Ford Fuel Pump Driver Module Failure – Symptoms & Solutions
The Ford 5.4L Triton V8 engine is one of the most common engines in Ford trucks and other vehicles between 1997 and 2014. As you can probably guess by the 5.4 Trion’s long production life, it was a popular engine with solid performance and good overall reliability. With that being said, there are some common 5.4L Triton engine problems that arise more often than others. One of those issues is the failure of the fuel pump driver module, which plays a critical role in the engine’s fuel system.
Luckily, replacing a 5.4L Triton fuel pump driver module isn’t a difficult or costly repair job. In fact, if you are comfortable with a socket wrench, you can complete the job in 15-20 minutes for only $100. For more 5.4L Triton engine problem information, check out our 5 Most Common 5.4L Triton Engine Problems Guide.
What Does a 5.4L Triton Fuel Pump Driver Module Do?
When you break it down, a 5.4L Triton’s fuel pump driver module is a straightforward component that plays a crucial role in the engine’s fuel delivery system. As you might know, every internal combustion engine needs a fuel pump to deliver fuel from the fuel tank to the rest of the fuel system. The Triton’s fuel pump is powered electrically and works by using an electric motor to power a mechanical pump that creates pressure, pushing fuel through the lines to the engine.
The 5.4L Ford Triton fuel pump operates on a 12-volt DC power source supplied by the car’s battery. When you crank the ignition, an electrical signal is sent to the Triton’s fuel pump driver module. This activates the electric motor and starts pumping fuel to the engine. The fuel pump driver module is responsible for varying the voltage that is supplied to the fuel pump so that it can modulate the correct amount of fuel through its entire operating range. That is obviously crucial as if the pump isn’t supplied with ample power, it won’t pump enough fuel into the combustion chamber for the car to run.
When the fuel pump driver module fails, the fuel pump might not work at all.
What Ford Vehicles Are Affected By Failing Fuel Pump Driver Modules?
In this guide, we are primarily focused on Ford trucks and SUVs produced between 1997 and 2017 that utilize the Ford 5.4L Triton V8 engine. With that being said, failing fuel pump control modules have affected multiple other Ford vehicles that also have open recalls to solve the issue.
- 1997-2004 Ford F-Series
- 1997-2004 Ford Expedition
- 1997-2004 Lincoln Navigator
- 1997-2017 Ford E-Series
- 2002-2007 Ford Falcon/Fairmont Ghia
- 2003-2004 Ford Fairlane G220/G8
- 2004-2010 Ford F-Series
- 2005-2014 Ford Expedition
- 2005-2014 Lincoln Navigator
- 2006-2008 Lincoln Mark LT
- 2013-15 Ford Taurus
- 2013-15 Ford Flex
- 2013-15 Lincoln MKS
- 2013-15 Lincoln MKT
- 2013-15 Ford Police Interceptor sedan
Symptoms of a Failing Fuel Pump Driver Module
- Engine sputtering / Inconsistent power
- No start
- Hesitation when accelerating
- Loss of power
- Rough idle
- P1233 engine code
When a Ford 5.4 fuel pump driver module starts to act up, it is pretty evident. In most cases, engine sputtering and a rough idle are the first signs that there could be an issue with your fuel pump driver control module. Of course, there are many other things that can cause similar symptoms. The way to find out for sure is by checking your engine codes with an OBDII code reader. If your 5.4 Triton is displaying a P1233 engine code, there is almost a guarantee that the driver module needs to be replaced.
Other symptoms include a no start, hesitation when accelerating, and a rough idle. In most cases, Ford owners have found that there is usually a preemptive warning before the fuel pump module fails. Whether that be a loss of power when accelerating or the engine cutting in and out, a no-start event isn’t likely to be the first sign of a failed fuel pump module unless the vehicle has been sitting for an extended period.
How Do Ford Fuel Pump Driver Modules Fail?
Ford’s fuel pump driver modules fail primarily due to their build material and exposure to the elements. The aluminum module is placed towards the rear of most 5.4 V8-powered Fords. That means that it is not shielded very well against the elements. Over time, debris and contaminants can build up within the module itself, causing electrical faults. Additionally, road salt in the winter can corrode the module’s aluminum casing, causing a similar problem.
Components To Check Before Replacing 5.4 Fuel Pump Driver Module
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, replacing a 5.4 V8’s fuel pump driver module is a relatively simple and inexpensive job. With that being said, there are a few things that you should check prior to dropping the money on a new module right off the bat. There are a couple of even simpler issues that can cause the fuel pump module to fail outside of the module itself.
One area that you should check first is the corresponding fuse for the driver module. The fuse that you’ll need to check is the F9 fuse. The fuse box is typically located in the passenger side footwell under a panel near the front door opening. This should be a 20 amp fuse. If this fuse is burnt out, it can cause a malfunction with the fuel pump driver module.
Located in the same location, you should also check the inertia fuel shutoff switch, which is also located near the fuse box. If the relay isn’t receiving power, it can also cause the driver module to malfunction. It is important to check these two locations before buying and replacing the fuel pump driver module itself. Replacing a fuse or a relay is much less expensive.
How to Fix Ford 5.4L Triton Fuel Pump Driver Module
After determining that there isn’t anything wrong with the components listed above, the next step is to change the Ford fuel pump driver module itself. Luckily, replacing the fuel pump driver module on a Ford 5.4L Triton is almost as easy as changing a fuse or relay. To simply replace the module, you’ll only need two tools and around 20 minutes. However, if you find that there is a lot of surface rust on the rear cross-member where the module is mounted, you might want to do some work to clean up the area before installing the new module.
If you are a visual learner, take a look at this video that does a good job of explaining the replacement process:
Required Tools For 1997-2017 Ford Fuel Pump Driver Module Replacement
- Roadside spare tire removal tool
- 8mm socket/wrench
- Scotch-Brite pad/wire brush (optional)
- Compressed air (optional)
- Brake-clean (optional)
- Anti-corrosive coating (optional)
Required Parts For Ford Fuel Pump Driver Module Replacement
1) Lowering the Spare Tire
The overall process for replacing your fuel pump driver module is incredibly straightforward. The first step is to release the spare tire from the underside of your Ford truck or affected vehicle. To do that, you’ll have to locate the standard Ford roadside assistance tool kit. The kit is provided with all Ford vehicles. The kit will either be enclosed in a felt tool roll or a plastic case.
Inside the kit, you’ll need to locate the tire iron, the hooked extension, and one straight extension. Join the straight extension with the hooked one by slotting one into the other. Put the hook through the square opening in the middle of the tire iron and slide the tire iron down the extension until it locks into place. The tire iron will act as a handle to twist the tool.
Once the tool is assembled, move to the rear of your Ford truck. On most Fords, there is a small hole near the top right of the rear license plate. Place the tool, opposite the side with the tire iron, into the hole and gently twist the tool until you feel the teeth of the extension engage with the internal winch.
Once you feel resistance when turning the tool, keep turning the tool counterclockwise until the tire begins to lower. Keep turning the tool counterclockwise until the tire can be removed from the bottom of the truck. This will then give you access to the rear cross member where the fuel pump driver module is mounted.
2) Replacing Ford Fuel Pump Driver Module
Once the spare tire has been lowered, the next step is to locate the module itself. Ford placed the fuel pump module above the rear axle on the driver’s side and mounted it on the furthest cross member towards the rear. Once you located it, unplug the connector by pinching and pulling it. At this point, there are only two 8mm bolts holding the module in place. Use the 8mm socket and wrench to unscrew the bolts. The old fuel pump module can then be removed.
If you want to follow the official Ford replacement procedure, you’ll want to remove as much of the surface rust on the underlying cross member as possible. Use a Scotch-Brite pad or wire brush to scrub the rust off. You can then use compressed air to blow away all of the dust. Use a rag coated in brake clean to wipe the surface clean. You can then cover the surface with a generous amount of anti-corrosive coating and wait an hour to dry. Alternatively, you can also coat the cross member with anti-corrosive paint.
At this point, you can install the new module. If you chose to order the kit listed above, all of the mounting hardware is included. Simply use the 8mm socket to install the mounting hardware, place the module on the screws, and tighten the module down with the included 8mm bolts. At this point, the replacement is complete and you can reinstall your spare tire.
Ford Fuel Pump Driver Module Failure Summary
The 5.4L Triton V8 engine is one of the most common engines used in Ford trucks and other vehicles between 1997 and 2014. While popular and generally well-received, there are some common engine problems, one of which is the failure of the fuel pump driver module, a critical component in the engine’s fuel system.
Symptoms of a failing fuel pump driver module include engine sputtering, inconsistent power, no start, hesitation when accelerating, rough idle, and loss of power. Replacing the module is not difficult or expensive. It will typically cost around $100 and take 15-20 minutes if you are comfortable with a DIY job. While a failing fuel pump module can stop your Ford truck in its tracks, it is one of the easiest problems to resolve.