Re-flashing the factory, regardless of the method, is enabling the tuner to be able to directly alter the fuel / ignition and other parameters inside the factory Engine Control Unit. This is typically done by first “Uploading” the ROM file which incorporates or the tuning data from the ECU via the OBD Port. The ROM is then modified, and “Re-flashed” back onto the Factory ECU. Some software options allow the data to be modified directly on the ECU, as can be done with either live tuning or utilising a data logging system.
This is an area which is growing in demand and services due to the fact that most late model vehicles, especially those utilising VVT, Mivec, Variable boost controls, active knock sensors etc are becoming so advanced that a simple piggy back system is crude and ineffective. This is mostly due to the vehicles running multiple map setups that vary with engine load / speed or other factors.
- Cost Effective – No need to spend thousands of dollars on a standalone ecu, then pay more for it to be installed – works with the hardware you already own!
- Discreet/invisible modification – There is no way to tell that the factory ecu has been re flashed. This means that your factory warranty will not be effected, and your insurance company isn’t going to worry
- Retain factory drive ability – With re flashing, you only alter the aspects of the mapping that require adjustment. This means that the factory cold start, idle control and drive ability are retained.
- Retain Factory Safety Features– Re flashing retains all the factory safety features such as knock protection, active knock control and dual octane maps for fuel and ignition timing.
- Improved Fuel Economy – Retains the factory closed-loop air fuel ratio control to provide the sort of economy that most after market ecus can only dream of. Recalibration of target air-fuel ratio can also provide better than stock cruise economy.
- Closed Loop Boost Control – In many situations we can recalibrate the factory boost control system to provide excellent boost control without the need for an expensive standalone boost controller.
- Retain OBD2 Diagnostics – The factory ecu can still be interrogated with typical OBD2 scan tools for full diagnostic output if you have a sensor error resulting in a CEL fault on your dashboard.
- Variable Cam Control – On late model vehicles the cam timing can also be controlled and adjusted. This can provide earlier turbo spool-up as well as improved power and torque.
- Quick Turnaround – Re flashing can be performed inside a day, and we can also do the job while you wait if required.
- Fitting of items including larger injectors and camshafts can quickly be re calibrated within the software and the vehicle
- Must Retain factory Mass Airflow Meter (MAF) –The factory ecu requires the retention of the MAF. While this is not necessarily a disadvantage, the resolution of the MAF does limit the ultimate power potential of the combination. (Not applicable to all vehicles)
- Not Always Suitable For Extreme Modification – While we feel re flashing provides the perfect solution for lightly to moderately modified vehicles, if you are aiming to build a top level time attack car or a serious drag car then you may be better to look at a standalone ecu which can have significant advantages.
- Limited advanced data logging – this is one of the reasons why you cannot do extreme tuning.
- No live tuning (On most models) – no changes on the fly, all done via data logging, stopping, writing and then rechecking. Can be time consuming for vehicles with heavy modifications.