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HOWTO: Enabling Tuner Lock and returning existing Tuner locked vehicles to stock.


Roland@pcmtec
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Tuner lock is a widely debated feature however for many tuners it is a must. Tuner lock is a soft lock that will prevent other PCMTEC users from editing/viewing/datalogging your tune. This includes other competitors products as well.

Tuner lock will prevent everyone including yourself from datalogging the vehicle and it will also prevent you from using the custom OS wizard. Hence it is recommended to only turn this feature on before it leaves the workshop. There is no cost to use tuner lock.

Tuner lock requires the workshop edition to enable and at least the professional edition to overwrite.
 

Enabling Tuner Lock

To enable tuner lock, press "Calibration Tools" -> "Binary Tuner Locked (OSID Scramble) Active".
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Press "Yes" to save the file and the file will now be tuner locked.

You can confirm by checking the Binary "Tuner Locked (OSID Scramble) Active". You should see there is a "" on the left hand side.
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Or you can check in the old place, "Custom Operating System Build Options" -> "Tuner Lock Enable/Disable".
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Now if any other users read this file they will be greeted with the following popup.

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Overwriting Tuner Lock

If a car has come into your workshop that is tuner locked and you wish to tune the car you can overwrite the tuner lock with a stock file. To do this first read and save the tuner locked file ignoring the tuner lock warning. Ensure you read both the PCM and TCM if the vehicle is a ZF automatic.

Next open Calibration Tools -> Create Stock File/Calibration Merge

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Next press "Create Stock File From Strategy or Catchcode"

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Now enter either the strategy or the tear tag for the vehicle. This can be located on the sticker in the drivers door.

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Next press "Create and Merge"

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Next press "Load File" loading the tuner locked file that was saved previously.

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Press "Save/Open File" Save the resulting file, open and license it (3 credits).

Once licensed you will see the resulting file is completely stock with the VIN/VID Block and Serial copied from the tuner locked file. Please note that if you do not license the resulting file the VID block will show default values.

Happy tuning!

 

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19 minutes ago, Roland@pcmtec said:

Now if any other users read this file they will be greeted with the following popup.

image.png.13439d2e8fa3cbde5eea0ccd6dbd0d31.png

 

 

A quick question; if you can read and save the file when it's locked then what is to prevent someone from taking photos of the relevant parts of a tune and manually entering them into a new tune? It's slightly tedious but worth it in some instances. If (?) you could compare a locked file to stock then it would be very easy to find the modified scalars and tables etc.

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18 minutes ago, Puffwagon said:

A quick question; if you can read and save the file when it's locked then what is to prevent someone from taking photos of the relevant parts of a tune and manually entering them into a new tune? It's slightly tedious but worth it in some instances. If (?) you could compare a locked file to stock then it would be very easy to find the modified scalars and tables etc.

You won't be able to see anything. If you open the tuner locked file the navigator will be empty like this.

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If you attempt to compare the file you will see this.

image.png.980bd95fb9efed6218a2ab7f3a5bdb60.png

 

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  • 10 months later...

Just wanted to get clarification when the tune creator reads back their own tuner locked file.

If I was the tuner who tuner locked & flashed the PCM and for whatever reason I lost the original unlocked tuning file off my hard drive e.g. stolen and no back up, when I read the tune back from the PCM does the software recognise me as the tuner lock initiator and unlock the file for me?  

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18 minutes ago, hjtrbo said:

Just wanted to get clarification when the tune creator reads back their own tuner locked file.

If I was the tuner who tuner locked & flashed the PCM and for whatever reason I lost the original unlocked tuning file off my hard drive e.g. stolen and no back up, when I read the tune back from the PCM does the software recognise me as the tuner lock initiator and unlock the file for me?  

I haven't used the function but reading the information above & highlighted below, It appears you, the original tuner would be given the option to unlock, whereas if I were to read it, I would get "This file has been tuner locked by another user" as shown above.

PCMtec Editor records the licenced serial number & OSID of the pcm, it would recognise the pcm when reading & allow the original tuner access to unlock it

image.thumb.png.c0064028d8abd301102ddb2977ead6a4.png

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You can disagree with tuner lock as much as you want but if you do such a thing you'll be hurting our top customers. This isn't a hobby for them, it's their lively hood, it is what pays their bills, some of them have million dollar loans for dynos and sheds, this would mean less revenue for them and hence less revenue for us. This means less R&D funds for us to continue building cool software like the multi tune and our new datalogging package. 

Can I make a suggestion. If you have enough time to even consider something like this maybe put it towards learning to tune or something else with a positive outcome for the Australian tuning community. 

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For the people that detest tuner locks and the business they have to turn away because the customer is not willing to pay for a full retune it's a very positive outcome. 

At most the impact will be a shift of revenue from one shop to another. Most customers are very loyal to there tuner for the life of that vehicles ownership. It'll generally be when the car changes hands that the new owner will prefer the tuner that they're loyal to and seek an unlock. Odds are that tuner is also using pcmtec = more credits bought from you right?

Been using HP for a while on GM vehicles and Link for standalones.

Was happy to live with the tuner lock if I could of had remote support, but been left high and dry. Not willing to drive across the state of Victoria to get an idle tune fault sorted out when I have a PCMtec workshop tuner only 15 mins away that I am loyal to. So to get the salty taste out of my mouth I'll get this thing going. Already have Link ECU unlocks already under my belt.

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The primary reason our customers request tuner lock is because they often spend weeks or even months refining a tune with many broken engines/gearboxes to get it to that level. They then use that on many customers cars. If some guy down the road with close to $0 in the game reads this tune our and sells it to his mates for a tiny price then they lose those potential customers and they also become quite jaded and decide what is the point of investing time doing R&D.

Some people may use the tuner lock to hide their tune away from critique however this is not the primary reason for developing and allowing it to be used.

There are always going to be exceptions, however you have to respect the primary reason why it is done. If someone made such a tool (assuming it was possible) and released it then you'd be undermining all of these large tuning shops.

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1 hour ago, hjtrbo said:

Was happy to live with the tuner lock if I could of had remote support, but been left high and dry. Not willing to drive across the state of Victoria to get an idle tune fault sorted out when I have a PCMtec workshop tuner only 15 mins away that I am loyal to. So to get the salty taste out of my mouth I'll get this thing going. Already have Link ECU unlocks already under my belt.

I completely understand the original workshop protecting their work. Even unlocking the tune for another PCMtec Workshop who hasn't done the hard yards, could potentially be giving away hundreds of hours & thousands of $$ in R&D.

Did you pay for the original tune & was remote support part of the deal or did you buy the car with the tune?

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2 hours ago, hjtrbo said:

For the people that detest tuner locks and the business they have to turn away because the customer is not willing to pay for a full retune it's a very positive outcome. 

At most the impact will be a shift of revenue from one shop to another. Most customers are very loyal to there tuner for the life of that vehicles ownership. It'll generally be when the car changes hands that the new owner will prefer the tuner that they're loyal to and seek an unlock. Odds are that tuner is also using pcmtec = more credits bought from you right?

Been using HP for a while on GM vehicles and Link for standalones.

Was happy to live with the tuner lock if I could of had remote support, but been left high and dry. Not willing to drive across the state of Victoria to get an idle tune fault sorted out when I have a PCMtec workshop tuner only 15 mins away that I am loyal to. So to get the salty taste out of my mouth I'll get this thing going. Already have Link ECU unlocks already under my belt.

Hi hjtrbo,

As a bit of background on the tuner lock when you say "Most customers are very loyal to there tuner for the life of that vehicles ownership" is not our experience at all with Ford vehicles. I believe it is true for Holden cars but we see many customers shop around and get the tune done again. 

The issue you have sounds like it is remote tuning and that your workshop wont invest the time to do that, purely a business call by them. You could ask another tuner who is willing to do that or even leave the tune unlocked so you could do it yourself (there will be one near you). Further you can negotiate with your original tuner to get the tune sent to another tuner and we will transfer the licenses from one tuner to the other if they agree. We could facilitate this if you want.

We do not unlock tuner locked cars for many reasons. There is an interesting story where the coroner/police asked us to unlock a tune and we could not without a lot of work and a court order. Much better for them to find the original tuner and negotiate with them what was done.

Another fun one is that some have tried to move a flex tune to another vehicle, good time waster that one is if you like bricking vehicles :) 

I fully understand your frustration. Roland and I started PCMTec for this exact reason, I had to do 130kms across town every time I needed a tune changed and then it was only once in a few months. Fortunately my tuner said he would show me how to tune and I could purchase another product and start. This was the beginning of PCMTec for me.

A multi tune is quite protected, I can take over your support ticket if you want and see what we can do.

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  • 5 months later...
Quote

 

Can I ask the reason behind not being to datalog a tuner locked PCM? 

I have a vehicle here im trying to find a particular fault with, which is tuner locked, and i cannot datalog it....

Shouldn't we be able to log parameters to try diagnose issues on vehicles or are we kind of forced to use other software to do this?

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I feel that is counter productive and has unnecessary costs-  i'd need to licence the pcm, reflash it to stock, to diagnose an issue?  and then, flash the tuner locked tune back into it?

surely we should be able to view/log stuff without having to go though all that?   considering some other software can do it why not open this functionality on pcmtec?

 

Edited by Jamie
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15 hours ago, Jamie said:

I feel that is counter productive and has unnecessary costs-  i'd need to licence the pcm, reflash it to stock, to diagnose an issue?  and then, flash the tuner locked tune back into it?

surely we should be able to view/log stuff without having to go though all that?   considering some other software can do it why not open this functionality on pcmtec?

 

Because you can reverse engineer the tune via datalogging. 

Its been requested by our largest customers that it is disabled. 

If you don't agree you need to take it up with the original tuner. They can return it to stock for no credits. 

If you return it to stock you cannot flash the tuner locked tune back in, it will be wiped and you have to retune the car from scratch. 

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what about just allowing at ;east the standard SAE PIDS to be logged then, ie all the ones i can still log just fine in forscan or similar scanning apps

at least this way we can check some of the basic data without having to be forced to use other software or tools to do so?

 

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I can probably halfway answer this one.

For the same reason dtc logging/clearing has been disabled with PCMTec. PCMTec is primarily a tuning program and isn't a full system/module scanner.

FWIW the last time I checked (years ago now) hp tuners still fully logged a PCMTec flashed vehicle, but only a couple of parameters with the custom OS.

Maybe this has been updated by moving stuff to different memory addresses? I haven't checked lately.

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  • 2 weeks later...
20 hours ago, JWM said:

Does tuner lock prevent ForScan from connecting to the PCM?

@JWM I've just carried out a connection test to a PCMTEC Tuner Locked PCM using the latest version of FORScan v2.3.44, Windows10, using an OBDLink EX cable & OBDLink MX+ Bluetooth adapter. Both adapters connect & read the Tuner Locked PCM.....See screen snips showing the strategy isn't correct due to the tuner lock.

I also tested the OBDLink MX+ Bluetooth adapter with the FORScan Lite iOS app & it worked as well.

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Note: The OBDLink MX+ Firmware needed updating to v5.6.19 which was done after taking the screenshots. I've confirmed it works with either firmware.

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  • 4 weeks later...
9 hours ago, tunedbychop said:

How do I go about unlocking/returning a pcm to stock in a conversion situation when there is no tear tag available to me? 

I assume you're talking about a conversion in a car that's not a BA/BF/FG/FGX. If that's the case, then matching the TearTag isn't as critical. If you have the workshop version, you can filter the calibration list by PCM type eg ASU-224, APS-234, then filter to trans auto or manual & pick a strategy. NOTE: If it's a ZF6 vehicle, make sure you pick one with a TCM calibration listed.

You could normally use the PCM part number on the sticker on the side of the PCM as a reference to what the stock file would be but it may not be correct. It may have been overwritten for your conversion ie if it was originally a FG Turbo auto PCM, it may have had a manual strategy flashed to suit the conversion.

If you don't have the workshop version, provide some info on your conversion, your PCM type, gearbox, na or turbo for assistance with a TearTag/strategy.

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11 minutes ago, Bill said:

I assume you're talking about a conversion in a car that's not a BA/BF/FG/FGX. If that's the case, then matching the TearTag isn't as critical. If you have the workshop version, you can filter the calibration list by PCM type eg ASU-224, APS-234, then filter to trans auto or manual & pick a strategy. NOTE: If it's a ZF6 vehicle, make sure you pick one with a TCM calibration listed.

You could normally use the PCM part number on the sticker on the side of the PCM as a reference to what the stock file would be but it may not be correct. It may have been overwritten for your conversion ie if it was originally a FG Turbo auto PCM, it may have had a manual strategy flashed to suit the conversion.

If you don't have the workshop version, provide some info on your conversion, your PCM type, gearbox, na or turbo for assistance with a TearTag/strategy.

Thanks for the reply bill. 
 

it’s for a customers car, I’m yet to physically see the car and the info I have is that it is a fg na+t conversion into a partol using the patrol gearbox (re4) 

the owner had another workshop interstate create the standalone harness and they modified the pcm to suit (the car runs and drives) but the issue is (according to the owner) the said workshop tuner locked the file. So it would appear I would require flashing a stock file over the top of the locked file and starting again?

im lead to believe it’s a stock fg turbo harness that’s been used. 
 

edit: I am new to pcmtec but not tuning itself. 

Edited by tunedbychop
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3 minutes ago, tunedbychop said:

Thanks for the reply bill. 
 

it’s for a customers car, I’m yet to physically see the car and the info I have is that it is a fg na+t conversion into a partol using the patrol gearbox (re4) 

the owner had another workshop interstate create the standalone harness and they modified the pcm to suit (the car runs and drives) but the issue is (according to the owner) the said workshop tuner locked the file. So it would appear I would require flashing a stock file over the top of the locked file and starting again?

im lead to believe it’s a stock fg turbo harness that’s been used. 

No worries. I guess you'll need to wait for the Patrol to turn up so you know if it is in fact tuner locked, has a custom OS or what you're dealing with. With any luck, it'll have the APS-234 FG turbo PCM.

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6 minutes ago, Bill said:

No worries. I guess you'll need to wait for the Patrol to turn up so you know if it is in fact tuner locked, has a custom OS or what you're dealing with. With any luck, it'll have the APS-234 FG turbo PCM.

In any case is there a simple way to just re-write the pcm and start from scratch regardless of what’s on it currently?  I’ve not had to tackle this issue to date so if there’s any links to treads explaining it I’d be much appreciated 

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9 minutes ago, tunedbychop said:

In any case is there a simple way to just re-write the pcm and start from scratch regardless of what’s on it currently?  I’ve not had to tackle this issue to date so if there’s any links to treads explaining it I’d be much appreciated 

Firstly, wait until you have the PCM hardware type ie the vehicle in your workshop or have the customer send you a photo of the sticker on the side of the PCM so you know what the hardware is in preparation.

If you don't have the workshop version & access to the strategy list, once you know what the hardware is, ask if someone can help with a strategy for PCM hardware APS-***, ASU-*** or for whatever hardware it is. Also provide other info for the strategy/TearTag needed....ie you want a turbo manual strategy, na manual strategy, turbo ZF6 strategy, na ZF6 strategy. That's for you to decide.

Once you have found or someone has provided you with a strategy/TearTag from the Falcon calibration list, the simplest process is to step back to the start of this thread & follow "Overwriting Tuner Lock"

image.thumb.png.98512d86f784c2afbcd8dca4f984ec20.png

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1 minute ago, Bill said:

Firstly, wait until you have the PCM hardware type ie the vehicle in your workshop or have the customer send you a photo of the sticker on the side of the PCM so you know what the hardware is in preparation.

If you don't have the workshop version & access to the strategy list, once you know what the hardware is, ask if someone can help with a strategy for PCM hardware APS-***, ASU-*** or for whatever hardware it is. Also provide other info for the strategy/TearTag needed....ie you want a turbo manual strategy, na manual strategy, turbo ZF6 strategy, na ZF6 strategy. That's for you to decide.

Once you have found or someone has provided you with a strategy/TearTag from the Falcon calibration list, the simplest process is to step back to the start of this thread & follow "Overwriting Tuner Lock"

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Sorry should have mentioned I have the workshop edition. 
thanks. 
that’s given me the confidence I was after to tackle it. 
cheers Bill. 

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4 minutes ago, tunedbychop said:

Sorry should have mentioned I have the workshop edition. 
thanks. 
that’s given me the confidence I was after to tackle it. 
cheers Bill. 

No worries.
It's easy when you have the workshop version to find what you need & then it's as simple as following the steps in "Overwriting Tuner Lock" after that.
Good luck with it 

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1 minute ago, Bill said:

No worries.
It's easy when you have the workshop version to find what you need & then it's as simple as following the steps in "Overwriting Tuner Lock" after that.
Good luck with it 

Legend!! Cheers man. 😎

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3 hours ago, Bill said:

No worries.
It's easy when you have the workshop version to find what you need & then it's as simple as following the steps in "Overwriting Tuner Lock" after that.
Good luck with it 

This is the ecu. I’m away from my laptop so not sure what strategy it would be. 

7DE380BF-0B61-4222-BB89-E042FE89F5E6.jpeg

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13 minutes ago, tunedbychop said:

This is the ecu. I’m away from my laptop so not sure what strategy it would be. 

7DE380BF-0B61-4222-BB89-E042FE89F5E6.jpeg

APS-232 is a NA 5R55 (5 speed auto) PCM. There's some info here on using it it a turbo application

 

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10 hours ago, Roland@pcmtec said:

Thanks for putting your spare time into helping answer questions Bill. We really appreciate it. 

Not a problem Roland. I really needed a break from the normal day to day stuff.

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On 7/24/2022 at 1:13 PM, Bill said:

No worries 👍

Gday bill. Just an update. The tune was indeed locked, I followed the guide and coupled with the info you gave me, all went well. Loaded stock file then made the necessary changes and hit the key. Fired up. One odd thing that did happen though was after one of the flashes I did I found a whole heap of parameters had changed (not of my doing) as a result the car went from running perfectly before the flash to running poorly, going into limp mode and cutting the throttle off. I ended up having to go through everything and comparing it to the stock file to change it all back. Most of it was to do with idle parameters. Things like idle in neutral had changes to “0” instead of 600rpm. Found it quite odd. 
 

anyways, crisis’ everted and all is well. 
 

Thanks again mate. 
 

cheers Chop. 

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10 hours ago, tunedbychop said:

Gday bill. Just an update. The tune was indeed locked, I followed the guide and coupled with the info you gave me, all went well. Loaded stock file then made the necessary changes and hit the key. Fired up. One odd thing that did happen though was after one of the flashes I did I found a whole heap of parameters had changed (not of my doing) as a result the car went from running perfectly before the flash to running poorly, going into limp mode and cutting the throttle off. I ended up having to go through everything and comparing it to the stock file to change it all back. Most of it was to do with idle parameters. Things like idle in neutral had changes to “0” instead of 600rpm. Found it quite odd. 
 

anyways, crisis’ everted and all is well. 
 

Thanks again mate. 
 

cheers Chop. 

Hi Chops, great to hear the return to stock went well. I've not heard of anyone having the issue where after one of the flashes, parameters have altered by themselves. I didn't think it was possible. Were you saving the file between changes to be able to go back & see where/what happened? @Roland@pcmtecwould logs identify an issue if Chops were to send them to support?

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Did you read the file back out of the car and see things were 0? On a failing pcm if you read it back out you'll get a checksum error with often large chunks of the file zerod. This happens with the old ba PCMs when the flash fails to commit after a write. 

You'd only see this after doing a read though, most of the time it will give an error when doing the prior write as well in this scenario. If this is the case I highly recommend not doing any further writes as eventually it will fail completely and you will need to replace the pcm. 

If you didn't do a read then I don't really see how anything in the stock file could be zerod without you doing it. 

If you send everything in to support we can investigate it further. 

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