Ford that hates to be worked on — IDS and VCM2

Andrew from Midland Technician Posted   Latest   Edited  
Question
Electrical
2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT 6.7L 6-spd (TorqShift)
Crank / No Start

If you connect a factory scan tool to the DLC connector the interior lights will turn off along with the instrument cluster. I am using a Panasonic tough book with factory Ford IDS and VCM2. If I use it on any other ford truck it works fine. It's a 2017 ford F-250 xlt 6.7 diesel. If I connect a OTC breakout box to the DLC then the VCM2 to the breakout box everything works fine. 

My question is why is it only factory scan tool does this and why? I tried my snap on Zeus and works just fine. I tried my matco / rebranded launch pad and works fine. 

All I was gonna do was update ECM along with clearing codes in attempt to fix someone putting contaminated DEF inside DEF tank. Here's how the situation started, the truck was brought in with the complaint of DEF light on. Pulled sample from tank checked it with refractometer and tested bad at 12 well below the 32.5 mark of good quality DEF. Connected my VCM2 and there you go engine sound changed, lights on cluster went off then gauges went all the way down as if the key was off. I shut the truck off turns into a no crank no start. Pulled the vcm2 off the dlc and everything goes back to normal. 

Anyone have any ideas? 

+2

Daryll from Seymour

 

Diagnostician
 

Simply pluggin the VCM2 into the dlc does this? Or when starting communications? Does it do it if the vcm is disconnected from the usb cable?

+1

Andrew from Midland

 

Technician
 

Just plugging in the vcm2 to the dlc. Tried our older vcm2 same thing. Something on the truck side just does not like that . But like I said my snap on zeus will connect with no problems. So basically the computer or the cable not connected same. And using the wireless USB same problem. And once the vcm2 is connected it shows basically as is there is no power meaning the vcm2 does not illuminate . So I pulled out my otc break out box put a h11 headlight bulb on chassis ground pin and power pin has good bright light. So it's not power or ground issue on dlc. 

+1

Rick from Tucson

 

Instructor
 

My suggestion would be to backprobe the dlc if possible and grab some scope patterns. See how hooking up each of the tools affects the pattern. Post the captures here and we can probably get you headed in the right direction. 

If no scope is avaliable then try a dvom. 

It sounds like the network is getting shorted somehow. The scope patterns will say for sure. 

+3

Jaime from Ocala

 

Diagnostician
 

That vehicle is working as designed. If you look closely at the data link connector there is a module behind it. Your vcm2 is considered and intrusion, a violation of security. I believe if you tried to start the vehicle it would not respond.

Ford has a specific method of connecting a vcm 2 to that vehicle. I believe that you may need to use the vcm update tool in order to make it work on that vehicle.

It's typically fleet vehicles or police vehicles that reveal this problem. Are you working on such a vehicle?

+10

Andrew from Midland

 

Technician
 

Yes sir it's a fleet vehicle. Leased to us by another company but yes fleet vehicle. So how would I go about with connecting the vcm. Or is there something I need to download to fix this problem.

0

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

Dang Jaime, that's some serious Jedi Master knowledge, right there,

+2

Michael from Clinton

 

Mobile Technician
 

I had this issue with certain tools on a 2015 F150. The fix was to bind the 2 ground leads (4 and 5) with an OBDII breakout box. One of the grounds had a poor connection. It totally freaked out the entire bus.

+2

Mike from Fresno

 

Instructor
 

What is the VIN?

0

Andrew from Midland

 

Technician
 

I'll get the vin in the morning I already left the shop 

0

Mike from Fresno

 

Instructor
 

47635 Various Vehicles - Data Link Connector (DLC) Connection - Vehicles Equipped With Gateway Module (GWM) When connecting the Vehicle Communication Module (VCM) and Integrated Diagnostic System (IDS) or Ford Diagnosis and Repair System (FDRS) to the DLC located on the driver side under the steering column at the GWM, make sure that the ignition is off before connecting the VCM. If the ignition is on or the engine is running during the connection, it can result in various warning lights being illuminated with diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), no start, no crank conditions or the IPC inoperative. If a vehicle displays these issues, disconnect the equipment from the DLC and disconnect the vehicle battery. Wait 10 minutes and reinstall withthe ignition off. Clear any DTCs present and retest. EFFECTIVE DATE: 01-NOVEMBER-2018

+10

Andrew from Midland

 

Technician
 

This is why I bought the whole year subscription to this. You guys are awesome thank you mike 

+3

Glen from Arthur

 

Owner/Technician
 

If what Mike posted does not work, check the DLC terminals. If that does not work there have been some cases of bad gateway modules that will act up with a worn VCMII cable but work fine with the VCMM.

+1

David from Cambridge

   

Owner
   

Makes sense ! However, it's unbelievable how many techs do not respect the BASIC rule of NOT connecting a tool to the DLC - or disconnecting the tool from it - with the ignition on. 

+4

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

I have never in my life heard that "rule". Where did you learn that?

0

David from Cambridge

 

Owner
 

On numerous training sessions.

0

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

Thanks. Never had a training session with a scan tool. Was that at a dealership?

+1

David from Cambridge

 

Owner
 

No, at the tool manufacturer - or rather several of them. 

0

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

thanks. I've never met any of the manufacturers. I don't think I know anybody that has. I'll ask the Snap-On guy next time I see him if he has ever heard of this. It's certainly not common knowledge around here. I'll look for any documentation for connecting a scan tool next chance I get. I asked my co-worker if they were taught that at his trade school and he said "no".

0

David from Cambridge

   

Owner
   

I'm not trying to complicate this. And in response to one of your other comments : "Not sure what you are asking" - I don't think I was asking anything; rather I was replying to a comment? However, I'm not surprised that you have never met any of the manufacturers - and most people don't! Over the years, I've trained at tool manufacturers because I distributed their tools, and it helps to know a little bit about them and their use in order to do so, and to give the right answers to those who use them. There is another comment which supports what I stated, though for reason better known to you, you seem to be suggesting that I'm talking complete rubbish, and that no one in the world would think the same way as me. Thanks for that! Jaime Lazarus shares a part of my view and he says : "In every one of my classes in which the discussion may include the use of a scanner, I have stressed the importance of following proper protocol. Never attach to or disconnect from a DLC connector when the ignition switch is in any position but off." (That mirrors almost word for word what I stated in the first place.) I realise that Jaime Lazarus goes on to say : "I've explained in the past that the potential for spiking a module exists, but lately, with networks being like they are, it's just as important the scanner becomes a node in order to communicate." However, my interpretation - which I accept could be wrong - is that the scan tool could become a node AFTER the ignition was switched on, thus sticking to what has always seemed to me to be a logical and safe approach. If you will, to me, it's akin to the specific order of disconnecting or connecting battery cables. Again, I accept that I'm not familiar with either this particular Ford which hates to be worked on, or the tool in question, or any special procedures that must or must not be employed for this or similar vehicles. I responded to this initially as I was/am interested to understand more about this 'awkward' Ford, not to antagonise anyone or to be difficult! 

0

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

David, when I said "Not sure what you are asking" I was replying to Jaime.

I still can't find any documentation either way, except for this strange case of the Ford. I emailed the instructor that comes here and he said "they taught that (key off) in the 80's but they also taught us to wear grounding straps to remove modules".

The scan tool is going to, basically, butt into the conversations on the network at some point anyway. And it can't do it with the key off. Hopefully proper tool design will keep network faults to a minimum.

If I ever find any SI documentation I will come back and add it to the conversation, please do the same. Cheers!

0

Bob from East Longmeadow

 

Owner/Technician
 

The one thing that does seem to be in service info is to make sure the key is off when disconnecting or connecting modules. I believe this is to prevent unwanted voltage spikes among other things and it probably applies to plugging in scanners too. After all, the scanner is just another module.

+1

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

We would need some engineers to chime in here, but until the scan tool tries to figure out what type of bus it is connected to and starts polling (trolling?...LOL) through network traffic, or attempts to address a module, I believe it is essentially dormant. And of course it can't do any of that with the key off.

Never seen the Tech 2 Class 2 data monitor say "I see a scan tool module on MY network". So my gut says it's not a module.

At this point I suspect the Ford case or the exact Volvo Bernie talked about are just bad software, and they are back-stepping to avoid/cover the issue.

Just one more thing to try and keep in the back of our minds.

Happy Thanksgiving Bob.

0

Jaime from Ocala

 

Diagnostician
 

For the record Geoff (and Bob, and all),

"We would need some engineers to chime in here, but until the scan tool tries to figure out what type of bus it is connected to and starts polling (trolling?...LOL) through network traffic, or attempts to address a module, I believe it is essentially dormant. And of course it can't do any of that with the key off.".

Well, I'm not an engineer (don't have that paper on my wall), but first of all, not all networks will ping a scanner to make it start talking. So, for some that don't, they can have communication interrupted when the scanner (GOD I hate this phrase) "Reaches Out" to see who's there. The gateway module, the one controlling "who speaks when", must know the new guy's here, barging into the conversation whether we like it or not, then control his outbursts. lol. Does that make sense?

As for KOEO communication, I just fixed one on Tuesday by seeing whether a key was still being "seen" by a Theft Deterrent Module (TDM) on a 2014 Impala that had the key removed, the doors locked, etc. It did see a key still nearby - which prevented the tech from learning a new one.

Also, although not exactly about this specific topic of conversation, it helps us to understand there are protocols and there are procedural policies that we should follow...

As seen on the Ford Installer Support site, somewhere in the IDS User information (about module programming):

"*** IMPORTANT *** : Create all sessions Key On, Engine Off (KOEO). Starting the vehicle before creating a session will cause errors within the programming inhale process. *** IMPORTANT *** "

So, to me it sounds  important  enough that I'll just follow those instructions every time if a flash might be needed.

Whether the newer Fords' Gateway Modules are calling a scanner a "node" or not to me is irrelevant.

As far as GM's Class 2 data monitor, plugging a scan tool into a running vehicle with that type of network, or even UART, can spike a module that was communicating at the time, rendering it in a state that requires programming (but I've never seen one destroyed). Try it, and see if every module reports properly, has the same number of DTCs as checked prior to doing so and whether it shows a VIN. It's pretty cool how we can "slap a module around" by just connecting, or disconnecting, a scanner incorrectly. I've repeated this example in many a classroom.

It is best to practice the safest procedure... Key OFF when connecting or disconnecting a scan tool. I'd hate to have to buy a module I'm not installing in my own car ;-).

+3

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

Too funny; "Create all sessions Key On" :-) Thanks Jaime!!!

0

Chris from Commack

 

Technical Support Specialist
 

Creating a session is not just connecting the scan tool.

There are Ford cars that monitor can networks for intrusion and can disable a car if the network is compromised, but this is typically to prevent theft. If a scan tool is hooked up with an armed system, it will sound the alarm.

0

Jaime from Ocala

 

Diagnostician
 

When using Ford IDS software, you create a "Session" once the vehicle is completely identified by the software. In other words, once you reach the confirmation screen which typically displays a partial VIN and you confirm the vehicle (press the "YES" button), a "Session" is established. Previous sessions can be recalled unless they've been deleted (which must be done manually).

In a session it's possible to log every keystroke, every test chosen (and the results of those tests) as well as which PIDs were selected (and their values). There's more but I'm sure you get the full meaning of what "sessions" are.

They're not just politicians from down south ;-).

0

David from Cambridge

 

Owner
 

Jaime - Love it! Sounds a bit like 'safe' sex....even then you're never quite sure !

+2

David from Cambridge

   

Owner
   

Geoff, Thanks! Sometimes these threads don't appear to follow a logical sequence which throws some confusion into to debate! I didn't mention the grounding straps as it seems to have disappeared from more recent teaching, but you're absolutely right, this is what was taught. Further, I would never have removed or reconnected a module with the ignition on, though it seems its OK to disconnect modules from a problematic CAN network until it starts to behave again, so I doubt that anyone would be turning the key on and off in between. Another change to method, but if possible I'd still favour the safe old approach until I understand what has changed which makes this acceptable. It seems a couple of others here agree with that procedure. I have to admit the rest is a bit of a mystery to me. It's seems odd that the factory scan tool provokes a problem and others don't, though I'm following as best I can! Thanks. (As an aside to this, I've seen some DLCs in a pretty poor state : broken, bent pins, wires disconnected, or cut, socket hanging loose. I like the use of the BOB alone first . Tells me I've got power, grounds and some network activity. If I dont have the first 2 why plug in a scan tool?)

+1

Jaime from Ocala

 

Diagnostician
 

David,

Your statement is accurate when you wrote "However, my interpretation - which I accept could be wrong - is that the scan tool could become a node AFTER the ignition was switched on, thus sticking to what has always seemed to me to be a logical and safe approach.". The scanner is actually "pinged" by the gateway module in some cars when the ignition is turned to the RUN position, then it is allowed to "see" and "speak with" the other modules. My statement wasn't as clear as yours was.

+3

David from Cambridge

   

Owner
   

Thank you Jaime Lazarus. I don't like being pedantic, or feeling the need to justify, but sometimes some people come across as aggressive, and/or imply that others are complete fools or that they are talking rubbish. It's comforting to be acknowledged, especially when you are only trying to share knowledge and experience gained over a long period of time. My current role - or one of them - involves encouraging technicians to embrace training, not to criticise them, to belittle them or to get into arguments. In fact I organise training for technicians in France in the use of diagnostic equipment. In the 80's I worked in London in a specialised tuning centre with a Sun rolling road, an analogue oscilloscope with gas analyser, etc. As a result of this work and the pattern of recurring events I recorded and reported, I got invited by the motor industry to write a series of articles on vehicle diagnosis, which were published in a trade magazine for garages. Technologies have changed. I don't any longer work on vehicles, but I continue to buy books, to watch videos, to subscribe to technical information sites, to attend training courses and to try and engage in civil conversations in order to be able to help others. If age is a handicap, having to communicate entirely in French is an added challenge. Being here gives me a break and an insight into how change is making life easier for some. I'm sure the US is far ahead of France in this field. And, it's clear that for those who don't have access to accurate and up-to-date information the struggle goes on. 

+2

Jaime from Ocala

 

Diagnostician
 

David, it's an honor to be associated with you, a life-long student apparently. I hope you know there is no one in this group so judgemental that they would criticize. Debate, discuss, etc., yes maybe. lol I look forward to your contributions as I'm sure are the rest of us, and I suspect I'll be able to pursue my hobby of life-long learning by stories you will share.

+2

David from Cambridge

 

Owner
 

Jaime. Thank you for your kind words. On my own website I say that learning should be fun. For me it has been, even if I've struggled to get my head around much of it - especially more recently, when I have very little access to problematic vehicles. It seems there are a good number of very knowledgeable and motivated people in the group. I applied to subscribe to it after reading some publicity for the group and taking a peep. I should really go and look at some of the other topics; and I will when time permits. Thanks again. Not sure about my stories, they are quite dated, now! 

+1

Jaime from Ocala

 

Diagnostician
 

In every one of my classes in which the discussion may include the use of a scanner, I have stressed the importance of following proper protocol. Never attach to or disconnect from a DLC connector when the ignition switch is in any position but off.

I've explained in the past that the potential for spiking a module exists, but lately, with networks being like they are, it's just as important the scanner becomes a node in order to communicate.

In my "Mastering Ford IDS" class I go one step further and demonstrate how different scanning a vehicle can be using both methods.

It just makes sense, doesn't it?

+3

David from Cambridge

 

Owner
 

Good to hear that I'm not talking out of my rear after 52 years in the trade :)

0

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

52 years, hmmmmm, Maybe they only explained how to plug it in, when scan tools were first invented. :-)

+1

David from Cambridge

 

Owner
 

Time flies! Actually, they didn't explain "how to plug it in" since they had not at that time located the DLC! It was then mostly found between one's ears! I'm not here to teach techs, or to proclaim that I know better than anyone else: far from it. And I don't. And I support continued learning, and I stand to be corrected when wrong - or when 'rules' may no longer apply! I 'love' this trade and I'm struggling both to keep abreast with it and to quit it, despite having my pension for some years already!

+2

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

Not sure I understand what you are asking. Common sense says not to yank it OUT in the middle of bi-directional testing, but often times I am working on intermittent issues and absolutely do not want to cycle the ignition before getting the scan tool hooked-up, for fear of losing/fixing the fault. Since more and more scan tools try to auto ID the second they are plugged in, it seems to me the tool mfgrs expect us to have the key on. I read, probably on iATN, to always back-out of actual testing, before disconnecting a scan tool, but have never heard/read, (before today), to have the key off before plugging in.

Is this documented somewhere?

+1

Eric from Edgerton

 

Owner/Technician
 

Every training class I've been to about using scanners tells you to have the ignition off when you connect the scan tool to the DLC.

+1

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

Interesting. Every class I have been to has never mentioned it either way.

0

Andrew from Midland

 

Technician
 

I agree I been to multiple classes . I went through a cummins class not the other day and never mentioned it. It is such a simple mistake. I couldn't of been the first or last to turn the key to the on position and plug into the dlc connector before ignition is turned on. I'm just glad it was a silly mistake on my part. 

0

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

and since some newer tools immediately attempt to auto-ID the vehicle, it seems they expect us to have the key on.

0

Glen from Arthur

 

Owner/Technician
 

Andrew, So did you follow the SSM or did you just connect the VCMII with the key off to get communication to work on this vehicle?

0

Andrew from Midland

 

Technician
 

Just plugged it in with the key off. The following day of course and no problems. All functions worked. Even a guy with 9 years experience can make a rookie mistake. I'm very thankful for everyone chiming in. 

+1

Bob from East Longmeadow

 

Owner/Technician
 

At the last TST Big Event Bernie Thompson did a network class and explained how connecting/disconnecting a scanner with the key on in certain volvos will set numerous network codes and can shut down modules. 

He explained that connecting the tool in that manner causes ringing on the bus and scrambles the data.

I don't think we can ever assume that just because we have never experienced a problem with a certain procedure in the past means it will always be the same in the future. 

Technology is changing so fast now that we cant take anything for granted.

+1

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

The longer I do this stuff the more I realize auto repair procedures are more like movie trivia than traffic laws. Completely random. I looked back and forth (and back!!) through the Tech 2 user manual yesterday and it does not say when (or even if) you should turn the key on.

0

Bob from East Longmeadow

 

Owner/Technician
 

I don't mind admitting that I frequently connect and disconnect to the DLC with the key on and to date I have had no problems, but as the network systems in the cars get increasingly complex, this could be more of an issue. 

I'm thinking its probably a good idea to start practicing safe scanning before I stick my connector into a DLC I may regret later.

+1

Jaime from Ocala

 

Diagnostician
 

I haven't had time to locate and share what you did Mike. Thanks.

0

Chris from Commack

 

Technical Support Specialist
 

Mike you beat me to it. I have also seen this on full size transit vehicles. Key off, then hookup, and it should be fine. This is something common to newer vehicles. You can even trigger an alarm it a sleeping module detects a new module online, it may trigger vehicle alarms.

With the contaminated DEF, if it wasn't water added to it, be weary of future SCR issues. Any type of HC contamination may require component replacement to fully clean. Might warrant tank removal to inspect the contents for any floating oily film.

+2

Randy from Raleigh

 

Curriculum Developer
 

Now there is an example of "Information fixes vehicles". Really shows the purpose and value of DIAG​.​Net and other collaborative groups like it . Thanks all.

+4

Thomas from Manassas Park

 

Technician
 

I know some ford vehicles now will only use FDRS scan tool

0

Chris from Commack

   

Technical Support Specialist
   

the 2018 MY was the beginning of FDRS support. FJDS in 2018 is full function IDS with a J box. I have not tested it on a FDRS vehicle yet, but there are R2R requirements that mandate it have factory level support.

FDRS Vehicles Ford NA 2018 Expedition 2018 Navigator 2018 EcoSport I figure each new model/body change from this point forward will likely be FDRS but FDRS subscription is included with OEM IDS. So its just a different software, except VCM1 and VMM are not supported with FDRS, VCMM and VCM2 are the only FDRS compatible VCI's

+2

Randy from Raleigh

   

Curriculum Developer
   

From Motorcraftservice​.​com "Ford J2534 Diagnostic Software (FJDS) - The factory Ford Motor Company vehicle diagnostic tool designed for use with J2534 compatible Vehicle Communications Interfaces (VCI). FJDS software provides module reprogramming software (FMP) that covers 1996 to present Ford, Lincoln, Mercury module reprogramming functions, plus complete dealership level vehicle diagnostic software for all 2018 to present Ford and Lincoln vehicles." My experience with FJDS is that is is essentially a replacement for FMP on all pre-2018 vehicles but does have many of the setup and diagnostic tests that are in the IDS. I did not find that it was a feature by feature replacement for IDS on pre-2018 vehicles. FDRS is a complete remake of the Ford diagnostic system and adds a very capable suite of network diagnostic tools, similar to WiTech2.0.

+1

Chris from Commack

 

Technical Support Specialist
 

I was speaking more of if you used the FJDS software on a vehicle that requires FDRS. I have not tried that yet, but assume it would work well.

FDRS's downfall is the need for downloads for each diagnostic module requiring internet connection while diagnosing. IDS and FJDS don't require it unless programming. I have not had enough FDRS experience to know if FDRS has additional capability over FJDS.

0

Randy from Raleigh

 

Curriculum Developer
 

Understand and agree. WiTech2.0 has similar connectivity requirements as I'm sure you know.

+1