Bosch has released an informative brochure intended to help the motorist understand automotive diagnostics and vehicle flash reprogramming, how they work and why they are very important when servicing most vehicles. The brochure, “Vehicle Diagnosis” explains that “Today’s vehicles are like computers on wheels,” and increased complexity of today’s vehicles means that more and more vehicle systems will be managed by on-board computers called Electronic Control Modules (ECUs).
These computers warn of any problems by illuminating a light on the vehicle dashboard. To determine what needs to be serviced, a technician utilizes sophisticated scan tools and other equipment to communicate with the vehicle, diagnose the system, and determine appropriate procedures to correct the problem.
Designed to make the motorist aware of the importance of diagnostics in everyday driving, Vehicle Diagnosis discusses how many vehicle ECUs utilize software that can be updated or modified through “flash reprogramming” to make the vehicle perform better and run cleaner. Vehicle manufacturers often develop new software packages, called “calibrations,” to remedy a driveabilty issue or to just make the vehicle perform better through reflashing. Most popular software updates through flash reprogramming are made to:
Engine Control Module (ECM).
Transmission Control Module (TCM)
Fuel Injection Control Module (FICM)
Antilock Brakes Module (ABS).
Body Control Module (BCM)
Most vehicles (estimated at 70 per cent) have some type of ECU reflash calibration available, and these calibrations can fix drivability issues, enhance vehicle system functions, and make the vehicle operation cleaner and safer.
Motorists are reminded that as the complexity of vehicles has increased over the years, it has become imperative that the shop selected to repair a vehicle has the technicians and the equipment to do the job properly and efficiently. Sophisticated tools and skilled technicians can attain an in-depth, accurate diagnosis of a vehicle’s problem, leading to effective repair and ultimately saving the motorist time and money.
The brochure notes that a shop that has invested in the most skilled labor and up-to-date technology may pass along additional fees they have incurred for the premium equipment and software from the vehicle manufacturer. It is because these shops have access to these advanced resources that the motorist receives the most efficient and accurate vehicle repair.