Programming a used radio 2012 Chevrolet Sonic

Benjamin from Murfreesboro Owner Posted   Latest  
Question
Programming
2012 Chevrolet Sonic LS 1.8L (H LUW) 5-spd (M26)

I was called to a shop yesterday that had installed a used radio in the vehicle. Of course the anti-theft was active and the used radio was locked. I verified the donor radio had the same part number as the original. I programmed the radio using "Remove and Replace" within GM SPS and selected all of the appropriate calibration options. The programming went smoothly and sucessfully completed. However, the radio remains locked. I looked at the module data and confirmed the VIN was still a mismatch. I tried programming it again to no avail. I purchased a short term subscription to GDS2 hoping there was a module setup to write the VIN. There is not. Has anyone ran into this? I suspect there is a coding error on GM's side and I will likely need to call their tech line for a fix. Thank you everyone! 

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Timothy from Brampton

 

Diagnostician
 

Cant use used modules on global 2 cars is what I was told from support

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Benjamin from Murfreesboro

 

Owner
 

That's what I was wondering. Thank you for your reply.

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Scott from Brantford

 

Owner/Technician
 

You can if you do eeprom work ,out of my league at this time .

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Kevin from Winnipeg

   

Technician
   

Yes that’s a global A module and you will be lucky if that works because of the vin issue. I have programmed a touch screen radio on a 2013 Chevy TRAX also global A and I can tell you it worked without issue.

When it comes to global A vehicles it’s really hit and miss in terms of whether or not that module will accept the programming/vin. If it doesn’t accept it ... you have about 4 options.

  1. Try to program another used radio, cross your fingers and toes It works.
  2. Call GM techline and see if they can issue a VCI through the backdoor and allow the used module to be programmed. 
  3. Open that radio up find the target device that holds the vin information/calibration and alter or clone the information from the original. 
  4. Buy a new radio and program.

And by the way if you should choose option 1 and it fails please report back to us so we can add this vehicle to the list of global A vehicles that will not accept a used module.

+4

Scott from Brantford

 

Owner/Technician
 

Which eeprom tool would you use Kevin ?

Merry Christmas to you and your family .

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Kevin from Winnipeg

 

Technician
 

There is so many different eeprom readers out there, also the target Information (vin/calibration)may not be in a eeprom, it might be in a micro controller or some other device? Some of the tools I use are orange5, IDpro,Carprog, UPA, Smelecom USA prog, IM600, FGtech, BDM, Ktag, mini pro, Iam sure Iam forgetting one or two. Either way it depends what the target device is and which tool will support that device. (And the selection of tool is also based on which tool is easiest to hook up and work correctly) 

Merry Christmas to you and your family as well. 

+1

Bob from East Longmeadow

 

Owner/Technician
 

Only 10 eeprom tools? Man you need to step up your game. 😃

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David from Claremont

 

Owner/Technician
 

If you know which one is the eeprom are you able to just remove eeprom and solder into used module or is there more to it than that? I have read about people removing the eeprom and reading it, changing the data and reinstalling it. It seems it would be easier to just transfer the eeprom to the other board

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Kevin from Winnipeg

   

Technician
   

Hi David 

There is different methods used and it’s dependant on which is the target device, in the case of it being a Eeprom one could remove it and transfer it to the donor used radio, or one could simply clip onto it and download or read the information then clone it over or write that information to the donor used radio. Some devices can be read “in-circuit“ some require removing the device and reading it in a eeprom reader/writer then altering the dump or bin file and re-soldering it back to the board. Some target devices might be a micro controller where it might require soldering wires to the board in order to read the information some cases it might require lifting a specific leg of the MC Then reading it. Or it might require removal of the device and reading It again in a seperate programming reader/writer. It really depends where that target information is being stored and which device is housing that information then choosing the supported flavour of tooling you wish to read and write to it with. Or again the option of desoldering / removal and swapping over. 

It’s sort of similar to scanning a vehicle for codes and diagnosing .. there Is different scanners that will do more then others and knowing which scanner can do the job effectively and proficeintly is considered in every job. Eventually when you do enough eeprom work you are able to find that target device faster and quicker because you have seen this or that device before and you know that’s where the target information is stored. I hope this all makes sense 

+1

David from Claremont

 

Owner/Technician
 

On the last gm Supernav radio I did It wouldn’t program the vin either. I called gm and gave them the vin off the used radio I installed and they gave me a vci number and under radio It didnt offer the spot to put in the vci number. They told me to go under instrument cluster and program with the vci number they gave me. It did work. It was kinda odd to program the radio under a different module 

+1

Bob from East Longmeadow

 

Owner/Technician
 

So did you program the cluster or was there a radio option in the cluster menu?

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Benjamin from Murfreesboro

 

Owner
 

It is not uncommon for GM to program modules through a different module using a VCI number. I have programmed a PCM through the ABS module before using a VCI number. When starting the programming process and navigating through the menus you have the option to select “Regular” or “VCI”. Normally you would select “Regular”. Sometimes when things don’t go right the GM techline will give you instructions and a VCI number. 

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Bob from East Longmeadow

 

Owner/Technician
 

Sort of like side loading an app in a smart phone?

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David from Claremont

 

Owner/Technician
 

The gm tech line guy said it’s all on the same network. I’m assuming the vci file that he sent me has something in the program that identifies which module it is for.

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John from Medford

 

Owner
 

Benjamin,

I have tried programming a used radio on that particular vehicle and same thing. Programming went through and still LOCKED. It is hit or miss with Global A used radio replacements with SPS.

I would follow Kevin's advice.

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Benjamin from Murfreesboro

 

Owner
 

I just wanted to update everyone following this post with where I am at. It is my assumption that when a new radio is installed on this vehicle the BCM writes the VIN on the first key cycle after the new module is installed. The VIN write is not part of the programming process. I can not say with 100% certainty that this is how it works, but it makes sense. I advised my customer that it may be cheaper to buy a new radio and have me program it than to have me call GM Techline and obtain a VCI number to rewrite the VIN stored in the used radio (If that is even possible). From past experiences a call to GM's Techline can be quick and easy and other times it can take hours. I priced a new radio and is well under $200 from the dealer for this bare bones Chevrolet Sonic. The fastest and cheapest route for the shop will likely be to buy a new radio and have me program it. I will update either way once they decide which way to go and once I have the job completed.

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Benjamin from Murfreesboro

   

Owner
   

This Sonic is finally done and I got the answer I was looking for to the question, "Why won't the VIN change when programming a used radio." I finally was called back to the shop, and they decided to purchase a new radio. The shop had already installed the new radio when I arrived. As you can see from the first attached picture the new radio says "Calibrate." 

It did however function and sound was present from the speakers. I decided to prove what I suspected (That the VIN transfer is done on the first key cycle after install and is not part of the programming process). I hooked up my scan tool and pulled module calibration info. See the second attached picture. Sure enough The VIN was already present before any programming was done. 

This is why a used radio is not possible on this vehicle without a VCI or a new, never installed, radio. I programmed the new radio using SPS and everyone is happy. As everyone mentioned I am sure I could have called GM Tech Hotline and programmed the used radio with a VCI, but this radio cost just over $150 for a new one. I explained to the shop that I could go the VCI route, but after sitting on hold, and time lost, it would likely be cheaper for them just to purchase a new radio. Thank you to everyone that contributed. 

+3

Bob from East Longmeadow

 

Owner/Technician
 

Nice followup, thanks Ben

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