Mode 6 – Find Ford Misfires Before Code Sets

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)

13 Responses
  1. Paul :

    Date: January 21, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

    Good info. is there a chart or guide to Ford mode 6 CID & TID characters. Example, CID 00 TID 2A, PH4 vapor Gen change max value. Or CID 00 TID 56? Some of the mode 6 codes =have a referance some do not.

  2. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 21, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

    Paul, mode 6 is most helpful when you know there is a misfire and there’s no code set yet. Visit for more information/details – I first learned about this from Pete (owner of Tell him DennisB sent ya!

  3. Todd guthrie :

    Date: January 19, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

    Hello I’m confused on a mode 6 issue I’m working with a 2001 ford mustang gt 4.6l. And found failures (tid)53 (0a). And (tid)53(09) what does this mean! Can ya help

  4. Chris :

    Date: April 26, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    Todd the 09 and 0a are for cylenders 9 and 10 since ford has V10s. The have these programed in so you may even see a V6 car show all 10 with 6-10 failing. you just want to worry about 1-how many cylenders you have.

  5. Ryan :

    Date: May 7, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

    Checking $53 on cylinder 7 the
    test 165F
    max 7BFD
    STS ok
    Cylinder 8
    Test 0000
    Max 7BFD
    STS ok
    What does this test value for cylinder 7 mean? Everything else tests at 0%
    Thank you.

  6. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 7, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

    Not seeing where it has misfired or not. The key is to look for differing data with one of the cylinders that would point to a particular one as being the problem. If you know which cylinder is misfiring swapping coils may be done to see if the misfiring changes cylinders; it’s a quick easy test without replacing a coil before you’re sure it’s bad.

  7. brewmaster808 :

    Date: January 19, 2015 @ 4:41 pm

    I still not understanding, previous reader gave Pxxx codes. New reader finds Tid 90 cid 46, Tid 07 cid 46 and Tid 42 cid 12. I have no ideal how to identify these codes, what would I need to do. Thank you very much.

  8. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 20, 2015 @ 9:28 am

    Ryan, the article is mainly to point out that there’s a misfire counter that will point to a certain cylinder before a hard misfire code is set. That is what I and many other techs use Mode 6 for. I never had a need to determine what the other fields are for. But as a way to find a misfiring cylinder before a misfire code is triggered, Mode 6 is very useful. Good Luck.

  9. RangerV4 :

    Date: January 28, 2015 @ 4:49 pm

    If my Ranger has 4 cylinders but 8 spark plugs, should I pay attention to the first four or the first eight? Also, my code reader is skipping/not showing $03 & $04, do you know why is that? Thanks a lot!

  10. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 28, 2015 @ 5:59 pm

    The Ranger has 4 intake and 4 exhaust spark plugs. Not sure why $03 & $04 would be missing. I’d look for any of hem that say fail though. Good Luck.

  11. RangerV4 :

    Date: January 28, 2015 @ 8:33 pm

    Thanks for your response, this is what I’m getting: $01, $02, $06, $08 PASS / $05, $07, $09, $0a FAIL / $03, $04 not showing. Thanks for your help!

  12. Jon :

    Date: January 29, 2015 @ 8:21 pm

    2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.7 litre V-6 upon warm start engine sputters and misfires. After trying 3-4 times engine finally starts. Runs fine, cold start fine. Warm start usually sputters. Plugs are fairly new, 94K miles. Any suggestions?

  13. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 30, 2015 @ 7:21 am

    Jon, this article is on Mode 6 and Fords. However, your misfire could be from fuel loading up in carbon or from leaky injectors. Couple of things to try. I would check for codes. If no codes are present I’d try having the fuel injection system cleaned. I’d also check the fuel pressure when the problem occurs. Good Luck.

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