Letter Re: Storing Spare Vehicle CPUs for EMP Preparedness

Thanks for the great blog and everything you do for us.   I was at my local Ford dealer getting some work done and ask the service manager about computer modules for my 2006 F250 diesel. He told there are three different modules; engine, fuel and transmission. I ask how much they cost and he told me “a lot” but they are fairly simple to install, basically unplug the old and plug in the new one. What he told me next I hadn’t thought about and had not read; the computer modules must be programmed to work. Also if you get one from a junkyard and plug it in it will still need to be programmed. So if anyone is thinking about getting backups for EMP events you still need to store a computer that can program the modules for newer vehicles.   Do you know if this is correct? Is there any way to remedy this problem short of buying older vehicles? I guess this is exactly why you tell us to get older vehicles! – Jim S. in Ohio

JWR Replies: In most cases the CPUs that you store can be pre-programmed to match your particular vehicle before you put them in storage. This will be a bit expensive and time consuming (requiring swaps and tests), but it sure beats storing a computer to program them, post facto!