ECU swap question

Inigo Montoya

New Member
Hi everyone :)

I have a 'spare' ECU for my 2008 Rodeo, after the mechanic ordered a replacement that turned out to be unnecessary.

The new ECU was supplied and programmed by Injectronics in Melbourne, and they kindly agreed to return my old unit (even though it is technically an exchange) - but they went to great lengths to explain that I can't just plug it in and expect it to work. Their explanation was that certain 'programming' had been removed from the old unit and transferred to the new one, but they weren't more specific than that.

Keeping the old, working unit gives me some protection against the cost (and availability) of a future replacement - I can just send both units back to Injectronics and get them to swap the programming back to the old unit. I'm just keen to know whether I am totally reliant on Injectronics in this scenario or if there are other ways to get the same result?

Can anyone tell me what is actually involved in the 'programming' swap? Could I (or any mechanic or electronics repairer) simply swap a chip? Or is there really a programming process - in which case, what has been 'taken' from my old unit? And why do they even need the old unit to program the new one - surely, if the old unit was completely fried (or lost in the post) I could still get a new one?
 
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CaptainBanana

Well-Known Member
Many are Vin locked and security locked for example to the transponder chip in your key. Normal mechanics will not usually have the ability to change these.
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
Generally from about 2000 onward depending on manufacturer, each computer in a car needs to talk to all the other systems via a can bus or similar system, each must be matched to the car from my understanding so just swapping out an ECU is not that simple.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
The ECU will be programmed or enabled with certain features that make up the type of vehicle. Eg Australian delivery, DX or LX etc. So some may have electric mirrors and some not for example.

While the hardware may be the same. The enabled features will carry from car to car. They would have taken those software features and swapped them across. I suspect the Rodeo doesn't just allow these to be copied like others. Otherwise, it would be easy to make every ECU the top-of-the-range version.
 

CaptainBanana

Well-Known Member
The ECU will be programmed or enabled with certain features that make up the type of vehicle. Eg Australian delivery, DX or LX etc. So some may have electric mirrors and some not for example.

While the hardware may be the same. The enabled features will carry from car to car. They would have taken those software features and swapped them across. I suspect the Rodeo doesn't just allow these to be copied like others. Otherwise, it would be easy to make every ECU the top-of-the-range version.


Actually the body control module or whatever the relevant manufacturer calls their version tends to do this stuff the main issue with the engine management computer is security coding.
 

typhoeus

Well-Known Member
if you are into coding, look up speeduino . . assemble and program your own ecu, using open source software for a couple of hundred $
 
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