Ford Police Interceptor Utility (PIU)

Cop tires, cop suspension, cop brakes, and a cop engine. What else do you need?

Vehicle Details

  • Make – Ford
  • Model – Police Interceptor Utility (PIU)
  • Model Year – 2014
  • Options – Equipment Group 500A (see window sticker)
  • Engine – 3.7 liter Cyclone (Duratec) V6 engine (304 bhp)
  • VIN – 1FM5K8AR3EGA60179 (VIN Decoder here)
  • Purchase Date – November 12, 2022
  • License Plate – 8KCX599 (California) (SMOG Lookup here)
  • Color – Purple (Original Color was code UA – Black, Ebony and a second code is listed YZ that is Oxford White – presumably the doors were painted white)
  • Transmission Code – C – 6-speed automatic transmission 6F55

Additional Specs online here and Wikipedia background on the Interceptor version can be found here

CarFax report from the time of purchase can be found here..

MyCarFax Records here (logged in as Stefano)

Barney’s birth certificate. Born Sept 2013 and weighed in at 6,300 lbs!

Meet ‘Barney’ when he was new (to us)!

Service History

Date: March 24, 2023
Mileage: 169,700
Performed by: Stefano

Services Performed: Dealing with some of the issues noted during the March 22nd work:

  • Replaced the Windshield Wiper Cowl. Ordered for Ford OEM replacement from dealer.
    • Removed wiper arms.
    • Cleaned trough underneath out and then treated with Meguairs Ultimate Black to bring it back to life.
    • While new Cowl was clean and new, used Armor King Ceramic Coating and coated it so it stays black and has UV protection.
    • Installed Cowl, clipping properly into place along windshield edge.
    • Reinstalled wiper arms, setting into correct position.
  • Replaced the wiper arm nut covers both sides as noted below. Ordered Ford OEM part from dealer. Ceramic coated them (plastic) and the entire wiper arm to make it nice and black again
  • Cleaned windshield exterior with glass cleaner
  • Purchased and installed from bumper tow hook cover. Ordered Ford OEM part from dealer. Was an expensive little bit for what you get. Unpainted, so it will need to get painted or wrapped.
  • Vacuumed and wet wiped out the drivers and passenger side footwells.
  • Noted that the Clock on the new Sync3 seems to be keeping time better now. Will monitor.

Date: March 22, 2023
Mileage: 169,690
Performed by: Stefano

Services Performed: Dealing with some of the initial issues noted back on the original inspection, getting the rear seating row all tuned up and back to normal:

  • Installed the four 10mm bolts that anchor the rear door cards (2 per door). These were missing when vehicle was purchased. Purchased Ford OEM parts. [Stefano over-tightened and broke bolt off on RR door, the bolt at the hand hold area – dang]
  • Installed the four 7mm screws that also anchor the rear door cards (2 per door). These were missing when vehicle was purchased. Purchased Ford OEM parts.
  • Installed the two trim covers for the rear door cards (behind door pull and door grab handle) that would cover the 10mm bolt areas. These were missing when vehicle was purchased. Purchased Ford OEM parts.
  • Installed the upper interior trim covers on the rear doors that sit above the door cards. These were missing when vehicle was purchased. Purchased Ford parts from local auto dismantler in Rancho Cordova.
  • Installed the large floor foam insulation piece that sits behind the rear seat row. Included two 10mm bolts and two spacers. This was missing when vehicle was purchased. Purchased Ford parts from local auto dismantler in Rancho Cordova.
  • Replaced the right rear door power window control switch. This wasn’t working when purchased. Purchased a used switch from eBay. Swapped the switch, worked perfectly.
  • Right wiper blade arm was mounted with the blade parking too low. It was hitting the cowl at the bottom of the windshield smashing up the rubber trim on it. I removed the nut (the plastic cover broke – dang) and I adjusted the arm up a few degrees to fit perfectly. I’ve ordered replacement nut covers and and cowl from Ford. Cowl wasn’t cheap. Future project.
  • Ordered a front tow hook cover for the front bumper cover from Ford. Will pop it in when arrives.
  • Topped off the washer fluid with about 3 liters of cold weather blue fluid
  • Checked engine oil, was perfect.
  • Topped off the Engine coolant. Was at the min level. Added more 50/50 premix that was still on-hand from the coolant flush. At max line now. Will monitor in case we are seeing the signs of a coolant leak or worse yet the dreaded water pump leak.
  • Added a Serviced by Stefano’s Garage license plate frame to the rear license plate. Still used the theft proof license plate screws.
  • Applied the new CA DMV registration sticker for 2024.

Saving changing the A and B pillars and grab handles, and rear dome light until I remove the headliner to look for source of leak near rear dome light. At the same time I will fit the Front and Rear dashcams I have on hand as an upgrade.

Date: March 19, 2023
Mileage: 169,640
Performed by: Stefano

Services Performed: Gearing up to get some remote key fobs working and lay the groundwork for remote start too. Watched a few YouTubes on this, and using Forscan software and OBDII hookup this can be enabled for the PIU. I used Forscan and went into the body module and enabled:

  • Remote Entry
  • Remote Start
  • Remote Start Climate Settings

I let Forscan edit the blocks, but here is the before/after of the blocks the videos talk about for block 726-18-01 (that relate to remote entry). It changed from 0100-0005-4B to 0100-0005-4C. This matched one of the codes shown in the YouTube video (that the dude was a little unclear). I trust Forscan’s built in functions will be more reliable, but we’ll see after I actually have it working.

Here is a shot of the IPC module blocks AFTER I had made the change in the Body module. The field 720-01-03 matches what the YouTube video also suggests 808A-0000-35 – assuming that Forscan also modified this when I did the Body block. [Sorry – I didn’t check this before I started]

IPC Module AFTER changes for Remote Entry were enabled in Body Module.

I’ve ordered two key fobs from and they arrive in a week or so. 5 button models with remote start as well. Hoping I’ll be able to code them to Barney.

Date: March 17, 2023
Mileage: 169,632
Performed by: Stefano

Services Performed: Major interior upgrade today. Fitted a 4″ to 8″ screen Infotainment system upgrade from This is a Ford Factory upgrade of the stock 4″ screen to a more glorious 8″ touchscreen. All the parts other than the wiring harness they supply are actual Ford parts from the screen to the plastic bezel to climate control to USB ports. Some major feature updates include:

  • 8″ Touchscreen
  • Android Auto and Apple Carplay
  • Ford Sync 3 software with WiFi updates
  • Bluetooth Streaming
  • Automatic climate control (single zone)

They had a fantastic how to install YouTube video that I followed step by step and it only took about 90 minutes to fit from start to finish.

Works great now! Loving the automatic climate control and the much easier music streaming. Now with Android Auto can use Google Maps for navigation.

The only lingering issues with the kit are:

  • The time setting on its display isn’t sticking. Seems to change with turning the key on/off. Sometimes says noon.
  • The rear parking camera signal displays on the rear view mirror still rather than the new screen
  • The right side buttons on the steering wheel that used to control the old system don’t seem to do anything now. Not sure if that is by design.

I am reaching out to their tech support to ask them about it. There will be the overshadowing complication of it being a police interceptor and not a stock 2014 explorer. Might be blazing the trail some here.

Out with the old 4″ Ford Sync 2 system and in with the new 8″ Touchscreen Ford Sync 3 system

Date: November 29, 2022
Mileage: 165,812
Performed by: Stefano

Services Performed: Final few details completed before its off to the mountains and the snow.

  • Replaced the jack, tow ring, foam tool assembly that was missing. Sourced used from eBay. Fit perfectly and was complete.
  • Replaced the two missing rear seat belt buckles. Sourced used from eBay. Fit perfectly.
  • Stowed a space 1 liter bottle of Castrol Edge 5W-20 oil in spare tire compartment along with some shop rags and a roll of shop paper towels.
  • Had an extra key cut. Home Depot – plastic head key format 24R. Tested in all three locks and ignition.

Barney’s ready for his next adventure!

Date: November 29, 2022
Mileage: 165,808
Performed by: Les Schwab Tires

Services Performed: Performed wheel alignment. Rear was OK from the dealer visit last week, front needed some toe adjustment. Came into spec just fine. Technician noted the car was in good condition underneath.

Date: November 28, 2022
Mileage: 165,800
Performed by: Stefano

Services Performed: Received my Forscan software license and OBDLink EX cable. Connected to car and reviewed DTCs and module configurations. Was able to adjust:

  • Disabled Police Dark Mode. The interior lights now come on when the door is opened – Yay!
  • Enabled Daytime Running Lights. They work with the park lights though, not the headlights. More to experiment with in the software.

Still trying to learn why the turn signal don’t make noise, and there is no dinger for leaving the lights on or key in ignition. May need to ask the Ford Dealer if they know. More Googling to do I think.

Date: November 26, 2022
Mileage: 165,778
Performed by: Stefano

Services Performed: Continuing the last few odd’s and end’s of the refurb:

  • Set all five tire pressures to spec (36 psi).
  • Retrained the TPMS system to the four wheels after the new tires now installed (including the new rim and Autel TPMS sensor). Codes at each wheel now according to the Autel are:
    • FL 903514603
    • FR 903508223
    • RR 855718034 (Autel MX sensor)
    • LR 903610516
  • Replaced the burned out rear license plate light with new Sylvania 2825 bulb.
  • Properly stowed the spare tire using the new hold down.
  • Made a final adjustment to the headlight aim to give it 1% down angle (3″ at 25 feet). Based this on the molded in note on the headlight assembly. The owners manual method doesn’t make it clear what down angle there should be, rather they base it on the thickness of the bright solid offset light. Could be about the same, but I was worried that dead level was not the best idea either.
  • Installed some infotainment stuff:
    • 4 ft. USB A to C cable from the USB port
    • 4 ft. 3.5mm Line In cable
    • High Speed Charger with USB A and C ports to one of the 12V power ports
    • 3 ft. USB C to C cable for the high speed charger port

Date: November 26, 2022
Mileage: 165,761
Performed by: Costo Tire Center

Services Performed: Fitted Barney with new shoes today. Ordered four new Michelin Cross Climate 2 tires from Costco. 245/55R18. $1,022 installed.

  • Had them move the existing Left Rear tire and rim (with TPMS) to the spare (since we were missing the spare). Spare is still fitted with original police spec tire Goodyear Eagle RS-A and has a lot of tread left on it.
  • Had them install the new Ford rim and Autel TPMS sensor along with the new tire to the LR position
  • Had them balance all four wheels

Date: November 24, 2022
Mileage: 165,743
Performed by: Stefano

Services Performed: Continuing Barney’s recovery, today Stefano managed to:

What’s missing in this photo?
  • Replaced the front suspension drop links (both left and right) with Ford OEM
  • Replaced the front sway bar bushings with Ford OEM. Tada – the ‘clunk’ from the Front suspension is now gone.
  • Discovered the right front half shaft middle bearing carrier was hanging barely on. One stud/nut entirely gone, and the other no nut. Just resting by gravity. Half shaft could be moved L-R an inch or two. Geez. Nice job Ford PPI. The corrosion seems to show this has been like this a while. My guess is that the half shaft was replaced previously, and these were forgotten or not tightened. Check out the photo.
    • Went to Ford same day and purchased the replacement stud and nuts. Installed.
  • Double checked the leak from the now replaced Engine Oil Pressure sender. Some old residual oil still streaking. Used brake clean and hosed the entire area down, getting rid of all traces of the old leak. Will monitor.
  • Changed the Automatic Transmission Fluid. Drained out ~ 3.5 liters – typical dirty ATF fluid. Refilled with 5.1 liters of new Ford Mercon LV fluid using the proper fill and level check procedure. So it was about 1.5 liters low when we purchased.
  • Sanded and polished the Left Front headlight. What a difference. I was more aggressive sanding off the pitted hard clear coat layer than I was with the right. Check out the before/after photo.
  • Adjusted the aim of the headlights. Noticed while night driving they seemed aimed too close. Followed the procedure in the owners manual. Both were low, but right side was super low.
  • Adjusted the aim of the windshield sprayers. Drivers side was spraying high. All good now. Topped up the washer reservoir.
  • Picked up a new matching wheel rim from local Ford dealer. Ordered new Ford OEM rim.
  • Ordered one Autel MX Sensor (rubber stem) for the new spare wheel. Used Autel programmer to commission it with a new random code.
  • Installed new toolkit hold down stud and spare tire mount. Ordered Ford OEM.
  • Removed manky aftermarket foam trim that was falling off around the perimeter of the opening of the rear hatch. Just peeled away the old loose sections.
  • Connected the rear door handles so they can now open the doors from the inside. Removed door panels (all mounting screws were missing – these are on order now), connected the existing fitted cable to the handles, and then removed rubber bung cover over child lock location and set lock to work properly. Tada! Refitted door panels.
  • Fixed drivers side A-pillar cover, was sitting proud. Found incorrectly installed and a plastic aligner was out of place. Removed and reinstalled.
  • Fixed passenger side A-pillar fitment to the door seal and headliner.
  • Fixed passenger front door seal fitment to headliner by correcting B-pillar plastic fitment where it meets headliner. I’m guessing all the trim was removed when decommissioned to remove wiring and prisoner cage. They did a crap job and just threw it back together knowing it would be auctioned.
  • Fixed Left Rear door leading edge trim and door wiring harness rubber boot cover. Just removed and refitted properly.
  • Fixed right rear trim panel where it meets the rear hatch seal. Clip was trapped out of place. Removed and refitted properly.
  • Fixed park brake cable rubber boot fitment where it comes out under the drivers floor area.
  • Fitted the Ford OEM right front sun visor retaining mount. Old screw and remains of old mount were there, just unscrewed and replaced.
  • Changed the windshield washer fluid to winterized -20 deg fluid. Syphoned out the old fluid, and refilled with new. Then ran the front and rear wiper sprayers considerably long time to flush out the old. Topped off fluid.
Closeup of Right Front Headlight before and after polishing
Overall view of Left Front Headlight Before and After Polishing

Date: November 23, 2022
Mileage: 165,686
Performed by: Future Ford of Sacramento (dealership)

PPI Report

Services Performed: I took Barney in for a Post Purchase Inspection (PPI) to have the dealership do their best and find any issues. I wanted to compare to Stefano’s review. Peace of mind having the ‘professionals’ look at it. Honestly, lived up to a typical dealer level of quality (mediocre to poor). They noted that the Oil Pressure sending unit was leaking oil and needed replaced, but this had already been repaired and all they based it on was the residual oil. They stated the A/C wasn’t working, but it blows ‘sorta’ cold, so it’s not completely dead. Maybe there is an A/C leak or needs recharged, but its not ‘broken’. They seemed to wiff at the front suspension, and just recommended replacing it all (Struts, sway bar, links, control arms). They admitted they weren’t sure what was causing the clunk, but the drop links and sway bar bushes were certainly gone. I’m not sure the lower control arms or front struts are completely worn out. We’ll see if the Sway Bar issues clear it up. Other than that, they spotted that one of the rear license plate bulbs (left) was out (Stefano missed that). You can view their entire inspection report and estimated repair costs (here). They also had a nifty online version of it too, here is the link.

Fun to compare the costs. For example, Stefano paid about $32 for a new Ford OEM oil pressure sending unit from Amazon, and it took an hour to install. Their estimate is $444 for the work. DIY is the way to go for some items. They want $70 to fix the license plate light bulb?!

Also asked them to look for any open recalls or service campaigns for the car. They said the Carbon Monoxide inspection was not necessary for this VIN. They did find it needed the rear Toe Link recall done. Some issue where the rear toe link can break. They kept Barney overnight, fitted new rear suspension toe links, and then did a rear wheel alignment. Back in spec!

Rear Wheel Alignment Before and After Toe Link Recall

Date: November 20, 2022
Mileage: 165,660
Performed by: Stefano

Services Performed: Starting the renovation work:

  • Replaced the Cabin filter with Ford OEM FP68
    • Filter was moderately dirty, but not nasty.
    • Noted that the left latch on the filter retaining cover is snapped off by someone in the past. Still holds on well with the right catch.
  • Replaced the rear hatch gas struts with aftermarket from Amazon. Rear hatch is much better now.
  • Sanded and polished the RF headlight to remove pitting and bring back to 95% of new awesomeness.
  • Changed leaking Engine Oil Pressure sending unit with Ford OEMSW-8368. Oil leak resolved.
  • Cleaned up oil from the leak using Chemical Guys Grime Reaper and brush. Wiped and rinsed. All clean now.
  • Degreased bottom of transmission area where it meets the engine. Grime Reaper, brush, brake clean. Can monitor now better.
  • Changed Engine Oil with Castrol Edge 5W-20 full synthetic. Took just over 6 liters
  • Changed Engine Oil filter. Used Ford OEM filter.
  • Changed/Flushed Engine Coolant. Drained the red stuff out through radiator petcock valve. Airlift Vacuum refilled using PEAK OET Extended Life Orange prediluted 50/50 coolant. All I could get out is about 4 liters. So, I filled with new coolant, ran engine up to temp for 10 mins, then drained and refilled again with more new Coolant. Took about 5 liters second time. Topped off at max level.
  • Flushed brake fluid. Was nasty looking. RF bleed nipple was really tight. Flushed with new Prestone DOT4 synthetic fluid.
  • Applied anti-seize compound to the wheel studs while I had wheels off doing brake fluid flush. They needed it.
  • Trimmed a piece of foil tape and applied on roof to temporarily seal the 3/4″ rubber bung that is missing. May be the roof leak that was causing water in the rear dome light. Not sure. All 5 rubber bungs should be replaced, and the cell antenna gasket could probably be replaced too. Its painted but may be the culprit since its directly over the dome light.
  • Fixed the lower drivers footwell left side trim that was flopping over onto the park brake pedal. Some cabling was mounded. Realigned, and properly reinstalled the side panel protection with a new fir tree pin under the trim.
  • Used my Autel TPMS tool and read the TPMS sensor IDs of all four wheels. They responded perfectly, so seems they are present and OK. The codes are:
    • FL 903610516
    • FR 903508223
    • RR 903514603
    • RL 893635654
  • Used my Autel OBDII tool to auto scan all the modules for DTCs. All OK except these noted ones:
    • Body Module B115E-55 which seems to indicate that the rear backup camera might have been replaced and needs calibrated. May ask the Dealer to explain it/fix it. Upon review, the ‘lines’ don’t bend indicating where the car is going in reverse. Maybe this will fix that.
    • General Module B1 457-15 called Auxiliary Switch 1. I couldn’t find any reference to this on the Google. Not going to worry about it.
Leaking sensor removed

Date: November 13, 2022
Mileage: 165,600
Performed by: Stefano

Services Performed: Post Purchase inspection by Stefano to see if Barney was a gem or a dud. Overall, has a few issues, but in decent shape especially for what was paid for him. Inspection report:

  • Oil Leak – substantial. Observed Oil Pressure sending unit leaking out of its electronics head and dripping down over A/C compressor and blowing back across sump and suspension. Might be lucky here and just have to replace the sensor and clean up the mess.
  • Inspected Suspension. Notables:
    • LF and RF Sway bar drop links worn. Boots torn, some play. Recommend replacing.
    • Front sway bar bushings worn. Movement in sway bay. I think this is causing some clunking noise. Recommend replace bushings.
    • LF and RF rear lower control arm bushings appear ‘soft’. The shaft is slightly offset when observed. Not torn or broken. Might be normal, but suspect. Wait for Ford dealer PPI to see what they find/say.
    • RR and LR shocks found to be ‘wet’. Still functional, but sign that they are worn and should be replaced soon’ish
  • RF interior sun visor mount broken off. Recommend ordering replacement from Ford.
  • Front bumper Tow Hook cover missing
  • Spare tire missing
  • Jack/Toolkit missing
  • Inspected drive shaft, U-joints, bearing support. OK.
  • Inspected the rear differential (no leaks), rear half shafts (boots OK), and rear subframe mounts (OK).
  • Bit of oil seen on bottom of transmission housing where it mates with engine. Just a weep mixed with dried dust. Not a significant problem. Likely a weeping rear main seal? Observe.
  • Inspected Tires
    • Date codes all about 2018. Goodyear Eagle RS-A 245/55 R18 (cop tires)
    • LF, RF and RR all about 75% worn out.
    • LR has more tread, likely only 25% worn.
    • LR has remains of nail or screw in tread block, not sure if leaking. Aligned with tire weight in outer tread block
    • TPMS light was on. Checked and set all tire pressures to 36 psi (fronts were about 25psi). TPMS light went out on its own.
    • Recommend buy new rim for spare, order four new tires, move LR to spare position and mount for new tires to existing rims and 1 new rim.
  • Rear seats missing the seat belt buckle for the right and center seats. Anchor bolts and wave washers present. Seems like someone peeled them out. Also missing the plastic trims that surround them. The buckles should be replaced at least.
  • Right Rear Door power window not working. Could be the switch, or maybe Police Interceptor programming, or no power window at all. Need to look inside the door panel first.
  • Rear hatch struts found to be a bit weak. Holding it up now, but in cold weather will be a head banger. Recommend replace.
  • Front Interior lights don’t operate with the door opening/closing. Just dark. The center roof map lights and the front cabin lights work fine manually. Wondering if there was some police programming that set it so the lights don’t come on when doors open.
  • Turn signals seem to have some issues
    • There is no ‘tick tick tick’ when they are blinking. No sound.
    • They don’t auto cancel unless the turn is more extreme (full 90 deg corner). If you put them on and lane change, they keep going.
    • The stalk doesn’t stick in the flicked direction. Like the detents are worn out. Just always comes back to center. Might be worth a try just to replace the stalk.
  • Front headlights aren’t aimed at the same level. RF seems a bit low. Suggest just aligning them both to match.
  • Rear storage area light has issues
    • I could see water sloshing in it
    • Only the white light works in the 2 position switch. 2nd position doesn’t work
    • Removed lens, drained water, wiped out. Issue has been around a while due to stains.
    • Corrosion on the LED outer ring of lights, they don’t work now.
    • Suspect missing bung on roof causing water infiltration
    • Will need to have light unit replaced to fix the dual mode if wanted.
  • Where the missing spare tire should be, there was an extra battery box bolted to floor.
    • Removed battery box and bolts.
    • Vacuumed all the debris that was hiding underneath
    • Used Dynamat Metal Foil Tape and taped over the four holes, and four additional adjacent holes that were visible to prevent carbon monoxide ingress.
  • Removed AutoAmore dealer license plate frames
  • Windshield Wipers were shot. All three.
    • Purchased Bosch Icon blades for front – Icon 26OE for LF, and 22OE for RF. Purchase Bosch 11″ rear wiper blade.
    • Installed new blades. All good now.
  • Check Fluids
    • Engine oil – OK
    • Brake fluid – OK
    • Coolant – OK (recommend getting some Ford coolant for shop)
  • Inspected Exhaust – no issues found
  • Lubricated Door Lock Cylinders with 3-in-1 Dry Lock Lube
  • Cleared existing Paired cell phones form Ford Sync media system. Paired my S10 and tested.
  • Inspected engine air filter – looks new.
  • Recommend doing an engine oil and filter change after the Oil Pressure sending unit is replaced.
  • Recommend doing a cabin filter change
  • Recommend taking to Ford Dealer for PPI to see what the experts find beyond what I’ve seen.
    • Request they do the CO Capaign inspection
    • Request they do the Rear Toe Link Campaign inspection
    • Pickup parts for
      • Replacement Rim for Spare
      • Sunvisor mount
      • Front drop links
      • Front swap bar bushings
      • Engine Oil Sending unit
      • Firmware update of all electronic modules

Date: April 6, 2022
Mileage: 162,611
Performed by: Fairchild Automotive, Chico, CA

Services Performed: According to Carfax report, the previous owner had the Serpentine Belt replaced.

Date: June 11, 2021
Mileage: 156,993
Performed by: Affordable Automotive, Chico, CA

Services Performed: According to Carfax report, the previous owner had the following work performed:

  • Brakes Checked
  • Front Brake Pads replaced
  • Rear Brake Pads replaced
  • Brake rotors replaced
  • Coolant reservoir replaced
  • A/C system serviced
  • A/C refrigerant recharged

Date: December 3, 2019
Mileage: 134,573
Performed by: Fairchild Automotive, Chico, CA

Services Performed: According to Carfax report, the previous owner had the horn checked and horn contact replaced. This is misleading, as there is gawd awful scabbed on horn button on the lower dash. They didn’t actually fix the horn in the wheel.

Date: June 30, 2017
Mileage: 90,952
Performed by: Geweke Ford, Yuba City, CA

Services Performed: According to Carfax report, the original owner (Yuba City Police?) had the spark plugs replaced.

Performed by:

Performed by: