Do You Need a Reflash?

Do You Need a Reflash?

With the huge number of computer-controlled devices on a modern car, it’s no wonder that many of you have such unusual and intermittent auto problems. The computers rely on proper information from hundreds of sensors, and they control hundreds of devices that, when working properly, allow your car to do everything it is supposed to do. Keeping all of the inputs and outputs working together is a full time job in itself. An under-hood environment that varies from -20 degrees to 200 degrees is not the best for delicate electrical components.

But now we’re seeing another side to automotive computer related problems. More and more, we see driveability complaints (when the car doesn’t run right), transmission complaints, air conditioning complaints, and yes, even radio and accessory problems that are fixed by reprogramming one of the car’s computers. When the engineers write the original programming instructions for each computer module, there is no way they can take every possible scenario into consideration, so when a problem is found, they rewrite part of the program, it gets “flashed” onto the proper module, and voila, the problem is gone! This is in a perfect world, which most of us don’t live in.

Reflashing requires some very sophisticated equipment, which S&S now has for GM, Ford, Mazda, and Isuzu. By mid-summer we will have the equipment for Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Volvo, and several other Asian makes. It also requires the purchase of the correct “program” from each manufacturer to repair a specific concern, and it requires proper diagnosis to ensure that it is indeed a programming problem that is causing a particular concern. We feel that S&S Service Center is your best choice if you have a problem that may need a ‘reflash”. We will always verify that a reflash is the proper repair path to take.

Most times when one of the computer modules fails and has to be be replaced, it too will have to be programmed to match that car’s specific equipment and needs. In addition, many computers will not allow reprogramming under certain circumstances, or more than a certain number of times. This keeps it interesting for us. Many dealers have a release form that absolves them from blame if a module has to be replaced because the reflash corrupted other files or was not accepted by the module. We’ve never had that happen, but it’s always a possibility.

If we can be of any assistance, please call Shelly, Bryant,
or Jerry at 816 361-0000