Mode 6 – Find Ford Misfires Before Code SetsMay 30, 2009 11:04 am Auto Scan Tool, Ford Problems, Tech/Mechanic
Mode $06 misfire information displayed
Misfires particularly in Ford cars and trucks can many times be identified before a misfire code sets and turns the CEL (Check Engine Light) on. This is a huge time saver, especially when there is a definite misfire felt but the code seems to take forever to appear. Fords take a long time in some cases to run through it’s necessary drive cycles needed for self testing. Auto technicians deal with this common problem of diagnosing misfires on Ford vehicles with no codes set by using Mode $06. Usually only manufacturer specific scan tools will display misfire data when there’s no code, but OBD 2 generic scan tools that can access mode 6 on Ford vehicles can be a great help.
A misfire that hasn’t set a code or even a pending code, could be caused from a fouled spark plug, spark plug wires, ignition coil, injector or some other culprit. The particular cylinder can be pinpointed with the use of mode $06 diagnostics. For accessing “mode 6” or as the scan tool may display it “$06” an automotive scanner is needed that does more than just code reading. For example, the Genisys scan tool can access Ford mode 6 information by using OBD II generic, going to special tests and then selecting mode 6. Keep in mind Ford is the first car manufacturer that allows misfire data access in this way. Some tech’s may remember this is similar to some GM vehicles that displayed misfire counters for each cylinder in the past.
On Ford mode 6 there will be a list of cylinders. If working on a 6 cylinder the first six will apply, if working on an 8 cylinder the first eight will apply; you get the idea. Look for pass or fail for each cylinder, the scan tool data for mode 6 showing a misfire for cylinder #4 may look something like this;
TID $53 CID $01 Pass (Cylinder #1)
TID $53 CID $02 Pass (Cylinder #2)
TID $53 CID $03 Pass (Cylinder #3)
TID $53 CID $04 Fail (Cylinder #4)
TID $53 CID $05 Pass (Cylinder #5)
TID $53 CID $06 Pass (Cylinder #6)
TID $53 CID $07 Pass (Cylinder #7)
TID $53 CID $08 Pass (Cylinder #8)
Question Why does the cylinder number show the $ (dollar) symbol in the data displayed?
Answer This is computer language and really means nothing to you and me – it’s not an indication that dollars are needed for the repair!
Question What is mode 06 anyways?
Answer Mode 6 is self monitoring that the car’s computer does to detect misfires. After the number of misfires exceed a pre-determined threshold the check engine light will be turned on. Mode 06 access gives us a look at the misfires in a cylinder before the light comes on.
Question Are there any other modes I should be aware of?
Answer The are other modes, but Mode 06, is the PID that will help with misfire codes on Fords before the code has been set. The mode definitions below are as described in the OBD-II standard SAE J1979.
$01. Show current data
$02. Show freeze frame data
$03. Show stored Diagnostic Trouble Codes
$04. Clear Diagnostic Trouble Codes and stored values
$05. Test results, oxygen sensor monitoring (non CAN only)
$06. Test results, other component/system monitoring (Test results, oxygen sensor monitoring for CAN only)
$07. Show pending Diagnostic Trouble Codes (detected during current or last driving cycle)
$08. Control operation of on-board component/system
$09. Request vehicle information
$0A. Permanent DTC’s (Cleared DTC’s)