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Old 06-16-2006, 09:05 PM   #1
RainMaker
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Default Do NOT purchase an EcuTEK license without reading this...

Hey all,

THIS APPLIES TO ALL ECUTEK REFLASHES, NOT JUST 06 CARS.

On the 2.5 forum, I hope I can catch all the 06 owners. (and others, but only from a informational aspect.)

In October, I had a new 06 STi. At the time, Cobb had not produced the AP for the 06s, and I was doing a stage 4 green setup. PDXTuning sold me an EcuTEK license and did a dynotune.

After much later installing a blowthrough, an EWG, WI, a header, and other items, PDXTuning felt that economics of the situation was such that with all the dyno tuning and the street tuning that I wanted, I could either buy a Cobb AP, Street Tuner, etc or pay them hourly to reflash EcuTEK. They made a good case for the Cobb, since I love to tune my car, know how, and would continue to make changes. PDXTuning would take my money, but Tim felt I'd have fun doing some of it myself.

So, two weeks ago, I bought a Cobb AP for my 06 STI and we proceeded to load the car up on the dyno. The Cobb AP would not marry to the PCM and we were afraid that the AP or the PCM was malfunctioning. We tried GreggPDX's AP (first we had to unmarry it from his 06, etc), and it would not communicate with the PCM either. Afraid that the PCM was broken, we plugged in EcuTEK and tried writing back to a stock program. Worked like a charm. With the stock program in place, the AP would still not recognize the PCM. We had to put my EcuTEK program back on the PCM and unload the car from the dyno. A call to Christian at Cobb didnt give any quick solutions. The next day I stopped by the local dealership and tried to have them re-flash the PCM. Their SPSC or whatever it was called wouldnt recognize my PCM either. I left before they started to ask further questions. I got home, and then sent the PCM off for analysis. Here is the final conclusion:

EcuTEK altered the handshaking such that no other program could enter the ECU. Not the Cobb AP, not Subaru, no-one except EcuTEK.

Apparently at least 06s (and possibly others) have some of the communication protocol instructions in a re-writable part of the ECU. Tuners currently DO NOT have the ability to put this back to stock.


Fortunately PDXTuning has refunded my $$$, and Cobb was able to get on the PCM (at their shop) and re-write it completely to stock.

I work at a company that sells shoes, apparel, and sports equipment. If we sold a shoe that you couldnt take off, you wouldnt buy it. If we sold you a shoe that you couldnt take off, and didnt tell you about it prior to you wearing it... well... everyone would sue us, wouldnt they? And they would have every right.

I'm disturbed by having a company do this to my car. Im angry that I couldnt reverse it and that I had to ask for a refund for something that I couldnt give back.

Rumor is that this was done to combat OpenECU. I dont care. Folks are going to copy you. You have to out-innovate them to stay in business, not take your customers hostage. Welcome to the 21st century.

Full Disclosure: Cobb determined what had been done, and reported it to me. I have no first hand knowledge of the changes made. Cobb competes with EcuTEK (somewhat). In this matter, based on my experiences with my PCM, they backup what was told to me, and I have no reason to distrust Cobb.

Good luck,
Chris
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Last edited by RainMaker; 06-21-2006 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:11 PM   #2
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good info to know. have you contacted EcuTek about this?
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:11 PM   #3
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....w 0 w.....THAT is interesting...


This NEEDS to be a stickie in the EM/tuning forum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:14 PM   #4
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Chris
I'm glad Pdxtuning was able to take care of you and that Cobb could fix the problem. I think you have every right to be upset.
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:15 PM   #5
RainMaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J*Bishop
good info to know. have you contacted EcuTek about this?
I did try. I was told that "Cobb would know what to do". EcuTEK is a british company, and their US presense depends a great deal (I think) for technical support from their re-sellers such as PDXTuning, and others.
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:19 PM   #6
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it's good that cobb was able to take care of the problem. it'd be nice to see if someone can contact the boys across the pond for some info about this issue.
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:23 PM   #7
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Well, thats one way to keep your customers loyal
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J*Bishop
it'd be nice to see if someone can contact the boys across the pond for some info about this issue.
Perhaps if enough people on NASIOC and IWSTI ask them about it, they will come on here and give us an explanation. I for one would like to know why they think that my purchasing a license from them is consent to have EcuTEK permanently take over my ECU? I own my car, and I own the ECU in it. Not EcuTEK. If I want to put on a Cobb AP, or OpenECU, or whatever, then that is MY choice, not EcuTEK's.
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:26 PM   #9
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what a bunch of crock bull ****, I never did like the idea of ecutek and now I hate it even more =\, what kinda of company gets scared because of competition and ruins a customers ecu and tries to almost monopolize it. this is rediculous, anyone looking for tuning just buy Cobb Ap or Hydra. Utec sucks for various reasons since its a piggyback and now Ecutek pulls this. Just more reason for people to use openecu tools so they KNOW they can revert back to stock and not be scared there ecus are completely ruined.
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:28 PM   #10
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very very good point.
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:29 PM   #11
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^^I agree 100%, and i hope Ecutek does something to deal with this. They have also been saying that they are goingto come out with the map selector for the 04-05+ sti's but that STILL isn't out, and it's been almost 2 years. I asked them recently about when they expected it to be out and they said" very soon, but we can't give out an exact date", which is what they have been saying for 2 years. I own an ecutek license, but i am about to give up on them. Basically all the other EM's have a map selector option, but not ecutek. They need to get with the program or i am seriously done using their EM.
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Old 06-16-2006, 10:52 PM   #12
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Wow - thats a pretty unsavory business practice there... Its one thing for them to do it to protect thier map, but giving you no way to back-out of it after the fact is completely assinine.
Kudos to Cobb for getting you back running - but EcuTEK should be footing the bill for your down time, shipping, and the rest.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:01 PM   #13
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let's not bash EcuTek jus yet guys. i'd like to hear what they have to say.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:13 PM   #14
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uhh hello this is nasioc! one guy had an issue so we must all hate ecutek now and be worried if we have it..... but it is complete bs what happened . glad it got worked out for you
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J*Bishop
let's not bash EcuTek jus yet guys. i'd like to hear what they have to say.

^^^^^^^^
what he said


On that note too, I'm really interested in hearing what ECUTek has to say because I've been trying to decide whether to go with an ECUTek reflash or just get a Cobb AP.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:35 PM   #16
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As we would all imagine, did not ECUTEK think that this would happen(SOONER OR LATER) and they would be exposed for doing this? (LAME BY MY JUDGEMENT)?????

Is this issue hidden in a manual somewhere? You know, a disclaimer, so they can say "you should of read the manual first"?

I will say props to COBB for getting you back to running.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:56 PM   #17
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I own ecutek right now. Had i known that ecutek was going to lie about when the map selector was going to come out, i would have bought cobb AP for sure. IMO ecutek is good but doesn't have the remote map selector feature, which is VERY important to me.
If you would like to have a map other than a DD map (race gas/alky) go with cobb. If you plan on not doing too much to the car, go for ecutek.
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Old 06-17-2006, 12:11 AM   #18
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I guess Im disappointed that this was moved this far into the obscure forums.... "Stock ECU Reflashes"... I didnt even know it existed. What is the likelyhood now that someone will know what they are getting into when they buy EcuTEK.

Is that not reason enough to leave it where it was?
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Old 06-17-2006, 12:38 AM   #19
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yes this should be in the main "Engine Management & Tuning" forum.
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Old 06-17-2006, 12:42 AM   #20
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So if you have your 06 flashed, no one else can see or communicate with the ecu. Does that mean you will fail smog? I am confused.

mike
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Old 06-17-2006, 12:59 AM   #21
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Someone should have tried the OpenECU stuff on that ECU. I'm wondering if flashing back an OEM flash with those tools would have fixed the problem at hand. Also, unless someone has actual data which shows the handshake change in the code I'll be a little skeptical... especially since it came from a competitor of EcuTek (Cobb).
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Old 06-17-2006, 01:34 AM   #22
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I don't doubt that Ecutek would do this. Last year, they posted this on the openecu.org forums:

"EcuTeK LLP wishes it to be known that it owns copyright in EcuTeK software and its supporting documents and that it will act to protect these rights.

If you are concerned that you might have infringed our copyright or other intellectual property rights, or that you might do so in the future, we would be happy to discuss ways that a reasonable and amicable solution might be found.

David Power"

There has to be a work around for this, since I'm sure they wouldn't cause you to have a one flash only ECU - what if you want to get another Ecutek tune? Hopefully one of the great super computer nerds can figure it out (I say this with the utmost respect).
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Old 06-17-2006, 01:51 AM   #23
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Heh, how long ago were we all bashing poor Cobb for their "vaporware" AP and singing the HOSANNAHS for EcuTEK?
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:57 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tea cups
There has to be a work around for this, since I'm sure they wouldn't cause you to have a one flash only ECU - what if you want to get another Ecutek tune?
Their software modifies the handshaking protocol so only Ecutek software can reflash it. So you can get as many Ecutek reflashes as you want, you just can't get one from anyone else. And you can never entirely remove the Ecutek software and go back to bone stock.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:58 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainMaker
I guess Im disappointed that this was moved this far into the obscure forums.... "Stock ECU Reflashes"... I didnt even know it existed. What is the likelyhood now that someone will know what they are getting into when they buy EcuTEK.
Maybe EcuTek is a NASIOC vendor?

No, that can't be true, then they would have just deleted the thread and banned you...
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