Car Coding and What it Can Bring For Your Vehicle
What is Car Coding?
Car coding is a relatively new thing in the automotive world, and it implies software modifications to a vehicle to allow the use of functions not available in the car when it left the factory for different reasons, mainly local regulations. Codind does not imply changing the software! It only changes preprogramed options already existent in the software.
What can car coding bring to my vehicle?
As we explained above, most vehicles have market-specific settings for their features. Furthermore, most vehicles have limitations and other restrictions. With the help of coding, a user can change the chimes on their car, set how many times its one-touch signal flickers for one touch, remember settings for Start/Stop systems, and more. Coders can also activate cornering headlights with fog lights, deactivate some buzzing sounds, and enable multiple functions of the comfort module.
Other possibilities involve lowering the level of the passenger-side mirror when reversing, activate the “needle sweep” function when the ignition is on (only for some Volkswagen AG models), automatic door locking at a particular speed, U.S.-style daytime running lights, the auto-hold function for vehicles with electrically operated parking brake, and others.
Naturally, the things that can be done through coding depend on each car model, so don’t imagine it can do wonders for a vehicle that hasn’t got too many features in its configuration. This is where you need to find the "Cheat sheet" for your car and think what options do you want modified.
What are the risks?
Just like jailbreaking an iPhone or any software mods, the warranty of the vehicle could be voided by coding. After all, it is a third-party intervention to the computers of the car, without the manufacturer’s approval.
There is a risk that some systems might get broken if the operator does not do everything properly. Car coding should never involve an “I’ll just wing it” strategy. There is also a risk of permanent damage to a vehicle’s electronic systems. In the worst cases, one of the car’s computers could receive irreparable harm and require replacement.
What kind of car do I need to have for this to work?
First of all, a vehicle suitable for coding requires an OBD2 connection. This is particular to vehicles with electronic fuel injection that were built after 1995, but the year depends on the market they were sold on.
Second, the car also needs a certain degree of electric and electronic features built-in. There’s not much a coder can do to a car made in 1995 when compared to what’s possible for a vehicle assembled in 2005. It would be impossible to make a car without a key-activated central locking system close its windows if its key does not have a transponder and buttons to lock/unlock it, or if it does not have power windows installed.
A rule of thumb would be to do this to a vehicle that’s available with features on specific markets and sold in the same form in several countries. Further features could be activated if a car shares its electronic components with other models that have more "bells and whistles." For example, you can code a BMW to use a Rolls-Royce chime.
Are there tools to help me with ECU Coding?
Autel Maxisys MS906BT - Autel MS906BT professional auto scanner comes with advanced ECU coding function. ECU Coding allows you to establish a data link to the electronic control system of the test vehicle via the VCI device for vehicle diagnosis, service or coding. You can operate functional tests, retrieve vehicle diagnostic information such as trouble codes, event codes and live data, and perform ECU coding, for various vehicle control systems, such as engine, transmission, ABS and more.