Tools for ECU Memory Access

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Tools for ECU Memory Access

Almost every car, produced since 1980-s in the USA, Korea, China, Japan and Europe, is equipped with complex embedded electronic diagnostics and control system. A central microcontroller, known as an electronic control unit (ECU), controls this system. ECU memory contains data tables that describe the default operation mode of the engine, fuel system, air intake, brakes, the transmission, embedded electronics and other systems of the vehicle.

Default engine operation modes are developed by car manufacturers to be efficient in terms of fuel economy and lowering emissions, so these modes do not provide maximal possible engine power. This means that the power gain of 5–10% is possible on most cars (especially those with turbo) without any physical modifications. The process of adjusting engine operation modes using electronic tools is called chip-tuning. Successful chip-tuning demands the usage of different tools, including an adapter, an editor and a flasher.

Best solutions for modern cars chip-tuning, including popular flashers, are available at ECUTools internet store, which can be found at

What Flashers Are?

Flasher (or loader) is a type of chip-tuning solution, which provides access to ECU memory. This tool provides:

  • Identification of ECU, installed on the car.
  • Reading ECU memory contents.
  • Retrieving and decoding operation mode files.
  • Encoding modified files and performing checksum correction on them.
  • Writing modified encoded files back to ECU memory.
  • Making backup copies of ECU firmware.
  • Uploading different ECU firmware versions to ECU memory.

Most loaders are provided as a complex of an adapter (connector, which provides a link between an ECU and a PC/smartphone) and a special software, but software-only solutions that rely on the usage of third-party adapters are also available.

Popular Flashers for Chip Tuning  

The following tools are currently popular among chip-tuning enthusiasts and professionals:

  • Autotuner Tool – famous hardware and software complex, available in Master and Slave editions. Slave edition can only be used to write files, previously prepared by Master edition, back to the ECU memory, while Master Autotuner has a lot of useful features. Several Slave devices can work in the network with one Master tool, which is a perfect solution for small and medium-sized tuning workshops. The price of the Master Autotuner Tool is 5 764$, while the Slave version costs 3 411$.
  • Alientech Kess 2 – like Autotuner Tool, this loader is provided in two editions – Master (1 764$) and Slave (1 059$). Unlike Autotuner Tool, which supports many different ECU models by default, this solution provides support of certain ECU models only after the user buys relevant DLC.

All these popular tools can be ordered at ECUTools online chip-tuning store.