If you’re a modification enthusiast, tuning is something that you must’ve heard of in the market. They have long been in existence and are here to stay. In essence, tuning tools allow a user to gain access and gather information from the OEM ECUs and then enter the altered values/content back into the ECU. The modification results in power gains or higher fuel efficiency for your car.
But as is the case with technological advancements, software development in the automobile industry has picked up a tremendous pace. Needless to say, the tuning industry should not lag behind. But while numerous companies have surfaced with high-tech tuning tools, only a handful have managed to stay afloat and keep pace with the ever-changing developments. With a long-standing history, these tuning tool developers today stand apart from the rest of the players in the market that catalyze the tuners with tools to access even the latest ECU modifications in the market. The developers include Flashtec, Dimsport, and Alientech that develops cutting-edge tools within the tuning industry.
HOW TO CHOOSE
THE BEST TUNING TOOLS
While the cost for high-tech tuning tools may shoot to as high as 2,000 EUR per piece, there’s always a reason! Fundamentally, tuning tools ought to have high processing abilities that open access to the latest ECU tri-core technology. And again, this is something that needs to be constantly upgraded. So if you’re looking for cloned or cracked version of tuning tools, you’re in the wrong set of business. Such Chinese tools can only offer basic functionalities with zero updates, whatsoever! So if respect is what you’re looking for in the tuning business, you should be prepared to make this initial investment as in the long run reliability, quality and more importantly the functional updates are what will make them look cheaper.
Bootmode Tools & OBD Flasher
To access an ECU for reprogramming, you have two different ways:
– Through the OBD Port (used in diagnostics)
– Through the port on circuit board – JTAG or BDM (used in bootmode and debugging mode tuning)
Each port has its own separate set of tools that allows you access to the ECU. For the former, the tools are known as OBD Flashers and for the latter, Bootmode Tools.
Although, with modern ECUs you have three data carriers: A processor and two EPROMs.
While the EPROMs are the primary carriers of a majority of mapping data, some valuable information can also be found in the processors of certain ECUs. Thus, accessing ECUs with only one approach might provide a tuner with misleading data. So with both the tools, OBDs can give access to the maps on EPROMs while the bootmode access will provide a complete backup of the ECU, covering all the nuances for an ECU reprogramming.
Master vs Slave
Almost every manufacturer develops tuning tools on two different levels – Master and Slave.
The master tool offers all-round access to get a readout from the ECU and also make edits to the tuning files. However, the cost for master tools can be far more expensive when compared with Slave tools. With the slave version, your ability is limited to use the files only that you procure from tuning files developers.
So if you’re thinking to become a tuning files supplier, master tools are your only option. But if you’re a developer (while the slave version may seem to offer far less data) it is more than enough data for most of the tuners. Developing tuning files requires a lot of experience, high expertise and most importantly staying updated with the latest trends in the market. So if you’re a tuner who can source tuning files from reputed tuning companies, you can become a master tuner even with the slave version of tuning tools.