What Is P0266 Code On 6.0 Powerstroke: How To Fix?

Ford 6.0L Powerstroke PCM generates many Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) to showcase the internal problems. The P0266 is one of the DTCs & it’s related to the number two cylinder. 

If you’re getting the error code P0266 on your 6.0L Powerstroke & don’t know anything about this code, this article is for you. In this article, I’ll mention the symptoms, causing factors & solutions of the DTC P0266.

P0266 Code On 6.0 Powerstroke

What Does P0266 Code Means On 6.0L Powerstroke?

P0266 is one of the error codes of the Ford 6.0L Powerstroke. By definition, this error code refers to Cylinder 2 Contribution/Balance Fault.

There are a total of eight cylinders in the 6.0L Powerstroke. All eight cylinders need to perform similarly to each other for optimum performance. If there’s any irregularity to the cylinders, the driving experience will be rough.

The PCM uses CKP (Crankshaft Position) sensor to monitor slight variations of engine RPM. In that way, it can also measure & detect how much each cylinder is contributing to the engine.

When one or several cylinders fail to keep up with the rest, the powertrain control module generates the error code P0266. It’s basically your PCM saying there’s something wrong with the no-2 cylinder.

Symptoms Of Getting The P0266 Code On A 6.0

The P0266 code will come with some visual symptoms for you to identify the code. Here are some of the common symptoms of the DTC P0266 on a 6.0L Powerstroke:

  1. Check Engine Light (CEL) May illuminate
  2. Your Engine May Face Rough Idling Condition
  3. You May Experience A Few Misfire Condition 
  4. Poor Engine Performance & Fuel Economy 

That was all about the possible/common symptoms of the P0266 code of the 6.0L.

The Causing Factors Of The Error Code P0266

By nature, all the eight cylinders perform the same. They won’t show any irregularity without any causes. Here are some of the causing factors of the error code P0266:

  1. Faulty Electrical Connections Related To The Cylinders
  2. Lack Of Fuel To The Number 2 Cylinder
  3. Faulty Number 2 Fuel Injector 
  4. Plugged Number 2 Fuel Injector

You can already tell; it’s all about the number two cylinder & fuel injector along with some wiring. 

How Serious Is Code P0266 On 6.0L Powerstroke?

The error code P0266 is considered a severe code. If one of your cylinders (the number 2) is not contributing equally to the rest of the cylinders, you can’t expect to have a great driving experience.

Moreover, this code might also indicate a faulty powertrain control module. That’s why it’s always the best idea to investigate the P0266 code & fix it as soon as possible. 

How To Solve P0266 Error Code On 6.0L Powerstroke?

Various factors can cause the P0266 code to appear. I’ll be sharing some of the most effective troubleshooting methods to solve this error code in this segment.

Check The Electrical Connections 

Start your inspection with the electrical connections associated with the cylinders. Check for worn-out wirings & damaged connectors under the hood. 

Consider replacing any corroded, damaged, or worn-out wiring/wiring set. Also, don’t forget to replace connectors that are burnt or have a greenish look on them. 

After repairing the electrical connections, clear the code with a scanner & see if the code returns. 

Check Your FICM Voltage

If the previous method didn’t help, proceed to the Fuel Injection Control Module (FICM). The FICM consists of internal capacitors that turn a vehicle’s 12-12.5 volts into 48 volts. 

These 48 volts are needed for a proper oil flow to the fuel injectors. That’s why you’ll need to check if your FICM is delivering 48 volts or not. Here is how you can check your FICM voltage:

  • Step 1: Open the hood & detach the coolant reservoir by removing two bolts. Don’t disconnect any of the hoses; it’s not needed. 
  • Step 2: You’ll notice the FICM cover supported by two #20 Torx screws, remove them & take off the cover. 
  • Step 3: Depending on your vehicle model, you may see 7 or 4 screw heads under the cover. 
  • Step 4: Take your multimeter & set it on DC volts
  • Step 5: Connect the ground lead of the multimeter to the battery negative. 
  • Step 6: Now turn on your engine key & measure the voltage of the screw to your right-closest to the driver’s side fender. 
  • Step 7: If the reading is between 47 to 49, your FICM is working fine. If the reading is below 47 volts, your FICM is faulty. 
  • Step 8: Do this test again with the engine running & see if the voltage remains between 47 to 49. If it drops below 47V, your FICM is faulty. 

Caution: Make sure to have your battery fully charged before testing FICM Voltage. Low battery voltage can cause false low FICM voltage readings. 

If you find your FICM to be faulty, don’t bother fixing it up. Order a new FICM & replace it with the old one. Replacing will make your work way easier than repairing the faulty one. 

Replace The Number 2 Fuel Injector

Each of the eight cylinders has a fuel injector. A leaking fuel injector can cause that particular cylinder to misfire or perform badly. As this code is all about cylinder number 2, replace the number 2 fuel injector. 

This fuel injector replacing process is a lengthy process & takes a couple of hours. Here is a video tutorial that you can follow to do this fuel injector replacing process quickly & correctly. 

Replace The PCM

If the mentioned troubleshooting methods failed to solve the error code, suspect the PCM to be faulty. Sometimes a bad PCM falsely generates code like the P0266.

Replacing the PCM isn’t DIY type work & you should contact your nearby auto shop if the replacement is needed.

How Much Does It Cost To Solve The Error Code P0266?

The cost to solve the error code P0266 depends on the replacements you’re getting. Here is the price chart of the potential replacements:

  • Repairing Electrical Connections Will Cost From $100 to $500
  • Ford 6.0L Powerstroke FICM Cost Around $100
  • The PCM Costs Around $500

On top of the replacement costs, add $75 to $150 per hour labor fees if all the work is getting done from an auto shop.

Common Mistakes While Solving The P0266 Code

You may commit some mistakes while solving the P0266 code. That’s why consider avoiding these common mistakes mentioned below: 

  • Failing To Measure The FICM Voltage In The Correct Way 
  • Replacing The PCM Without Replacing FICM & Fuel Injector #2

Additional Comments To Consider Regarding The P0266 Code 

Sometimes the error code P0266 may not give any symptoms at all, other than the illuminated check engine light. Scan your vehicle immediately after getting the CEL & be well aware of your vehicle condition. 

Conclusion 

I hope this article was helpful enough to satisfy your queries related to the DTC P0266. I’ve explained all the possible solutions along with the symptoms & causes of this error code. 

You can solve this code on your own, even if you’re a novice driver. However, replacing the fuel injector & PCM requires hours of work & it’s better to hand over these works to the experts. 

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