FAQ: What Is Having To Flash My Car Computer?

How much does it cost to flash a car computer?

The cost to have your vehicle’s car computer reprogrammed will all depend on the dealer/mechanic you use, the vehicle you drive and your geographical location From what we researched online, the costs to simply reprogram the car’s computer and nothing else would range anywhere from $80 to $180.

What does flashing a PCM do?

Powertrain Control Module reflashing is essentially a software upgrade. PCMs are built with microchips that can be reprogrammed electronically without being removed from the vehicle. Dealers or car repair shops might call it a PCM or ECM reprogramming service. They all refer to an upgrade of your PCM’s microchip.

What do I need to flash a PCM?

Reflashing PCMs requires three things: a scan tool or J2534 pass-through device that is flash capable, a Windows laptop computer (Most require Windows 7 but some older applications may require Windows XP) with an internet connection for downloading the flash software from the vehicle manufacturer website (Click Here

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How much does it cost to have a PCM reflash?

Prices could range from $80 to $150, depending on the service location you choose. The process takes around about half an hour, but keep in mind that most auto-electricians charge you for at least one hour of work. PCM reprogramming is also one of the few times we’ll recommend a dealership over an independent mechanic.

How do you know if the computer in your car is bad?

Usually a bad or failing ECU will produce a few key symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

  1. Check Engine Light comes on. An illuminated Check Engine Light is one possible symptom of a problem with the ECU.
  2. Engine stalling or misfiring.
  3. Engine performance issues.
  4. Car not starting.

Does a PCM have to be flashed?

Reflashing must be done in the car. If you replace a failed GM PCM with an unprogrammed service unit, a program must be written into the PCM before the car will run, but the PCM must be installed in the car to load the program. If you own flashing equipment, it’s no problem.

Can I use a junkyard PCM?

The short answer in my experience is: no, you can not plug a junkyard PCM in without flashing it to your VIN.

How do I know if my PCM needs to be replaced?

What Are the Symptoms of a Faulty PCM?

  1. Your “check engine” light is on.
  2. Other warning lights may be on, including traction control and ABS.
  3. You lose fuel economy for no apparent reason.
  4. Your car stutters when starting, requires multiple attempts, or won’t start at all.
  5. Stuttering or stalling during idling.
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How do you reset the PCM?

Resetting the PCM on your vehicle will help to clear all codes from it after a problem is fixed.

  1. Open the hood of the vehicle.
  2. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery. Use a wrench to loosen the lock nut, and pull the cable off. This cuts the power to the PCM. Wait for five minutes.

Can a PCM be repaired?

Typically, PCMs are not rebuilt in the same way that alternators and water pumps because there are no mechanical parts that wear out. Remanufacturing a PCM generally means testing the computer, isolating and repairing any faults that may be found, then retesting the computer to make sure everything works correctly.

How do you know if a PCM relay is bad?

The failed PCM relay will turn off the dashboard lights and other key safety warning lights that are normally illuminated when you turn the key in the ignition. Furthermore, and more importantly, the vehicle will usually be unable to start and it might be impossible to turn the key.

Will a bad PCM throw a code?

The PCM should give you a code for P0600 through P0606 indicating that the computer has a processor error. However, if the PCM is corrupt, then just like a desktop computer, there is no accessing anything and no codes are put out for the computer would have no way of sending a signal.

Are ECM and PCM the same thing?

Most people, including automobile technicians, confuse the two for each other. The main difference between the two is that the ECM controls specific parts of the engine, regulating and sending commands. While the PCM is used in newer models to control almost all engine functions.