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I swear I copy the link for this and repost it here 20x a week, so instead I'm just going to post the whole deal here. This was borrowed from Swamps via PSN. I did not write these, just merely reposting the info for you ... JOIN NOW TO REMOVE TRACER

FICM test procedure

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Old 10-21-2011, 03:48 PM
Mdub707's Avatar

Default FICM test procedure

I swear I copy the link for this and repost it here 20x a week, so instead I'm just going to post the whole deal here.

This was borrowed from Swamps via PSN. I did not write these, just merely reposting the info for you guys to follow...

6.0’s, FICM’s and cold-start issues.

If your 6.0 will not start cold, the issue may be either the glow plugs or glow plug controller, or it can be the FICM (Fuel Injection Control Module). If after a long cranking with no start you get a lot of white smoke (raw unburnt fuel) out the exhaust, the problem is in the glow plug system. If you do not get any smoke, the problem is probably in the FICM.

The 6.0 injector has two solenoids on it; one turns the injector on (open) and the other turns it off (close). A few years ago, Ford came out with a new program referred to as inductive heating for the FICM, intended to combat issues with missing and rough-running during cold startup due to sticking spool valves in the injectors. This program works by running “extra” current through the close coil to generate heat and warm up the spool. On paper it was an excellent idea, and I advised a lot of potential injector customers to have their FICM’s reflashed rather than buy a set of injectors.

Based on my testing, it appears that the early models of FICM’s only used the inductive heating when the EOT was less than 48*F or so. The “first” updated heating strategy turned it on any time the EOT was less than 184*F, meaning every time you started the truck if it was shut off for more than 10 minutes! Ford’s newest update to the heating strategy has it coming on below 148*F; better, but that’s still a lot of current draw.

Unfortunately, there have been some very serious consequences.

Although the FICM on the 6.0 is way more “intelligent” than the IDM on a 7.3, its basic job is to convert 12VDC to 48VDC and deliver this to the injectors at the proper time. Under normal operating conditions, the FICM typically draws 6-7 amps at 12V into the FICM power supply, which is well within its design limits. However, with the inductive heating active this current draw increases to 24-32 amps—it pegs the 30 amp meter on my test bench! Although the FICM power supply is capable of sustaining this load for short periods of time (1-2 minutes) it eventually gets very hot.

If this was all that happened, things wouldn’t be too bad, but there are several components on the printed circuit board that were not properly soldered during the manufacturing process, and as the PCB heats up and expands, the solder under these components cracks and they lose their electrical connection. The FICM’s 48 volt power supply is actually four separate or independent units; if one of the four goes down, the other three can supply enough current to run the truck, even with the inductive heating active. If two of the four go out, the truck will start and run normally as long as it is warm out, i.e. as long as the inductive heating does not turn on. If three of the four go out, the truck will probably not start or run unless it is at full operating temperature, and even then it may not start. If the injector voltage is over 35 volts, they run OK, although not as well as when it is 48 volts. If the voltage drops below around 24 volts, the injectors cannot fire. While most scan tools will display the FICM voltage, they do not always show the correct value. For instance, AutoEngenuity can only display voltages between 40 to 56 volts, so if the voltage is 35, it will display 40.

How to check your FICM for proper voltage output.
(Perform this check when the engine is completely cold.)

1. Remove the two bolts that hold the coolant reservoir to the cowl and push the reservoir out of the way forward and to your right. You do not need to disconnect any of the hoses.
2. On top of the FICM is a small cover held on by two #20 Torx screws; remove these two screws and pry the cover off.
3. On 2003 and early 2004 trucks, you will see 7 screw heads under the cover. On 2004 and later trucks you will see 4 screws.

4 screw FICM

4. Take a multi-meter set on DC volts and connect the ground lead to battery negative, and with the key ON measure the voltage at the screw on your right—closest to the driver’s side fender. Do not let the probe short against the case! The voltage should be right at 48 volts. Anything between 47 and 49 is good.
5. Have an assistant cycle the key and measure the voltage during the initial key-on buzz test. Voltage should not drop below 46 volts.
6. Next measure the voltage while cranking the engine. If voltage stays at or above 45-46 volts, the FICM is fine. Abnormally low battery voltage can give a false low FICM voltage reading, so make sure your batteries are good.

The procedure is the same for FICM’s with 7 screws, except that you will be checking voltage at a different screw, as shown in this picture.


It's not very clear here, which screw you need to test on the 7 pin units, so I'm adding this in. When you remove the cover, you will see 2 rows of screws. The lower row has 3 screws, the upper row has 4 screws. You want to test at the screw in the row of 4 that is closest to the passenger side fender. Opposite of the 4 pin. I hope this clears this up.

7 screw FICM

If the voltage is above 46 volts in all the tests, your FICM is in excellent condition. If it is between 36 and 45 volts its OK, but not great. If it is between 25 and 35 volts, you have serious FICM problems.

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Last edited by Mdub707; 11-29-2011 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:02 PM

Default 2003 6.0 Cold start issue

My 2003 6.0 SD has a cold start issue. It starts fine when plugged in, but if left unplugged it turns over a number of times before starting. It then belched white smoke from the exhaust. Based upon what I've read here, it seems to be a glow plug issue. I replaced the controller, but still have same issue. Are there areas in the wiring where I might have a short? Thanks
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:32 PM
Mdub707's Avatar


Glowplugs don't go bad on 6.0's very often... try the FICM test procedure...
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:34 AM
Diesel Enthusiast
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Thanks for posting this Mdub. Did the FICM test today and didnt realize how easy it was. Took all of about 10 mins and had my 9 yo daughter turn the key for me. Piece a cake!!!!

ntmdtr3fan's Sig:2007 F350 Crewed LB 6.0 4 inch turbo back, 80k miles. sinister coolant filter.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:14 AM
Mdub707's Avatar


Tested out ok?
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:36 AM
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Yup. KoEo 48. KoE cranking 47. Koe running 48 - 49 Works fine. Thanks again!
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:45 AM
Mdub707's Avatar


If you guys find that they are testing bad, PM me and I can walk you through some options.
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:16 PM
Diesel Fan


Hi, I did this test procedure twice now. The second time I hooked my battery charger to the battery to supply extra juice (start mode) in case my batteries were not providing all the power needed. Both times times I got 35 volts, dropping to 30, during the buzzing cycle of my injectors. Then when starting and running the voltage went up to 48 volts. Is my FICM bad? I have issues with the truck running like it is missing intermittently during cold warm up and it also seems to lack full power at different times when warm. Occasionally when starting cold the engine will catch and then stop flat. Then it will start again after another try. My EGR is leaking very little and I am taking it into the dealer. I have gone in before for this rough running and was told there is nothing wrong. Mine is a 2007 6.0 f250 powerstroke bone stock since birth. thanks
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:38 PM
Mdub707's Avatar


If you're not getting 48V at all three conditions

1) key on/ engine off
2) cranking
3) running

Then yes, your FICM is bad.

You've got a few options, I'm shooting you a PM

Just out of curiosity, when you first turn the key and you can hear the injectors buzz, do they sound weak, or like they're not buzzing like they should be?

Have you had your batteries load tested? I would do that too.
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:53 PM


I haven't been able to test my FICM yet, but plan to do it this weekend. I'm a little confused about a statement in the first post. It says if you get a lot of white smoke after cranking for a good bit of time, it's a glow plug problem. I replaced my controller, I'm going to check the voltage on my FICM. Thanks. This is very helpful for someone who has very little diesel background.
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