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  1. #1
    DF Super Moderator Over Carl's Avatar
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    Info How To Modify Hidden Settings (Coding)

    Many cars have settings which are not very well known. Often features are simply overlooked by owners who have never found the option, while others are sometimes hidden away by unlocking certain button sequences.

    However most cars have another category of options totally hidden and unknown to the average owner. Most modern cars have numerous control units dotted around the vehicle which all perform their respective functions while often communicating to each other. Most of these control units will be intended for use in vehicles with differing options, and sometimes even for completely different models.

    In order to cut down producing loads of slightly different controllers, instead often there will be various parameters set in these various control modules which specify which options have been fitted. Often these coding procedures will only function if various relevant parts have been fitted, and setting incorrect coding can often create errors or even permanently damage the controller.

    The procedure itself I normally refer to as coding, although I have heard mechanics refer to the procedure as programming. My personal preference is to reserve that word for tasks such as flashing an ECU.

    Some examples of various tasks that can be done by changing settings in control units:

    Retrofit Cruise Control (Fit stalk then code settings)
    Retrofit Xenons (Fit lights and all electrics then code settings)
    Retrofit LEDs (Change lights and code)
    Retrofit Folding Mirrors (Fit mirrors, wiring, maybe new control modules then code settings)
    Retrofit Park Sensors (Fit bumpers, sensors, wiring, controller, then code settings)


    Change Alarm Beeps (Just coding if available)
    Window Closure from Key (Just coding if available)
    Mirrors Folding from Key (Just coding if available)
    Follow Me Home Lights (Just coding if available)
    Remove Speed Limiters (Just coding if available and legal)

    These are just a handful of example of the many tweaks that are available. For many cars there are reasonably priced interfaces available that allow all kinds of changes, while for some brands, only the main dealer tools allow full access.

    This thread is meant to be a general introduction to the idea. For anyone intending on how to get started out, this is the thread, I hope this will spawn numerous other manufacturer specific threads, where I hope to help in a few.
    Last edited by Over Carl; 8th April 2015 at 12:29 AM.

    3 Thanks given to Over Carl

    beerman (25th September 2015), BIG-TED (8th April 2015), Oily (8th April 2015) 


  2. #2
    DF PwNagE beerman's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Modify Hidden Settings (Coding)

    You know anything about bmw coding OC? I want the digital speed read out on my e92, have it chirping when I set the alarm and full closure without having to hold down the button on my key.

    I've grabbed a copy of NCS expert but I'm too scared to plug in and give it a go. I only got the car a week ago.
    Last edited by Over Carl; 8th April 2015 at 12:29 AM.

  3. #3
    DF Super Moderator Over Carl's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Modify Hidden Settings (Coding)

    Sounds like you've done some homework and are on the right path. I think we need to open up a specific NCSExpert thread as I know how to use this s/w.
    Last edited by Over Carl; 8th April 2015 at 12:29 AM.

    Thanks to Over Carl

    beerman (8th April 2015) 


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    DF Wh0re Oily's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Modify Hidden Settings (Coding)

    I wouldn't mind knowing more about BMW coding too,I got INPA but looks a minefield!

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    DF Jedi QfanatiQ's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Modify Hidden Settings (Coding)

    Interesting topic. How might that work with future warranty issues though?

    I'd be keen to look more at this once my warranty is up, but more just in terms of what I might be able to get. Not sure what more I might get out of mine.

    Has anyone ventured into this?

    Cheers.....Q

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    DF Moderator BIG-TED's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Modify Hidden Settings (Coding)

    Have a read on here, it's for vw but you get the idea of switch on or off one byte of code to give different results.
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Ted
    Run your wife a nice hot bath, light some candles & pour some wine. Then you've at least 40 mins on the xbox plus a clean wife.

    Experts... x is an unknown quantity and spurt is a fast drip.

    Thanks to BIG-TED

    Over Carl (8th April 2015) 


  7. #7
    DF Super Moderator Over Carl's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Modify Hidden Settings (Coding)

    Quote Originally Posted by QfanatiQ View Post
    Interesting topic. How might that work with future warranty issues though?

    Has anyone ventured into this?
    To be honest, I would advise not changing anything on a car under warranty. Even for example Mercedes dealerships are looking for CAN blockers to detect people who have fiddled with mileage, or say BMW dealers look at the FASTA data to identify when an engine's redline was altered as part of a tune.

    I would even go as far as to recommend fitting the original parts from the dealer when servicing, as in that very expensive part of the vehicle's life, I wouldn't want to risk for example a blown engine that will cost £10k to fix as the warranty is void.

    I often end up changing coding settings on cars a couple of times a week, but often it is just entering parameters in new control units as opposed to tweaking existing ones.

    Obviously with everything there is a risk, but for example when I was very young, I would often wait until my parents went out and then often open up anything I could that was brand new, have a look then put it back together again. If you have that kind of curious mind and can accept messing something up, then the best place to start is with small experiments.

    What vehicle do you drive or what vehicle were you considering modifying?

  8. #8
    DF Jedi QfanatiQ's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Modify Hidden Settings (Coding)

    Quote Originally Posted by Over carl View Post
    What vehicle do you drive or what vehicle were you considering modifying?
    I am certainly not looking to mod my car currently. Just find this an interesting topic. Ive just got myself a Skoda Octavia vrs, it was an ex demo model, I am chuffed with it and don't see what any modding would get me. I don't have enough time with the bits on it that I know about. My brother has an old Toyota celica, I can see this being something he is keen to explore.

    Cheers.....Q

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    DF Member kofi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How To Modify Hidden Settings (Coding)

    Interesting thread VAG stuff is easy to do BMW bit harder

    MB easy(when you know how)
    but you need to read (translate German ) when using developers mode
    added options to my W639 as all the controllers are present as mentioned
    bought original MB parts plug and play saved a fortune as opposed to selecting the option from new data card updated SCN coding done at dealership.
    Enabled a few other nice options with My C4 SD

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