Commander 4WD V8-4.7L VIN N (2006)
Malfunction Indicator Lamp: Description and Operation
MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP (MIL)
A Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is standard equipment on all instrument clusters. This indicator is located near the center of the cluster overlay,
between the speedometer and the tachometer.
The MIL consists of a stencil-like cutout of the International Control and Display Symbol icon for Engine in the opaque layer of the instrument cluster
overlay. The dark outer layer of the overlay prevents the indicator from being clearly visible when it is not illuminated. An amber Light Emitting Diode
(LED) behind the cutout in the opaque layer of the overlay causes the indicator to appear in amber through the translucent outer layer of the overlay
when it is illuminated from behind by the LED, which is soldered onto the instrument cluster electronic circuit board.
The MIL is serviced as a unit with the instrument cluster.
The Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) gives an indication to the vehicle operator when the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) has recorded a
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) for an On-Board Diagnostics II (OBDII) emissions-related circuit or component malfunction. The MIL is controlled by
a transistor on the instrument cluster circuit board based upon cluster programming and electronic messages received by the cluster from the PCM over
the Controller Area Network (CAN) data bus.
The MIL Light Emitting Diode (LED) is completely controlled by the instrument cluster logic circuit, and that logic will only allow this indicator to
operate when the instrument cluster receives a battery current input on the fused ignition switch output (run-start) circuit. Therefore, the LED will always
be off when the ignition switch is in any position except ON or START. The LED only illuminates when it is provided a path to ground by the
instrument cluster transistor. The instrument cluster will turn on the MIL for the following reasons:
Bulb Test - Each time the ignition switch is turned to the ON position the indicator is illuminated for about 15 seconds as a bulb test. The entire
bulb test is a function of the PCM.
MIL Lamp-On Message - Each time the cluster receives a MIL lamp-on message from the PCM, the indicator will be illuminated. The indicator
can be flashed on and off, or illuminated solid, as dictated by the PCM message. For some DTC's, if a problem does not recur, the PCM will send
a lamp-off message automatically. Other DTC's may require that a fault be repaired and the PCM be reset before a lamp-off message will be sent.
Communication Error - If the cluster receives no messages from the PCM for ten consecutive message cycles, the MIL is illuminated by the
instrument cluster to indicate a loss of bus communication. The indicator remains controlled and illuminated by the cluster until a valid message is
received from the PCM.
Actuator Test - Each time the cluster is put through the actuator test, the MIL indicator will be turned on during the bulb check portion of the test
to confirm the functionality of the LED and the cluster control circuitry.
The PCM continually monitors the fuel and emissions system circuits and sensors to decide whether the system is in good operating condition. The PCM
then sends the proper lamp-on or lamp-off messages to the instrument cluster. For proper diagnosis of the fuel and emissions systems, the PCM, the CAN
data bus, or the electronic message inputs to the instrument cluster that control the MIL, a diagnostic scan tool is required.