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Quick Tip: Ford® Flash Reprogramming

Applies To: APOLLO-D8™, APOLLO-D9™, ETHOS® Plus, ETHOS® PRO, ETHOS® Tech, MODIS Edge™, MODIS Ultra™, SOLUS Edge™, SOLUS Ultra®, TRITON-D8®, VANTAGE® Legend, VANTAGE® Ultra, VERUS® Edge, VERUS® PRO, ZEUS®

Vehicle: 2014 Ford Transit Connect. Flash reprogramming is often a necessary part of repairing vehicles nowadays, but the process can be intimidating if you aren't sure how to do it. In this Diagnostic Quick Tip, National Field Trainer Jason Gabrenas shows you how to reflash a Ford PCM using a Pass Thru Pro III and Ford J2534 software.



Flash reprogramming is a pretty hot topic nowadays. Sometimes that's the only way you're going to be able to fix the vehicles, by reprogramming the computer.

Each manufacturer is going to approach it in a different way. They each have their own software that they use, but there is a universal interface that you can use between the manufacturer software and the vehicle. It's called Pass-Thru Pro.

We have the Pass-Thru Pro III behind me here, hooked up to this vehicle. I'm going to walk you through how to go through the toolbox software that comes with the Pass-Thru Pro as well as going through the manufacturer's website and we're actually going to walk through the process of re-flashing this Ford.

First order of business is we need to open up the J2534 toolbox software that would have installed when you install the Pass-Thru Pro.

It's going to just have a select our device here so we'll do the Pass-Thru Pro III and it's going to load up to a general page with a bunch of different news topics in the re-flashing world.

Next we have sales if you needed to access anything about the Pass-Thru Pro, it gives you the website there.

Diagnostics tab is going to allow you to do some generic diagnostics with the Pass-Thru Pro.

We have Support, which is going to give you a couple of different install options, debugging, that sort of thing.

And then Training is also going to give you some training videos on the tool. But if we go over to Flashing, it's going to give you all sorts of different information depending on your manufacturer.

We're hooked up to a Ford, so let's go to Ford and it's going to give us links to the website, Ford Information, it's going to tell us what the current version is; any current issues, we might find a different conflicts that you might find with the OEM software.

Like I said, you do have to download that software directly from the manufacturer so if there's any issues with the manufacturer it's going to let you know here.

Frequently asked questions, there's also a walkthrough guide as well, but let's go to the website.

It's going to log you in and it's going to tell you what current subscriptions you have, so if you just set up an account, it's going to say you don't have any subscriptions.

Now, once again, this is just for the Ford website, all the other manufacturers will have a different process depending on how they have their website set up.

But for Ford, I'm going to go to where it says Reprogramming and I want to do Module Reprogramming and Initialization.

It's going to give me my PC requirements, software requirements, that sort of thing. It's going to tell me how everything works, how we hook up. We just scroll down the bottom and I want to purchase this. So we'll click purchase.

It can do different lengths of subscriptions. Most manufacturers have got it down to two or three days. Usually if you only need to re-flash one or two cars, it's fairly economical.

Once the payment information has been entered, hit submit. Once the purchase has gone through we should be able to just download the pass.

Once the download is all finished we'll just run the program to install it. Follow the instructions and once complete, go over to our Ford Module Programming icon that's installed on the desktop.

It's going to ask me to define what device I have hooked up to the computer. It's going to be this Pass-Thru Pro III.

Restart the programming now and it's going to walk us through how to do this. Select the System page tab at the top of the screen. System, utilities, sub tab, set user information. Go through all this different process.

So we're going to go to user information, user ID. That's good. Software's good. Hardware's good. And we'll click continue when all that's done. Looks like everything was entered in there properly.

So we'll hit continue and it says warning, we can only use this with Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles. So it's a good thing we're hooked up to a Ford here. We want to start a new session and then click the check mark at the bottom.

The internet connection wants to make sure you're hooked up to the internet. It says we need to make connections is shown and I'm going to set the ignition switch to on, apply the parking brake and neutral or park in the gear position. I'm going to go turn the ignition on right and make sure that's all set.

Also very important when you're re-flashing vehicles is you want to make sure there is a steady battery voltage being provided to it and recommended is definitely a clean battery voltage.

So I have our EEBC 500 plugged in right here and that's going to give it a nice steady 14.2 volts. If you lose battery voltage, all sorts of bad things can happen so we want to make sure that that is also hooked up.

It looks like all my connections are made so I'll just hit the check mark here and it's going to have a select our vehicle. It's a 2014 model year, and it automatically identify the vehicle. It's a Transit Connect with an IVCT engine, 2.5 litre, etc. If that's correct press. Yes.

It's also along the bottom going through and gathering all the information from the vehicle. Then you can put a repair order number in here. This is more for the Ford dealership.

All the vehicle information is up on the screen here. It looks like everything's correct so the next thing we need to do is go up to this toolbox icon up on the top left. Click that.

And we have a couple of different things we can do. We can do Module Programming, which is where we're going to go. We have some PATS functions so you can actually program keys with this. And then a Misfire, Monitor Neutral Profile Correction, which I can also do with a scan tool.

I'll go into Module Programming. We can do Programmable Module Installation. If I install a fresh module and need to do that. Module Reprogramming is going to allow me to update the software on any of the modules.

Programmable Parameters is going to allow me to change any parameters that will be allowed to be changed on any of the manufacturer's modules. And then As Build information is going to set for it as built.

So we're going to go to Module Reprogramming, we're going to choose whatever module we want to replace or change the software in. I'll choose the PCM here. It gives me the VIN number. Is that correct? Yes.

The next thing that comes up is going to be a notice that you're going to need to print and have your customer read and sign before you proceed with the reprogramming of the vehicle.

It's going to check the vehicle's module and see if there are any updates available for it. And now this says a later calibration is available for this PCM. Do you want to program the PCM with this newer calibration? Yes, I do. So I'll click yes. It's going load the necessary files and double check, make sure everything downloaded OK.

You want to make sure the vehicle battery is in good condition and all accessories are turned off.

I know all the accessories are off and like I said earlier, you want to make sure you have a constant power source to make sure that that battery doesn't die in the middle of re-flashing. It's going to make sure that this is definitely something you want to do.

During programming, you'll see multiple bar graphs. This is normal and expected. Please do not disconnect anything and don't turn the key off unless it tells you to do. If you turn the key off you might fail in the middle of reprogramming the computer and you might need to buy a new computer.

You want to make sure that everything's good and you want to read all of the directions that are on the screen, follow all the prompts, specifically with what it tells you.

So I'm going to click confirm and it's going to tell me to set the ignition switch to off. So we'll start there. Once that's done, we have to confirm, click check mark, then set the ignition switch to on.

That's all set so now it's starting to reprogram the module. It's going to give you a little status bar to tell you where it is in the process.

Once the calibration has been done, it's been loaded in, so we've now re-flashed this computer. It says a few network codes may have been set during programming.

So you want to make sure you double check everything for DTCs and make sure you fix any relevant ones and re-tests, then just go through and once there are no codes, you're all set to go and click the check mark again.

It says if required, obtain a reprogramming label and complete with the advised information. A reprogram label is not required for vehicle service in North America on this vehicle, so we don't have to worry about that. And then if there is a label, make sure you put it in the right spot. Check off we've and completed the process.

Just remember that every manufacturer is going to be a different process. This is how it works for Ford.

Read what's on the screen, follow the instructions and make sure also that you have a constant battery voltage just so you make sure the battery's not going to die in the middle of the process.

Last Updated: August 27, 2020

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