EcuTek ProECU frequently asked questions
Would EcuTek custom-map my car?
At EcuTek we provide the technology to re-map ECUs, but we don't do the actual mapping except for mild fixes of standard ECU versions such as for drivability etc. There are EcuTek tuners all around the world who can custom map your car for you, and you can use our dealer locator to find the best-placed distributors for you.
I am transferring my EcuTek software to a new PC and have copied all the files across, but I’m now getting an error message saying something about the Licence Key not being found. What do you think is wrong?
Download the EcuTek Application Installer and use it to do a fresh installation of the ProECU software. Once that's done, run EcuTek Update from the Help menu, which will install any updated files or drivers that are needed. If you still have the problem, check that the new PC meets the far-from-stringent system requirements listed below and, if it does, get in touch with us and specify your operating system version and the exact wording of the message being displayed.
What kind of PC do I need to run ProECU programming software?
Our software products require far less memory and processing power than most modern applications you would run on a Windows PC. They have been specifically designed to run efficiently lean so that live data can be logged as fast as possible. The faster your PC, the quicker you can log and graph data; the more memory and disk space you have, the more data you can log, and for longer.
The minimum system requirements are:
- Operating system – Windows 10 is recommended. Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are supported, but some features may not be available. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported. Windows 8.1/10 RT is not supported. Running the software inside a virtual machine such as VMWare, VirtualBox or Parellels is not supported.
- Processor — 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit or 64-bit
- Memory — 1 gigabyte (GB) or greater
- Hard drive space — 250 MB on C: drive for ProECU programming kit. 2,000 MB on C: drive for ProECU tuning suites.
- Display — 1024x768 minimum screen resolution.
- Ports — Two free USB ports are required for the EcuTek Vehicle Interface and the Licence Key.
- Internet Access — Required to enable software update downloads.
- Language — EcuTek software is only available in English, but will run on other Windows region versions.
Will ProECU work on a laptop?
Absolutely, in fact we envisage it being used with a laptop in most instances, and have purposely designed it to work with restricted screen space and Windows Small Fonts.
On how many PCs may I install the software?
You can install the software on as many PCs as you like, but you will only be able to log data from your car with one PC (the one with the hardware plugged into it!). So you can install one copy on your laptop for logging, and have another copy on your desktop PC for subsequent analysis. You can even give a friend a copy so that they can peruse your logs.
I can buy OBD-II reader software from any number of sources, so why should I purchase ProECU?
It depends on what you're wanting to do. If you intend performance-tuning and/or adding greater functionality, an OBD-II reader won't help you; it's certainly much too slow and cumbersome for the kind of engine development work that's done by EcuTek. If all you intend doing is reading/clearing Diagnostic Trouble Codes, however, then yes, it may make more sense to acquire a reader if it's much cheaper than ProECU. If you intend purchasing OBD-II software you should seek confirmation that it will work with your make and model of car; you can't assume that it will.
Can I use ProECU on a car with a UniChip or some other 'piggyback'-style ECU?
Yes you can, but keep the following in mind: a 'piggyback' ECU works by altering the signals that go into the ECU, changing sensor voltages and altering the ECU's outputs, for instance, so as to get the standard ECU to behave differently. This is why some of the values read from ProECU don't represent the true current running-state of your engine; they are the values the ECU is using, certainly, but they might not reflect the real-world reality.
I want to leave ProECU plugged into my car for most of the time, but as the interface cable plugs in very near to my knee, I'm wondering if there's any way of relocating it?
On many cars the diagnostic socket can be unclipped for relocation, and can be secured in a more suitable position using cable ties.
Is it complicated to install and wire-up ProECU in the car?
There's no wiring involved, you just connect the cable between the diagnostic port under the dashboard, and your laptop. And there's no need for any external power unless you want to run your laptop from the lighter socket.
In what format are the log files saved, and can I load them into other programs?
Each time you save a log from a car it is saved as two files. One file (the .txt) has comments in it that you entered while logging; the other file (the .csv file) contains all the data. The data is in comma-separated variable format (hence the filename extension 'csv') and can be imported into many other programs for further analysis, including Microsoft Excel and Access.
I have my interface plugged in but the software does not see the car. Any idea why?
Check that the car's ignition is on (rather than the key just being in the auxiliary position) and that the engine is not running. Also check that the interface is properly plugged into the laptop.
Occasionally when I'm logging data, the graphs pause, leaving gaps in the retrieved data. Why is this?
There are two likely reasons:
- At high RPM the ECU may be too busy to return all the data you've requested while simultaneously running the engine. Try reducing the number of parameters being logged, and try increasing the data-capture interval.
- Interference from the vehicle's electrical systems, including the ignition system, may interfere with the communication, so try using a shorter cable between laptop and interface.
Why should I reprogram the standard ECU rather than buy a new, aftermarket one?
For the following reasons:
- Specification — The standard ECU has a very powerful processor and can run at very high speed.
- Development — Car makers spend millions of pounds on software calibration, from which we can benefit. As we need only work on, say, 3% of the data contained in the ECU, we retain all of the complex and time-consuming mapping for the more obscure functions such as warm-up, cold start, overrun etc. This also allows us to concentrate on mapping beyond the conservative parameters set at factory. Aftermarket replacement ECUs cannot compete with the speed, power and complexity of the standard factory control unit. The ability to re-map in the way we do makes aftermarket units and add-on signal modifiers obsolete.
- Functionality — All of the factory ECU functions such as ECU-controlled climate control, vehicle immobiliser and diagnostic trouble codes are preserved unharmed. You'll find none of these functions with the replacement programmable ECUs, and the add-on signal modifiers that are spliced into the vehicle wiring can actually introduce faults due to the ECU's interpretation of the incorrect signals.
- Security — EcuTek programming is done via the car's diagnostic socket, so no hardware or wires are either added or removed from the ECU, and the standard factory diagnostics report an unchanged and fault-free ECU.
What happens if I find an ECU that isn't supported by your software?
The ProECU tools allow you to dump the data from the ECU and send it to us so that we can investigate and add support for the ROM. This process usually takes up to seven days, depending on the complexity of the vehicle, but sometimes we receive submissions we cannot immediately support and, in such fortunately rare cases, it takes quite a bit longer.
As our vehicle support is constantly updated we can provide a comprehensive list of supported vehicles for all our software upon request. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Why is EcuTek not willing to sell tuning software direct to enthusiasts?
EcuTek tuning software makes it possible to edit and reprogram the standard ECU, but safe and successful recalibration very much requires the input of an experienced tuner, who will know what should be changed and understand where the limits lie.
The price of EcuTek tuning software suites is spread across the multiple cars tuned by each of our trade customers, and the pricing structure is not suitable for a single car-tune purchase. EcuTek is always busy researching and developing new features and products, and supplying this complex software to the enthusiast would involve devoting a significantly larger amount of time to email and telephone support, which would have a very detrimental impact on our research and development.
But having said all this, you CAN buy the ProECU Programming Kit from any EcuTek Master Tuner if you wish to program your car with a tuned ROM prepared and provided by an experienced tuner. Also, we have end-user tuning enabled on our Subaru BRZ and Mazda MX-5 Tuning Suites, and this facility may be extended to certain other suites in the future.
Does ProECU work with the old-style serial-port interface cable?
No. We have removed support for the serial (COM port) Vehicle Interface cable in the latest version of ProECU (and DeltaDash). However, you can download the older version of DeltaDash that DOES support the serial cable, at www.ecutek.com/downloads/deltadash-serial.zip. You will first need to delete the existing DeltaDash.exe file from the C:\EcuTek folder.
What exactly is RaceROM?
RaceROM is a powerful additional feature created by EcuTek to add extra features to the standard factory ECU. These typically include such things as Launch Control, Flat-Foot Shifting, Speed Density… and many others. RaceROM's additions can open-up almost unlimited tuning options and totally transform a vehicle.
The added features are listed on the webpage relevant to each of the ProECU products that support RaceROM, so you can look up the exact list of added functions that RaceROM brings to each car model.
Where can I find EcuTek third party licence compliance?
You can find the latest version of our third party licence compliance and related documentation at: www.ecutek.com/thirdpartylicenses
What Operating Systems are NOT supported by EcuTek software?
Windows versions prior to Windows 7 are not supported.
You can find a detailed description of the operating systems that EcuTek software supports at: www.ecutek.com/os-end-of-support
Please sign in to leave a comment.