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Basic Tutorial on Tuning With Alientech Kess V2

So many People go out and buy a tool with no idea how to use one, and they don’t come with instructions, so I thought I’d do a simple walk through.

Where do I start?

Lets assume you have already carried out a health check and checked for any DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Codes).

First of all you are going to need to connect a good battery stabilsation unit up to the vehicle, see my page why use battery support , most modern vehicles have posts that you connect the crocodile clips to, if your vehicle doesn’t then do not connect the earth to the battery earth if it can be avoided.
Modern vehicles have all sorts of clever stuff going on that can be very temperamental such as smart charging and so on, so don’t just be gung ho clipping to the battery posts without double-checking that the manufacturer has not provided dedicated points. 

Ensure that your laptop battery is fully charged and ideally with power connected, place the laptop in a place that it will not be disturbed duing the process,  you will also require a stable internet access as the tool will not work without one, ideally connected to wifi, a mobile hotspot or as a last resort a mobile phone hotspot.
A tip on laptops is to use a dedicated laptop purely for tuning purposes, ensure that any automatic updates are disabled and that it’s not possible to accidentally power it off and that it’s set never to go to sleep.

You will of already located the OBD socket during the diagnostic stage, this is usually under the steering wheel above the pedals, but many of the French manufacturers have a habit of putting them in weird and wonderful places, often hidden behind facia that may need removing.

Now for the fun stuff!

Plug in the Kess OBD plug into the vehicles OBD socket, then connect the USB end into the laptop, then open Alientech Ksuite. You will be confronted with a screen where to the left you will see a Kess symbol with Ktag below, if all is connected properly there will be a red ring around the Kess symbol, assuming there is then click your mouse on it. Remember Kess runs on very old hardware technology, don’t get frustrated and let it take it’s time, the next screen is self explanatory and click on the red car.

You will then be confronted with a vehicle list, the main purpose of this screen is to narrow down the ECU in the vehicle and then to identify what communication protocol should be used and also what OBD cable is required, it also shows if it can read, read with a patch or carry out a VR read, once you are happy with your selection press the green button on the bottom right of the screen, and now it gets exciting.

IMPORTANT – On the bottom right of the screen there is a booklet, this contains the instructions along with any warnings you should be aware of, never shortcut viewing this.

Check the voltage and ID the ECU to confirm you have chosen the correct protocol and that you can communicate, assuming you have it’s good practice to save the ID to your desktop under the registration number of the vehicle. Double check that voltage, 13.5v would be nice, but anywhere between 12.5v and 14.2v will be fine as long as your battery support unit has enough amps to support any fans should they come on. Now is the time to carry out the read, this is vehicle dependant and can take anywhere between 5 mins to 90 mins and save to your desktop.

As you’re reading this I’m going to assume you have a slave and not a master Kess, so save the naming of the file as your master has requested and send it off for tuning, this is usually anywhere from 20 mins to an hour depending on complexity and how busy the tuners are.

Once you have the file back it’s time to write the new file, double check connections, laptop battery levels, voltage going to the ECU and that no one is around the vehicle or could open a door for instance during the writing process, take no chances, during the writing process vehicle fans may come on as may various error messages, this is normal but may be alarming, once completed follow the onscreen instructions.

Finally disconnect everything, shut bonnet and doors, lock the vehicle up and let all the control units go to sleep for 10 minutes, start vehicle 4 times to confirm checksums have been done and then using a good all systems diagnostic tool remove the trail of errors left, and finally test drive.

Obvioulsy this is a super simplistic tutorial and only covers the very basic functions of using the Alientech Kess, I hope it’s been useful insight, as although it’s not complicated I’m sure some people think you just plug it in and off you go.

 

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