How to Fix P0601 Code: Quick Rescue Guide

OBD2 Scanners is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Man fixing car

Have you experienced driving along, and suddenly, the check engine light pops on your dashboard with the P0160 code? What did you do? Did you bring your car for repair somewhere? Or perhaps you just ignored it and drove?

Whatever you did then when you encountered this code should not happen again just because you don't know what the code really is. This blog post will help you learn more about this trouble code and guide you from diagnosing to fixing the issue. So are you ready? Let's go!

What Does P0601 Mean?

The P0601 code, also known as Internal Control Module Memory Check Sum Error", is a generic OBDII code set by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). The Error Code P0601 is found when a memory checksum error is detected with a scanner in the internal control module. The PCM discovers this problem during self-checking. 

When a memory check sum error is detected with the internal control module, the Check Engine light will illuminate, and the car will enter failsafe mode to protect it from further harm. Failsafe mode will be disabled only once the problem has been resolved.

Resolving the P0601 codes is not easy because many reasons can trigger it and store the p0601 code. However, the p0601 error code can still be resolved by trying some remediation steps.

Diagnosing the Issue

Before fixing the problem, the p0601 code must be diagnosed. This guide will help you diagnose your vehicle to avoid expensive visits to your dealer.

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Perform a visual inspection on all p0601-related parts on your vehicle. You can find p0601-related parts on PCM and ignition components.
  • Check all fuses and wiring related to p0601. Look for any damaged wires or circuits.
  • Using a multimeter, check for proper voltage supply. Make sure there is enough voltage going to the PCM.
  • Lastly, test the PCM.

Testing the PCM

  • Locate the PCM (it is usually under the dashboard on the passenger side).
  • Look for loose or frayed wirings.
  • Find your vehicle diagnostic data port (it is usually under the dashboard).
  • Connect your OBD scan tool to the diagnostic port.
  • Turn on the vehicle ignition.
  • Connect the vehicle's DLC port to a scan tool and check if there are other codes present, as well as a pending code. 
  • If other codes are present along with the P0601, make sure to fix the codes starting from the first one to get stored up to the last. If the P0601 code is causing all the other codes, it will come first in the list. 
  • Take note of all of the freeze frame data for every code, as it will discern the likely cause.
  • Clear all the codes and test drive to confirm the issues found.

How to Fix P0601 Code

Fixing the P0601 code needs patience since it is a problematic task. Nevertheless, one must know how to solve it correctly. The most common fix for the P0601 code is replacing or reprogramming the PCM. 

When you encounter this error code, you have two options: either bring your car to the repair shop or do the repair yourself. If you have limited knowledge and are unsure what to do, you should ask for professional help. However, if you think you can do it yourself, this guide may help you!

As mentioned above, replacing or reflashing the PCM is the common way to fix the code P0160; however, it is not as easy as you think. Please be advised that reflashing your PCM yourself won't guarantee that it will be fixed, and unfortunately, this can also worsen the scenario. But after knowing this possibility and you still feel confident enough to try the next step, then keep reading. 

Reflashing the PCM

The reflashing process may vary depending on your vehicle model; however, this procedure will give you an idea of how the reflashing works.

What you Need

  • Flashing tool or any diagnostic tool flashing feature
  • PC or laptop with stable Wi-Fi LAN or wireless connection
  • A compatible cable (you will use it to connect the PC to the tool and the tool to the vehicle)
  • Access to any tutorial video for backup purposes

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Connect the PC to the tool using the cable.
  2. Open the software program from your PC or laptop. Refer to your manufacturer’s programming software.
  3. Enter your vehicle information (model, year, make, etc.)
  4. Connect the tool to the vehicle's diagnostic port (usually located under the dash near the steering column).
  5. Turn on the tool and wait for the screen to start up.
  6. Enter the VIN.
  7. Every software may vary, but usually, you will be asked to choose some options such as operating system, engine, fuel system, speedometer, or transmission and initiate the transfer. 
  8. Wait for 30 to 40 minutes until the progress bar and loading are completed.
  9. When the loading and programming are complete, the data has been transferred to the PCM memory chip. 
  10. Finally, turn the ignition off and disconnect the tool from the vehicle. 

After doing all these steps and nothing happened or didn't fix the issue, you might need to bring your car to a professional mechanic for the PCM replacement. 

Symptoms of the P0601 Code

Here are some of the most typical symptoms associated with the fault code P0601.

Get your vehicle examined as soon as you receive this MAP sensor code to remedy engine performance difficulties.

  • Examine engine light.
  • The engine has a rough operating condition.
  • Excessive exhaust-related smoke
  • Economy fuel is lower than usual
  • Erratic acceleration
  • Idleness is a terrible thing.

Causes of the P0601 Code

The number of likely causes of P0601 is nearly proportional to the CAN bus system's complexity. Some causes, however, are more common than others, with the following being the most common:

  • Wiring and connectors that are damaged burned, shorted, or corroded.
  • Circuits that are not closed.
  • Lousy ground connections in the controller.
  • One or more controllers drivers are faulty.
  • Controllers with defective electronic components.
  • Voltage spikes or low battery voltages can cause damage to controllers.
  • Water entry during flooding occurrences might create short circuits.
  • Unlike most other codes, code P0601 has a strong chance of being driven by a faulty PCM.

Common Mistakes When Diagnosing P0601 Code

The most common mistake made when diagnosing this code is the replacement of the PCM. Some people think that the only way to fix the P0601 trouble code is to replace it. They are unaware that a simple flashing or programming can make the PCM work again.

Another mistake people make when diagnosing is not checking the ECU to see if it receives a proper voltage supply. This fix is as simple as checking the battery cables for corrosion and pitting. So before jumping to conclusions, make sure to do all the possible remedies before replacing the PCM.

P0610 Code FAQ

1. How Serious is Code P0106? 

When Code P0106 occurs, you must resolve the issue as quickly as possible. A malfunctioning MAP sensor may cause apparent engine difficulties, increased blowback smoke, and poor fuel economy. This is due to a communication problem between your MAP and your Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) or PCM.

2. Is Code P0106 a Serious Problem?

It's crucial to remember that Code P0106 is a significant mistake that shouldn't overlook. Complications with the MAP sensor might include the following:

  • Make the throttle stop working.
  • Result in misfires
  • Your engine will be damaged.

3. How to avoid a P0106 Code?

Older cars with more than 100,000 miles of range are more likely to encounter brief sensor issues. If the engine caution light illuminates, but the car seems to be operating correctly, the problem may be resolved by using a scanner to reboot the OBD-II system. 

Otherwise, keeping your vehicle's engine in excellent running condition and checking for loose, missing, or damaged components and fittings that might lead to hose leaks would assist.

4. What will I do if flashing the PCM doesn't work?

As we have said, flashing the PCM yourself will not guarantee that the issue will be solved. Bringing your car to a professional mechanic might be your next best step.

5. Can I still drive having the P0106 code?

Yes, you can still drive and get to your destination after encountering this trouble code. However, make sure to repair it as soon as possible to avoid more severe problems.


Even though issues and causes regarding the P0601 code are widely inevitable, there is still a solution to settle the problem. Taking the difficulties seriously would be a great start to adjust and do the parts as car drivers. 

As we all know, it is a type of generic code problem; it should be a priority and be deailt with proactively. We hope this how-to guide helped and walked you through improving your vehicle.