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Thread: Can you do engine management with any OBDII reader?

  1. #1
    FLAC
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    Can you do engine management with any OBDII reader?

    My cousin works at a body shop and gave me a cable for free. The cable is OBDII on one end and serial on the other end so it'll plug into the computer. I know you can read from this cable but I'm wondering if you can use it to send commands to the engine to do engine management and change things.
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  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maheriano View Post
    do engine management
    What do you mean by that? Could you explain?

    Send commands? The OBD2 standard only allows to start a test on the Exhaust Gas Recirculation. Nothing else.

    Change things? Depends what you want. With an OBD2 scanner you can only erase fault codes and thereby reset some values to the factory default.
    If you want to tune a car you need different software and probably hardware.

  3. #3
    FLAC
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    Which Linux software can I use? Any free Windows software?
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  4. #4
    Newbie preet's Avatar
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    You haven't clarified what you want to do. The software you end up using will depend on what you actually want to accomplish and what kind of cable you have.

  5. #5
    FLAC
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    the cable is just a basic OBDII - serial and I'd like to be able to change air/flow mixtures, power bands or anything else you can do with engine management. I do't know yet.
    Ampie Case
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    2005 Honda Civic

  6. #6
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    For something like that you are going to need very specialized hardware for interfacing with your ECU, which should come with software. I suggest checking some online forums for your car, and see if they know of any hardware to do what you need. You're not looking at anything particularly cheap though. Why do you want to change things? Have you done performance modifications to your car that require remapping? Messing with your tuning tables and the like is extremely dangerous, and can damage or destroy your engine fairly easily.

    That being said, if you've done extensive modifications to your engine that requires re-tuning, again that is something that you should check on car-specific forums, or take your car to a place which specializes in tuning your type of car, unless you have tuning experience and are willing to take the risk of destroying your car and extensive cost involved with such an undertaking.
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  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate
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    Even with the right hardware and software, tuning engines is something for professionals.
    You need extensive knowledge on how engines work, how engine management systems work and how far you can go with the changes.
    The latter is normally measured on a rolling road with the help of things like a gas analyzer, a knock detection kit, etc.

    If you change things without any knowledge, you probably end up with an engine that has less power, uses more fuel and can blow up in a big way.

    Still interested? You can take courses here: http://www.efi101.com/

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