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Old 10-01-2009, 12:23 PM   #1
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ECU Flash Counter?

It was discussed that people were checking into the ECU to see if there was a way for GM to see how many times the ECU was flashed. Has the counter being present or absent ever been confirmed? I would love a tune but am concerned about the CV joints in the rear. (As they have been failing on stock cars.)

BTW A good friend runs the service department for a GMC dealer. Here is what he emailed me.

"I just wanted to give you a heads up. I just saw an email today about some of the GMC Duramax trucks that we're supposed to start taking pictures of ECU settings before removing anything powertrain related. If they see a tune they're dropping powertrain warranties. I told my tech about it and he said he's seen this popping up on some other vehicles. I didn't see one on the Camaros but I'm sure if they're targeting tuned vehicles they'll be out there once more are on the market. This isn't something our reps are letting us ignore. They will reject our entire warranty claim without having proof it's not tampered with. They're asking for Calibration ID from the Vehicle Information/Programming history screen and from the Transmission Data screen containing the Max Transmission Calc Engine Torque parameter. So if these are bumped up per a tune no dealer is going to want to touch it because they're not going to get paid. I don't think you're exhaust or intake will show on these settings but I'd stay away from tuning it."

Looks like GM is informing more dealers about flashing the ECU. (I know this has been discussed but thought you guys would find it interesting as it came from a third party who has no ties to Camaros or this forum.)
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:18 AM   #2
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I know some people here were looking into if the ECU had a flash counter. Did anyone ever confirm that it did not?
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:26 AM   #3
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There is a Huge thread on the subject. search for "undetectable tunes"
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1320junkie View Post
There is a Huge thread on the subject. search for "undetectable tunes"
I subscribed to that thread. The Vector Motorsports people said they were going to look into this and confirm one way or the other BUT from what I saw they never did give a definitive answer. (They said they "thought" there was no counter but never 100% answered as the thread went down the road.)
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:54 AM   #5
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Considered buying a reaplacement PCM to swap back/forth? Cheap insurance!
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 2Tightwads View Post
Considered buying a reaplacement PCM to swap back/forth? Cheap insurance!
Ding! Winner!

It won't be cheap though.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:31 AM   #7
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Well here is how to remove it...

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37166

I'll see if I can find you folks a price on replacement.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1320junkie View Post
There is a Huge thread on the subject. search for "undetectable tunes"
In this Thread you'll see we posted,

"No. the E38 doesn't have a flash counter."
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve@Vectormotorsports View Post
In this Thread you'll see we posted,

"No. the E38 doesn't have a flash counter."
Thanks as you were the source. I must have missed the final confirmation as the thread became very much a mess towards the end. (Major off topic discussion about paying warranties by tuners.)

Maybe you could answer another question. Does the ECU track mileage? For example I have 1000 miles on my car.... replace the ECU and tune the new ECU.... a 1000 miles later my trans tailshaft fails due to the factory defect.... so I swap back my "stock" ECU. Will there be a mileage mismatch between the ODO and the ECU? (In this example would the ODO say 2000 miles and the ECU reports 1000 miles.)
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackinBlack View Post
Thanks as you were the source. I must have missed the final confirmation as the thread became very much a mess towards the end. (Major off topic discussion about paying warranties by tuners.)

Maybe you could answer another question. Does the ECU track mileage? For example I have 1000 miles on my car.... replace the ECU and tune the new ECU.... a 1000 miles later my trans tailshaft fails due to the factory defect.... so I swap back my "stock" ECU. Will there be a mileage mismatch between the ODO and the ECU? (In this example would the ODO say 2000 miles and the ECU reports 1000 miles.)
I don't blame you for missing it, quite a mess in that post!

There is no mileage reading in the ECM either. Actually anything that is not hard coded into the ECM from the factory (or us) is erased when battery power is removed.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk@VectorMotorsports View Post
I don't blame you for missing it, quite a mess in that post!

There is no mileage reading in the ECM either. Actually anything that is not hard coded into the ECM from the factory (or us) is erased when battery power is removed.
Fantastic. So IF I was to purchase a 2nd ECU and tune it and then swap back my "stock" ECU no one would be the wiser? Or if I wanted to go the cheaper route I could flash my ECU and then flash back to stock for service and no one could figure out I did a tune.

EDIT: Thanks for all the info!!
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:11 PM   #12
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Kirk - so you are basically saying that if we save our factory tune before flashing a tune, then GM will not be able to detect any tune work after reflashing the factory tune back to original?
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk@VectorMotorsports View Post
I don't blame you for missing it, quite a mess in that post!

There is no mileage reading in the ECM either. Actually anything that is not hard coded into the ECM from the factory (or us) is erased when battery power is removed.
so where is the oil life monitoring system registered? Because I know it needs the milage to function. So where does it get this info, if not from the ECM?
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:43 PM   #14
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Good question was thinking the same thing.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:47 PM   #15
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On another thread a letter from GM was posted which discusses tuning and warranty, this letter mentioned GM service bulletins 08-06-04-033 and outlines procedures to identify the presence of non-GM aftermarket calibrations.

So, out of curiosity I did a search for the bulletin, unfortunately it didn’t provide as much info as I hoped with respect to vehicle mileage, flash counting, etc... The disturbing aspect of this is that it takes the warranty issue out of the individual dealers hands, even the district service managers hands for that matter. Anyway here it is for those interested;



Quote:
Corporate Bulletin Number 08-06-04-033 is currently available in SI.

Identifying Aftermarket Engine Calibrations 2.0L, 2.2L, 2.4L, 2.8L, 2.9L, 3.0L, 3.1L, 3.2L, 3.4L,
3.5L, 3.6L, 3.8L, 3.9L, 4.2L, 4.3L, 4.4L, 4.6L, 4.8L, 5.0L, 5.3L, 5.7L, 6.0L, 6.2L, 7.0L, 7.4L, 8.1L
Gas Powered Engines Only

Models: 2006–2009 GM Passenger Cars and Light Duty Trucks
2006–2009 HUMMER H2, H3
Excluding Pontiac Vibe, G8, Chevrolet Aveo, All Saturn and Saab Models

Important: This bulletin applies to Gas Powered Engines ONLY. For Diesel Powered Engines, refer to Service Bulletin #08-06-04-006A.

If a suspicious hard part failure is observed in the engine, transmission, transfer case or driveline, perform the calibration verification described to determine if a non-GM issued engine calibration is installed. Non-GM issued engine calibrations subject driveline components to stresses different than the calibrations which these components were validated to. Repairs to transmission, transfer case and/or other driveline components where a non-GM engine calibration has been verified are not covered under the terms of the New Vehicle Warranty.

Instructions for Confirming Calibration Verification Number (CVN):

1. Go to TIS2WEB
2. Select "Calibration Information (SPS Info)"
3. Enter VIN
4. Select "Get Cal ID"
5. Select "ECM Engine Control Module"
6. Select "Next"
7. Select "Complete History"
8. Print
9. Take the printout to the vehicle along with the Tech 2
10. Plug in the Tech 2
11. Go to diagnostics and build the vehicle
12. Select "Powertrain"
13. Select "Engine"
14. *Select "Engine Control Module" or "PCM"
15. *Select "Module ID Information" or "I/M Information System" if module ID information selection is not available.
16. *If "I/M information System" was selected in step 15, it may be necessary to select "Vehicle Information" in order to display the calibration information.
17. Compare the calibration ID and Calibration Verification Numbers (CVN) to the Calibration Verification Numbers (CVN) on the printout.

* Steps may vary by controller.

Although the part numbers will be the same for each, it's the CVN that will determine if the calibration is GM issued. If ALL of the CVN's are EXACTLY the same, the calibration is GM issued.

If the part numbers match and ANY CVN's DO NOT match the printout, it is likely that a non-GM certified calibration has been installed.

If the CVN information is displayed as "N/A", it will be necessary to contact the TCSC to obtain the CVN information.

If a non-GM calibration is found to be in the ECM (CVN's on the Tech 2 do not match TIS printout) - In order to document the case — a CLEAR digital picture should be taken of the Tech 2 screen showing the VIN and the CVN's that do not match the TIS2WEB printout. The picture, VIN and reason the vehicle is currently in for service should be emailed to JAY.DANKOVICH@GM.COM and STEVEN.R. BRIDSON@GM.COM for verification. Please copy your GM District Service Manager (DVM) on the e-mail. GM will verify if the CVN's are not GM issued and respond via e-mail within 72 hours.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:08 PM   #16
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackinBlack View Post
Fantastic. So IF I was to purchase a 2nd ECU and tune it and then swap back my "stock" ECU no one would be the wiser? Or if I wanted to go the cheaper route I could flash my ECU and then flash back to stock for service and no one could figure out I did a tune.

EDIT: Thanks for all the info!!
You are correct on both counts. The cheaper and easier way is just to flash back to stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 66DeuceLS1 View Post
Kirk - so you are basically saying that if we save our factory tune before flashing a tune, then GM will not be able to detect any tune work after reflashing the factory tune back to original?
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milk 1027 View Post
so where is the oil life monitoring system registered? Because I know it needs the milage to function. So where does it get this info, if not from the ECM?
Oil life is partially monitored in the ECM. If you swap ECMs you have to re-program the remaining oil life into the new one if you want this feature to remain accurate. Re-flashing the calibration does not change the oil life feature. It gets the mileage reading from the IPC (instrument panel cluster).

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickF View Post
On another thread a letter from GM was posted which discusses tuning and warranty, this letter mentioned GM service bulletins 08-06-04-033 and outlines procedures to identify the presence of non-GM aftermarket calibrations.

So, out of curiosity I did a search for the bulletin, unfortunately it didnt provide as much info as I hoped with respect to vehicle mileage, flash counting, etc... The disturbing aspect of this is that it takes the warranty issue out of the individual dealers hands, even the district service managers hands for that matter. Anyway here it is for those interested;
With our calibration the CVN numbers do match. Regardless of that point, they most certainly match whan the stock calibration is installed.
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