How to Fix P0630 Code: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions

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an OBD scanner with VIN on the screen

If you are driving and suddenly see your Check Engine Light turn on, it can indeed be alarming, and many questions may come to mind. What does it mean? Is the car going to break down? Is this going to be costly? If your OBD scanner is showing code P0630, don’t fret! 

This article will discuss the symptoms, causes, and possible solutions for a P0630 code. Are you read? Let’s get started!

What is Code P0630?

The P0630 generic diagnostic trouble code (DTC) applies to many OBD-II vehicles (1996-newer). It stands for "VIN Not Programmed or Incompatible – ECM/PCM." The VIN is a 17-digit number that is unique to your vehicle. 

It is used by the Engine Control Module (ECM) or Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to identify your car and its specific features. When the ECM or PCM fails to recognize the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), your OBD scanner will show the code P0630.

Symptoms of Code P0630

The VIN is stored in the PCM/ECM and is used for many things such as immobilizer function, fuel delivery, and emissions. If the VIN is not programmed or is incompatible, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • The vehicle may not start
  • The check engine light may illuminate
  • There may be no communication with the PCM/ECM

Causes of Code P0630

Determining the causes of code P0630 is very important in diagnosing this issue. This saves time and ensures that the solution you are doing will resolve the problem. Here are some potential causes:

  • PCM/ECM programming error
  • VIN is not programmed to ECM
  • Faulty or wrong ECM
  • PCM malfunction
  • Problems with the wiring connectors

How to Diagnose Error Code P0630?

Now that we’ve laid out the symptoms and causes of this error code, you may now proceed to diagnose and possibly solve this problem. Here’s what to do:

Check your TSB

In most cases, checking your vehicle’s Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) will give you the quickest solution to your problem. Manufacturers are often aware of issues that may arise and have released a bulletin with the fix. If you are lucky, you can find a TSB for your vehicle and quickly fix the problem without further diagnosis.

Check for Other Diagnostic Codes

Scanning for other fault codes will give you an idea of what else is going on in the vehicle. To do this:

  1. Get your OBD scanner and plug it into the cars' diagnostic port, usually located beneath the steering              wheel.
  2. Start the vehicle and turn the ignition on but do not start the engine.
  3. Wait for the scanner to power up and follow its on-screen instructions.
  4. Look for other codes stored in the computer memory alongside the P0630 code. If there are any, make a        note of them to help you diagnose the problem.

Perform Visual Inspection

Once you have a list of other potential codes, the next step is to look for signs of physical damage. Check all of the wirings and connectors in the engine bay. Look for any signs of melting, fraying, or other damage. Also, check for damaged components and look for broken, bent, pushed out, or corroded connector pins. Repair or replace if necessary.

Read and Compare the VIN

If you can't find any physical damage, the next step is to read and compare the VIN. The vehicle identification number (VIN) is a 17-digit code that contains information about the car. To read it:

  1. Connect the diagnostic scanner to the vehicle diagnostic port and read the VIN as the ECM/PCM                       perceives. 
  2. Compare the VIN on the diagnostic scanner to the actual VIN (found on the lower driver side of the                 windshield). Pay attention to the following possible causes below:
  • The VIN tag should match the VIN displayed on the scanner.  The ECM/PCM may have been swapped               from another vehicle if it doesn't. 
  • If the VIN is not displayed on the scanner, it could signify that the ECM/PCM has been replaced without          programming it to match the vehicle. 
  • Another possibility is the ECM/PCM failure or a programming error.

How to Fix Code P0630

After diagnosing the P0630 code and finding out that the PCM is the problem, the next step is to replace it. But before you do that, you need to reprogram it. Follow our guide to reflashing/replacing the PCM if you want to do it yourself or, if you are not comfortable, you can take your vehicle to a car repair shop and let them reprogram or replace it.

Important: You need to get a new PCM with the same part number as your old one. You may find this information in your manual or on the sticker under the hood. Once you have the new PCM, you can replace the old one!

Common Mistakes When Diagnosing the Code P0630

Mistakes in unavoidable, especially when you're new to the world of car repairs. However, you can avoid them by doing your research and taking your time to review the problem. For you to prevent doing the same, here are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid:

  • Not checking other codes
  • Replacing parts without testing
  • Not inspecting for damage connector and wirings

Code P0630 FAQs

1. Is the code P0630 serious?

Yes, it is. The risk level of this error code is high. Once the light comes on, it means that your car is no longer safe to drive as a faulty PCM may disrupt the operation of various components in your vehicle. 

2. Is it safe to drive with the P0630 code?

No, it's not safe to drive having this error code as it can cause your car to stall or not start at all.

3. Can I program the PCM at home?

Yes, you can do it at home as long as you have the right tools and skills. But if you think you are not up for the task, it would be best to take your car to a professional mechanic.

4. How does it happen that a PCM doesn't match with a car?

The most common reason is that the PCM has been damaged or corrupted.

5. How much is it to reprogram a car computer?

The faulty ECU may be fixed or reprogrammed, with this sort of repair costing anywhere from $300 to $750 depending on the make and model of your car.

Conclusion

So there you have it! If your scanner tool throws the code P0630, dont panic! Although it is considered a severe issue, you can do a few things to fix it. But always remember that you must first identify the root cause before jumping to conclusions to avoid misdiagnosis. 

Did this guide help you fix the code P0630? We will be glad to hear about your experience! Feel free to leave them in the comments section below!