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What is a PCP switch?

I have a 2001 Ford Focus with 175000 miles on it. Recently, I began to notice a bucking or surging on acceleration in all gears. I added a fuel system cleaner to no avail. I took the car to a local mechanic for a look, and he pulled a system code P1709 “PCP switch out of range”. What is this switch, and will it hurt to drive the car until the switch can be replaced?

P1709: Park or Neutral Position Switch out of Self-Test Range

I would think this would mainly affect the ability to start the car, but I suppose it could also throw the transmission controller for a loop. I don’t know about damage, but II have a feeling it isn’t doing the transmission any good. Has the wiring and connection to the switch been checked?

DTC P1709 is, “Park/neutral switch [is] out of self test range.” This may mean that the switch has high resistance (ohms) values. The park/neutral switch allows the engine to crank for starting. Your mechanic can go through the troubleshooting chart for P1709, to see what other function it might have an effect on.