Our ability to re-flash ECMs will correct known OEM drivability
problems by electronically updating the calibration files. These upgrades
will provide ideal performance and will often improve fuel mileage. Perform that 21st century tune-up!
Ask your Technician for details.
Much like the operating system of a PC, the calibration files of Engine Control Module (ECM)
are updated from time to time, to ensure ideal performance as the vehicle ages. These improvements, provided by the vehicle
manufacturers, are often issues affecting fuel economy, driveability and diagnostics.
Before the introduction of flash
technology, technicians would have to replace the entire ECM with one with an updated calibration. The only exception was
General Motors, in which they designed their ECMs with removable PROMS (Programmable Read Only Memory), so a technician would
only need to replace the PROM. Unfortunately, the location of the ECMs on the vehicle still required the technician to remove
the module in order to replace the PROM.
With the introduction of flash technology the technician can simply update
the ECM's calibration electrically, without removing the ECM from the vehicle or it's programmable memory. Currently every
manufacturer has their own method, but generally it involves three components, OEM software & Data, a personal computer
and a pass-thru device (either an OEM scan tool or an aftermarket interface like our 2534 Global Programmer).
- Field programming is not available.
- Most manufacturers require the technician to replace the entire ECU for calibration updates.
- GM was the only OEM that had removable PROMs
- First field programmable ECM with EEPROM is introduced for selective vehicles and with
limited calibrations. OE tool is required for programming.
- GM introduces first true pass thru "Flash" programming technology for selected vehicles
with a larger amount of calibration selections, but again the OEM tool is required for programming.
- Ford introduces first flash programmable vehicle, but the OEM tool is required for programming.
- Chrysler introduces first flash programmable vehicle, but the OEM tool is required for
- All domestic OEM manufacturers design their ECMs/PCMs with flash technology.
- September 2000 Bill SB1146 was passed in California. This bill mandates that all OEM manufacturers
must make available to the aftermarket all the necessary information that is required to repair a vehicle. This includes service
manuals, service bulletins, diagnostic materials and flash programming information.
- Starting with model year 2004, OEM manufacturers that incorporate flash programming into
their ECMs/PCMs are mandated by the EPA to make their systems comply with the SAE J2534 Standard.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who is responsible for the implementation of laws to control
air pollution from motor vehicles, realized that vehicle emission is influenced by the Engine Control Module’s (ECM)
calibration. Unfortunately, access to equipment to update the calibration that could improve vehicle emission was only available
Recognizing the importance of this issue, the EPA wanted the aftermarket to have the same ability
to upgrade an ECM calibration. To accomplish this, the J2534 standard was created to standardize the methods between manufacturers.
J2534 standard is made up of two interface specifications, an application programming interface (API) and a vehicle interface.
An Application Programming Interface (API) is an interface between OEM applications software and the
Dynamic Link Library (DLL) for the J2534 Device.
Working with the API is a vehicle interface that must be able to communicate with various vehicle protocols.
The protocols specified in J2534 are ISO9141, J1850VPW/PWM, CAN, SCI SAE J2610 and KWP 2000.
A J2534 compliant device alone is not enough to reprogram an ECM. You will need to use the J2534 compliant
application software from the car manufacturer. This application software can be delivered via the Internet or on a CD and
will probably be a paid subscription.
The introduction of J2534 means greater access to calibration service for the aftermarket. This service
can range from minor drivability improvements, better fuel economy and improved emissions. The average consumer will not be
forced to return to the dealer and pay dealer price for this type of service. They will have the freedom to choose a local
garage that is equipped with a compliant device.