How to Flash an ECU For a Locksmith

If you’re a locksmith who is unsure how to reflash a vehicle’s ECU, here are some tips to help you get started. Reflashing is an option that can save you up to $500 on the cost of a key replacement. A typical dealership’s service department may not even be aware that this is possible and will charge you upwards of $700 to reflash the immobilizer. Your local locksmith should be able to educate the service department on the process of reflashing.

To learn how to reflash an ECU, first get a manual. Your manual will have pictures to help you figure out which chip to look for. Most computer chips have an ID printed near them. The ID will be something like “IC900” or “IC2.” In some cases, you may have to remove additional screws or flip over the board in order to find the chip. Next, use a pocket knife or Xacto knife to scrape off the coating that covers the chip’s legs.

If you’re a locksmith, you can use an eeprom reader to access the immobilizer module of a vehicle. There are many different types of eeproms that can be read with the right kit. Some locksmiths have success with this technique and recommend it to others. For the most part, reflashing an ecu requires a specialized kit that includes all the necessary components.