VSM, Door ajar light, No dome light, No auto headlights, Door locks popping?? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
1999-2007 General Questions General questions related to 1999-2007 Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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VSM, Door ajar light, No dome light, No auto headlights, Door locks popping??

Symptoms.. Door ajar light on, no auto headlamps, dome light only works on manual, blown 20 amp. fuse, door locks become possessed.. I have seen several threads about these symptoms on several forums and it seems that many have been lucky enough to spray the heck out of door switches and fix problem.
I was not that lucky..
So if you have these problems with your truck then heres what it might be.. This applies to my 2002 F-350.
It is the (VSM) a.k.a. Vehicle Security Module. It also applies to other like vehicles.
It is located behind radio cupholder area.
The stealership will charge you a diagnosis fee, then labor to replace then labor to program plus the part..
Hopefully you are lucky enough to have a independent shop who can program it, I am researching that now.
This is just my experience...........
Pics of module included..
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Last edited by dumokie; 02-24-2008 at 05:45 PM. Reason: changed sentence
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 12:46 PM
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Finally, someone who know what I've been dealing with. I've the same symptoms and the dealer replace the instrument cluster for $700. It solved the problems you and i had but now it doing it all over again. I am wondering if i should take it back to the dealer because the cluster is under a 1yr warranty or if i take it back and it's the vsm they will hit me w/ the service charge for diagnosing the vsm. What would you do?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Humm Dee Dumm??

Once upon a time, long ago and far away. I worked for the stealerships, and since the instrument cluster repair fixed your symptoms at that time. They (dealership)will state that it was correct fix at that time and this new and improved problem... (well not improved) is not the same problem, even though its doing the same thing again.
So its totally unlikely if it is your VSM, that they will credit you for previous repair or warranty the VSM repair.
Hopefully you have a good working relationship with the Service manager at your dealer. If not, I would try to develope one. Maybe they will work with you?
Its been my experience that a dealership will try to avoid responsibility for mis-diagnosis, loose wheel nuts and general screw ups.
This is not bashing the competent, honest, hard working Technicians who work at the dealers there are many, but there are also idiots working there too and any good technician knows there are knuckleheads in the shop..
Regardless, lets give them the benifit of the doubt, play the devils advocate..
I have not looked at wiring diagram for that system, there are quite a few components involved and am sure there is some interface between VSM and instrument cluster so at that time, yours could have been cluster failure, but I doubt it.
I could be wrong and often am, since I would NEVER claim to know everything just what I have experienced.
Its possible that instrument cluster is in the same loop and causes same symptoms and that it has failed again in that case, I would insist they do repair free.
But for me it was the VSM. I called 3 friends one who has stayed at Ford and two others who have independent repair shops and before I could finish giving them the symptoms they all said "VSM" so this is a pretty well documented and predominate problem.
I was out of town with a little promotional business I have (see homepage here) and just told the old lady to take it to my buddy at Ford and tell them to fix it. Even thought I specifically told her to tell them to change VSM no questions asked they still clipped me for diagnosis fee!
I am going to dig into this more when I have time, but in the meanwhile I am going to spray the crap out of all the locks on all my F-350s as I own several. Ya might try yelling and screaming at dealer as I do, never helps me get anything, but I feel better when i leave.
Good Luck
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 07:56 PM
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similar problem but with a twist

I just bought a 2002 F-250 XLT Powerstoke and am having some of the same issues but with a little twist. When I was test driving i noticed the door ajar light would not go out and the dealer said "oh most likely a switch we will fix it." After getting home i noticed that it did not go on at all and that the dome light did not illuminate also. This is when I also discovered that the automatic lights did not operate (since i had only seen the truck in daylight before). The keyless entry control was also mysteriously missing when i went to pick up the truck which was located quite a long ways from my home. Anyway, after calling the dealer and confronting him on this he put his mechanic on the phone who swore that he had installed a new switch. I am still in negotiation with him about these issues...Could this be a blown fuse? or related to the VSM problem? If so how much does the VSM cost? Why did everything work earlier and the door ajar light didn't go out but now nothing works? Is it possible to "unhook" the door ajar light? Any help or thoughts would be appreciated....Thanks
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2008, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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These Crazy Fords.....

I think I stated earlier that a door switch can actually mimick some of the same symptoms as a bad V.S.M. module and many of the guys fixed the problem by spraying all the locks. (several links here on that). There is a little push button switch which is intregal in the door latch assy. it can be purchased and replaced separately. It would be interesting for you to get your remote and see how it operates as mine (remote doorlock system) went completely haywire.
I would assume your in good shape as you had documented the problem before you took the truck home. Regardless, I don't think it could hurt for you to replicate what others have done here as preventive maintenance. Which is spraying the locks with a brake cleaner/electrical cleaner then soaking with a type of penetrating lube. Look for other threads here....
See what the dealer is willing to do in order to fix the problem before you proceed and if they blow you off then let us know. The price on mine exceeded $400 so I would really push the dealer to fix it. I have still not looked through the wiring and systems involved in this but its extensive. Hopefully Joechester could weigh in with the resolution of his problem. It should help shed more light on problem. I would not disable the door ajar light as it is a definite safety feature especially if you have kids and really is not a "fix" for the problem.
Keep us advised.....

Last edited by dumokie; 02-16-2008 at 10:56 AM. Reason: adding more info.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 08:55 AM
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Same issues

I have a 2002 F250 powerstroke crew cab, and have exactly the same issues. My power locks don't work, my dome light only works in manual, my remote entry doesn't work, and my door ajar light is on. If i unhhok the batteries, it will clear the computer, and all issues go away for a little while, but all come back. Sounds like the VSM doesn't it?. I have borrowed a diagnostic tool, and this comes up with a P0603 error, which is the powertrain control module KAM. I have heard this is normal in chipped vehicles, and is nothing to worry about. Any suggestions??? New to this blog, and looking for some help.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 12:57 AM
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Had the same issues on my '02 cc 4x4 drw 7.3 truck. VSM was around $120. Was quoted up to $395 at some dealerships - just for the VSM. Most parts guys did not know what a VSM is and try to sell me a GEM.......

Replaced the VSM myself. Took about 45 minutes. Let it hand down on the tranny tunnel and unfortunately had to go to get it reprogrammed at a local dealer for $145 - took him about 15 minutes. He was not able to access my old VSM via his computer so he just reprorammed it from scratch using the build sheet.

No more problems.

BTW the door lock issue was NOT solved with the VSM but the aluminum foil on the little flat resistors in the electric motors solved that....all four doors work (took about 1 hr + a six pack per door)


ps. funny how we all own a '02 with the same problem - bet you Ford knows about a bad batch of VSM's in our trucks but will never to anything about them...

Last edited by gp49; 06-28-2009 at 01:01 AM.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 03:45 PM
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Looking for some advice- have a 02' and recently put in cold air intake. At the same time, the power door lock switches stopped working, door ajar light stays on and the auto headlight feature stopped working. Any suggestions?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 08:50 AM
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Got it!

I purchased a new VSM from the dealership. $130 and about an hour to install myself. Ford has replaced the original VSM with an upgraded version, so ask for this one if you purchase. (Funny, they must have realized there is an issue with the originals.) Brought the truck to the dealership, and they had to program the new VSM, from build sheet. Took them about 20 minutes. All my issues are gone, and things work perfect again.
I do not believe the cold air intake has anything to do with your door locks. There is nothing that ties anty of this together. I believe it to be just coincidence. Just my opinion.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 04:34 PM
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nevermind, the plug with one wire in it got disconnected plugged it back in and it works great

Last edited by firedog2706; 02-22-2010 at 05:18 PM.
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