When speaking about heavy-duty trucks, one of the first brands that come to mind is Ford trucks. However, like other trucks, Ford trucks also experience all sorts of issues, such as TBC codes. In this article, I’ll discuss Ford TBC fault – meaning, fix, and how to reset.
If you see the TBC fault code flashing on your dashboard, it means the electrical wiring connections in your trailer are experiencing issues. It can affect the proper functioning of the turn lights or stop lights on your trailer.
The TBC fault code will flash on your car’s dashboard for many reasons. It is a fault code that indicates all kinds of drivability and electronic issues of a Ford truck. For instance, it can be some electronically-related symptoms because of wrongly installed or lose electrical fuses.
Read on to learn more about the TBC fault code of Ford trucks, how they can occur, their fixes, and how you can reset them.
Ford TBC Fault Overview
If the TBC fault code flashes on your dashboard, it indicates that your trailer electrical wirings or connections are experiencing some issues which can affect the proper functioning of your Ford truck’s turn lights or stop lights.
The TBC fault code could indicate various drivability and electronic issues and symptoms because of loosely or incorrectly installed fuses in the fuse box. These symptoms may occur intermittently, triggering its light to turn on the dash.
If you don’t want to see this fault code on your dashboard, you need to inspect the fuses from time to time. Check if they are installed correctly on their respective receptacles. They should all be correctly installed, and not one should be loose.
The electrical wiring fuses should be installed in the correct receptacles inside the fuse box and not alongside the terminals. If the fuses are wrongly installed or are loose, you will experience all sorts of issues, including the lighting up of the TBC fault code.
What Is TBC in Ford Trucks?
TBC stands for Trailer Brake Control. It is a car electronic component that controls the braking system of a trailer. This electrical device enables the Ford truck driver to have a more secure and smoother driving experience when towing trailers.
The TBC can manifest different issues as it is used. Most of the problems are related to the internal electrical wiring circuit of the controller. Moisture inside the TBC circuit’s firewall plug is also a problem at times.
The TBC turns on automatically once the driver steps on the brake of the Ford truck. However, there may be situations where this safety device will not function. These are the times when the TBC fault code will flash on your dashboard.
This feature is a standard with most Ford truck models. However, the TBC fault code does not indicate the same issue on every Ford truck. So, search for the proper fix based on your particular Ford truck model.
The TBC fault code is not in any way an engine issue. It could mean several things, including:
- The ground on your controller
- Broken connector plug
- Too short electrical wiring causes the wires to pull out of the plug.
- Electrical short in the harness supplied by the factory
TBC Faults on Ford Trucks and How to Fix Them
There are different Ford truck models where the TBC feature is standard. These are the Ford F-150, the Ford 250, and the Ford 350. Are their TBC faults different from each other?
1. Ford F-150
If the TBC fault code shows up on the dash of your Ford F-150, it could indicate that there’s wrong programming on your truck brake control module. This will prevent the brakes of the trailer from being appropriately engaged. That means it is unsafe to operate your trailer.
To fix TBC issues with the Ford F-150, you need to check if its fuse is still working or has already gone bad. Some of the common problems on Ford F-150 TBCs are blown fuses. So, locate this particular fuse on your truck’s fuse box and check the condition of its fuse.
If it’s broken, replace it. If it’s just loosely seated on its receptacle, push it inside and ensure that it is securely held and stable in its place.
2. Ford F-250
There’s a different effect on a Ford F-250 if its TBC light turns on. If this light turns on the dash of your F-250, it indicates that there’s also a broken fuse on the circuitry of your truck. Your engine may not start since it has lost its electrical connection.
This also makes it unsafe to use your trailer. In certain situations, this can be dangerous. The fix here is to check the condition of its fuse. You have to find its receptacle in your truck’s fuse box. Once you have located the fuse box, please open it and check the receptacle of the TBC fuse.
Refer to the electrical diagram on the back panel of the fuse box. It should indicate where the TBC fuse is located. Using a multi-tester, you could also check every fuse in the box for continuity.
If you find a fuse with no connection, replace it with a fuse of the same rating. Hopefully, the TBC of your truck will now function properly. If not, you must go to a Ford dealer to have your problem diagnosed and fixed.
3. Ford F-350
If the TBC of your Ford F-350 lights up suddenly on your dash, it could mean there is a problem with the grounding of your trailer.
To fix this issue, you have to confirm the actual problem. Once you have verified that it is a ground problem with the trailers’ TBC, check the electrical connection individually. Also, inspect for wear, tear, corrosion, and looseness of the wires.
Once you have pinpointed the bad connection, replace it immediately. Buy the needed parts and replace them yourself. You can also call a competent mechanic to do it for you, although it will cost you more.
Again, what does Ford TBC Fault mean? A flashing Ford TBC fault code signifies an issue with trailing wiring connections. This issue could affect your Ford’s stop-and-turn lights.
How to Fix TBC Fault
Three TBC fault codes exist for each of the three Ford truck models. And each requires an individual fix:
1. Ford F-150
The TBC fault unique to the Ford F-150 is the wrong programming on the brake control module. The simple solution is to reprogram the module. The incorrect calibration and programming of the module cause this problem.
To reprogram the module, you have to perform these steps:
- Be sure to connect the trailer wiring harness to the trailer. If it is rightly connected, power from the truck will be transmitted to the trailer.
- The TBC will automatically calibrate the brake control. Just wait for this step to be done.
- Then select your preferred settings on the TBC.
- Be sure to set the output to the maximum.
- Then make the appropriate adjustments for the sensitivity level.
- Then engage the manual brake activation.
2. Ford F-250
If it’s the Ford F-250 that is faced with a TBC issue, the most common cause is a blown fuse. Your engine will not start if this is the issue. To fix this problem, perform these steps:
- Use a screwdriver and unlock the fuse box of your Ford F-250.
- You will find several fuses inside the fuse box. Look at the rear panel of the box. It contains a schematic diagram showing each fuse’s role on the box. An alternative way is to check this TBC fuse from the user’s manual of your vehicle.
- After you find the TBC fuse, remove it from its receptacle or seat.
- Inspect the fuse. See if it is blown or still functional.
- If the fuse is busted, meaning the thin wire inside it is no longer connected, replace it with a fuse of the same rating.
- Install the new fuse on its seat the way you found the broken fuse is installed.
- Start your Ford F-250. If the starts readily, you have fixed your TBC fault.
- If the engine doesn’t start, you must ask a competent mechanic to diagnose the fault and perform the proper fix.
3. Ford F-350
If your Ford F-350’s TBC fault dash light suddenly shows up, the most common cause is a problem with the grounding of your trailer. These are the steps you need to perform to fix this TBC fault.
- Get an electric circuit tester or a multi-tester to test all the lights in your Ford F-350.
- Check all the wiring connections to see if they are correctly done.
- Then further check the grounding connections of the wires. Inspect the wires for signs of corrosion. The grounding wire inside the trailer wiring connections should be connected to the trailer.
- Check if there are overloaded connections in the wires. If the trailer’s wiring harness receives more than its maximum amperage capacity, it will cause the connections and the bulbs themselves to melt because of excessive heat.
How to Reset Ford Truck TBC?
To reset the TBC fault code on your Ford truck, you must disconnect the back connector for around 15 minutes. This action will redirect the trailer brake control to its original factory setting. If you do this correctly, you have effectively reset the TBC of your Ford truck.
However, you may want to perform a more comprehensive of the TBC fault code. If this is what you want, you must have an OBD2 scan tool and a vehicle scanner to identify the automotive fault codes and recommend the proper fix.
If you do not use a scan tool, you won’t be able to conduct a thorough test on the module. So, you can use the following alternative: replace the defective TBC module with a new one.
Or you can disconnect the battery of your Ford for around 15 minutes and see if the old module reconnects to the power supply of your Ford Truck,
If the TBC fault code flashes on your dashboard, it indicates some issue troubling the electrical wiring connections of your trailer. Whatever this issue is will affect the functionality of the stop lights or turn lights on your trailer.
A TBC fault code will light up on your Ford truck’s dashboard for various reasons. It indicates different kinds of drivability and electronic problems of your truck, such as an incorrectly installed or loose fuse.