In today’s day and age, cars are becoming increasingly advanced. Analog fittings are being replaced by high-resolution displays, and software has taken over as the driving force behind engine control systems. This shift in technology is evident in the fact that new cars are now showcased at computer fairs rather than traditional car shows.
But there is another intriguing aspect to a car’s software – car owners now have the ability to configure and code it themselves! In this article, we will delve into the concept of car coding and explore how it functions.
A car is a sophisticated machine that relies on a computer to control its many functions. Nowadays, cars come equipped with various smart features such as assistance systems and hands-free options. However, not all of these functions are enabled by the manufacturer.
Many people believe that only authorized garages can unlock these “hidden” features in their cars. However, it is actually possible for car owners to code their own vehicles. Coding allows you to enable or disable certain functions, and all you need is the right equipment to do it from the comfort of your home.
Getting started with coding your car involves understanding that the on-board computer handles many functions automatically. If we were to manually operate all these functions, it would be overwhelming. The on-board computer performs these tasks simultaneously and they can be categorized in different ways.
Some basic coding functions
- include deactivating the Start/Stop function
- enabling beeping when unlocking and locking
- automatically locking the doors at a certain speed
- seatbelt warning sounds
- automatically folding and unfolding mirrors
- and closing the windows after locking the car door with the key.
The lighting system of a car is also controlled by the on-board computer, and coding can be done in this area as well.
- Examples of lighting coding include flashing the brake lights during emergency braking
- activating or deactivating daytime running lights
- changing the brightness of daytime running lights
- flashing the headlights when locking or unlocking the doors
- flashing the headlights when the alarm system is triggered.
Warning signals coding
Digital dashboards offer even more coding possibilities. These include displaying the real speed via GPS signal, showing fuel consumption at a given speed, changing the brightness of the dashboard, displaying the optimal gear changing time in eco or sport mode, selecting where the display should be shown (dashboard or head-up display), and displaying incoming calls.
Understanding car coding
Coding can also improve safety features such as parking aids. This can involve automatically activating the rearview camera when the vehicle is put into reverse gear or rolled backward, as well as having an acoustic warning signal when reverse gear is engaged or the vehicle is rolling backward.
These examples are just a small selection of the many functions performed by the on-board computer. They save us time and effort, allowing us to focus on driving. However, with the right equipment like an OBD2 reader and software, we can code our cars and customize features to make them more unique.
For example, if you install a rearview camera but it doesn’t display an image when engaging reverse gear, it could be because the camera or monitor is defective, or it could be a software issue. In such cases, you can go to a workshop to have the rearview camera activated for a fee, or you can do it yourself with an OBD2 adapter and app like Carly.
Coding Your Car Yourself
When coding your car yourself, think of it as modifying the software of a computer. However, for changes to be visible, the corresponding hardware must also be installed. For instance, if you want to activate a rearview camera, first check if your car already has one installed. If it does but it’s deactivated, coding can activate it and make it operational.
Coding is like configuring a PC; if you connect a printer to your PC without installing the printer’s software, nothing happens. Similarly, with coding, activating a feature in the car’s software allows the on-board computer to recognize and utilize that feature.
Coding rules to Follow
Coding your own car is generally easy, but if you’re new to coding or feel uncomfortable with it, you may have concerns about safety. However, coding won’t affect your car’s driving performance, and you can drive it immediately after coding. The only risk is if you deactivate features that actually enhance safety, such as a rearview camera that helps with driving.
If you’re unsure about coding or worried about potential damage, it’s better to leave it alone. However, if you’re ready to customize your car, there are some rules to follow. While auto computers operate on the same principles, there are differences in software depending on the car manufacturer. Searching for desired functions might be a challenge for beginners, but once found, activating or deactivating them completes the coding process.
Before accessing your vehicle’s software, it’s recommended to check your car’s warranty conditions regarding unauthorized coding and to keep a record of the codings performed. It’s also important to note that certain changes through coding may require notification and approval from authorities to comply with regulations. Violations can result in fines or even license plate removal.
In summary, coding your car allows you to unlock hidden features and customize its functions. With the right equipment and understanding of how coding works, you can personalize your driving experience while ensuring safety and compliance with regulations.