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Practical Diesel Tuning: Required Software and Hardware

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Required Software and Hardware

02.49

00:00 - I've already briefly mentioned what you will need to actually reflash a stock ECU.
00:04 But in this module we're going to go into this in more detail.
00:07 When it comes to reflashing packages, they normally comprise two parts, a software interface for making the tuning changes and logging the ECU parameters and then a hardware interface that goes between the laptop and the OBD2 port.
00:18 This is normally an OBD2 to USB adaptor.
00:21 Of course for a commercial reflashing package, the developer needs to have a way of making money out of each vehicle you want to tune and this is typically done in two ways.
00:29 Either you purchase credits for each ECU you tune or you purchase a special tuning module for each vehicle you want to tune and this module remains with the car.
00:38 As an example, HPTuners, EFI Live and EcuTek work on the credits system.
00:43 While SCT provide a hardware module for each car you want to tune.
00:47 Normally the tuning module works out to be the more expensive approach however it does give some advantages to the vehicle owner.
00:53 As often the module can be used to clear fault codes, swap between different maps or even perform datalogging functions.
01:00 The other consideration with packages that use a tuning module is that for commercial tuning workshops, there can be a resonable investment in stock to ensure you have enough tuning modules on hand to cover your requirements.
01:09 If you're buying credits on the other hand, this can often be done online using the automated process so you can purchase just the credits you need for the job.
01:17 Unfortunately when it comes to the software used for reflashing an ECU, there is no universal option that can cross every platform and this is a frustration for those of us who are going to be tuning a wide variety of vehicles.
01:28 It means that firstly you'll need to invest in a range of different products to cover all your requirements and will also mean that you need to learn to use the different software packages.
01:37 If you're running a commercial tuning workshop then you need to consider carefully the vehicles you should expect to be popular in your area.
01:43 As providing reflash support for a wide range of vehicles can be very expensive if you're investing in commercial tuning platforms.
01:49 Of course our initial outlay will be recouped over time but there's little point investing several thousand dollars to support vehicles that aren't popular in your area.
01:57 It should go without saying the you're also going to need a laptop to perform your tuning.
02:01 Tuning isn't a particularly CPU intensive process as far as laptops go so you definitely won't need one of the latest or most powerful models to get the job done.
02:10 Generally tuning laptops get a pretty hard time in the field as well and are constantly being subjected to vibration, harshness, being tossed around or in smokey environments.
02:19 I wouldn't expect it to last very long.
02:21 I'm normally happy if I can get two years or so out of a tuning laptop so it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend a lot of money here.
02:27 I'd recommend a PC based laptop and look for one with at least three USB ports as they'll quickly get filled up with whatever you're using to tune.
02:35 They also might break and it's nice to have extra ones on the PC.