We get a lot of question about the AutoFlash and how it works.  Well obviously we cannot give our partners trade secrets away, but what we can do is further fill you in on how the AutoFlash works and why it can work on cars via OBDII where previously thought as unflashable!  Below is an overview of the product and a repeat of the installation instructions.

Shop all VR Tuned Auto Flash Kits Here

What is the TCU Tuning Tool?

The all new TCU Tool is a remarkable new plug n play OBD tool that unlocks manufacturer’s transmission settings within the vehicles control modules to give better gear change and release torque.

The tool was developed with two basic consumer requirements. 

  • The need to improve and optimise the gear shift speeds and modify torque settings in the modern automatic gearing systems to improve the overall driving experience.
  • The need to create a simple to use Plug n Play OBD solution to bypass Anti-Tune technology (locked ECU’s) imposed by ECU manufacturers, eliminating the need to remove/split/solder the ECU which can invalidate the vehicles warranty. 

What does it do?

Due to the delicate nature surrounding our research and development we can’t give away all of our secrets but short the TCU Flash Tool integrates with the communications network through ECU, TCU and Convenience modules to alter the strategy addresses hidden within the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) devices to “point” or “re address” these strategies to the most optimal setting.

Eg. In simple terms, address 4 may be faster than address setting 8. So we realign the pointer to the new address

This includes changing the transmission shift speed pointer to a faster/different setting.  The internal components that make up the mechanics of the transmission have a wide range of tolerance and multiple settings allowing manufacturers in most cases to use single components across a whole range of vehicles, from a VW golf to a Lamborghini Aventador. They all contain similar if not the same generation components, usually built in the same factory,  but have model specific programmes that are used for their specific application.

The limits of torque are also set in various systems and control modules within the vehicle; again this is set by the manufacturer and is an easy way to electronically limit power in certain models of vehicles allowing the manufacturer to release many different power variants with different driving characteristics with only a single engine. This is a much more cost effective way of creating a vehicle range without the need to manufacture multiple engines at different power levels.

Eg VW 2.0 TDi engine available as 100bhp/102bhp/140bhp/143bhp/170bhp/184bhp all use the same or similar block

By simply unlocking and changing the torque settings to the various other factory settings we can allow the vehicle to produce and deliver power safely and still stay within the manufacturers specified limits. This style of ‘derestricting’ ensures that key settings such as clamping force, slip, torque limits, shift speeds etc. all remain within not only manufacturers spec, but also component spec, thus never exceeding safety of shortening component life.

Does TCU Tool work on Manual Transmissions?

Although the TCU Tool was predominantly developed for automatic transmissions it also has the ability to release torque in the rev range for manual (stick shift) transmissions also. As with most modern vehicles, the manufacturers limit the torque on both automatic and manual transmissions, this is done through the various on board ECU/controllers etc..

The TCU Tool has the ability to open up the torque settings on both automatic and manual allowing more power to be delivered throughout the rev range.

What is ECO Shift? – Seen Here

ECO-Shift is the culmination of years of research and development to create a tool which has the ability to allow shorter shifts and move the torque lower down the rev range reducing the need to rev the engine higher than needed.

This in turn provides a better MPG ranging from 8%-12%resulting in great fuel savings for not only regular drivers but fleet and commercial also!

This simple to use plug n play TCU tool with ECO-Shiftcan have you saving time at the pumps, keeping the money in your pocket, whilst reducing your carbon footprint and all this can be achieved by installing the new ECO-Shift.

How is the AutoFlash or ECOFlash installed?

The TCU Flash device is a simple Plug in OBD Flash unit. Plug the unit into the OBD port, wait for the procedure to complete and then remove from the OBD slot, it really is that Simple!

Once installed the tool is then locked to that vehicles VIN (Vehicle Identity Number), which can be flashed multiple time to refresh the upgrade if it has been erased by the Main dealer or Manufacturer.

Installation Procedure.

Please read through the entire installation procedure prior to installing to familiarise yourself with this guide. 

Please note that once the upgrade is complete the TCU tool will be VIN locked to that vehicle and only that vehicle.


The follow guide sets out the 7 step procedure for installation of the OBD flash tool & the

Procedure to return to stock/standard settings.

Step 1. Switch ‘ON’ ignition, but do not start engine. Ensure dash lights are on.

Step 2. Locate OBD port (on board diagnostic plug) usually located in the drivers foot well.

Step 3. With the ignition still in the ‘ON’ position (engine NOT started) insert the flash tool

into the socket. You should hear an audible beep and the LED (where fitted) should illuminate.

Step 4. Once the upgrade is complete the unit will begin to beep constantly confirming the process

has completed successfully (where fitted the LED will also flash.)

*Step 5. Remove the flash tool from the OBD port and switch ignition into the ‘OFF’ position.

Step 6. IMPORTANT – Start the engine on the vehicle and allow to idle for 5 minutes.

On some vehicles you may hear the engine hunt/rev in this time, then eventually settle.

DO NOT TOUCH ACCELERATOR PEDAL; DO NOT REV the vehicle or attempt to drive at this point. The vehicle is in its learning phase and must idle

(if the accelerator is pressed remove the battery terminal for 15 mins and restart the procedure again from step 1)

Step 7. After 5 mins of idle you can now drive the vehicle using the full rev range and in all gears and modes, in both sport and manual. The vehicle will now begin the adaption phase and adjust to the new upgrade.

This phase can take anything form 10 – 100+ miles depending on vehicle. Once complete the vehicle will feel sharper and more responsive.

You have now completed the TCU Transmission Upgrade!

Procedure for returning the vehicle back to stock/standard settings. V2 Only.

The following procedure provides details of how to return the vehicle back to the original standard settings again. This must be and can only be used on the original vehicle the upgrade was completed on as the TCU Flash tool is locked to the first vehicle it flashes.

Step 1. Enter car and sit in driver’s seat, close all doors & turn ignition on so that dash lights completely but engine is not running

Step 2. Insert Autoflash into the OBD port.

Step 3. When the TCU Flash is inserted into the OBD port it will make a long beep tone, whilst this tone can be heard, immediately press and hold the ‘Lock’  door function on your vehicles remote control key fob.

Step 4. The Autoflash should now stop sounding. You should now wait for the intermittent beeps (flashing has stopped) for the stock settings to be written back to the vehicle.

Now continue to *Step 5 above to complete the process

Trouble Shooting.

Before the unit is installed your vehicle must be free from error codes or faults codes on the ECU. This can be quickly checked with a hand held OBD scanning diagnostic tool.

All faults must be cleared for the procedure to work correctly, failure to do this will result in the TCU Flash upgrade not installing to the vehicle.

Please ensure OBD plug is undamaged on the vehicle and free from dirt/moisture prior to installation.

This unit is for 12v Vehicles only, for 24v vehicles (fleet/truck) please contact us for an adapter kit/cable set.

Make sure you run the vehicle for at least 50 miles for the adaptation phase to complete after the upgrade has installed. This time allows the vehicle to adjust to the new settings giving sharper more responsive driving experience.

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About The Author

Dan Mermelstein - Co-Owner, Blogger, Porsche Enthusiast, VRTuned Marketing and Technical Support. Available to make your car faster!

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