So, you’ve just finished up a Ford, and you’re about to try and start it up. However, it needs programmed. You’ve decided to use a J2534 tool, but there are certain things you’ll need to consider before purchasing that subscription at www.motorcraftservice.com
Choosing a PC
The PC you choose for reflashing can be as important as the process of reflashing itself. More importantly, it’s got to be compatible with the manufacturer’s requirements.
The first thing to do before purchasing or considering your existing laptop for the purpose of reflashing is to go to the manufacturer’s website and check out what they require for the PC. Two websites that can give you that information are www.oemonestop.com
Recommended PC Requirements
• Processor: 500 MHz
• Memory: 128 MB of RAM
• Available Space: 200 MB
• Graphics Card: 800×600 16-bit
• Internet: High-speed Internet
connection, DSL or cable modem
• Operating System: Windows 2000, XP or Vista
• Web Browser: Internet Explorer Version 7.0 or later
This is the information you’ll need in hand when you run down to the local computer store and purchase a laptop for the purpose of reflashing.
There’s a lot that has to be done on your end in order to get the PC to work on the manufacturer’s website. Also, you will need to load the software for your J2534.
Things that you’ll need to do
This is a list of things that you’ll have to have done before starting any download/flash from the site.
Firewalls need to be turned off, screen savers should be off, cookies settings should match the requirements from the manufacturer, screen resolution needs set, pop-up blockers need to be off, and any third party anti-virus, anti-spyware or internet security software must be temporarily disabled.
My advice is once you have all the correct settings in your PC, create a new account user on your PC. The way I have my laptop set up, I have a user profile named: “Ford Reprogramming” and that is the only thing I use that profile for. It’s easy to do. Go to your control panel, then to “user accounts” and create a new account. All the settings that you have made will now be stored under that heading. You then can adjust the settings back to what you want them to be on your regular profile (user name).
For me, after spending the better part of a day setting up my first PC to reflash, I was glad to finally see my efforts pay off using the J2534 tool. Actually, I think the reflash was a lot easier than setting up the laptop.
More points of interest that you should know
Always disconnect the mongoose cable/pass-thru device before entering the Ford program. The FMP program runs its checks first before the J2534 tool is attached.
The download program from Ford (FMP–Ford Module Programming) changes constantly, generally each month, and you must completely remove the old program from your PC before attempting to download the newest version. I had a problem in finding the files after I downloaded it the first time, so I thought I would just download a second copy and on the second download, I would put the files where I knew I could retrieve them easier. FMP won’t allow you to have two copies on the same PC. After the first copy is completely removed, you can then download it a second time. But, put it where you can find it.
The Emergency Brake MUST BE ON. I found that out the hard way. The program blue process line came to a complete stop and an error message came up. I had to go back to the beginning again and read all the precautions and procedures again.
Any parameters in your PC that are not correct need to be reset before continuing. If you turn off the computer to reboot for some reason, and there will be many occasions to do that, some of the pop-up settings may revert back to their original settings. Check them before continuing.
I haven’t tried all the different J2534 tools out there — some maybe easier and some could be more difficult. But, I do know this from experience. Your PC has to be configured correctly or it doesn’t matter how much you would like to flash that Ford. Motorcraftservice.com can’t do anything from their end if you don’t have all your information correct at your end.
Time to call the Tech Line!