its display after entering the size will reprogram the PCM according to the new tires.

You can also use these tools to read diagnostic trouble codes on the truck and easily clear them. However, it can cost you around $250-$300 to get them, but you can do the task yourself.

Using a tuner

Tuners are handheld devices similar to speedometer calibrators but with multiple options to change various settings on Ford F150.

You can connect them with the PCM using the OBD port and reconfigure the options like gauge displays, alarms, engine parameters, and calibration of different parts.

For example, go to the settings and select the tire size in the options.

The tuner will modify the program in PCM according to the new settings. Some devices come with predefined settings loaded in them.

You simply write that program in the PCM, which will update according to your customized settings.

Using an inline calibration tool

Inline calibration tools are the simplest programmable devices to correct the speedometer readings on Ford F150.

First, you have to connect these devices to your PC or laptop using a USB port and program them using specific software supplied by their manufacturer.

To be loaded into the inline calibrator tool, you will need to enter the correct tire size or gear ratio in the software.

After that, connect it between the PCM and speedometer with the help of its connectors.

It will then ensure the correct display of speed according to new settings. Although these devices are simple to use, they remain in there all the time compared to other tools.

Using the manual method

You can do this by grounding the Programmable Speedometer Odometer Module (PSOM) behind the instrument cluster.

Next, press the reset button on the speed gauge and turn on the ignition key simultaneously. Its needle will make a full sweep and enter into calibration mode.

Change the value according to your calculations by repeatedly pressing the select button. After the desired value, press the reset button and turn the ignition key OFF.

Unplug the ground wire from PSOM, and it completes the calibration procedure. The important thing in this method is to find the correct value according to your truck’s tire size, rpm, and gear ratio.

Testing of speedometer calibration

After the calibration, it is imperative to go for a test drive and assess it.

For that, you need a reference instrument or method to measure your vehicle speed and compare it with the reading on the dashboard.

Turn ON the GPS speedometer on your cell phone and go for a test drive. Compare the value on GPS and dashboard.

If they match, you have successfully calibrated your pickup truck for accurate speed measurements.

If you don’t have access to GPS, you can manually calculate it by driving a fixed distance of 2-3 miles at a cruise speed and measuring the time taken by using a stopwatch. Divide the distance by time to calculate the speed and compare it with the set value.

Cost to calibrate the speedometer

Speedometer calibration cost varies according to the option you choose for the purpose.

If you go to a dealer or workshop, they will charge you for one hour of labor, and you have to pay $50-$100, depending on their rate and area.

If you go to a programmer having a calibrator tool, it will cost you $25-$50 because it takes only a few minutes to do the job.

If you go for an inline calibrator, it will cost you $240-$280. Buying a tuner is expensive, costing $500-$550 according to truck model and engine specifications.

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