GM Tech2 Test Results Yes & No

GM Tech 2 Test Results: Yes & No as well as FAQ. Big thanks to the real users.

GM Tech2 Yes:

GM trucks 1999 and 2013 climate control

H2 Hummer
2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 6.0l 4L80E
diagnose the scan bus, modules and ABS system to determine

2004 Chevy Tahoe LT.

2000 model Holden Jackaroo – isuzu trooper.

GM Chevrolet Corvette after 1996

Crankshaft position sensor relearn procedure

2006 Chevrolet Silverado (truck)

2011 Cadillac SRX yes for programming new or Reprogramming used Liftgate Control Module.

Saab 2003 93 Linear

2003 Chevy 2500HD Duramax w/Allison Trans

GM 99 gmc sierra.

Reprogram theft deterrent on 03 corvette

Diagnose GMC truck with 2008 Isuzu diesel engine c7500 7.8; reset code for the DPF: Confirmed.

2008 saab 9-7x 5.3

Program keys for an 03 Saab 9-3 (Ok for 2003 year, the software is 1998 – 2012)

CASE Re-Learn: confirmed

2000 Chevy Tahoe: tune the fan since these vehicle has a fan cluthch.

Gm light SUVS like the Escalade or Trailblazer: yes

Clear BCM DTC’s
Navigate To Vehicle Control Systems Menu
Select Module Setup
Select BCM Menu
Select BPP Sensor Calibration Procedure

Can test if injectors is good or bad, supports monitor the pressure: Yes

GM Tech2 No:

2008 Saturn Astra

Doesn’t come with dongle crack

2004 Volvo V40: ABS and SRS control system

GM Tech 2  hasn’t recom rec10, it can’t change for the updated dc to dc converter.

Can’t support 1997 saab.

GM tech 2 error:

GM-tech-2-error

Possible reason and solution:

Plugged the SD card into the wrong slot, try another one, it will work.
Q: Can GM Tech2 support the GM after 2007 year? Does it need to work with the other tools?

A: It depends on what car models, the software is not the same.

Q: 1996 Oldsmobile Aurora, click “Yes” to clear the DTC codes, but it failed.

A: Only after the car is repaired, can the DTC codes be erased.

To be continued…

CGDI BMW Prog Fireware and Software Update Guide

CGDI Prog BMW MSV80 Key Programmer is able to update firmware and software on the official site: www.cgprogcar.com. Below parts incl. CGDI Prog Firmware and software update instruction.

Part 1: 5 steps to update CGDI Prog Firmware

Step 1. Connect CGDI Pro device to the computer, open CGDI software.

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-1

Step 2. Click on “Setting” and then “Upgrade the firmware”, waiting.

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-2

Step 3. Updating…

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-3

Step 4. CGDI programmer firmware update successfully, again click on “Upgrade the firmware”.

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-4

Step 5. Get message reading ” The version is already up to date without upgrading”. Click on “OK”.

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-5

Done

Part 2: 7steps to update CGDI BMW Prog software

Step 1. Receive message ” There is a new version”, click on “OK”

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-6

Step 2. Click on “Setting”, then “Check for updates”, waiting until the next dialog box appears.

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-7

Step 3. Checking local file.

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-8

Step 4. Detects a new file, click “Yes” to update.

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-9

Step 5. Downloading file.

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-10

Step 6. Finish loading software.

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-11

Step 7. CGDI Key Programmer software update successfully. Ready to use the newest software.

cgdi-prog-firmware-update-instruction-12

Done.

ACDP Mini BMW newest manual & pictures without Bridge

Ordered Yanhua Mini ACDP full package, I thought the package missed 4 adapters used for electrical bridge connection, I ordered before and the 4 adapters are contained. Then I contacted uobdii.com and was told the 4 adapters are canceled because they don’t need the electric bridge any more.

The 4 adapters are canceled (means the operation is easier):

acdp-mini-bmw-cas4-newest-wiring-diagram-1 acdp-mini-bmw-cas4-newest-wiring-diagram-2 acdp-mini-bmw-cas4-newest-wiring-diagram-3 acdp-mini-bmw-cas4-newest-wiring-diagram-4

Without them, we can also do a BMW version 2 Cas4 as well as FEM/Programming.

Newest Yanhua Mini ACDP Module 1 CAS4 wiring diagram:

acdp-mini-bmw-cas4-newest-wiring-diagram-5

How to Clone Siemens MSDxx ECUs for BMW SSM vehicles

How to: clone Siemens MSDxx (MSD80, MSD81, MSD85, MSD87, MSD85.4) ECUs for BMW SSM vehicles using original KTAG ECU Programmer.

To use this protocol of communication you have to remove and open the ECU. It is a risky operation, to be done with great care and caution to avoid damaging the ECU beyond repair.g
After opening the ECU and before proceeding with reading and/or programming, you are strongly advised to reconnect the unit to the vehicle and start the engine, to make sure it still works.
To use this protocol you also need to connect to the ECU connector through a cable, and solder one or more wires to the programming pads.
Incorrect or poorly made connections and solderings may damage the Car ECU Programmer, often beyond repair.
Under no circumstances we shall be liable for any damage caused to the ECU during the opening, due to connections and soldering that do not comply with the instructions provided in this manual. If you are using KTAG, you are at your risk.

Notice

When writing the modified file, the checksum of the data may last several minutes, depending on the performances of your computer.

The first time you work on the ECU, before opening the ECU, you need to retrieve the protection password. Follow the instructions provided for each model to connect to the connector.

Retrieve Password

1.Remove the ECU from the vehicle;
2. Connect to the ECU connector to retrieve the password, according to the pinout provided for each model connection instructions:

*  Plug-in 986: SIEMENS MSD80 IROM TC1796

ktag-siemens-msd80-1
Material needed:

*  Cable 14P600KT02

a.Connect the cable 14P600KT02 to the ECU connector according to the pinout below:

ktag-siemens-msd80-2Pin Color Description
Pin 1,1    Red       +12V
Pin 4      Noir       Ground
Pin 22    White    CAN-H
Pin 44    Green    CAN-L

b.Click on the Read Password button.

ktag-siemens-msd80-3

*  Plug-in 989: SIEMENS MSD85 IROM TC1796

ktag-bmw-msd85-1

Material needed:

*  Cable 14P600KT02

a.Connect the cable 14P600KT02 to the ECU connector according to the pinout below:

ktag-bmw-msd85-2

b.Click on the Read Password button

ktag-bmw-msd85-3

*  Plug-in 991: SIEMENS MSD81 IROM TC1796

ktag-bmw-msd81-1

Material needed:

*  Cable 14P600KT02

a.Connect the cable 14P600KT02 to the ECU connector according to the pinout below:

ktag-bmw-msd81-2

b.Click on the Read Password button

ktag-bmw-msd81-3

*  Plug-in 992: SIEMENS MSD87 IROM TC1796

ktag-bmw-msd87-1

Material needed:

*  Cable 14P600KT02

a.Connect the cable 14P600KT02 to the ECU connector according to the pinout below:

ktag-bmw-msd87-2

b.Click on the Read Password button

ktag-bmw-msd87-3

*  Plug-in 1012: SIEMENS MSD85.4 IROM TC1796

ktag-bmw-msd854-1
Due to the ECU high power consumption, you have to supply the K-TAG with an external battery or a stabilized power supply (+12/24V – 5A).

Material needed:

*  Cable 14P600KT02
*  Battery supply cable 144300TALI
*  External Battery or regulated power supply (+12/24V – 5A)

a.Connect the cable 14P600KT02 to the ECU connector according to the pinout below:

ktag-bmw-msd854-2

b.Connect the cable 144300TALI to the tool and the external battery;
c.Click on the Read Password button.

ktag-bmw-msd854-3

3. Proceed with the normal operations to read and write.

 
Recommendation

1.Open the ECU, taking care in not damaging the parts inside;
2.Reconnect the ECU to the vehicle and start the engine, in order to make sure that it is still working and has not been damaged in the opening;
3.Remove again the ECU from the vehicle;
4.Select the right plug-in;
5.Always make a backup copy of the ECU before Reading and / or Writing.

Instructions

1.Connect to the ECU according to the pinout provided for each models:

*  Plug-in 986: SIEMENS MSD80 IROM TC1796

ktag-siemens-msd80-1

The pins Boot can be found on the right side of the ECU.

ktag-siemens-msd80-4
Available connection mode
Click on the selected mode for the instructions.

? Direct connection

Material needed:

*  Cable 14P600KT02
*  Solder wire

a.Solder a wire to the Boot pin shown in the picture;
b.Solder a wire to the two CNF1 pins shown in the picture;

ktag-siemens-msd80-5
c.Connect the cable 14P600KT02 to the ECU connector according to the pinout below

ktag-siemens-msd80-6

d.Remove all soldered wires before reinstalling the ECU on the vehicle.

*  Plug-in 989: SIEMENS MSD85 IROM TC1796

ktag-bmw-msd85-1

The pins Boot can be found on the right side of the ECU.

ktag-bmw-msd85-4

Available connection mode
Click on the selected mode for the instructions.

? Direct connection

Material needed:

*  Cable 14P600KT02
*  Solder wire

a.Solder a wire to the Boot pin shown in the picture;
b.Solder a wire to the two CNF1 pins shown in the picture;

ktag-bmw-msd85-5

c.Connect the cable 14P600KT02 to the ECU connector according to the pinout below:

ktag-bmw-msd85-6

d.Remove all soldered wires before reinstalling the ECU on the vehicle.

*  Plug-in 991: SIEMENS MSD81 IROM TC1796

ktag-bmw-msd81-1

The pins Boot can be found on the right side of the ECU.

ktag-bmw-msd81-4

Available connection mode
Click on the selected mode for the instructions.

? Direct connection

Material needed:

*  Cable 14P600KT02
*  Solder wire

a.Solder a wire to the Boot pin shown in the picture;
b.Solder a wire to the two CNF1 pins shown in the picture;

ktag-bmw-msd81-5

c.Connect the cable 14P600KT02 to the ECU connector according to the pinout below:

ktag-bmw-msd81-6

d.Remove all soldered wires before reinstalling the ECU on the vehicle.

*  Plug-in 992: SIEMENS MSD87 IROM TC1796

ktag-bmw-msd87-1

The pins Boot can be found on the right side of the ECU.

ktag-bmw-msd87-4

Available connection mode
Click on the selected mode for the instructions.

? Direct connection

Material needed:

*  Cable 14P600KT02
*  Solder wire

a.Solder a wire to the Boot pin shown in the picture;
b.Solder a wire to the two CNF1 pins shown in the picture;

ktag-bmw-msd87-5

c.Connect the cable 14P600KT02 to the ECU connector according to the pinout below:

ktag-bmw-msd87-6
d.Remove all soldered wires before reinstalling the ECU on the vehicle.

*  Plug-in 1012: SIEMENS MSD85.4 IROM TC1796

ktag-bmw-msd854-1

The pins Boot can be found on the right side of the ECU.

ktag-bmw-msd854-4
Due to the ECU high power consumption, you have to supply the K-TAG with an external battery or a stabilized power supply (+12/24V – 5A).

Available connection mode
Click on the selected mode for the instructions.

Direct connection

Material needed:

*  Cable 14P600KT02
*  Solder wire
*  Battery supply cable 144300TALI
*  External Battery or regulated power supply (+12/24V – 5A)

a.Solder a wire to the Boot pin shown in the picture;
b.Solder a wire to the two CNF1 pins shown in the picture;

ktag-bmw-msd854-5

c.Connect the cable 14P600KT02 to the ECU connector according to the pinout below:

ktag-bmw-msd854-6

d.Connect the cable 144300TALI to the tool and the external battery;
e.Remove all soldered wires before reinstalling the ECU on the vehicle.

2.Select the right plug-in;
3.Make reading and programming

How to Read – Backup – Write using a Ktag Master tool

Backup: To make a full backup of the ECU, select Backup in the Reading box and click on Read.

Reading: Remove the check mark at the Backup option, select the component you want to read and then click on Read.
Notice: The term Maps at the side of the component indicates where the maps for engine control are stored.

Writing: Remove the check mark at the Restore option, select the component you want to write and then click on Write.
Notice: The term Maps at the side of the component indicates where the maps for engine control are stored.

Restore: To restore the backup file to the ECU, select Restore in the Writing box and click on Write.

How to Update CN900 Mini Firmware to 1.50.2.23 (with Update Tool)

CN900 Mini key copy machine firmware release to latest version v1.50.2.23 in May 2019.

CN900 Mini 1.50.2.23 Update Feature :
Add: Detect Hitag AES (7A) 88
Add: CN5, CN5-new to copy 4C, 4D or 64 and to generate
Add: Toyota 8A smart key type identification
Improve 3A,88, 8E information display

Free Download CN900 Mini 1.50.2.23 update tool with Win7 Win8 driver

https://mega.nz/#!u2ATCSrB!7iQNPtXTyc5FTntJ_UtVhK6sD-feROXp1Vw02JTu7zY

How to Update Key Programmer CN900 mini firmware to 1.50.2.23 ?
Connect mini900 with laptop via USB cable

Open driver folder, install driver (for Win7 or Win8 system)

update-cn900-mini-firmware-2
update-cn900-mini-firmware-3

Set com port to COM4

update-cn900-mini-firmware-4

Run CN900 Mini firmware update tool on desktop

Press CONNECT

Mini cn900 will display current firmware version and prompt new version available to update

update-cn900-mini-firmware-5

Click on Update

update-cn900-mini-firmware-6

update-cn900-mini-firmware-7

update-cn900-mini-firmware-8

Follow step 1 to step 4 to finish firmware update

Close the update tool

Run update again and connect

update-cn900-mini-firmware-9

The firmware has updated to the new version.

How to install Porsche PIWIS 3 on VAS6154 head

Look here: How to use VAS6154 head with Porsche Piwis 3

project PIWIS3 PT3G => VAS6154-Kolun a
look at below link when you take your right to use
1 have to have installed piwis 3 laptop.
2. install piwis 3 driver
3 put together vas6154 install the drivers for vas6154-piwis // attempt to update interface Flesch
, if you see 6154 as pt3g then it is ok if nevidi next step =>
4 separated you from laptop
5. Copy the deteskop and install VAS 6154 driver 3.0.2.807 // installation after installation tend to deteskopa the trash
6 interface connects you 6154
7 program you run driver
8 interface you see 6154
9 select USB. Save.
10 restart.
11 tart driver program tach app (the first option above left) choose passthru> pt3g-3 piwis install seeks interface.
12 restart
13 Interface joints run driver VAS6154 seen as a passthru pt3g update memory device, check the USB version pt3g dal see you ok almost 6154

Note: please be careful and do it on your own risk.
obdii365.com will not give support

Contributor: ibi1961

Update: Unless you find the 08 firmware
The picture below is VAS 6154

vas6154-porsche-piwis-3-1 vas6154-porsche-piwis-3-2 vas6154-porsche-piwis-3-3

VERY IMPORTANT:

For sake of security, you’re advised to use odis with vas6154 and use piwis with porsche tester 3

with relief!

Piwis III V37.250.020 – confirmed to work no issues with Vxdiag Porsche

Diagnostic test: passed

Coding: passed

Programming: passed

attached VAS 6154 driver download, installation instruction, wlan setup….

MB Star C3 V2015.9 up Multiplexer Initialization Failed Solution

Here is the obd2tool.com engineer solution to Mb Star C3 V2018.9 up DAS Xentry multiplexer initialization failed problem.

Error message:

Initialization of diagnosis multiplexer failed.

mb-star-c3-multiplexer-failed

Possible causes:

The link between the diagnosis multiplexer and the diagnostic socket is interrupted.

The link between the diagnostic multiplexer and the diagnostic unit is interrupted.

The voltage supply at the diagnostic socket (circuit 30 and (or) circuit 31) is faulty.

Note:

When using SDconnect,check the connection status using the Toolkit.

Solution:

1. First check if you use the correct software for Star C3 not sd connect c4, you do not modify software by yourself and it passes self-test.

If all these are okay, replace the Config file in c:\program\mecredes-benz\config

Config file

https://mega.nz/#!vhFEXBiL!jeFN5y38eCEH3ZitnQ2lvOGKBn3hJTWb4KsZ70I537k

2.If still not work, check device and vehicle communication

3. Otherwise send your MB Star C3 and software back to repair.

How to Enable tank info & L100KM into KML Mercedes W211 W203, etc.

Here is a tutorial of how to do it: use MB SD Connect C4 mux to enable tank info & L/100KM into KM/L mercedes W211 (W203) (w221) and more

In DAS Developer mode :
Kombiinstrument -> Diagnose nach Werkangabe -> Steuergerate-Anpassungen ->
Steuergerate-Anpassungen (Variantencoderierung) -> Variantkodierung Werkeinstellungen ->

In the menu that shows , you scroll down untill you read the line : Tankinfo im Reichweitebild
enable this option
now you have tankinfo in the screen that otherwise only showed range

If you allso wanna adjust the way fuel consumtion is showed
you scroll a little more down untill you read the line : Verbrauchanzeige km
you can change it from L/100km into km/l

Scroll down and confirm Coding by pressingF3

if you watch your Instrument Cluster , you notice that scrolling through the menu , nothing changed .

For this , the “Kombiinstrument” needs a reboot.
to do this in Developer mode we go back by hitting F1 -> 3 times
then choose Ansteuerungen -> Gesamstliste aller Ansteuerungen ->
Scroll down untill you see the line : Steuergeraet Resetten (PowerON-Modus) (FN_Reset_SG_Power_ON)
Press F3 and confirm again with F3
Now you will see the “Kombiinstrument” reboots

BMW EF Scanner 2 Program Key for BMW FEMBDC

BMW E/F Scanner 2 can do FEM/BDC key programming,it allow users to program ignition key for FEM/BDC system.

Preparations:

V2018.12 BMW E/F scanner (Explorer) free download and setup

Main Procedures:

Step 1:Preparation of FEM / BDC thru OBD

It is necessary to perform a quick test , go to the FEM / BDC and click the “Key learning” button,

The program will check for a supported version of the unit, prepare the unit for the next procedure, and will display the message  “Read Eeprom and upload in calc”.

DO NOT CLOSE THE CALCULATOR WINDOW AND THE PROGRAM !!!!!

Step 2: Preparation of FEM / BDC using programmer (Reading BACKUP)

Remove the FEM / BDC unit as described HERE. Disassemble the FEM / BDC unit as described in THIS SECTION.

Read 95128/95256 Eeprom (pictured in the upper right corner) using programmer

(Orange Xprog or others that supports Eeprom 95128/95256).

Download Eeprom into BMW-Explorer, and save EEprom and write it back into the FEM / BDC.

Step 3:Programming FEM / BDC with BMW-Explorer via OBD

Install the unit on the car in the reverse order of removal.

The car probably will not respond to the key, do not get scared!

Connect to FEM, press “Write keys”, Explorer will propose to program the FEM / BDC, agree and wait for the programming to finish.

Step 4: Write back BACKUP EEprom with the programmer

After successful programming, the program will write to you “Return the saved original Eeprom”, then remove FEM again and using programmer, return the previously read contents of EEprom 95128/95256. Then you can install the unit back to the car.

Sometimes it is possible that after the last manipulation the FEM / BDC will stop responding to the diagnostics, then you need to flash this EEprom into the unit and program the unit with Esys or ISTA-P and start the unit preparation from step 1.

P.S: Follow the instructions and  save your time.

Step 5: Write BACKUP coding (CAFD) via OBD

Write BACKUP coding (CAFD) via OBD

Step 6: Key programming thru OBD

Connect to the FEM / BDC control unit using the BMW-explorer, press “Extra options” then “Key learning”. Key programming window will open and will read the key data we need for programming.

If you have a working key, then you need to bring it to the emergency coil as pictured below and press the “Read crypto key” button.

About successful reading of the “Crypto” BMW-Explorer show “Crypto Ok” message.

If you do not have a working key, then you need to read the ISN from the DME and enter it into the “ISN from DME” window.

You can also enter 8 bytes of the “crypto” manually.

Now you can start to learn keys. To do this we must select a free track for the key and press “Learn key”, bring a new key to the emergency coil on the steering column.

Supported ECU FEM:

swfl_0000155e_004_102_030, swfl_0000155e_004_102_040

swfl_0000155e_004_103_030, swfl_0000155e_004_104_040

swfl_0000155e_007_102_010, swfl_0000155e_008_101_030

swfl_0000155e_008_101_050, swfl_0000155e_008_101_070

swfl_0000155e_011_102_020, swfl_0000155e_012_104_010

swfl_0000155e_012_200_030, swfl_0000155e_014_102_040

swfl_0000155e_015_100_020, swfl_0000155e_015_102_020

swfl_0000155e_015_152_030, swfl_0000155e_015_154_010

swfl_0000155e_016_106_030, swfl_0000155e_016_112_010

swfl_0000155e_016_114_020, swfl_0000155e_017_110_030

Supported ECU BDC:

swfl_00002419_005_016_130, swfl_00002419_005_016_140

swfl_00002419_005_017_092, swfl_00002419_005_018_031

swfl_00002419_005_019_040, swfl_00002419_005_019_101

swfl_00002419_005_019_120, swfl_00002419_005_028_060

swfl_00002419_005_028_160, swfl_00002419_005_028_170

swfl_00002419_005_028_245, swfl_00002419_005_031_110

swfl_00002419_005_031_200, swfl_00002419_005_042_030

swfl_00002419_005_042_050, swfl_00002419_005_042_070

swfl_00002419_005_118_030, swfl_00002419_005_118_050

swfl_00002419_005_118_140, swfl_00002419_042_100_040

swfl_00002419_052_010_030, swfl_00002419_052_030_010

swfl_00002419_052_040_010, swfl_00002419_061_010_030

swfl_00002419_062_010_020, swfl_00002419_071_010_040

BMW E/F Scanner Program Key for BMW FEM/BDC-1 BMW E/F Scanner Program Key for BMW FEM/BDC-2

More BMW E/F Scanner 2 information,check here:

Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware

A dive into the thriving black market of John Deere tractor hacking.

To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere Service Advisor puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America’s heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that’s cracked in Eastern Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums.

Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform “unauthorized” repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.

“When crunch time comes and we break down, chances are we don’t have time to wait for a dealership employee to show up and fix it,” Danny Kluthe, a hog farmer in Nebraska, told his state legislature earlier this month. “Most all the new equipment [requires] a download [to fix].”

The nightmare scenario, and a fear I heard expressed over and over again in talking with farmers, is that John Deere could remotely shut down a tractor and there wouldn’t be anything a farmer could do about it.

“What you’ve got is technicians running around here with cracked Ukrainian John Deere software that they bought off the black market”

A license agreement John Deere required farmers to sign in October forbids nearly all repair and modification to farming equipment, and prevents farmers from suing for “crop loss, lost profits, loss of goodwill, loss of use of equipment … arising from the performance or non-performance of any aspect of the software.” The agreement applies to anyone who turns the key or otherwise uses a John Deere tractor with embedded software. It means that only John Deere dealerships and “authorized” repair shops can work on newer tractors.

“If a farmer bought the tractor, he should be able to do whatever he wants with it,” Kevin Kenney, a farmer and right-to-repair advocate in Nebraska, told me. “You want to replace a transmission and you take it to an independent mechanic—he can put in the new transmission but the tractor can’t drive out of the shop. Deere charges $230, plus $130 an hour for a technician to drive out and plug a connector into their USB port to authorize the part.”

John-Deere-Service-Advisor-3

“What you’ve got is technicians running around here with cracked Ukrainian John Deere software that they bought off the black market,” he added.

Kenney and Kluthe have been pushing for right-to-repair legislation in Nebraska that would invalidate John Deere’s license agreement (seven other states are considering similar bills). In the meantime, farmers have started hacking their machines because even simple repairs are made impossible by the embedded software within the tractor. John Deere is one of the staunchest opponents of this legislation.

“There’s software out there a guy can get his hands on if he looks for it,” one farmer and repair mechanic in Nebraska who uses cracked John Deere software told me. “I’m not a big business or anything, but let’s say you’ve got a guy here who has a tractor and something goes wrong with it—the nearest dealership is 40 miles away, but you’ve got me or a diesel shop a mile away. The only way we can fix things is illegally, which is what’s holding back free enterprise more than anything and hampers a farmer’s ability to get stuff done, too.”

Once I was on it, I found dozens of threads from farmers desperate to fix and modify their own tractors. According to people on the forums and the farmers who use it, much of the software is cracked in Eastern European countries such as Poland and Ukraine and then sold back to farmers in the United States.

John-Deere-Service-Advisor-4

Among the programs I saw being traded:

John Deere Service Advisor: A diagnostic program used by John Deere technicians that recalibrate tractors and can diagnose broken parts. “It can program payloads into different controllers. It can calibrate injectors, turbo, engine hours and all kinds of fun stuff,” someone familiar with the software told me.
John Deere Payload files: These are files that specifically program certain parts of the vehicle. There are files that can customize and fine-tune the performance of the chassis, engine, and cab, for instance.
John Deere Electronic Data Link drivers: This is software that allows a computer to talk to the tractor. “The EDL is the required interface which allows the Service Advisor laptop to actually communicate with the tractor controllers,” the source told me.

A reverse engineer who goes by Decryptor Tuning, who I met on a forum, told me they distribute programs that are “usually OEM software that is freely available but must be licensed.”

“If things could get better, [companies like John Deere] should be forced to freely distribute the same software dealers have,” they said. “And stop locking down [Engine Control Module] reading functionality. They do this to force you to use their services, which they have a 100 percent monopoly on.”

Also for sale (or free download) on the forums are license key generators, speed-limit modifiers, and reverse-engineered cables that allow you to connect a tractor to a computer. These programs are also for sale on several sketchy-looking websites that are hosted in Europe, and on YouTube there are demos of the software in operation.

On its face, pirating such software would seem to be illegal. But in 2015, the Librarian of Congress approved an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for land vehicles, which includes tractors. The exemption allows modification of “computer programs that are contained in and control the functioning of a motorized land vehicle such as a personal automobile, commercial motor vehicle or mechanized agricultural vehicle … when circumvention is a necessary step undertaken by the authorized owner of the vehicle to allow the diagnosis, repair, or lawful modification of a vehicle function.”

This means modification of embedded software is legal long as it can still meet emission requirements. Whether the exemption allows for the downloading of cracked software is an unanswered question.

“Are we supposed to throw the tractor in the garbage, or what?”

It’s no surprise, then, that Heavy Duty Scan Tool John Deere started requiring farmers to sign licensing agreements around the time the exemption went into effect. Violation of the agreement would be considered a breach of contract rather than a federal copyright violation, meaning John Deere would have to sue its own customers if it wants the contract to be enforced. I asked John Deere specifically about the fact that a software black market has cropped up for its tractors, but the company instead said that there are no repair problems for John Deere customers.

“When a customer buys John Deere equipment, he or she owns the equipment,” the company said. “As the owner, he or she has the ability to maintain and repair the equipment. The customer also has the ability through operator and service manuals and other resources to enable operational, maintenance, service and diagnostics activities to repair and maintain equipment.”

“Software modifications increase the risk that equipment will not function as designed,” the company continued. “As a result, allowing unqualified individuals to modify equipment software can endanger machine performance, in addition to Deere customers, dealers and others, resulting in equipment that no longer complies with industry and safety/environmental regulations.”

Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of Repair.org, a trade organization fighting for right-to-repair legislation, told me that John Deere’s statement is “total crap,” and noted that “some of our members have repeatedly attempted to buy the diagnostics that are referenced [from John Deere] and been rebuffed.”

“They require buyers to accept an End User License Agreement that disallows all of the activities they say are allowed in their statement,” she said. “Deere is a monopolist and has systematically taken over the role of equipment owner, despite having been paid fairly and fully for equipment. Their claims to control equipment post-purchase are inconsistent with all aspects of ownership including accounting, taxation, and transfer of products into the secondary market.”

It’s quite simple, really. John Deere sold farmers their tractors, but has used software to maintain control of every aspect of its use after the sale. Kluthe, for example, uses pig manure to power his tractor, which requires engine modifications that would likely violate John Deere’s terms of service on newer machines.

“I take the hog waste and run it through an anaerobic digester and I’ve learned to compress the methane,” he said. “I run an 80 percent methane in my Chevy Diesel Pickup and I run 90 percent methane in my tractor. And they both purr. I take a lot of pride in working on my equipment.”

Farmers worry what will happen if John Deere is bought by another company, or what will happen if the company decides to stop servicing its tractors. And so they have taken matters into their own hands by taking control of the software themselves.

“What happens in 20 years when there’s a new tractor out and John Deere doesn’t want to fix these anymore?” the farmer using Ukrainian software told me. “Are we supposed to throw the tractor in the garbage, or what?”