02-06 instrument cluster self diag mess cntr test | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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02-06 instrument cluster self diag mess cntr test


May 12, 2007
Reaction score
City, State
mayretta, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'04 Eddie Bauer
In the computer thread, I posted a problem/story about a message center test (with strange diag codes) that I am trying to find more info on.

Anyone know more about this TEST?


Here's how to run the message center TEST:

(Techs are referred to the "Workshop Manual" for additional info and procedures for the various DTC codes.)

Statrt with key off.
Engage the Instrument Cluster Self-Diagnostic Test Mode by pressing and holding the appropriate buttons for 4 seconds:

2002-2006 - Base Cluster - Trip Odo Reset button
2002-2005 - Message Center Cluster - SETUP and RESET Message Center buttons
2006 - Message Center Cluster - RESET (only) Message Center button

With the vehicle in park, turn the key to the run position key on/engine off (KOEO).

Release the button(s):

2002-2005 - Base Clusters will display "tESt"
2002-2005 - Message Center Clusters will display "TEST"
2006 - Clusters will indicate "ENGINEERING TEST MODE"

Press the RESET button once for each next step of the TEST.

First, the gauges will sweep, next the LEDs will light up, next are about 30 lines of live info. Continue pressing RESET for each next step. (see post at link)

Would love to hear from EB Cornburner since you have the same model.


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Just tried it. Pretty slick! It sweeps the gauges, and shows data about fuel level, coolant temp, oil pressure, seat belt, park brake, and lots of various "ports". It also shows build date, serial number, and any stored DTC. Mine had no DTCs.

I wonder if the Expeditions of similar year are the same? I have a buddy with one, and he likes to do all these nifty little tests that he didn't know about till I told him about them. He was impressed with the radio self-test that I read about on here a while back.

Yea, it is pretty slick. Except that I got the DTCs that I got and dont know what they mean (and 1 of them while the engine was running, but not while off). AND the fact that the first time it happened, it happened (on its own) while the engine was running, which gave LIVE data, but I can't find the way to run the test while the engine is running. Lemme know if you find any further info on this. I'm getting obseesed to know now.

Oh yea, if you go to my original post on the 'under the hood-computer' forum, you'll see more info about it.

Can you point me to the radio test, Corn? ---nevermind, i found it----

I was sitting outside the Ob-Gyn's office yesterday waiting for my wife so I decided to give this a try.

It worked just like you said it would, got the sam thing except for no trouble codes. However, after it said "Trouble Code 0000" the next message said "Check Engine 2".

I decided to see if it would work with the engine running so I pressed the Setup and Reset than moved the key to On. The "Test" message came up and I started the engine without any problem. This time I got "Check Engine 1" and some of the data was live, think so since it was varying with the engine running.

I wish I knew what all the data meant.

Also, I noticed that it has a Coolant Temp output so I'm wondering if one of the messages is for the transmission temp. Since the manual says that you would get a message if the tranny overheats, I assume that means it has to have a temp sensor for the tranny, too, right? It would be great to be able to see the temp for the tranny under my usual driving conditions.

Here is the link to the other thread; the one above didn't work for me:


Thanks, rrgone!

Now we just have to figure out which message displays it.

wow neon,
I was sitting at the burger king today eating lunch, (about the same time as you but wherever you are) and had the same thought, so I just cranked the key in the process and bang, there it was, working, reading live data while the engine was running. This MUST be the only time I have had a vehicle problem where I said "this is GREAT" after I learned a little more about it! I'm gonna go to the library maybe tmo and see if I can find the "Workshop Manual" for more info on this stuff. I was beginning to think that no one could see my posts since this is such a cool thing to be able to see all this 'hidden' data and I hadn't gotten a reply in several days except for Cornburner.

I'm thinking that, since this test is an "instrument cluster" test, could be the "coolant temp" is reading the radiator temp.??? Would be nice - actually more useful - to have the tranny temp though; I mean there's already a radiator gauge. But I think it may be anything/everything connected to the instrument cluster; tire sensors, maybe lights, turnsignals maybe, oil pressure definitely, etc. And by the way, I now only have 2 DTCs, not the original 4 that I had...??? But since I went to the Ford doctor where they hooked up for the normal P-code scans and got none, I haven't seen the "vibrating" gauge needles (even though they sid that was normal, yea right!); may explain one of my lost DTCs.

I have written down each test I have done; the first scary one, then cold, 1 minute idle, 5 minute idle with a little rev, and after a drive cycle, and, as of lunch today a live one after a run (now being able to see a live digital readout of the tac while KOER). So far, aside from the obvious like coolant temps and fflow (which may have to do with the tank slosh factor), etc, the ports get interesting. The general overall range is 0-255, being the universal computer whizbang value thingy (tech-talk). Several of them change/increase values in a 'range' as the engine is run more, e.g. 118-124 one time, then maybe 128-135 as the engine is warmer. While others stay the same - so some are checking dynamics, and some are checking statics.

Of course anyone with a Ford Tech's "Workshop Manual" could enlighten us with a quick slip of the scanner and a .pdf post.

I sure would like that person a lot.