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A review and intro in the powerful AlfaOBD Software for diagnostics and configuration changes on your WK2 (and other FCA vehicles)

So I decided to give the AlfaOBD software a shot.

For those not aware, this is a software package for Windows or Android devices that allows you to run diagnostics on almost every module and electronic device in your FCA vehicle and change many options that before, only the dealer could do (for a charge).

There is another option (DiagFCA) as well and I have no idea if AlfaOBD is better or worse. I emailed some questions to both companies and never heard back from DiagFCA, but did from AlfaOBD, so that is what pushed me the way I went. I welcome feedback from those who have used DiagFCA to help others compare and contrast the two options.

Suggest, before attempting any of this be sure to skim through the instructions/help pdf on getting started.
ANDROID http://www.alfaobd.com/AlfaOBD_Android_Help.pdf
WINDOWS http://alfaobd.com/AlfaOBD_Help.pdf

You will need a compatible OBD interface. Check out the AlfaOBD page for more details and recommendations.
https://www.alfaobd.com


I tried both the new PLX Kiwi4 and a cheapo generic from Amazon that was on a lightning deal at the time (Vgate iCar Pro Bluetooth 4.0). Amazingly, I had MUCH better luck with the cheap VGate option!!! The Kiwi4 kept disconnecting randomly.


However, if I had it to do over I would just go with the one AlfaOBD recommends (OBDLink MX).
Because I did not have the recommended interface I wasn’t able to connect to a few of the modules and would need an additional adapter.


Also, for those of you with a 2018+
You will need a Security Gateway Bypass module, either the Zautomotive T-bypass, double or single bypass or equivalent.


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Honestly, I am blown away with what all you can access with this thing.

Essentially right out of the gate, even with just the cheap OBD interface and software you can access any module in your vehicle that works on the main Can Bus. You can check for and clear trouble codes, run diagnostics and where applicable, change features.

For example, I was able to connect to the lighting system and found that I have had an intermittent error with the left headlight auto leveling system. Because it had not happened enough times (yet) it was not showing any trouble codes in the EVIC, but I was still able to see the error code in the lighting module itself.

I then proceeded to test the auto leveling system through the software and when I was satisfied that it does not appear it will be an ongoing issue, I cleared the code in the lighting module….

Most modules include a long list of tests as well from activating lights, to turning on / off pumps or relays, just about any test you can think of… I spent a lot more time sitting there with an android tablet activating random lights than I probably should admit but it was kind of fun to just click a button and watch a single light activate or a headlight washer spray…. :lol:

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Most of what you will want access to will be either the ECU, TCM or BCM. ECU/ TCM for main drive related codes and diagnosing and BCM for 95% of the options you may want to change.

A few items will be in other modules, for example:

- Radio Hub for programming additional Key Fobs or relearning TPMS sensors (Require 4 digit code from dealer)

- Instrument cluster – Disable Seat Belt Warning Chime (although you can do this without any software, but if not already done, it’s a quick and easy change through AlfaOBD as well).

But I spent most of the time in the BCM / Body Control Module.

What you can adjust may vary some by year, but a few of the items that I thought people on the forum may find interesting…

• Disable Travel Link
• Disable DRL dropout with blinker
• Change tail light function to euro (amber blinker)
• Change Tire Size
• Update Tire Pressure (TPMS) thresholds
• Enable factory rear fog lights
• Disable active noise cancelling (for those adding an aftermarket sub)
• Roll front windows down with the key fob
• Change access to SRT / off road pages
• Enable paddle shifters
• Enable power fold mirrors
• Enable fog lights
• Enable tow package
• Fog lights remain on with high beams
• Enable HIDs
• Enable led usage (without the need of resistors)
• Change the number of wipes after releasing windshield washer spray
• Adjust noise cancelling sensitivity / harmonics
• Enable puddle lamps
• Change the brightness of head / tail lamps for illuminated approach
• Disable panic button on key fobs
• Adjust brightness of DRL (appears to not work on led DRL, assuming its for those using halogens)
• Adjust auto headlights on / off thresholds
• Change the length of spray for headlight washers
• Change how often the headlight washers activate
• Change calibration for fuel tank level sensor (what % = full, what % does the low fuel warning activate)
• Activate factory vehicle theft alarm
• Monitor the hood with vehicle theft alarm
• Display compass heading in EVIC
• Enable auto high beams
• Enable auto dimming mirrors
• Change dual zone air conditioner system to a single zone
• Enable / disable DRLs, change the lights used
• Add rearview camera
• And much more!

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I did find it strange that even though my GC came with the Theft Alarm system active, it was NOT set to monitor if the hood popped. But it does now!

Remember, this just activates it, if the function requires additional hardware, it will have to be installed as well…. (such as rear fog lights, auto fold mirrors, auto high beams, remote start, add paddle shifters or tow package wiring, etc).

This just keeps you from having to go to the dealer to get it “activated”….


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The above is just a list that I thought others may find interest in, for me, I only needed a few things but I can confirm the following work as I expected:

• DRL Dropout Disabled
• Front windows down with Key Fob
• LED Reverse / Brake / Turn Signals
• Disable Fog Lights Dropout
• Enable Hood Monitor with Vehicle Theft System (VTA)
• Disable Travel Link


I do plan to use it to activate the power folding mirrors as well (as soon as I get around to buying the hardware).

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I have attached the complete list of options as were seen in my BCM module. Again, not all of these items will work for a JGC as they use the same BCM on multiple vehicles and again, the options can change by year as well…

Oh, and another important note, the system does not have a “Return to stock” option!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Take note of everything you change. Its also a good idea to limit how many changes you make at a time and test them before moving on just to be safe.

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For those who go the android app path, you can also upload all your settings and information from the various modules directly to Google drive. This is how I exported the attached list. It makes it a lot easier to find changes made and put it back if needed.

“To upload your System ID information (BCM) go to the "Tools" icon in the upper right corner. From there select "Upload to Google Drive", it will ask you to link to Google Drive. Link your Google Drive to Alfa. Select "Upload to Google Drive" and "Upload Faults and Status Log". Then select "Body_Chrysler_Info". Name the file to upload whatever you wish. Done! Now you can go to your Google Drive and read the system info a little easier.”

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Another great resource for research and learning on this system and known working changes is over on Ram forums:

AlfaOBD

They did some great intro / walkthroughs as well

Android Getting Started

Windows Getting Started


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Hope this is useful to others and hope you have as much fun as I did.

Warning though, any changes you do at your own risk! I only tested a few items so far myself but reading through the Ram forum you will find a mixed bag of some working, and others not, and occasionally the change having adverse effects.

For example, CAN you reprogram the BCM to think you are driving an SRT even when you aren’t? Yes, yes you can. Will you get performance pages and other items you did not have before? Yep. Will EVERY function (such as drive modes) work? Nope.

Every adverse effect I have seen you can fix by just flipping the option back but still, if you are not comfortable exploring new paths, you may want to stick with other options.

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Thanks all, and please, anyone who does try new features, post up here with the results so those who ARENT comfortable blazing a new path can follow in your footsteps!!!
hey bro can u help me with my bcm i change the bcm and now i have the abs light on cant do abs initialization can u help me please ?
i see u have a jeep srt8 i have the same jeep can u pull the bcm file please so i can restore all the setting thansk in advance
 

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Can anyone tell me if changes made with AlphaOBD are stored in long term memory files or logs. For instance if I change tire size will it be resident in memory somewhere? I now have two sets of wheels and tires. I would like to run one set only about 3 months a year and this is a larger tire and the other set when weather is better and I am towing my travel trailer and that is the stock size.
 

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Procharged 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, 5.7 Hemi
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Can anyone tell me if changes made with AlphaOBD are stored in long term memory files or logs. For instance if I change tire size will it be resident in memory somewhere? I now have two sets of wheels and tires. I would like to run one set only about 3 months a year and this is a larger tire and the other set when weather is better and I am towing my travel trailer and that is the stock size.
Yes, it is in a hidden folder of you Android.

If you save the file for the BCM, from AlfaOBD, and send it to your Google Drive, you will list all of the changes made.

Oldest to newest from the top to bottom. The data will be there, you'll just have to manually input the new values.

There is no way to back up and restore with AlfaOBD.
 

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I tried to e-mail AlfaOBD staff but no response. Is there a setting to have the turn signals not illuminate as "parking lights" when headlights are on? I just want them to illuminate as turn signals, hazard lights, and when the lighting knob is set to parking lights. Not when headlights are on. Thanks.
 

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I tried to e-mail AlfaOBD staff but no response. Is there a setting to have the turn signals not illuminate as "parking lights" when headlights are on? I just want them to illuminate as turn signals, hazard lights, and when the lighting knob is set to parking lights. Not when headlights are on. Thanks.
You would have to run them, off a relay.

Alfa won't do that.
 

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I was messing around with some setting today on my Jeep with AlphaOBD and noticed that at the bottom of the Select procedure to start there is the option to:
1. Backup Vehicle Configuration to file
2. Restore Vehicle Configuration from file.

Has anyone used these before? Will these allow the car to be put back into a known good state?
Font Parallel Number Pattern Screenshot
 

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I was messing around with some setting today on my Jeep with AlphaOBD and noticed that at the bottom of the Select procedure to start there is the option to:
1. Backup Vehicle Configuration to file
2. Restore Vehicle Configuration from file.

Has anyone used these before? Will these allow the car to be put back into a known good state?
View attachment 238877
Yes, that’s new for the recent update. It does work, it’ll reconfigure the BCM settings to the way they are on the backup file.
 

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Procharged 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, 5.7 Hemi
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I was messing around with some setting today on my Jeep with AlphaOBD and noticed that at the bottom of the Select procedure to start there is the option to:
1. Backup Vehicle Configuration to file
2. Restore Vehicle Configuration from file.

Has anyone used these before? Will these allow the car to be put back into a known good state?
I have NOT seen that before. (y)

I will be using the backup feature tomorrow, just to see what it dose for me.
 

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Looking to pick up AlphaOBD. Are most of you using it on a phone/tablet or, laptop? I'm thinking laptop with USB. Is it easier or, more confusing on a small screen vs laptop?
 

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Looking to pick up AlphaOBD. Are most of you using it on a phone/tablet or, laptop? I'm thinking laptop with USB. Is it easier or, more confusing on a small screen vs laptop?
I prefer the laptop version, for a couple of reasons:
  • I have an iPhone - though I do have an Android tablet that I could use
  • I had the exact same concern as you - that it will be less convenient to navigate settings on the phone app
 

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I prefer the laptop version, for a couple of reasons:
  • I have an iPhone - though I do have an Android tablet that I could use
  • I had the exact same concern as you - that it will be less convenient to navigate settings on the phone app
I planned to use my old tablet but it was too slow. Size isn't an issue with a cheap android phone then you can also get Torque Pro and monitor things live with your phone.

At another member's suggestion I purchased a veepeak bluetooth adapter for less than $25. I didn't find anything it couldn't do yet. I can't think of a reason to use USB over bluetooth.
 

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I use a fusion 5 windows tablet, it also works with my powergate flash tuner.

Sometimes the keyboard on the touchscreen covers what you want to see, but an update external keyboard would fix that.

Some of the screenshots I have seen from people using android version look better than the PC version. Perhaps the GUI on the android app is more intuitive than than the GUI on PC.

I too wish these apps were apple friendly. The Jeep is the only thing I currently need the tablet for.
 

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I'm sure this has been asked but, is the OBDLink MX+ prefered over the LX? Is the MX+ needed to ge to the meat and potatoes of what Alpha can do?
The OBDLink MX+ is the top of the line adapters. It has very few issues connecting your Android to your vehicle.

I have used several different diagnostic apps with my Android connecting to my vehicles using the OBDLink MX+ and have never had any connectivity issues.
 

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The OBDLink MX+ is the top of the line adapters. It has very few issues connecting your Android to your vehicle.

I have used several different diagnostic apps with my Android connecting to my vehicles using the OBDLink MX+ and have never had any connectivity issues.
Appreciate the feedback.
 
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