Vehicle Computer Flashing 101!

Vehicle Computer Flashing 101!

How vehicle computer flashing may improve your performance

Most cars on the road today have an onboard computer. This computer is responsible for monitoring a variety of sensors, such as the engine temperature sensor and oxygen sensor.

Onboard vehicle computers are also responsible for alerting the driver when something goes wrong by flicking on the “check engine” light. Vehicle computer flashing might not be the most common type of maintenance, but it is an easy and practical way to make sure you are getting the most out of your vehicle.

Will my car benefit from vehicle computer flashing?

Manufacturers are always updating the software that runs vehicle computers. This improves performance and safety standards, meaning a vehicle computer flash can improve both.

The most pressing reason to flash your onboard computer is when the manufacturer issues a major update. There are also minor updates that are released periodically, which is why flashing might not always be necessary but it can never hurt.

When should I flash my computer?

Manufacturers of late-model cars will often let owners know about major updates through the dealership. If you bought your car used, it is a good idea to invest in vehicle computer flashing the first time you bring your car in for a tune up.

This will ensure that the vehicle computer is loaded with the latest available software. Because used cars often have an incomplete service history, this inexpensive step helps to give your mechanic a clean slate to work with when dealing with onboard electronics.

Can I flash my car at home?

Amateur vehicle flashing is possible, though often complex. The cost of the software and tools required mean it is often smarter to let an expert handle the flashing.

What about visiting a dealership for vehicle computer flashing?

Most vehicle manufacturers provide their certified dealers with the right tools and software for computer flashing. If you have a service plan or warranty in place, a dealership for your make of vehicle may offer to flash its computer for free.

If you prefer visiting a garage that welcomes all comers, Thurston County Transmission offers a very high quality of vehicle flashing expertise. Our team will offer you a quote for the service and you can decide which garage is right for you.

In fact, if you just want to learn more about the service before you pay for it, let us know! Our car computer experts will answer your questions honestly. From there, if you choose to have us flash your onboard computer, we will set up an appointment right away!


  1. ray stanford

    I put a 2000 split port v6 into a 1997 mustang using all the sensors from the idles good has no power from 1000rpm to 2100 rpm. will flashing fix this problem? I installed a new cam position sensor 3 wire

  2. miguel Lopez

    I have a grand voyager van 1998. I bought a new computer at AutoZone and they flashed it. I don’t think they got it right, however, the transmission is stuck in 1st gear. Also some lights keep turning off and on. They asked about the van, and I bought it in California so they said Federal Law is the problem – any advice?

  3. Michelle Tomasiello

    I have a 2006 Chevy Malibu the computer is still working in it. I bought a new computer and ask them to flash it and they said that the computer would not communicate with the car. My question is is if the old computer will work in the car how come the new computer won’t flash or run the car?the business that I took it to said that they thought my car shorted out the computer but that makes no sense to me because the other computer still works.

  4. Larry Collins

    Computer flashing issues can be complicated! Please give us a call!


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Thurston County Transmission is your trusted transmission repair, replacement & rebuild expert in the Olympia, WA area. We deliver quality auto repair & transmission service with the honesty and integrity you expect from a family owned, local business. Since 1990, we have prided ourselves on our ability to offer the highest quality service and repairs, with the highest level of customer service. We are a locally owned and operated family business that cares about our customers and our community.

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