ECU repair and reverse engineering

Harold from Commack Technical Support Specialist Posted   Latest   Edited  

Working in the field as a Mobile Diagnostic & Programming Specialist, as well as moving slowly into more Locksmith work as an VSP(Vehicle Security Professional), I am noticing a trend towards ECU repairs and reverse engineering as a option for repair and diagnosis. So I came across this tool called: CANtact and CL2000. Its a Open Source Car Tool designed for CAN Bus Sniffing. You can directly connect to your vehicle's ECU using a software called "wire shark". It allows you to see what modules are on the network and talking, and what is being said exactly. Seeing modules on the network and talking is not new, however knowing what is being said and manipulating that conversation is something that is becoming of interest in the vehicle programming world.


John from Medford




Where is your Mobile Diagnostic business? Most of us on the Island know each other and network. Feel free to reach out if you ever need anything.

This "sniffing" has been one of the latest buzz's in the industry. Like you said it is not new. Some companies have been making engineering tools behind the scenes for years for the OE for this purpose. Now a lot of them are selling their wares to us. It is very intriguing. I have worked with some of the tooling and some is pretty slick. Far from an exact science in my opinion. I have worked with scan tool engineers deciphering data buss signals. It can be daunting. It is amazing what transpires with 0's and 1's so to speak.

ECU repairs comes with its own issues. Liability comes to mind. But, there are instances when it becomes a necessity when OE's discontinue or obsolete modules and making a used one work is the only option. EEPROM replacement and writing is becoming more prevalent. The learning curve is still steep. Circuitry understanding and attention to detail are paramount.

It is a very exciting and enticing part of our business. You have to walk before you can run. I do some and would like to do more. I have a great network that I can lean on and this way we all learn. Keep us posted on this tooling. This way we all become smarter.


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Nicholas from Brooklyn



I while back I purchased a product from Germany called CAN Monitor Pro - CAN Bus Sniffer Software from a company called WGsoft​.​de I could see changes when operating things in the car like opening and closing a window. It just didn't seem practical for Auto repair to me unless you have a vast knowledge of computer programming and engineering. Hex and Binary makes my brain hurt. If they had software that can translate the information into english that would be really helpful in diagnosing network problems. With a scan tool you don't really know if a message was sent of ignored. To be able to see it live on the CAN bus would be a great advantage.

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Michael from Clinton


Mobile Technician


I will have an article up on subject. Stay tuned....

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Paul from Lefkosia


Technical Support Specialist

There is a piece of hardware called the Macchina M2 ,maybe have a look on that?

It does require some effort though here and there, and some extra knowledge on other subjects.

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