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What’s A Reflash Anyway?

All of our products are getting smarter. Phones, TV’s and even refrigerators are featuring more and more “smart” functions. Cars have been getting smarter too. Computers are playing a bigger role in a lot of the features of automobiles.

In fact, computers in vehicles are nothing new. CPU powered engine management systems or E.M.S. have been standard in cars manufactured since 1991, and were in use in many cars years before. CPU’s have been focused on engine performance tasks like air-fuel mixture, ignition timing, idle speed, and transmission shift points for quite some time. But like any computer, they need a little upgrade from time to time.

When a car first rolls off the assembly line, its’ CPU is programmed for the brand new engine. Once you hit the 100k mile mark your engine may not perform the same as it did when it was brand new. This may call for what’s called a reflash. Basically it’s upgrading your car’s software. Information on software upgrades is available from the manufacturer in technical service bulletins that are available to all of our mechanics.

A reflash might solve an issue with an overeager check engine light as well. Again, the factory installed software is based on the new engine and may not be compensating for changes brought on by use, and a reflash might be just what the doctor ordered.

Increasingly, a reflash might be necessary because of a bug in the original software. Since more and more of your car relies on computers, there’s more of a chance for things to go wrong. That’s where NAPA AutoCare can help you out. We have specialized tools and subscription to the right databases to find out if a reflash is what your car needs to get it purring again.

Posted June 9th, 2016

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