Mode 6

Rod Diagnostician California Posted   Latest  

Curious of who else besides for me is using mode 6 data as another piece of the puzzle for diagnostic and repair verification purposes, beyond just for misfire detection, and how are you using it?

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Andrew Owner/Technician
Kansas
Andrew
 

Mode 6 is a great tool that is often overlooked. Many techs just use the standard full system “Health Scan” and repair based on codes. I'll use it to verify but also notify of possible issues that might be around the corner. That oxygen sensor might have failed, but what about the health of the catalytic converters?

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Ken Diagnostician
Texas
Ken
 

i would like to see vehicle, manufacturer specs, case studies, I don't believe generic specs will get the diag done, does this information exist? what about training? I like more diag tools in my belt, but it has to be fast and accurate, time is money, the brake king in the shop earns more some days than me, more money in hanging parts than diag

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Good morning, thank you for the reply, we have different perspectives, to me money is time. But I understand your point of view.

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Thank you for the reply. Agree with you, also on evap codes it helps to know what was close to failing that may have set a different code.

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Andrew What does this tell you about the catalyst?

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

No meaning until the monitor runs.

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Randy Diagnostician
Colorado
Randy
 

It did run, that's why there are results.

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Morning Rod Perhaps you can help me with a few things. - What is the meaning of the “passed” message? - What value range would tell you that it was great, marginal, or close to failing? In the middle, towards the top, near the bottom? Those numbers were from some time ago. The vehicle gets driven a lot, this morning the same numbers are displayed. So starting with whatever view you have…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

I have not seen the documents you speak of, I will look at them at next chance.

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Randy Diagnostician
Colorado
Randy
   

I will take a crack at your questions since no one else wants to. (Most of this is not meant as a reply to you, rather for others reading) “What does this tell you about the catalyst?” It tells you this monitor ran and there should be no catalyst DTC for bank 1. It looks like a late model Toyota with a Snap On scan tool. The top 2 lines are from mode $01 PID $41 and is letting the technician…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Thank you, and I agree with every thing you mentioned. Mode 6 is to be used with proper context, tid/cid is before can mid/tid after can. After can(2008 and after) every car I have tested had misfire detection which is very helpful

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Andrew Owner/Technician
Kansas
Andrew
 

Sorry for the late response, got caught up in work. Looking at the capture my interpretation is that the catalyst is within manufacturer specifications. The last time the monitor was completed it had a “passing” result. But I would say that it is close to throwing a code for that monitor. The other thing I would note is that the monitor has not run this drive cycle, is it due to slow oxygen…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Thank you

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Andrew That data came from my 2021 Highlander with 19k miles on it. So… maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm thinking the catalyst will last many years after I turn it in for another company vehicle two years from now.

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

I opened this topic so that we can all learn something in a positive and empathic manner in a spirit of cooperation. There was no reason for you to play tricks to make any one feel incompetent. You could have explained where that reading came from so that we could all learn from misleading data. You say you are an educator, is this your method? To try and humiliate your students to make…

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Rod Those who were so sure that they could know the condition of the catalyst simply by looking at the mode 6 data learned that from someone who shouldn't have been teaching it. It is somewhat understandable to teach this 15-20 years ago, but not today. So I don't fault the technicians. If what was stated was true, then we should be able to test that theory on any random vehicle. I simply…

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Randall Technician
Pennsylvania
Randall
 

Jim, If we could step away from misfire and cat monitors for a moment. What diagnostic benefits have you been able to use from mode 06? I follow the DN daily to listen, learn, and maybe help out someone. I live and work in flyover country. Emissions does not matter. The CEL ONLY matters if; it has an annoying symptom, it has a warranty, it’s an “ever-since” it was worked on, and in the…

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Randy I totally get your description of “fly over” country. When I build a class I have to find ways of making it relevant in every state of the country. So you can imagine what that looks like while developing a diesel emissions class :-) As Randy B noted, there are some useful uses of mode 6 (CAN vehicles). That isn't an accident, some very smart engineers and government types (yes, there…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

This is not about testing random theory this is about using every piece of the puzzle to find answers to difficult problems, the more tools and test available the better. Taking just one thing to base a diagnosis on is not accurate. Are you the same Jim Wilson that has videos for sale in the aeswave website?

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Yes Rod, I agree that we should avail ourselves of every puzzle piece on the table. My only point here is that there are no puzzle pieces on the table for the catalyst discussion. I am not asking you to take my word on this, look to the experts who have posted here and elsewhere on the topic. Paul Baltusis Randy Bernklau Jim Kemper Mike McCarthy and whomever else I am leaving out :-) Yes…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Here is my integrity test procedure before condemning a cat: Fuel trims added plus or minus 10, rear o2 sensor reading, fuel sample for alcohol content, 5 gas + lambda calculation match with scan data commanded lambda and actual, thermal image camera pic of the cat, exhaust system inspection for suction/leak condition, mode 6 reading (if monitors have run), intrusive test before and after cat…

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Rod I'm glad you would not just look at mode 6 data, which by nature, you cannot know the context of, because you don't know the entry conditions of the test that determine the results. A catalyst isn't cheap and you want to do your due diligence. That is awesome and most commendable. Do you think maybe… just maybe… the calibrator in charge of developing one of the most critical onboard…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

The monitor is a result of mode 6

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Rod I think you meant to say that the monitor status is a result of tests associated with the monitor being run, and result values from those tests can be accessed in mode 6. That you can see the results in mode 6 doesn't mean you know where on the scale they should be, or if that is fixed, or based on test entry conditions. So except in certain cases, you cannot determine how close or far…

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin
 

It may be that it starts low and gains counts as it looses performance. That is one of the problems with using the data without more information or specific experience, you don't know the difference between excellent and almost failed.

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Kyle Owner/Technician
Nebraska
Kyle
 

I would definitely like to know more about it.

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Thank you for the reply/. There is a free YouTube channel called dead on diagnostics that has a playlist of mode 6 explanations and how to use it, a great start on studying the subject. Escan automotive test solutions has the best mode 6 translator screen

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Kyle Owner/Technician
Nebraska
Kyle
 

The day I quit learning is the day I become complacent. Thanks bro!

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Stephen Owner/Technician
California
Stephen
 

I use it for misfires on Fords, but honestly Id like to learn more what it can do.

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Thank you for the reply. There is a free youtube channel called dead on diagnostics with a play list on mode 6, great explanations

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Stephen Owner/Technician
California
Stephen
 

Thank you, will have a look

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Welcome, have fun. Also on 2008 and up most cars have misfire data, last week I looked at a 2012 mercedes that had a rough idle in a cold start and no codes, looking at mode 6 on my scan tool it had misfire counters on number five, the mercedes tech had never used global obd 2 becasue he always used the dedicated data, he was very surprised.

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Randall Technician
Pennsylvania
Randall
 

Rod, Other than Fords, the dividing line is CAN. My observation has been if it’s CAN it will have valuable misfire counts. Older Chrysler products with the classic lean out after a cold start. With no code. The first item in mode 06 in the list is B1S1. I would typically find a failure or an unusual number. It’s been a while, I’d have to dig it from my notes. Great topic for discussion!! Randy

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Thank you and yes we can all learn valuable info from this type of topic

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Michael Owner/Technician
Texas
Michael
 

Based on the DTC, I use it to look at failed readings. I can see the range before and after the repair.

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Great way of documenting, I print and file it.

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Eric Manager
Arizona
Eric
 

Have tried to use it off and on but without good info of what the numbers mean and what is normal in the min max range hard to use. Maybe just missed it but the MODE 6 info is not freely given by manufactures.

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Ken Diagnostician
Texas
Ken
 

EXACTLY, I WAS LEARNED specification testing, but I need, the specs BEFORE I look at the data, other wise it turns into a fishing trip, I am a quick learner, but really? OBD2 software is still subpar, pathetic really, freeze frame often never has the needed data, If I only worked on one make of vehicle, not the real world for most techs, and I worked at a chevy dealer, we got so EXCITED…

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Jeff Owner/Technician
Arizona
Jeff
 

I was unaware that there was any other way to correctly diagnose emissions failures. Without mode 6, how do you know what the desired and actual compliance ranges are on the O2 sensors, EGR and EVAP flow? Its not possible to nail a CAT failure without it.

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Eric Manager
Arizona
Eric
 

I can see your point but how do you know if a few points from range is normal or about to fail. Where do you get your info?

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Jeff Owner/Technician
Arizona
Jeff
 

Mode6 actually shows top and bottom. It becomes obvious as soon as you read current state, reset and rerun. Additionally, OEM tools display the min/Max allowable.

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

THANK YOU.

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Automotive test solutions escan has the best mode 6 translator I have been using it for years.

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

THANK YOU

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Stuart Mobile Technician
Illinois
Stuart
 

I try to use mode 6 all the time but doing the research for the codes is really a pain. I'm hoping the new scan tool that i'm looking to purchase will decode them. I know there is something out there that offers that feature, there has to be.

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Take a look at automotive test solutions escan, I have that scan tool, it has the best mode 6 translator I have seen yet.

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Stuart Mobile Technician
Illinois
Stuart
 

I purchased an escan last summer with 3 years of free updates and had to send it back because they no longer supported it and could not download the software to run it. And I bought from a reputable dealer. Spank me once it's their fault,spank me twice it's my fault.

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Andreas Owner
New Mexico
Andreas
 

What was the issue? It’s pc based and only requires a Bluetooth connector. I have the escan on 4 computers with no issues. Have owned 2 dongles going back ten years with no issues? Never paid for a software up date they are free if you own the connector.

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Stuart Mobile Technician
Illinois
Stuart
 

You have to download the software to the computer to run it. The software of the one that I purchased to use on my tablet because I am mobile tech and a laptop is too cumbersome, and they would not support it any longer.

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Bill Owner/Technician
Michigan
Bill
 

Stuart- I don't understand your issues described with the Escan​.​the software is free to download from the website. I have had my Escan tool for +10 years and have installed the software on at least half a dozen different computers… There is NO cost for updates either??

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

I also do not understand his issue with the Escan , I started with the very first one with a little antenna on it and then upgraded, it has abeen a great diagnostic tool, and it translates mode 6

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Stuart Mobile Technician
Illinois
Stuart
 

I'm sorry it was An iscan not Escan. At the time I needed something to use with my existing tablet because being mobile I didn't to lug around my laptop. Sorry for the confusion that I caused. By the way this is an awesome topic. Thanks for bringing it up.

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Thank you for clearing up the confusion. You confused us all LOL. And yes, this is important topic.

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Stuart Mobile Technician
Illinois
Stuart
 

I'm going to do some research and might invest in the Escan just for this because I want to see what the ones I already have are capable of first. Thanks

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Bill Owner/Technician
Michigan
Bill
 

Understood Stuart. I have found Escan to be a great scan tool for many of it's functions, especially mode 6 data, fuel mixture graphing, and checking volumetric efficiency. It's certainly worth having and is a value for it's price…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

I agree with your experience,mine has been positive do not understand why Koniarski had trouble.

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Zeb Diagnostician
California
Zeb
 

Years ago mode 6 was brought up @ a training I attended. How useful was based on the amount of manufacture supplied data and the scanners ability to translate. As the years passed I found translation to be an immediate hurdle. I presented this question @ another similar training and the instructor gave me a puzzled look when I mentioned translating mode 6. I guess there are charts available but…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Take a look at automotive test solutions escan it has a great translator

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Louis Technician
California
Louis
 

Rod, we do use Mode 6 at our shop mostly for emission diagnostics. Typically trying to understand why certain monitors won't run for smog inspections. I agree that trying to translate the data can be daunting but if the data is there I can see where the results show pass results but near fail . At least give me some direction and let customer know that additional diagnostics will be needed. So…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

I have the automotive test solutions escan it has a translator built in

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Ken Diagnostician
Texas
Ken
 

mode 6 has too many layers, O need specs before I touch the vechile, some data is worse than no data imho, see rabbit hole, like no data this shop uses, pun, my goal is to: make money, get paid for what I earn, get it right the first time, to do a complete repair, years ago, I did check out Escan, but gee, too hard to unpack the layers, do math, I do like math though, then interpret…

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

In 23 years at a dealership, I personally never used Mode $06 to address any emission failures in our now defunct BC AirCare program, which was based on the Colorado system, in which Randy resides. I was one of the few in our shop, even aware of Mode $06 and where to find the information back in the day. It just wasn't necessary for the vehicle lines I worked on. I explored Mode $06 and could…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Here is an example, a few weeks ago I went to look at a v8 2012 mercedes that had a misfire at idle on a cold start and no codes. Global obd 2 mode 6 showed misfire counters on cylinder number 3, it was very helpful to find out which cylinder was misfiring as part of the diagnostic process. This is not a subjective opinion this is factual.

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

Understood Rod. As I alluded, the value and need to incorporate Mode $06 into diagnostics, is entirely dependent upon information and tooling available for the carlines. In 1980, I moved over from independent and Mazda to GM and have remained there since, with no need to use Mode $06 for the reasons that Randy identified. So, yes, there may be significant value in utiizing Mode $06 in some…

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Randy Diagnostician
Colorado
Randy
 

Martin, GM has DTC status so I rarely use it on a GM but for other makes I can create a picture of DTC status using modes 1, 6, 7 and 9 together on CAN vehicles. Starting with 2023 MY all vehicles will begin to require DTC status in generic. I have other uses but that explains why a GM tech would not see as much value in it. Toyota teaches it and has the mode 6 embedded in the DTC…

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Andy Diagnostician
Indiana
Andy
 

Randy, would you mind sharing what you would consider ‘good’ sources of mode 6, as well as other generic modes, information and training? I am interested in learning more, but would like to avoid misinformation. Years ago I purchased some mode 6 books, but I always thought there wasn't much use in these particular books. Thank you.

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Randy Diagnostician
Colorado
Randy
 

Sources: SAE J1979 &J1979DA. I‘m not aware of any accurate training. I’m sure there is but I am not aware of it.

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

Hi Randy. Exactly my reasons for never really needing Mode $06 as a GM technician. All information, training and tooling is not equal, so Mode $06 fills a need for some, for sure. I have referred to some of the listed values, thresholds etc, for a few other “off brands”, so I do understand that using Mode $06 has value, depending on the needs of the individual, vehicle lines, tooling and…

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Andrew Technician
Minnesota
Andrew
   

One of my favorite uses is for evap diag. See which specific test failed, and it greatly narrows down were I need to test. Did it fail on pull down, hold, vent, something else? A lot can be inferred from this info. I also like to use it sometimes to check the severity of a fault, especially for intermittent concerns. Or even check for pending failures. Maybe it hasn't tripped a fault yet, but…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Excellent, thank you for taking the time to reply,

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Glen Owner/Technician
Illinois
Glen
   

I use it for various things 1 that comes to mind is Ford 6.7L repairs some of which Ford mentions in their SCR diagnostic training. Some people capture known good DSO info….Mode 6 data requires a lot less cables :)

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Thank you. It is very nice to have educated techs, and techs who want to increase their knowledge participate in this topic.

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Dmitriy Analyst
Ontario
Dmitriy
 

There are situations when engineers find it useful to share what mode 6 values actually mean and how to use them for diagnostics. Here is an example of a TSB from Subaru, search for “Chapter 6” to see references to Mode 6 data: static​.​nhtsa​.​gov/odi/tsbs/2019…​.​pdf

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Chapter 6 for mode 6 lol, very interesting, thank you for posting this. An educated reply by an educated tech, for techs who want to increase their skill level.

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