Openflash Tablet F.A.Q.

Q: Are the OpenFlash Performance Inc. tools legal for use in my city/state?

Please read our statements and information provided here:

Due to state and local regulations, we do not ship to California residents. Customers in CA should research their local laws and regulations regarding ECU software updates for their cars, and consult with one of our many authorized dealers.

Currently, OpenFlash Performance Inc. is working toward achieving a CARB E.O. number for our OFT hardware, and will update this FAQ page as needed when our pending approval is processed.

Q: What is the OpenFlash Tablet (OFT)?

The Openflash Tablet is a portable hand-held diagnostic, data acquisition, and ECU software update tool. It is designed for ease of use for our customers. The tool can be used to eliminate the need for frequent (and costly) scheduled dealerships (or repair facilities) visits.

Q: Are OpenFlash Tablet ECU software updates actually free?

Yes. All of our off-the-shelf (OTS) software updates are free. We can offer free ECU update software because we do not sell ECU software update files.

We are in the business of selling diagnostic tools and equipment; not software update files.

NOTE: We do not engineer or develop any ECU software modification programs.

Q: Do I need a laptop to update and flash my ECU?

While the OFT will usually auto-generate emissions compliant ECU software update files specific to your vehicle/bike during installation, a laptop (native Windows PC) will be required to manually load the files if they are not.

A laptop is also required to download any logged data from your OFT for email or data review.

A third instance where you may want to use your laptop is to apply periodic OFT firmware updates (from our remote server). A wifi/internet connection is required.

Q: How many software update files can the Openflash Tablet hold at any-time?

The OpenFlash Tablet can hold a total of 6 files at once – including the original ECU software file (not erasable until such time that the OFT uninstalled).

Q: How many time can I flash my ECU?

Theoretically, there is a limit to how many times your ECU can be re-flashed – but those figures lay in the realm of 100,000’s. Re-flash limits should never be a concern to for most users.

Additional insight: We have flashed our development ECU’s (individually) well over 1000’s times without incident.

Q: Can I read and clear Diagnostic Trouble Codes/Check Engine Lights (DTC/CEL)?

Yes. All ECU diagnostic trouble codes can be displayed using your OFT to aid in troubleshooting your vehicle. It is a diagnostic tool, after-all.

Q: Are ECU software updates from this device detectable by the dealership?

Our software update files are based on your ECU’s original programming.  This means that the software IDs will be untouched and present as OEM upon basic inspection. It is sometimes possible for the dealership to conduct a more thorough inspection of the ECU code to detect more exact software updates. We do recommend reprogramming your original ECU software onto your ECU before scrutinized dealer visits, at your own discretion.

Q: Is the OpenFlash Tablet for advanced users only?

No. Our hardware is designed for is for novice and advanced users.

Q: Can I re-flash multiple ECU;s with the same OFT?

No. Each OpenFlash Tablet can only reprogram the ECU that it has been installed onto.

Your OFT must be uninstalled from your ECU (and erased) before it can be used to reprogram an alternative ECU.

NOTE: Even while your OFT is installed to your vehicle ECU, it can still be used for diagnostics and data collection tool for other vehicles/bikes!

While in diagnostic mode you will have complete access to individual adaptation resets, code reading/clearing, data view, data-logging, and data graphing.

Q: Does the OpenFlash tablet offer data-logging?

Yes! High-speed on-board datalogging is one of the primary feature our OpenFlash Tablet hardware!

On-screen data viewing and data graphing functions are also available, making the OpenFlash Tablet a powerful diagnostic and data colletion tool.

Datalogs can also be graphed visually for further analysis using free online graphing software at

Q: Are OFT firmware updates free, and how do I get them?

OFT firmware updates are free and available by simply plugging the OpenFlash Tablet into your laptop while running the OpenFlash Manager user software. Upon launching the software (with an internet connection) the OpenFlash software will automatically check for, and apply software and firmware updates. With each update, expect new features and enhancements.

Q: Will the OpenFlash Tablet work on a vehicles with a pre-existing software re-flash (e.g. ECUtek)?

We do not recommend trying to read or edit an ECUtek tuned ECU with OpenFlash Tablet.

Instead, we suggest flashing your ECU back to a stock software program using the ECUtek programming cable. Afterward, install your tablet (now that factory software programming is present).

After a successful tablet installation you will have no need for an ECUtek cable or license dongle.

Q: Do I need a battery charger?

If your vehicle has a new or healthy battery, a charger may not be required. Chassis such as the GT86, and MX-5 generally have a brief read/write process.

For some other chassis’ (such as the BMW F-Series, or Ferrari 458) a charger should considered before reading/writing to the ECU. On these cars, sub-systems may activate cooling fans, electric water-pumps. etc. while performing reading/writing operations.

When in doubt, use a charger where possible.

Q: How do I install the OpenFlash Tablet?

To install, you plug the device into the OBDII diagnostic port and follow the on-screen prompts.

Within a few moment, the OpenFlash Tablet will initiate a read sequence. You only need to do this once.

The process takes ~2 minutes for many ECU systems (but not all).

After this process is complete, the OpenFlash Tablet will have saved your factory ECU software program file. For security, the OpenFlash Tablet stores your original software program file in a special read-only memory location.

Your OFT must be uninstalled from your ECU (ORIGINAL ECU software written back to your ECU) before it will allow the deletion of the ORIGINAL software program file.

Q: How long does it take for the OpenFlash Tablet to program my ECU?

At this time the OpenFlash Tablet writes an entire 1.3 megabyte file (1.0 megabyte file for Miata MX5) in 3 to 5 minutes.

Larger tune files (such as for the F80, or F10 M5 [which has two (2) ECU’s]) takes longer For these vehicles, initial install can take from 20 to 45 minutes, while flashes from mod program to mod program takes 2 to 5 minutes (depending on the chassis).

We do recommend using a charger duringOFT installation, or uninstallation.

Q: Does the OpenFlash Tablet automatically correct ECU software checksums?

Yes! When uploading ECU software update programs to the Openflash Tablet, the device management software will automatically apply checksum corrections (as needed).