Slow Car Fast
October 7, 2010 - I borrowed a laptop with HPTuners software from work.
As soon as I got home, I hooked up the laptop, fired up the HPTuners software and used it to turn off a number of vestigial appendages in the car's computer. VATS anti-theft: off. EGR: off. Air pump: off. Rear O2 sensors: off. Skip shift: off. A quick upload and voila. The car should be ready to start.
I should point out that this is pretty common software. Most shops that tune GM engines have a copy. I suspect my local machine shop would be able to do this for me. You can also send your engine computer off to have it done elsewhere - for example, Painless Wiring will reflash the computer with these sorts of changes for free if you buy one of their harnesses. The fact that I have access to the Flyin' Miata copy simply means it's more convenient for me than most people, that's all.
Another alternative would have been to build an inexpensive VATS bypass. The plans are pretty easily found online, or you can buy one pre-made. There are lots of ways to solve this problem. Since I also wanted to turn off a few other features, the reflash was the best option for me.
tags: HPTuners, PCM, ECU, VATS