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Practical Reflash Tuning: Step 1: Downloading Stock ROM

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Step 1: Downloading Stock ROM

04.50

00:00 - Our first job should always be to download the stock ROM file out of the ECU.
00:06 This doesn't sound particularly involved, and it isn't.
00:10 However there's an important reason that this should be your first task.
00:15 In some situations we may be faced with an unusual car with an ECU or ROM that isn't supported by the manufacturer of our reflashing package.
00:25 If you're using a commercial package then this should be a rare case.
00:30 However particularly in the open source community the cars manufactured and delivered to some markets are not supported with the definition files you may have access to.
00:41 This would make tuning them impossible unless we can find or create a definition file.
00:48 Even if we have a definition file available, I'd still recommend actually looking through the maps and making sure that the maps appear sensible and that you have access to the maps that you need.
01:01 I've struck situations where definitions were incomplete.
01:05 Severely limiting what maps I have access to and in turn hampering my ability to actually tune the vehicle.
01:14 At the same time you may also find inaccurate definitions that appear on the face of it to include all the maps you need.
01:22 However once you open some of these maps up you may find the addresses for the axis or the actual table data is incorrect.
01:32 This becomes obvious because the numbers in the axis on the table will be random numbers that make no sense.
01:39 It's also not uncommon with very new vehicles to find that even commercial reflashing packages can't support them.
01:47 This is a fluid situation and these manufacturers work quickly to support new models and provide this to their customer base.
01:55 But you can find yourself caught out occasionally.
02:00 The reason we want to do this as our first step is to ensure that we don't waste time loading the car up on the dyno only to find out we can't tune it.
02:10 This has happened to me on occasion.
02:12 So it's a very real possibility.
02:15 When downloading the factory ROM, it's important to follow the precautions we've already discussed.
02:21 As well as any particular advise the software manufacture has recommended.
02:26 At a minimum you want to make sure your laptop is well charged and the battery voltage in the vehicle is satisfactory.
02:34 Connecting a battery charger is a sensible consideration for any vehicle where the read process takes a long time.
02:41 Or accessories such as the fans are driven while the read is taking place.
02:48 Once we've downloaded the stock ROM file it's important to save it in a safe place on your hard drive so you can always revert to the stock file at a later stage if desired.
03:00 The way you decide to name your files is up to you.
03:03 However it's worth adopting a standardised way of naming your files so you can always find what you want at a later point.
03:12 This becomes much more important when you start trying to find a particular ROM file in a selection of several hundred.
03:21 I personally use the registration number of the vehicle.
03:24 Followed by the make and model so I can quickly reference what I'm looking for.
03:29 I'll then add an identifier that tells me what the particular tune was.
03:35 For example every stock file I download would have the identifier stock at the end to tell me that this was the original factory tune.
03:45 After I've completed a tune to suit the vehicle, I would change this identifier to tuneed.
03:53 A little tip here is to actually save the base file from the car twice immediately after you've downloaded it.
04:00 The reason for this is that most reflash software will have the option to save or to save as.
04:08 If we use the save option it will overwrite our existing file and in this case we can end up losing our stock tune file.
04:17 This is only going to be an issue if you want to revert to stock for some reason but this does happen on occasion and it's always nice to have the option to do so.
04:28 So what I'll do is straightaway save the file with the stock identifier and then again with the tuneed identifier.