Reflashing tips and tricks: Part II

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Reflashing tips and tricks: Part II

Part II of this article covers reflashing of Toyotas and GMs. See Part I for Hyundais and Hondas and Part III for Mercedes and BMWs.

Reflashing a Toyota

Reflashing a Toyota with the Techstream is a straight-forward process after you register for the program (which isn’t so simple, in my opinion). Simply, you use the Techstream to search for TSBs by a DTC. If there is a reflash, the TSB (which is a PDF file with hyperlinks inside) will say so. Simply click on the hyperlink which says a reflash is necessary and the process starts automatically.

The following is how we do it step-by-step without looking up a TSB:

1. (see Toyota Figure 1): First we do a health check and if under Calibration Update it says “Yes,” simply click on “Yes” and then when another screen pops up with the new Calibration ID, click Next.

2. (see Toyota Figure 2): Follow the on screen instructions. For example, put a battery maintainer on the car, put the vehicle KOEO, and click next.

3. (see Toyota Figures 3 and 4): When the vehicle is done reflashing, but the key onto off and then back on.]

4. (see Toyota Figure 5): The screen here verifies we have two updated Calibration IDs and that the reflash process was successful.

5. (see Toyota Figure 6): Now, after the reflash process, we can see that there isn’t a update available anymore.

6. (see Toyota Figure 7): If you don’t see the following in a TSB referring to a new Calibration ID existing to correct a DTC, don’t expect there to even be a new Calibration ID. Only update software if a TSB tells you. Here, on this 02 Camry, we can see how the updated Calibration ID is hyperlinked in the Adobe Acrobat file, which automatically begins the reflash process on the Techstream when clicked.


Reflashing GMs

GM products are one of the easiest to reflash. I believe you do not need factory hardware to use the factory software to reflash any module on the vehicle. We use a Drew Tech Mongoose II in the shop, because it doubles as the factory interface for vehicles that use the Tech 2, as well.

After paying for the subscription ($55 for three days) and choosing SPS (Service Programming System), simply choose the device you are using and begin the process. This is how we do it:

1. (see GM Figure 1): Enter in all of the parameters that describe the vehicle. Always remember to click “Next” on the bottom right of the screen.

2. (see GM Figure 2): Double check you have the right VIN.

3. (see GM Figure 3): Choose the module you want to reprogram. Only reprogram a module in response to a TSB.]

4. (see GM Figure 4): Oftentimes, the program will give you options for different software depending upon what options the vehicle has. When in doubt, call your parts guy at the dealer.]

5. (see GM Figure 5): The current calibration is to the right while the new one is to the left on the bottom of the list of Calibration IDs.]

6. (see GM Figure 6): Right before you begin the reflash, SPS tells you what the Calibration IDs will actually correct. This is a good way to verify that you will actually be addressing the issue at hand.

7. (see GM Figure 7): Always follow any instructions before a reflash! For older GMs, you might have to pull fuses to modules (commonly the ABS and BCM) in order to avoid reflash failures.

8. (see GM Figure 8): This is what the reflash process looks like. If the process freezes up or fails, don’t panic. GM modules generally can be reflashed until you get them right. Believe it or not, a fast computer might do a bad job reflashing an old GM. Just keep trying to reflash the vehicle, and if you have to open a bunch of other programs in the background to slow down the computer.

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