Fear that PCM4LESS module is getting reprogrammed

400Magnum

Original poster
Member
Dec 23, 2011
49
Okay, after having my tuned ECM from PCM4LESS module sitting in my garage for almost two years, with gas almost at $4/gal, I decided it was time to pay the dealer almost $100 to get the CASE Relearn done. I got a $25 off gift certificate just before the end of the year and it expired today, so I figured that brings the cost down to $75 to do the CASE relearn, okay, time to do it. I had to take it in to get the fuel sensor replaced anyway, and figured I might as well get it all done at the same time.

So, when I called the dealer and told them what services I wanted, I had to explain to the service manager four or five times what a CASE relearn was, he just didn't seem to understand. I explained it was the crank angle sensor relearn, it needs to be done so the new ECM is calibrated to the engine crank sensor and sets the timing correctly. He seems to finally understand. So I take it to the dealer this morning to get the work done. He asks again what a CASE relearn is, and I explain, again. He stares at me for a few seconds and asks, "So, this is for the transfer case? Sir, the ECM doesn't go on the transfer case..." I said, "No, it's not the transfer case, it's the CASE relearn, its so the new ECM is calibrated to the engine crankshaft sensor to set the engine timing." Again, blank stares... He goes behind the service counter, starts typing stuff into the computer and hands me a sheet with the list of service work to be done. The item for the CASE relearn says "REPROGRAM ECM. HAD MODULE REPLACED ELSEWHERE. RELEARN CRANK POSITION SENSOR."

At first it seemed what I wanted. I got home, re-read the item and got worried that they're going to wipe off the PCM4LESS tune, replace it with a factory tune and then do the CASE relearn. I called to clarify that I don't want to get the ECM reflashed to the factory tune, but I somehow don't think they're listening to me.

Is there anyway to tell if the ECM gets reflashed back to the factory tune and wipes out my PCM4LESS tune?:confused:
 

DJones

Member
Jan 21, 2012
701
St. Petersburg, Florida
I have over 30,000 miles on my tuned PCM and never got the CASE relearn. I don't have a good reason to get it done either.
 

400Magnum

Original poster
Member
Dec 23, 2011
49
I replaced the ECM about a week ago, and while the Envoy runs really good, it actually runs a little smoother than the stock ECM, it does seem to be burning extra fuel, which was the whole point of me swapping them, trying to save some fuel. I've read a lot of posts where others would report the same thing and after getting the CASE relearn, then the mileage would improve, so that's the reason I figured it needed to be done. I just hope I didn't lose the tune. I can't afford to get it retuned again. This just sucks... :frown:
 

Dad-O-Matic

Member
Dec 5, 2011
228
400Magnum said:
Again, blank stares...

At this point I would have said "Nevermind"

marshall@pcm said:
Also, if we programmed your PCM for you and the dealer somehow reflashes it, we will put it back on for free! You just cover the shipping both ways. :smile:

Awesome customer service. :thumbsup: My birthday is in April, I'm dropping hints to wifey to get me a tune. I hope she doesn't buy me a Compact Disc :no:
 

400Magnum

Original poster
Member
Dec 23, 2011
49
Thanks Marshall, I appreciate that! Paying for shipping is doable if I think they've messed with it. I just hope they only do the CASE relearn and leave it alone after that. Is there any way to tell for sure that it's been reflashed? Just driving it without the relearn it had a noticeably crisper upshift. I requested a level two shift I believe. If I notice it being soft shifting again like before, is that a good indication that they reflashed the ECM?

The problem was that it was obvious the ECM had been replaced because it had been written all over with yellow paint pen, I was trying to not insult the guys intelligence by lying to him when it's pretty obvious that it wasn't the original ECM. I guess I should have taken time to strip the writing off before I installed it. On the up side, after I told him the ECM was replaced, he didn't dig any deeper wanting to know why it'd been replaced or make claims about having to reflash it to meet GM requirements or something like that.

It would also be pretty apparent that the crank sensor hadn't been replaced because it was pretty dirty. I guess in the future, someone in my situation would be well advised to follow your advice, and somehow clean up around the crank sensor and make it look like it's been replaced. I just don't understand why we have to play these little games. What's so wrong with installing a new ECM to improve gas mileage and vehicle reliability?

Dad-O-Matic said:
At this point I would have said "Nevermind"

If I had any other option, I would have done that. I've called many independent shops around and none of them will even do this work, all of them claiming that GM has revoked the ability for independent shops to do this. I contacted another member on the board regarding a shop that he went to that did the work for only $40, which is a great deal, but I have to drive halfway across the state of Michigan and spend half a day for something that's a 10-minute job. I was tired of looking at the ECM sitting there, just waiting to be installed so I could save some gas money. Being unemployed for the last two years, it's getting to the point where I needed to either install it or sell it and try to get some money back.



Dad-O-Matic said:
Awesome customer service. :thumbsup: My birthday is in April, I'm dropping hints to wifey to get me a tune. I hope she doesn't buy me a Compact Disc :no:

Agreed! They've always been on top of things from the first email I sent asking questions to the super fast return shipping, and now this. I can't tell them enough how great it is to have a first rate customer experience like this.

LOL!! Yeah, you might want to be a little more specific, or you'll end up with a Justin Beiber cd!! :eek: Seriously though, even without the relearn, I noticed how much better the Envoy ran and shifted. You won't regret getting this. Just have a better plan for getting the relearn done than I did.
 

400Magnum

Original poster
Member
Dec 23, 2011
49
marshall@pcm said:
If there's a noticeable difference between the two, that would be a good indication.

Okay, I'll take it for a little drive today after I pick it up. Hopefully it'll still feel crisp. I really do appreciate the offer though if it is reflashed. Let's just cross our fingers and hope for the best.
 

Mark20

Member
Dec 6, 2011
1,630
If the dealership messed with the tune they should be the one to pay for expedited shipping both ways however that will likely be difficult. What I do find that works with dense people is to ask for their manager. They suddenly know they have an unhappy customer.
 

400Magnum

Original poster
Member
Dec 23, 2011
49
I agree, in an ideal world, they'd do that. However, the real world is that I'd have to prove they did that, and to prove it is to admit that I had replaced the factory ECM with an aftermarket one, and then the games over at that point. It's no biggie, if they messed it up, I'll pay for two-way shipping to get it reworked at PCM4LESS.

I hope I don't have to go to the manager about this. And there again, I won't know for sure that they did something until I take it for a test drive and see if it feels like it's been reset to OEM specs or left alone. And even then, I don't want to confront the manager about this unless I know for sure that they did something they weren't supposed to do, and I won't know that unless I ship the ECM back to PCM4LESS. It's such a headache to do things this way. I guess, if anyone else is contemplating doing this, take my advice. Call around to the local shops first, find out if you can get the relearn done at a reasonable price or find a dealer that you can work with. If you can't, go with a different option from PCM4LESS so they can reprogram your original ECM or you can go to their shop or something.
 

Boricua SS

Member
Nov 20, 2011
3,080
Ohio
fishguy1123 said:
I may have missed it, but is your truck still under a warranty?

:iagree: with what he said...

why are you worried if they know if you're tuned or not? that cant turn your business away for a tune... regardless of what was done, if the dealer altered something without consent from the owner, they should pay for the damages....
 

MAY03LT

Member
Nov 18, 2011
3,420
Delmarva
400Magnum said:
I've called many independent shops around and none of them will even do this work, all of them claiming that GM has revoked the ability for independent shops to do this.

Sounds like they just don't have the means to do it. I work at an independent shop, and we can reprogram GM pcms and do the case relearns.
 

400Magnum

Original poster
Member
Dec 23, 2011
49
fishguy1123 said:
I may have missed it, but is your truck still under a warranty?

No, it's not, that warranty expired a long time ago.

Boricua SS said:
:iagree: with what he said...

why are you worried if they know if you're tuned or not? that cant turn your business away for a tune... regardless of what was done, if the dealer altered something without consent from the owner, they should pay for the damages....

I suppose this is true. I guess I've just always received such a hassle from dealers that I've come to expect the worse, and sadly, I'm almost never proven wrong.

MAY03LT said:
Sounds like they just don't have the means to do it. I work at an independent shop, and we can reprogram GM pcms and do the case relearns.

That could be, it seems like any decent shop should have that capability. I could even understand it if it was a very small Mom and Pop kind of place, but several of these places are quite large.
 

400Magnum

Original poster
Member
Dec 23, 2011
49
marshall@pcm said:
If there's a noticeable difference between the two, that would be a good indication.

Well, I drove it for about 45 miles, and it's just kind of hard to tell by the seat of the pants. It doesn't feel as crisp shifting as it did before I took it in this morning. I let my wife drive it and she doesn't think it's shifting as crisply either. It also seems sluggish on take off, like it did with the factory tune. I'd be willing to bet that they reflashed the ECM because like I said before, after installing it I immediately noticed an improvement in shifts and the improved engine responsiveness, and I'm not noticing it so much now... :mad: I'm going to run a couple of tanks of gas thru it to see what the mileage comes out to be. If I don't see a noticeable difference, I'll contact you regarding getting it sent back and reprogrammed. I'm just so disappointed and frustrated right now.

Please understand, I'm not frustrated with PCM4LESS, I'm very frustrated with my dealer for not being able to follow simple instructions. At least they did manage to replace the fuel level sensor as requested.
 

D-V_Envoy

Member
Dec 6, 2011
51
marshall@pcm said:
Also, if we programmed your PCM for you and the dealer somehow reflashes it, we will put it back on for free! You just cover the shipping both ways. :smile:

Yeah! PCM4Less took care of me when the dealership reflashed the PCM when I had a new trans installed. Paid the shipping and had it back and running great! Love my tune!:thumbsup:
 

Mark20

Member
Dec 6, 2011
1,630
See what your receipt specifically says. If it say relearn the PCM you can argue that is not what you wanted and now the desired info is lost. Ask them to either pay shipping or refund what you paid them. Start working up layers of management. The lower level guys don't like explaining why a customer is mad.

From what I've seen here, Marshall from PCMFORLESS will probably contact you if not publically then privately besides what he has already done.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
400Magnum said:
it seems like any decent shop should have that capability. I could even understand it if it was a very small Mom and Pop kind of place, but several of these places are quite large.

My father always told me that it's the big places we need to try and stay away from. Bigger places mean more customers that they deal with and less time they take to really look over your vehicle. They just want you in and out so they can move the next customers vehicle in...

You are seriously better off staying as far as you can from a dealership. I never deal with them unless they have a part I need, or I had exhausted all other mechanical possibilities when fixing an issue. Dealers over charge for everything. I would highly recommend that you look for a smaller shop...a mechanics shop, ask all the questions you need, literally SHOP for that one mechanic you can trust and have a good relationship with.

And if you can, almost always try and stay around and watch when you have a dealer or anyone for that matter work on your truck. I have known several large dealerships SAY that they did the work or replaced the part that needed replaced....when all they did was drive it into the shop and go off to have lunch. I have had it happen to me twice and I caught them red handed the second time....NEVER happened again, I found a small mechanics shop to help me when I have a problem that I or my husband can't fix on our own.

It's a dealership....don't expect anything less than what you got today. Just my opinion :biggrin:
 

400Magnum

Original poster
Member
Dec 23, 2011
49
Mark20 said:
See what your receipt specifically says. If it say relearn the PCM you can argue that is not what you wanted and now the desired info is lost. Ask them to either pay shipping or refund what you paid them. Start working up layers of management. The lower level guys don't like explaining why a customer is mad.

From what I've seen here, Marshall from PCMFORLESS will probably contact you if not publically then privately besides what he has already done.

The service sheet says, "REPROGRAM ECM. HAD MODULE REPLACED ELSEWHERE. RELEARN CRANK POSITION SENSOR." I guess it's my own fault, I signed it to authorize the work. When I first read it, I figured that yes, they'd have to reprogram the ecm to get it to relearn the crank sensor to be calibrated. The more I thought about it though, I was afraid it meant a total reflash of the ECM. So, again, they would make the argument that I authorized it, so it's my fault. Honestly, I just don't even want to waste time at the dealership anymore. I've been screwed over there two times now, so I think it's time to wash my hands of the place and find another place when I need work done that I can't do myself.

Voymom said:
My father always told me that it's the big places we need to try and stay away from. Bigger places mean more customers that they deal with and less time they take to really look over your vehicle. They just want you in and out so they can move the next customers vehicle in...

You are seriously better off staying as far as you can from a dealership. I never deal with them unless they have a part I need, or I had exhausted all other mechanical possibilities when fixing an issue. Dealers over charge for everything. I would highly recommend that you look for a smaller shop...a mechanics shop, ask all the questions you need, literally SHOP for that one mechanic you can trust and have a good relationship with.

I agree, I've had nothing but headaches every time I've gone to a dealer. I've found little shops that did do good work two times now, and they've gone out of business. For some reason, the little shops around here just don't last very long. I've talked to lots of people to try to find someone that they have gone too and liked, and there isn't anyone that I've heard of that everyone just swoons over. That's why I just do all the work to the vehicles that I can. I was just stuck in this case because the local indy shops all claim they can't do a CASE relearn, so I just didn't have a choice here but to go to the dealer.

Voymom said:
And if you can, almost always try and stay around and watch when you have a dealer or anyone for that matter work on your truck. I have known several large dealerships SAY that they did the work or replaced the part that needed replaced....when all they did was drive it into the shop and go off to have lunch. I have had it happen to me twice and I caught them red handed the second time....NEVER happened again, I found a small mechanics shop to help me when I have a problem that I or my husband can't fix on our own.

Yeah, I'll try to do that in the future, but for the repair work done today, they had the vehicle there all day. I'm supposed to be able to trust these people to do their job correctly. I don't see this as any different than not being able to trust my surgeon. If I have to stand there and look over there shoulder all day, then I may as well just do the work myself.
 

SBUBandit

Member
Dec 5, 2011
597
Voymom said:
And if you can, almost always try and stay around and watch when you have a dealer or anyone for that matter work on your truck. I have known several large dealerships SAY that they did the work or replaced the part that needed replaced....when all they did was drive it into the shop and go off to have lunch. I have had it happen to me twice and I caught them red handed the second time....NEVER happened again, I found a small mechanics shop to help me when I have a problem that I or my husband can't fix on our own.

Sadly, alot of places seem to try playing this game with women especially. I've caught a local dealer that has since gone out of business twice on my Mother-in-Laws cars. Once they "replaced" tie-rods, which when she again had them replaced 3 months later, somehow forgetting they had just been done, they were the factory tie-rods. Cute. Then she took it in cause it kept stalling, they suspected the harness running to the fuel pump, and actually ran a wire straight through the rear leather seat and put a fuse in it, and told her if it went out again, change the fuse and bring it back in. I took the car back to the dealer myself and almost lost my damn mind. They didn't give me too hard a time, but I think they had an idea of my general mood from the smoke rolling off the tires and brakes when I pulled up to their service door. :hissyfit:
 

400Magnum

Original poster
Member
Dec 23, 2011
49
That's inexcusable. These are supposed to be professional people. It's exactly behavior like this that makes people NOT want to go to a dealer, word does get around. At least the good news is that they eventually did go out of business. They've created this cloud of distrust for dealerships because of this exact reason. My wife refuses to deal with dealerships because she's been talked down to and treated like she was an idiot and pressured into doing repairs immediately or she was going to be in danger driving the vehicle, and she'd call me in tears not knowing what to do. I'd ask her what they told her was needed, and it'd be nothing. So, it became my job to do anything involving a dealer.

I'm not an idiot when it comes to this stuff. I'm a degreed mechanical engineer, I worked at GM powertrain for four years (I'm actually the guy that designed the intake manifold for our 4.2L sixes!), and I don't appreciate it when a dealership treats me, or anyone for that matter, like an imbecile. It's just not a good way to conduct business. Unfortunately I'm sure we can all relay horror stories about dealerships.
 

marshall@pcm

Member
Dec 6, 2011
260
400Magnum said:
If I don't see a noticeable difference, I'll contact you regarding getting it sent back and reprogrammed.

If you decide to send it back, you don't even have to contact me.

Ship it to the address below with a note in it containing your name and address. Tell us that you need it reflashed because the dealer put it back to stock. Also, purchase a return label and include it in the box. That way, when we're finished with it, we slap the label on it and get it right back out to you. :smile:

PCMforless
106 Performance Rd
Mooresville, NC 28166
 

DJones

Member
Jan 21, 2012
701
St. Petersburg, Florida
I've never had any problems with my local GM dealer. They do charge to diagnose the problem, but they never mind me leaving to fix it myself. I go there often to get wheel alignments done.

The Ford dealer on the other hand... problems, problems, problems.
 

400Magnum

Original poster
Member
Dec 23, 2011
49
marshall@pcm said:
If you decide to send it back, you don't even have to contact me.

Ship it to the address below with a note in it containing your name and address. Tell us that you need it reflashed because the dealer put it back to stock. Also, purchase a return label and include it in the box. That way, when we're finished with it, we slap the label on it and get it right back out to you. :smile:

PCMforless
106 Performance Rd
Mooresville, NC 28166

Thanks Marshall, you guys at PCM are top notch.:thumbsup: I appreciate this so much. Like I said, we're going to run through a couple tanks of gas just to get a real number for comparison sake, rather than rely on the arbitrary seat of the pants feel, just for some kind of real valid number comparison. But I have a feeling I will be sending it back for reflashing. Just for clarification, the change in fuel economy should be instantly noticed right? I mean, it doesn't take hundreds of miles of driving for stuff to sync up with the new ECM to get the fuel mileage improvements, does it?

It's just so frustrating that a dealer that claims to be so customer oriented can't follow simple instructions. I guess the next time I need something like this, I'm going to have to take my Envoy to the Ford dealer across the road, I've heard good things about them. It just seems kind of ridiculous to take a car that I bought at the GM dealer on one side of the road to the Ford dealer on the other side of the road.:crazy:

Thanks for all the input, I do appreciate it.
 

seanpooh

Member
Jan 24, 2012
461
marshall@pcm said:
For future reference for anyone reading this, just tell the dealer that you had to replace Crank Angle Sensor and you need the CASE relearn.

Also, if we programmed your PCM for you and the dealer somehow reflashes it, we will put it back on for free! You just cover the shipping both ways. :smile:

Wow, I never knew that. It's really good to know and great service on your part guys.

I haven't gotten the CASE relearn yet either. I did go to my local dealer and asked what the cost would be. Of course their reply was the same as the OP's dealer guy. I don't know what their deal is (no pun intended). They quoted me ~$80 after explaining that I replaced my crank angle sensor and I need the parameters relearned.

Never went through with it because of the fear of loosing my tune. But now I know PCM4Less has my back.
 

Joe

Member
Feb 18, 2012
3
You need to ask the GM dealer to run the "crankshaft variation learn" procedure. My dealer did it for $20.00. Takes all of 10 minutes, including hooking up and disconnecting the scanner.
 

Chickenhawk

Member
Dec 6, 2011
781
A lot of shops aren't even aware they can do CASE relearns because they get asked this so rarely. A shop that uses a GM Tech II can do them of course, but so can some Snap-On and most Genysis tools as well. Instead of asking for a CASE relearn when calling around to various independent shops, it might be more useful to describe that you changed the PCM and simply need the crankshaft angle variation relearned, as Joe just said. (I had it done here in Winnipeg in 2 minutes and happily paid them $35. They even did it twice for me because they wanted to show me how easy it was and for me to confirm for myself that it was done right.)

As for your situation, a dealer will routinely reflash a PCM just to be sure it has all the updates from the factory. It states that on the work order that you signed giving them permission to do so, so it is unlikely they will listen to your case as to why they should pay for the shipping.

But just think of rediscovering the joy of a good PCM4Less tune all over again when you get it back!
 

marshall@pcm

Member
Dec 6, 2011
260
400Magnum said:
Thanks Marshall, you guys at PCM are top notch.:thumbsup: I appreciate this so much. Like I said, we're going to run through a couple tanks of gas just to get a real number for comparison sake, rather than rely on the arbitrary seat of the pants feel, just for some kind of real valid number comparison. But I have a feeling I will be sending it back for reflashing. Just for clarification, the change in fuel economy should be instantly noticed right? I mean, it doesn't take hundreds of miles of driving for stuff to sync up with the new ECM to get the fuel mileage improvements, does it?

It's just so frustrating that a dealer that claims to be so customer oriented can't follow simple instructions. I guess the next time I need something like this, I'm going to have to take my Envoy to the Ford dealer across the road, I've heard good things about them. It just seems kind of ridiculous to take a car that I bought at the GM dealer on one side of the road to the Ford dealer on the other side of the road.:crazy:

Thanks for all the input, I do appreciate it.

No more than shipping is, I'd probably just go ahead and send it back to us... for peace of mind! :smile:
 

400Magnum

Original poster
Member
Dec 23, 2011
49
Joe said:
You need to ask the GM dealer to run the "crankshaft variation learn" procedure. My dealer did it for $20.00. Takes all of 10 minutes, including hooking up and disconnecting the scanner.

I have never heard it called that before, I'd always heard it called the CASE relearn or the crankshaft angle sensor relearn. Either way, I still had to explain the service that I wanted to the service writer, and had to explain it to him four or five times because he just didn't get it.

Chickenhawk said:
A lot of shops aren't even aware they can do CASE relearns because they get asked this so rarely. A shop that uses a GM Tech II can do them of course, but so can some Snap-On and most Genysis tools as well. Instead of asking for a CASE relearn when calling around to various independent shops, it might be more useful to describe that you changed the PCM and simply need the crankshaft angle variation relearned, as Joe just said. (I had it done here in Winnipeg in 2 minutes and happily paid them $35. They even did it twice for me because they wanted to show me how easy it was and for me to confirm for myself that it was done right.)

That's exactly what I did when I talked to the little shops around here, told them I had replaced the PCM and needed the CASE relearn (whereas the GM service rep had no idea what I wanted) and they all told me that GM had revoked their privileges for performing such activities. I knew they understood what I was looking for because they reiterated the service I needed back to me, to make sure that was what I was wanting. Trust me, these guys didn't want to lose business that they could do, they were desperately wanting to make some money. In the last two years, three of these indie shops have gone out of business, they just can't compete anymore, at least not around here they can't.

Chickenhawk said:
As for your situation, a dealer will routinely reflash a PCM just to be sure it has all the updates from the factory. It states that on the work order that you signed giving them permission to do so, so it is unlikely they will listen to your case as to why they should pay for the shipping.

I understand that I signed the work order to give them permission. As I said, my initial thought was that they would have to access the ECM to get the CASE relearn performed and set the parameters so in a sense, yes, they would have to reprogram the PCM. However, in my conversations with the service writer, I told him I did not want the ECM reflashed, all I wanted was the CASE relearn. When I specifically tell them what to do and what not to do, and they just didn't listen to me, that's what upsets me. If you take your vehicle someplace and they do work that you specifically told them not to do, and they end up breaking something in the process, would you be happy about it?

Anyway, it doesn't matter now. After running 3/4 of a tank thru the Envoy it's obvious that it's at the original tune. Honestly, if anything, it seems like the gas mileage is even worse than before, so I guess I'll be sending my PCM back for retuning. Live and learn, eh? The next time this happens, I'll just buy a Aeroforce Interceptor scan gauge and do it myself. For what it's cost me I could have done it myself for about the same money, and at least I'd have a cool gauge for my trouble!:thumbsup:
 

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