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Why an ECU needs to be re-programmed?

We get asked about ECU reprogramming all the time, so much so that we created this page to give our customers an over view of the situation. If your in the market for a replacement ECU, we recommend reading through this completely to save yourself some hassle.

Some Auto ECU's need to be reprogrammed before they will work in your vehicle. This can be due to your vehicle having an immobilizer or due to the VIN being programmed into your specific ECU. Unfortunately there's no set in stone guide as to which make and models need to be re-programmed. Every make and model car is different so finding the right answer will take a phone call to your local dealer. Remember that buying a used ECU can save you thousands over dealer cost. Also re-programming applies to any ECU you buy outside of the dealership, not just from us.

Getting an ECU re-programmed?

The first thing you need to do is verify with the dealership as to whether or not the ECU needs to be re-programmed. If it doesn't need to be programmed, your in the clear to match up a replacement. If they say it does need re-programming, don't panic. It's not always a big deal. Most dealerships will charge you a fee to re-program the used ECU you buy from us. This fee plus the cost of a Quality Used ECU will still be far less then buying a new one. Depending on what kind of car you drive, the dealer may not be your only option. Check with your local garages to see what they say. Often times local shops specialize and will have the right tools to re code your ECU.

If your dealership refuses to re-program a used ECU or tells you they can't, then you need to shop around for a different shop or dealer. Every dealership handles it differently, so if one won't do it, that doesn't mean a different one wouldn't.

What car makes need re-programming?

As I said before, there's no list or book that tells us what computers need to be re-programmed. It's very dependant on your specific year, make, and model. The only real way to know is to call the local dealer or local mechanic that specializes in your brand of vehicle.

When you’re ordering an ECU

Before you make the call to find one or even start looking, you want the part number from your old ECU. Do not supply anyone with the part number from the dealer if they gave you one. The reason for this is that the dealers part number is a newer superseded number and most of the time it won't be the same as whats actually on a used ECU. You'll want to make sure you've got the part numbers off the ECU thats physically in your vehicle.

We hope this helps you in your next purchase of an Automotive ECU. Also if you ever need help please don't be afraid to call us, email us or live chat us on our website. We are always willing to help!


Shop our ECU category for great deals on Used Auto ECU's

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