ECU chip tuning tool buying advice: KESS, KTAG, CMD or BDM100?

How to choose right ECU chip tuning tool? Which ECU tuning tool to buy? KESS, KTAG, CMD or BDM100… All these questions confused you will disappear after reading ECU chip tuning tool buying advice in this blog!


First, you should know there are 4 ways to program ECU (according to car year and ECU types):

  1. Flashing ECU via OBD2 communication port
  2. Flashing ECU via a special BDM port that is on the ECU’s motherboard
  3. Flashing the ECU in boot mode, on the table
  4. Soldering the EEPROM out of the ECU and reprogramming ECU


  1. Now you start to know each ECU programming way and the recommended ECU tuning tools.
  2. Flashing ECU via OBD

You can flash most ECUs from 2000 to 2008 (and many of them even after 2008) via OBD port. All you need is an OBD flash tool, connect the tool with car via OBD and give your car’s battery stable 12V power supply. In this way you can read out ECU and flash the tuning file over the cable. It is the easiest and fastest way of reprogramming ECU.

Recommended tools:

CMD CAN Flasher V1251 $29.99

CMD CAN Flasher V1251 supported list:!04YWERDD!B0b-8XBb35fECzBloGf9OtjwYAUFSDvMiZRlgiFjDxs



KESS V2 Master version V2.22 FW V4.036 (no token limits) $179


KESS V2 V2.15 FW V3.099 (no token limits) $75



  1. Flashing ECU via BDM

Most ECUs from 2002 to 2008 (and some later) have a special communication port on the motherboard called a BDM port. To access this port you need to take the ECU out of the car and open it. In this way ECU will receive a stable 12V power, and can be flashed over and over again. So this is most safe way for ECU programming. And you can also backup if something goes wrong with the flashing via OBD.

Recommended tools:

KTAG V2.13 Master version (also does boot mode, no token limits) $79


BDM100 programmer V1255 $24.99



  1. Flashing ECU via Boot Mode

You need to take ECU out of the car, and program it on the table while connecting special cables to the ECU’s connector pins. Sometimes you also need to do some soldering, like adding resistors to the motherboard…

Recommended tools:

KTAG ECU Programmer


  1. Flashing via soldering EEPROM

You can use this way for older car ECUs and a big percentage of truck ECUs. You also need to take out the ECU, open it and desolder out the EEPROM chip. Then you can read EEPROM chip using an EEPROM programmer. After read, file is modified and then programmed back on a chip (or on a new, empty one). Then you solder the chip back into the ECU.

Recommended tools:

TL866A Universal EEPROM Programmer $59


MiniPro TL866A supported list:


That’s all purchase advice for ECU chip tuning from Hope it helps you!