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Old 10-02-2009, 12:43 PM
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Cold Start Trouble

My 2005 F250 6.0 has been great so far. The PO suggested that when cold weather hit, I might need new batteries, since the two in the truck were the originals. I wasn't too worried, but planned to spend a couple hundred dollars when the time came.

So, a few days ago, it got cold down to the mid-twenties. The truck was parked outside, but I plugged the block heater in (on a timer) set to run from 2:30 am. I usually leave around 5:30, so I figured 3 hours should do the trick.

I ended up NOT driving the truck that morning, so the timer shut off the block heater around 6:00. I ended up home early that afternoon and could not start the truck. It was about 45 degrees out. The truck would turn over okay, and once or twice, it caught and fired for a few seconds, then would die. All this time, it was shaking hard.

Finally, it was obvious that I had killed the battery. My neighbor (Dodge with a Cummins) got home and offered his assistance (with a big smirk on his face). We pushed my truck away from the house and jumped it. It started, ran rough for about 30 seconds, spewing lots of smoke, then settled down and idled fine. I let it run for a few minutes, and went and had the batteries tested (one shot, one was okay) and ended up with 2 brand new batteries. So, all seemed okay.

That night, I put the truck on the timer for the block heater. Next morning (yesterday) it started up fine. The block heater had been on for about 3 hours, and it was 40 degrees outside.

So last night. I finally got the back wall of the garage cleared away so I can park my truck inside. I pulled in and closed the door. I did not plug it in.

This morning, it was probably about 45 - 50 in the garage, and the truck was NOT happy starting up. It coughed and ran rough for a few seconds, then died. It did this 4 times and filled the garage with lots of exhaust (I know this because my wife let me know).

I let it sit a moment, and finally it caught and idled roughly for about 30 seconds before it settled down. I put it in gear and drove to work.

Question is, what is going on here? I have good new batteries, changed my fuel filters about 2000 miles ago. I have no performance stuff installed.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Do I need to plug it in when in a 45 degree garage? What happens when I am parked somewhere without a plug-in? This must be abnormal.

Truck has about 82K on it. Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:59 PM
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First off get some codes pulled, Autozone won't be able to pull all codes usually the ones that the tech's need.

If you have a good mech/tech that you know have a buzz and cylinder compostion test done, almost sounds like a injector(s) going out.

By the way welcome to the ORG. great place to hang out and learn. Look for the green user names they are tech's and a few tech's have a yellow or red user name.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:26 AM
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Update - now it won't start at all. 40 degrees out, plugged the block heater in all day yesterday and no start. It turns over fine, but won't quite "catch". I still have warranty, and it is being TOWED to the dealer today. Very embarrassing!

I only hope they replace lots of goodies and make it work again.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:25 PM
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Take it to the dealership if possible. My truck always started great, even in temps as low as 0F. Then last winter I started having alot of problems similar to yours, and brought it to the dealer. After the dealership diagnosed, and replaced the FICM she ran like brand new again!

Just my $0.02
Cal
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:56 PM
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Update #2 - Just got a call from the dealership. They replaced the FICM (just like killacal) and claim that all my troubles are gone! We'll see how she starts in the morning. Supposed to be below 20 out tomorrow.

Glad THAT was a warranty item!
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:41 PM
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Glad to hear you got a fix, and that it was a warrenty item FICM's don't come cheap.
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:47 PM
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how much are ficm modules?
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenubsterman View Post
how much are ficm modules?
I've heard that they run ~ $500 from the dealership, but you can find them used for $100-$200.


OP,

Glad to hear everything worked out for you! You'll probably notice that the truck got a little more "pep" than it did when you dropped it off too!
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:45 AM
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Final Answer!

As a test, I didn't plug in last night to warm the block. I went out at my usual 5:30 and she fired right up despite the 22 degree temps.

Apparently, the FICM was, in fact the culprit. Perhaps it should be renamed the F***ing Injector Control Module.

In any case, warranty repair, all good. It seems to run very well. Now, for some good snow tires...
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:47 PM
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Many FICM problems are self inflicted.

A bad battery or alternator will kill a FICM. The FICM boosts the system 12V to 48V to operate the injectors. If the system voltge is low then you will burn out a circuit on the FICM.

The FICM is OVER $600 at the dealership.

Load test your batteries often (I do it every 6 mos) or you will risk damaging your FICM.
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