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Flash Programming Failure Recovery
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Date: Jun. 24, 2002
THIS BULLETIN SUPERSEDES TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN 18-32-98, DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1998.
Models: 1994-2003 (BR/BE, DR) Ram Pickup Truck
1992 -1994 (AA) Spirit/Acclaim/Lebaron Sedan
1995 - 2003 (AB) Ram Van/Wagon
1992 - 1994 (AJ) Lebaron Coupe/Convertible
1995 - 2003 (AN) Dakota
1992 - 1996 (AS) Town & Country/Caravan Voyager
1994 - 2002 (BR/BE) Ram Pickup
1998 - 2003 (DN) Durango
2002 - 2003 (DR) Ram Pickup
1995 - 2000 (FJ) Avenger/Sebring/Talon
1996 - 2000 (GS) Chrysler Voyager (international Markets)
1995 - 2000 (JA) Breeze/Cirrus/Stratus
2001 - 2003 (JR) Sebring Sedan/Stratus Sedan/Sebring Convertible
1996 - 2000 (JX) Sebring Convertible
2002 - 2003 (KJ) Liberty/Cherokee (international Markets)
1993 - 2003 (LH) Concorde/Intrepid/Vision/LHS/New Yorker/300M
1996 - 2000 (NS) Town & Country/Caravan/Voyager
1995 - 2003 (PL) Neon
2002 (PG) PT Cruiser (international Markets)
1997 - 2002 (PR) Prowler
2001 - 2003 (PT) PT Cruiser
2001 - 2003 (RG) Chrysler Voyager (international Markets)
2001 - 2003 (RS) Town & Country/Caravan/Voyager
1995 - 2002 (SR) Viper
2001 - 2003 (ST) Sebring Coupe/Stratus Coupe
1997 - 2003 (TJ) Wrangler
2001- 2003 (WG) Grand Cherokee (international Markets)
1999 - 2003 (WJ) Grand Cherokee
1997 - 2001 (XJ) Cherokee
2003 (ZB) Viper
1995 - 1998 (ZG) Grand Cherokee (international Markets)
1993 - 1998 (ZJ) Grand Cherokee/Grand Wagoneer
This Bulletin provides guidelines, to minimize flesh reprogramming problems, and information on recovery procedures for failed flash attempts.
Occasionally a flash update procedure may not complete properly and/or the diagnostic equipment may lock up or become disconnected during the procedure. Flash Reprogramming is a "CRITICAL PROCESS"; an error may result in a no-start/failed control module. Most modules are recoverable,- a recoverable module is not covered under the provisions of the warranty. This TSB covers items that may cause this condition, a process to restart the flash procedure, and miscellaneous information that will help prevent needless replacement of control modules.
Flash Reprogramming is only authorized by a specific TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN (TSB), SERVICE BULLETIN, or RECALL.
Review the entire Bulletin/Recall prior to Farming a flash reprogramming event. Often other parts or testing ARE REQUIRED as part of completing the TSB/Recall.
When flashing a PCM/TCM there are other legal requirements with labeling issues that are included in those TSBs.
Other non-emission related modules, such as clusters and BCM's do not require labels.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS OR WHAT OCCURS DURING REPROGRAMMING
The process of flash reprogramming is similar to flashing the BIOS on a Personal computer. Interruptions, voltage problems, and a variety of other outside interactions can potentially interfere with the process. This document seeks to provide Information to minimize problems associated with vehicle control module flash reprogramming. The description that follows Is for most PCMs and some TCMs. Other modules use different initiation procedures.
The process starts by sending an update from the MDS2 or ISIS and then "loading" that update into the DRB III. Once the flash reprogramming update is loaded into the DRBIII and before the flash reprogramming begins, the DRBIII verifies that the update loaded from the MDS2 or ISIS is the proper update for the module. This is done using part number supersedence. This verification occurs only if an update is required, available (on the MDS2 or ISIS) and has been selected for programming.
SOFTWARE VERSIONS MUST BE CURRENT
Before attempting a flash reprogramming session using MDS2, make sure you have the most current software installed. Update CDs are sent to dealers on a biweekly Schedule, roughly 25 each year.
To verify Whether your MDS2 software is current, check the upper right-hand corner of the MDS2 screen. The installed CD number and date are listed. In general, if the date is older than 3 weeks, a newer CD is available. (Often the TSB will state that MDS2, ISIS, or DRB III must be at a certain release level or higher before attempting a specific flash reprogramming session,)
To verity whether your DRBIII software is current, Check the upper right-hand corner of the MD82 screen. The installed DRBIII available software is also listed along with the MDS2 information.
Two items: (1) If the MDS2 software is "out-of-date" it is possible that the DRBIII software is not current either. (2) Check the Software on your DRBIII against the supported version on the MDS2.
Often, because of multiple DRBIIIs in the shop, not all will get updated on a timely manner. The installed DRBIII software version can generally be found at the bottom center of most screens. Alternately the version can be checked by pressing 6,2,5 from the DRBIII Main Menu and comparing it to what is available from a current MDS2 (See above).
If the MDS2 is current and the DRBIII is not, it may be due to the fact that the MDS2 does not force DRBIII updates for "Minor" revisions. Changes and now support are added to the Vehicle Flash application on "minor" revisions on a regular basis. This is why your MDS2 and DRBIII must have the LATEST software revisions installed.
DO NOT PASS on the option for updating to a "minor" revision!
Minor updates require the DRBIII to be updated prior to allowing any flash programming.
Replace all suspect cables.
An unserviceable DRBIII cable is an open invitation to a FAILED FLASH session! Inspect cables for loose connections, bad connectors, damaged pine and general wear and tear. When connecting the DRBIII cable, it is very important to insure that both the vehicle end and the DRBIII end of the cable are securely seated and that the locking devices at each end are working properly. If a latch or spring clip is not functioning, the cable could become partially or fully disconnected during the flash session.
Use the 8-toot cable part number CH7000 rather than the 12 foot CH7001 cable. A shorter cable has, at times, during validation testing, proved more successful than the long cable.
The 2-door Sebring, Stratus, and Avenger coupes (supplied by MMC) generally use the CH7010 cable (Pre-OBDII vehicles will use the CH7005 cable).
MDS2 CABLE (GPIB)
Replace any suspect GPIB cable.
The GPIB cable provides the connection between MDS2 and the DRB III. This cable is used by the MDS2 for vehicle part number reads and to send update files to the DRB III. Inspect this cable for loose connections, damaged connector or terminals, and wear and tear. If this cable becomes disconnected during a flash session, you may have to reload the update file that you selected on the MDS2.
ISIS NULL MODEM CABLE
Replace any suspect null modem cables.
International (ISIS), a PC-based CD program similar to MDS2 uses a null modem cable for vehicle part number reads and to send update files to the DRBIII. Inspect this cable for loose connections, damaged connectors or terminals, and wear and tear. If this cable becomes disconnected during a flash download session, you will have to reload the update file or files.
GENERAL NOTES FOR CABLES AND VEHICLE CONNECTIONS
Consider ALL cables to be wear Items.
Many successful dealers have dedicated cables, devoted to "Flash ONLY".
Always have spare CH7000, CH7010 and GPIB or null modem cables available.
Inspect vehicle diagnostic connectors for potential problems that might cause communication interruptions.
ST22 SEBRING STRATUS 2-DOOR COUPES (2001-2003)
These vehicles use MMC based modules, The 8432 Supplemental Reprogramming Tool (SRT) was shipped as a 2001 Essential Tool. The flash reprogramming update files will be downloaded from MDS2 to the SRT for flash reprogramming sessions on these vehicles.
PREPARING TO FLASH
It is highly recommended that a sign, or other process, be used that notifies other users that a FLASH SESSION IS IN PROGRESS and must NOT be interrupted. Interrupting some flash reprogramming events at critical junctures can render a module inoperative. Another user may not realize that a flash session is in-progress and may disturb or disconnect the DRB III or do something on the vehicle that could interrupt the flash process.
Before starting the flash session, read, record and erase all DTCs found on the vehicle.
Be sure to arrange the MDS2 and DRBIII so that no cables are stretched across an area where someone might trip over or kick a cable. When setting up your DRBIII insure that it rests on a surface where it will not fall or be bumped during reprogramming (e.g.: DRBIIIs have been known to be swept off vehicle windshields by accident when a user bumps the wiper switch).
Check user settings on the DRBIIIs. From the DRBIII Main menu, press 6, 1 and check to make sure item 1. Echo on PC is set to OFF. On occasion, when Echo on PC is set to ON, flash reprogramming errors may occur.
VEHICLE BATTERY VOLTAGE
The flash programming procedure puts a load on the electrical system that may last from five to twenty minutes depending on the flash reprogramming event. IF you are unsure of the vehicle's capability to handle this load, connect a battery charger to the vehicle. Set the charger to as close to 14 volts as possible. It the charger has a timer, set it for 30 minutes BEFORE starting a flash reprogramming event. This will help to prevent unwanted resets by either the DRBIII and/or the vehicle module that are caused by voltage fluctuations.
Alternately, as a bare minimum, use a "Battery Jump Box" when a battery charger is unavailable to ensure adequate and stable system voltages on the module being flash reprogrammed.
CONNECTED MODE FLASHING (USING MDS2)
In this mode, the DRB III remains connected to the MDS2 and the vehicle throughout the flash session. The DRB III is connected to the MDS2 using the GPIB (CH7035) cable and to the vehicle using the vehicle I/O cable (the CH7000 for most vehicles).
This mode is useful when the MDS2 is next to the vehicle being flashed, Another advantage of this mode is that YOU are able to determine all available flash updates for the vehicle you are connected to by clicking on the "Read Part Number(s) From Vehicle" button and then selecting "Show Updates".
Again, it is Important that other users do not attempt to reboot or move the MDS2 while a flash is in-progress.
The reprogramming procedure of this mode is initiated by selecting the "Update Controller Software" button on the MDS2.
DISCONNECTED FLASH MODE
This mode allows a user to flash a vehicle without being connected to the MDS2. This is a popular mode for flashing in a remote area of the service garage or in a back lot.
Before you attempt to use this mode, you must configure the DRBIII for the desired update(s). To do this, you must connect the DRB III to the MDS2 using the GPIB cable and the CH7025 cable. It is not necessary to be connected to a vehicle. The GPIB (CH7035) cable will be used to communicate with the MDS2 (for update file downloading) while the CH7025 cable is used to provide power to the DRBIII.
After making the above connections, you are able to select one or more updates that you want to perform. These selections are made by highlighting the desired updates and then clicking on the "Download Software to DRB" button on the MDS2. Obviously, the DRBIII does not have unlimited memory. If the file size of the selected updates exceeds 948 KB, the 'DRB Space Used" indicator (at the bottom-center of the MDS2 screen) will change color from GREEN to RED. At this point you must de-select entries until the indicator changes color to GREEN again.
When the updates have finished downloading, you may disconnect from the MDS2 and lake the DRBIII to wherever the vehicle is located. The updates will remain in DRBIII memory for 8 hours while the DRBIII is without power. If the DRBIII is powered up for several minutes before the 8 hour time period has expired, the update files will remain on the DRBIII for another 8 hours without power.
To start the actual flash process, after connecting to the vehicle in Disconnected Mode, you must press "7" from the Main Menu on the DRBIII. Step by step instruction will follow on the DRBIII display. As with Connected Flash Mode, take the necessary precautions to insure that others are aware of the flash session and that nothing disturbs the vehicle, DRBIII, or cabling while performing the flash. Remember to use a battery charger set to 14 volts or a "battery jump box".
Before downloading the flash files, double check to we if the files that you have selected are the appropriate ones for that vehicle. Don't forget about the "Read Part Numbers From Vehicle" option on MDS2, this can be of great assistance when trying to flash a module. If the files selected don't download on the first try, try again.
The technician should NOT leave the vehicle when flash reprogramming a module.
Again, check to make sure that all cable connections are secure and that the DRBIII rests on a stable surface. If you are using a battery charger, insure that the settings and charging times are correct and that the battery post clamps are securely fastened.
Read, record, and erase all DTCs found on the vehicle. Read and record the module type and part number from the module that is to be flash reprogrammed.
Pay special attention to DRBIII screen directions relating to key cycles. Missing a "Key ON" or "Key OFF" can cause the module to have to be reflashed again. Due to the variety of module types and vehicle options, you can't always anticipate key prompts, so be alert and ready to respond to DRBIII instructions.
Flash reprogramming sessions usually range from 5 to 20 minutes. If the flash session has riot completed within 25 minutes after starting a flash reprogramming update, an error has most likely occurred. If this is the case, or if you know that the flash process was interrupted, cycle the ignition key (OFF to the looked position then back ON). Reset the DRBIII (power down for 3 seconds and then power up) before attempting to restart the flash process.
Regardless of what mode that you are in (Connected Flash or Disconnected Flash), if you have tried twice (2 times) unsuccessfully to do a flash recovery and ALL DRBIII instructions were followed, perform the following:
On vehicles that have multiple flash updates available, always complete and verify each flash update before attempting the next one.
After all flash reprogramming is completed, read and erase all DTCs in all modules on the vehicle. A variety of DTCs may be set, which are usually related to a loss of communication with the module(s) being reprogrammed.
Verify the update by reading the new part number using the DRBIII. A good double check, is to read the part number using DRBIII stand alone.
Block Echo/Compare Errors
Block Echo and Block Compare errors are often caused by voltage fluctuations, faulty I/0 cables (CH7000), CH7005, CH7010) or faulty communication connections at the diagnostic connector. Review the sections on Vehicle Battery Voltage and Cable recommendations.
Checksum Errors are generally caused by corrupt flash update files, which can be caused by DRBIII memory problems. If the DRBIII has been without power for more than 8 hours, the update files and system memory could be in a corrupted state. "Cold Boot" the DRBIII. (To "Cold Boot", press the MORE and YES buttons on the DRBIII at the some time. Then press "F4"). Reload the flash update file(s) from the MDS2. If it fails to complete in the connected mode, first reboot the MDS2 before re-attempting the flash download to the DRBIII. Then re-attempt the flash reprogramming process.
Interruptions in the flash process are one of the main reasons for failed flash sessions and non-responsive (NR) modules, interrupting the flash process, after the erase phase has started, will render the control module to a nonfunctional state.
Generally, but not always, NR modules may be recovered successfully.
Briefly abort recovery is the process used to get a NR module back to a fully functional state with the latest software update. The technician should be familiar the other sections in this document and follow all OBDIII user prompts carefully.
Because a NR module is not able to provide the DRBIII with ID Information, the technician must do this when prompted by the DRBIII. Be patient when performing this process. Because the module does not respond to standard diagnostic request, the DRBIII may take several minutes before it determines that the engine module is in a NR state. At this point the DRBIII displays the prompt "Could not determine engine controller type. Please select from list" along with the actual controller list (if the DRBIII is attempting to identify a TCM, the prompt will say "trans" instead of "engine). Because of module variations, it is important to correctly identify the PCM/TCM so the correct flash procedure will be used. Failure to do this will cause further problems and may damage the module. A table is provided below to help identify the proper module to select. This table correctly identifies the modules that were on the vehicles when they were built. However, some modules will have supersedence from parts. Correctly identify these modules using DRBIII Standalones prior to attempting flash reprogramming.
One more note about key cycling. When instructed to turn the key to the LOCKED position, be sure that the key is not just turned to the OFF position. The key must be rotated to the point at which it can be removed from the ignition switch. On most vehicles the switch is on the steering column and at this position the steering column is LOCKED. When instructed to turn the key to the RUN position, be careful not to turn the key past this position which may engage the starter motor. This creates electrical noise which interferes with the flash proms.
General Steps for Abort Recovery
1992 - 1999 PCM CONFIGURATION TABLE
2000-2002 PCM CONFIGURATION TABLE
2003 PCM CONFIGURATION TABLE
The TCM Configuration Tables apply to vehicles that use an EATX/NGC/AW4 controller. Applications using the PCM module (JTEC/SBEC) for assisting transmission shifting or TCC operation are not listed since the transmissions are not fully automatic.
1992 - 1999 TCM CONFIGURATION TABLE
2000-2003 TCM CONFIGURATION TABLE
The following pages list the various modules that have flash reprogramming capability. It does not mean that a flash is currently available. What will be described are the module types and variations, followed by items to note, and finally, abort recovery specifics if applicable.
ENGINE - POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE (PCM)
There area a variety of Engine (PCM) modules that are flash reprogrammable. Suggestions that are somewhat unique to each type will have comments. Prior to reprogramming a PCM retrieve the module information and module type using your DRBIII. PCM information is used by many modules. Be sure to check DTCs before and after performing a flash reprogramming event.
The DTCs associated with flash reprogramming generally relate to "lack of communication" with the other modules during the reprogramming event.
TRANSMISSION CONTROL MODULES (TCM)
Transmission controllers are usually flashed on the vehicle (since 1996). Technicians may set pinion factor on "NEW" modules from parts either before or after flash reprogramming. Suggestions follow.
After flash reprogramming and before returning the vehicle to the customer, always perform a "QuickLearn" to the TCM.
PRE 1996 EATX TRANSMISSION CONTROL MODULES
Prior to 1996 there was not a vehicle SCI communication wire going to the FWD EATX controller only to the PCM. Those vehicle TCMs only communicate to the DRBIII using CCD communications.
For these FWD vehicles, use the CH5500 kit and CH7025 DIN cargo when connecting those modules to the DRBIII vehicle connector.
For 1992-1993 vehicles the TCM modules were upgraded to MY1995 software. Because of this you will need to use the Yellow SuperCard2, Ch8361, to set pinion factor or when using a "now" (superseded) TCM from parts as only the SuperCard2 properly sets the pinion factor on these updated modules.
Additionally, when flashing or installing P/Ns 4796121, 4796122, 4796123, or 4796124. The wire from cavity 49 must be removed from the TCM connector (ref TSB 18-24-95).
TRANSFER CASE CONTROL MODULES (TCCM/XCM)
NON-POWERTRIAIN CONTROL MODULES
BODY CONTROL MODULES (BCM)
CENTRAL TIMER MODULE (CTM)
ELECTRONIC VEHICLE INFORMATION CENTER (EVIC)
FRONT CONTROL MODULES (FCM)
POWER LIFT GATE (PLG)
PASSENGER SLIDING DOOR (PSD)
DRIVER SLIDING DOOR (DSD)
ALARM REMOTE KEYLESS ENTRY MODULE (ARKEM)
CLIMATE CONTROL (ATC, HVAC)
ADJUSTABLE PEDAL MODULE (APM)
RAIN SENSOR MODULE (RSM)
INTRUSION SENSOR MODULE (ISM)
SUPPLEMENTAL RESTRAINT SYSTEMS (SRS) - AIRBAGS, ETC.
Policy: Information Only
Notes: From Bob B - When the vehicle is "flashed" (new software loaded into the PCM or other locations on board the vehicle) the update procedure may not complete properly and/or the diagnostic equipment may "lock up" during the process. The TSB lists several possible problems and a process to reinitialize the flash procedure. Since you probably do not have a DRB III or the CD software or the cables, don't sweat it, see your man!
Superseded by TSB 18-037-05 - Left for reference only
I would like to thank Bob Bergevin, Arthur Cantrall, Barry Drodge, David Lovell, Bill Maurits, and Steve for supplying the information for these bulletins. And a big thank you goes to Geno's Garage for making DodgeRam.info possible.
This page was edited on: May 3, 2004