How to Install a Ford Performance Chip

by Allen Moore

Performance chips are available from a litany of aftermarket manufacturers. Most purport the ability to turn your Ford into a rival for the ones driven by John Force in NHRA competition. The reality is that the chip's fail-safe override mechanism is preprogrammed into your vehicle’s software by the manufacturer. It allows the drive train and engine management system to exceed safe limits of performance. If you are sold on the idea of installing a performance chip, no matter the damage it may cause, you can install it yourself in a short period of time.


Familiarize yourself with the instructions from your specific chip’s manufacturer before doing anything to your Ford. Raise the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable when you are ready to begin.


Locate the PCM, which is a rectangular shaped, silver box, normally located near the firewall in the engine bay.


Remove the cover from the back of the PCM, which is normally held on by some tabs that can be unlatched easily by hand.


Line the prongs on the chip up with the port on the back of the PCM. Plug the chip into the PCM port.


Read the instructions that came with your Ford performance chip prior to inserting the ignition key or starting the engine. Follow any additional procedures highlighted in the instruction booklet prior to reconnecting the battery.


  • close Never remove a chip or programmer from a vehicle with the engine running. Additionally, if you use a programmer instead, you must perform the programmer’s specific uninstall procedure to remove it or risk erasing everything in your PCM.
  • close It is also best to never put a chip on a Ford under warranty, as a Ford technician can easily see when a chip has been installed on a PCM. The use of performance chips will void any warranty claims arising in the drive train and engine management system.

Items you will need

About the Author

Allen Moore's career includes awards in poetry and creative fiction, published lyrics, fiction books and nonfiction articles as well as a master certification in automotive service from the Ford Motor Company. Moore is a contributing writer for and various other websites, a ghostwriter for Rainbow Writing and has over a dozen works of fiction currently in print.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images