Published On: Fri, Mar 16th, 2018

How Do You Re-Flash Your Dodge PCM?

One of the most prevalent problems with the 1st generation powertrain control modules (PCM) is their reaction after a replacement or an upgrade of the par sensor units. This problem is most common in Dodge vehicles that were produced between the years 1993 and 2003. These vehicles used advanced PMCs to monitor the sensor systems which were well reliable.

The problem came in when car owners replaced parts with the aftermarket spares. Most of the time, the PCM did not recognize the installed equipment. Worse yet, another procedure called re-flashing had to be done every time a module needed replacement.

The good thing is that if you are an owner of a Dodge vehicle with manufacture year earlier than2004, you can perform the re-flash procedure yourself. All you need is a digital program to feed information to the module as well as some specific equipment.

photo Discovery Channel

The relevance of Flash programming

Why would you need to do proper programming when installing a PCM? You probably understand the need for an efficient flow of information between the powertrain sensors and the engine, and any hinderances would result in malfunction. That is where the programming comes in. It ensures that the powertrain sensors recognize the input from the engine at all times.

When the input from the engine is misread at the powertrain sensors, the “Check Engine” warning light will be activated. In many instances, this is the consequence of the module receiving information from the fuel injection, heating, ignition and the cooling system sensors. The Program Read-Only Memory chip used in many modules installed between 1993 and 2003 makes it possible to not only replace them but also program them to accept new information from virtually any Dodge model.

The procedure

As mentioned before, the re-flashing procedure is not as complicated as it may sound. It can be easily done by the owner of the car and usually takes about 30 to 40 minutes. You can use the following procedure to perform the re-flash procedure.

The first thing you need to have is a Tech 2 scan tool to program the information into the Dodge PCM. Proceed to download the calibration software in Flash version from the internet and upload it to the scan tool using a simple flash card.

After a successful installation, run the program and input the details required. These include the make, year of manufacture, VIN and the model of the vehicle. If done properly, the calibration software will be copied to the scan tool.

Proceed to attach the scan tool to the diagnostic connector of the vehicle which is located just beneath the steering column. The scan tool will be turned on, and you will be required to verify the VIN once again before advancing to choose the system that you want to calibrate. You can set the scan tool for either specific or normal sensor calibration.

Upon completion of the calibration, the data will be transferred to the PCM memory chip, and if the scan tool that you are using has a display screen, you will be able to monitor the progress of the transfer. Once complete, your PCM will be re-flashed and ready to work.

Author: Charlie Brown

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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