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Old 07-12-2010, 02:31 PM   #1
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White Smoke and P0281 code in 6.0 Ford.

So we've been having a cold start problem in the mornings, and the van runs rough and spews white smoke until it reaches operating temp. We took it to a shop in California a few weeks ago, where they diagnosed it as having a P0281 error - and replaced the #7 injector.

A few days later the problem was back, and now we're at a dealership in Portland where they are reporting the same P0281, and suspecting the #7 injector again.

Hypothetically speaking, if we did not get ripped off at the other shop AND we didn't get a bad injector installed in the van, is there anything else that could be causing that error?

I'd hate to dig into replacing this injector again only to have the problem resurface because it's actually something else.

Thanks for any insight-
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:10 PM   #2
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Re: White Smoke and P0281 code in 6.0 Ford.

I would have the tech check the wiring harness very carefully before replacing the same injector a 2nd time. Another possibility could be the FICM.

Mike
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:22 PM   #3
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Re: White Smoke and P0281 code in 6.0 Ford.

I keep telling them FICM, but the guy insists it's an injector. He says a P0281 error can only come from the injector, but if the injector is not getting enough voltage from the FICM it seems to me that could cause the problem as well.

I think before I authorize any work on the injectors I'm going to go back to the dealership and test the FICM myself. I've read several write-ups on various Powerstroke forums about testing this yourself - it just involves putting a voltmeter on one of the screws under the cover of the unit. All of the descriptions say to check the screw closest to the fender, but since the FICM is mounted in a different place on the E-350 I have no idea which screw to check. Any ideas on which one?
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:56 PM   #4
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Re: White Smoke and P0281 code in 6.0 Ford.

Sorry, no ideas on that one.

I don't think you will get very far with that FICM test. It will only read voltage, and the voltage is probably OK if 7 of 8 injectors are working fine. But, it could be a connector or a wire going the the #7 injector. Unfortunately, that wiring is under the rocker cover and not easily accesible.

If #7 is on the driver's sided of the engine, then it is easier - you don't have to remove the motor mount and lower the engine to remove the rocker cover like you must on the passenger side. To check the harness you must remove almost as much as to change the injector, only you don't have to remove the HP oil rail.

You may wind up having to have the injector replaced anyway.

Is this under warranty? or are you paying for it?

If you are paying and you get the injector replaced, I would be tempted to take the 'bad' injector to the first dealer and raise a ruckus. Of course, there may be a core charge for the injector, in which case you must make a decision.

I feel your pain. I spent 5 days in Prince George, BC getting a couple injectors replaced. With a weekend in there as a bonus.

Mike
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:12 PM   #5
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Re: White Smoke and P0281 code in 6.0 Ford.

I had the #7 injector replaced 3 weeks ago in California. It's not an option to go back there. I'm in Portland now. I live in North Carolina. It's a mess getting work done when you're traveling.

#7 is on the passenger side.

No warranty on this one - 108,000 miles. The injector that was replaced 3 weeks ago is warrantied (the part), but since I'm at a different location now the labor is on me. Again.

Van trouble sucks.
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