Control unit selection
Main difference between concepts of program FCOM and system IDS is in user approach to vehicle and its systems.
The IDS uses so called Function system, which first chooses function (e.g. Read trouble codes) and then control unit (e.g. PCM).
FCOM chooses control unit first and then function.
Advantage of second approach is especially similarity with other diagnostic systems (e.g. VCDS,etc.) and consequently more user friendly for those who have not much experience with IDS. Next advantage is easier identification of concrete type of control unit for programming etc.
Reading and Clearing Diagnostic Trouble Codes acted like IDS system, all CMDTC (Continuous
Memory Diagnostic Trouble Codes) are read and clear from control unit.
Ford IDS does not provide this function, however is possible to display some identification information in Log Viewer – Technician View (Full Diagnostic).
FCOM use special function for reading identification information.
Measured values (Datalogger)
Unlike IDS system the FCOM implements three options of displaying measured values:
- Graph – for comparison two measured values simultaneously in graph
- Display 3×3 – appropriate for see display from longer distance
- Display list – for display all available measured values
It isn’t necessary to set vehicle equipment, which is sometimes hardly observable, FCOM displays all measured values, provided by control unit.
The FCOM diagnostic tool can sometimes display more values than IDS system, e.g. in Engine control unit is commonly available distance moved from last clearing flash memory (this function isn’t supported in IDS system).
Actuator activation is implemented in same way like IDS system.
Direct Flash / EEPROM programming functions are described in separate document and require additional license.
Autoscan (Network test)
This function scans for all known ECUs, and shows the list of ECUs present in vehicle along with
number of diagnostic trouble codes, thus provide test of network.
Both functions Network Test (IDS) and Autoscan (FCOM) are identical.