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Read Methods

When talking about engine remapping, ECU adjustment or chiptuning, there are different read methods to make connection with ECU's possible in order to adjust the ECU software. We point out the most common read methods, mention the advantages of these methods, and we will tell which tuning tools are suitable for the different kinds of read methods.

 

OBD chiptuning
OBD stands for On Board Diagnostics and basically is the communication method to make  communication possible between a computer and the ECU of a vehicle. It is the most common manner for vehicle workplaces, car companies and tuning companies to make connection with a vehicle in order to do diagnostics and make adjustments.

It is also the easiest and most applied manner for tuners or tuning companies to get the software out of a vehicle’s ECU in order to adjust the ECU software and unlock the true potential of a vehicle's engine. Nowadays, the most tuning tools allow OBD as read method but sometimes car manufacturers and ECU manufacturers will improve the security of ECU software by trying to block the external communication possibilities, also known as tuning protection. In that cases there are other read methods to make the connection possible which we will treat later on this page. 

OBD chiptuning available on

  • Autotuner
  • Alientech’s KESSv2
  • bFlash
  • Dimsport
  • Magic Motorsport Flex
  • CMD Flash

Advantages of OBD chiptuning

  • No soldering required 
  • The software is quick and easy to install
  • After OBD tuning, the engine program can easily be returned to its original state

 

BDM chiptuning
With modern ECU’s, tuning through the OBD port sometimes is not possible because of security reasons. Then you might have to take the ECU out of the car and connect it directly to a computer via the BDM interface (Background Debugging Mode) located on the ECU itself. In some cases, a special socket has to be soldered in order to read out the software, so you can start adjusting the software. After the adjustment, the software is also written into the ECU via this connection. For this process, the ECU is carefully disassembled from the car and carefully replaced after adjusting the software.

Available tools

  • Autotuner
  • Alientech’s K-TAG
  • bFlash
  • Dimsport
  • Magic Motorsport Flex
  • CMDFlash

Advantages of BDM chiptuning

  • Reading and writing through BDM doesn’t have distinctive advantages compared with other read methods. Sometimes BDM is the only way to communicate between a computer and an ECU.



BOOT chiptuning
Sometimes a protection ensures that OBD tuning is not just possible without first 'unlocking' the ECU. This means you have to disassemble the computer, disconnect it and then flash the modified data into the computer's memory. Then the new software is written over the old one. Then all you have to do is write back the adjusted ECU software into the ECU. This method is called Boot mode, also known as BOOT.

Available tools

  • Autotuner
  • Alientech’s K-TAG
  • bFlash
  • Dimsport
  • Magic Motorsport Flex
  • CMD Flash

Advantages of BOOT chiptuning

  • The advantages of using the BOOT mode method are that you can bypass the software protection and you will always get a complete readout from the software data which has been programmed into the ECU from the vehicle. This way you can always check if the ECU software is original or adjusted. When you have made a complete readout from the software, you can also recover the ECU if something went wrong when writing the software back into the vehicle’s ECU by OBD.
    Another benefit is that it is possible to write an older software version back into the ECU without any problems. This way you can also clone many ECU models en make them IMMO (immobilizer) off.

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