Protune vs. Cobb Access port
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This is a discussion on Protune vs. Cobb Access port within the Tuning: Electronic Engine Management forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Question on protune vs. cobb access port. I had a cobb access port but I'm thinking about getting a protune. ...

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    Protune vs. Cobb Access port

    Question on protune vs. cobb access port.

    I had a cobb access port but I'm thinking about getting a protune.

    If I go with a protune, will I be able to reflash my ecu to stock if I need to visit my Subaru dealership? Similar to the cobb access port option to remove the AP.

    Or do I need to visit my protune shop to reflash to stock ecu?

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    If you have an AP they just build you a custom map. So you have all the functionality you normally would with the AP. Flash back to stock, trouble code scanning etc.

    If you decide to get "protuned" with another software package, (ECUtek for example) then no you cannot.


    Personally my tuner just built me a custom AP map for my protune. Simple easy and complete ability to change to a different map or stock at anytime.
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    thanks for the info. protune, here i come.

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    sorry if this is hijacking the thread but, would you say then that it is better to buy an AP instead of just getting it protuned? I mean i believe its about 700 dollars verses I think 200. In other words, what would Jesus do? AP or tune alone?

    thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deli pastrami
    sorry if this is hijacking the thread but, would you say then that it is better to buy an AP instead of just getting it protuned? I mean i believe its about 700 dollars verses I think 200. In other words, what would Jesus do? AP or tune alone?

    thanks.
    A Protune will run you $300-400, depending on the shop. If you can find a shop that does open-source tuning, you don't need to spend the money on an AP. Otherwise, they'll modify your AP map (so you'll need one).

    A Protune is superior to an OTS tune (e.g., Cobb), because it is mapped specifically to your car. It will have a smoother power curve, and more power overall. Go with the Protune...
    Last edited by EJ257; 01-02-2011 at 10:59 AM.
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    i love you. simple, to the point response. exactly what i was looking for. A part of me always resented having to save up 700 bucks. I can live without the ability to roll back to stock map if it indeed is that much more effecient than an ots. Pro tune it is.

    But im still alittle confused. This means I *must* find an open source tuning shop if I opt not to buy an AP? I mean I know of a shop like 15 minutes from my house but they use Turbo XS and such, does that mean I need their system? I was under the impression that they have all they need to directly modify my ecu with or without a personal ecu modifyer like AP or turboXS
    Last edited by deli pastrami; 03-24-2008 at 09:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deli pastrami View Post
    i love you. simple, to the point response. exactly what i was looking for. A part of me always resented having to save up 700 bucks. I can live without the ability to roll back to stock map if it indeed is that much more effecient than an ots. Pro tune it is.

    But im still little confused. This means I *must* find an open source tuning shop if I opt not to buy an AP? I mean I know of a shop like 15 minutes from my house but they use Turbo XS and such, does that mean I need their system? I was under the impression that they have all they need to directly modify my ecu with or without a personal ecu modifyer like AP or turboXS
    is your car a daily driver, or a weekend car? if a daily driver, you might want to consider cobb AP, so you can switch maps for road trips where fuel economy is needed. gas is expected to go over $4 a gallon this summer so premium could go as high as $4.50, and it is an election year, so prices will go high then back down before the election in Nov, then back up after. i love my cobb AP with my protune, worth every cent!

    to answer your question, different shops do different things. cobb has protuners all over the country, as does UTEC. i'm pretty sure you'll need certain shops that specialize in reflashing stock ecus. my cobb protuner doesn't do reflashes on stock ecus. there has to be some type of engine management system; like a standalone system, or a piggyback, so he can dyno tune. start researching tuners near you, and just e-mail them/call them and see if they do stock ecu reflashes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deli pastrami
    i love you. simple, to the point response. exactly what i was looking for. A part of me always resented having to save up 700 bucks. I can live without the ability to roll back to stock map if it indeed is that much more effecient than an ots. Pro tune it is.

    But im still alittle confused. This means I *must* find an open source tuning shop if I opt not to buy an AP? I mean I know of a shop like 15 minutes from my house but they use Turbo XS and such, does that mean I need their system? I was under the impression that they have all they need to directly modify my ecu with or without a personal ecu modifyer like AP or turboXS
    You want a shop that has experience with both the car and the method of tuning you're going to be doing (you don't want your car to be their guinea pig). Call around to all the shops, and ask what kinds of tuning they do. Ask specifically about open-source.

    Best of luck.
    Last edited by EJ257; 01-02-2011 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Dom no longer does e-mail tunes
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    wow this guy looks great. Thanks for the link. I'm afraid i would be forced to use his internet tuning service because Im on the opposite coast. Bleh. All-in-all what do you think the total price would be? (tactrix cable too)

    I estimated 60 dollars service, plus the 91 for this:
    http://www.tactrix.com/product_info....1d0966686be076

    Is that one right? I have a 07 wrx.

    Also what "necessary software" ?
    Last edited by deli pastrami; 03-25-2008 at 11:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deli pastrami
    wow this guy looks great. Thanks for the link. I'm afraid i would be forced to use his internet tuning service because Im on the opposite coast. Bleh. All-in-all what do you think the total price would be? (tactrix cable too)

    I estimated 60 dollars service, plus the 91 for this:
    http://www.tactrix.com/product_info....1d0966686be076

    Is that one right? I have a 07 wrx.

    Also what "necessary software" ?
    As I said, try to find a local Subaru owner who has done open-source tuning. They'll have all necessary cables, software, etc. Buy them lunch/dinner/beer, and they'll do everything for you.
    Last edited by EJ257; 01-02-2011 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Dom no longer does e-mail tunes
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    Is it possible to reflash to stock later on down the road if you need to bring your car into the dealership for something? And I assume the advantage of having the cobb or perrin ap is I can changing the map for my daily driving?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laffusillybare View Post
    Is it possible to reflash to stock later on down the road if you need to bring your car into the dealership for something? And I assume the advantage of having the cobb or perrin ap is I can changing the map for my daily driving?
    you can always flash back to stock with the AP but you can not hide an aftermarket exhaust from the dealership and if they see an aftermarket exhaust they will not cover you....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laffusillybare
    Is it possible to reflash to stock later on down the road if you need to bring your car into the dealership for something? And I assume the advantage of having the cobb or perrin ap is I can changing the map for my daily driving?
    You can download your stock map to your computer and flash back to stock just the same with a tactrix
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    So just to reiterate the only advantage for someone to buy the perrin or cobb ap is so that we can change maps while driving which you'd probably wanna do if your gonna use your car as a daily driver?

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laffusillybare View Post
    So just to reiterate the only advantage for someone to buy the perrin or cobb ap is so that we can change maps while driving which you'd probably wanna do if your gonna use your car as a daily driver?
    \

    Not exactly.

    The Great Cobb AP vs Open Source debate has occurred several times here. I see the need for both, which is why both are doing very well.

    Benefits of AP:

    1. Plug and play, Caveman with 0 tuning knowledge could do it.
    2. Supported by a huge company with a good rep. Simply, you have a problem, givem a call and its taken care of. Same on the vendors end.
    3. They have a rather large vendor network. Means products are available, tech support through vendors.
    4. Tuning support. Since the AP is a licensed product, vendors stand to make $$$ (and have recourse if something goes wrong) thus more offer tuning/protuning/dyno tuning services with it.
    5. Constant updates. More and more functionality and car models are added to the AP all the time.
    6. Functionality. It reads codes, resets ecu, flashes maps, real time data/gauges, maps, estimates performance, has a whole slew of other goodies, slices,dices, etc.
    7. Lots of dealerships carry it. This helps on the warranty front, because my local dealer is a cobb dealer. If I buy the AP and mods through them and have installed, they will honor my warranty. (SOA may not, but they will I asked)
    8. Built in flash safety mechanism and low voltage mechanism. Very hard to ruin your computer.

    Cons:

    1. Price. Its fixed at $695.
    2. Can only use it one 1 car, its "married"
    3. Until the new ST comes out, you have to rely on a vendor for a custom map (at $300-$400).
    4. no data logging

    Total price for a protune (just EM wise) $995-$1095.

    Open Source w/ tactrix cable

    benefits:


    1. Can use on more than one car.
    2. Can build as many maps as you want via your lap top.
    3. Can data log.
    4. Functionality is computer ECU and software limited essentially not harware limited.
    5. can get a protune
    6. If you own a laptop, it is relatively inexpensive $95.

    Cons:

    1. Not so easy a caveman can do it. If you improperly save your "rom" file or in the wrong format you are screwed.
    2. Supported only by online community or other OS users. No one to scream at, beg for support etc on a corporate level. Basically its on you.
    3. No built in low voltage safety or other safetys. You can ruin your comp, it has happened.
    4. Requires a laptop. If you don't have one, you are in APV2 territory.
    5. Requires multiple programs. one to flash, one to read, do the hokie pokie turn yourself around.
    6. Requires you have an inkling on tuning knowledge. If you have no clue how a internal combustion engine operates this option might not be for you.
    7. Not licensed so a lot of tuners don't support. A lot of tuners don;t like it not because that can't charge $$$ to tune, but because they assume a lot of liability when tuning with it without recourse. No one to turn to.



    Price for protune. $95 (if you own a laptop) + $300 dyno= $395. No laptop = $395+(~$500-~$1000)=$895-$1395 for protune

    When to go AP:

    --I want instant gratification and don't want to do any tuning research, buy it, plug it in, hit a button, done.
    --I want a Cobb vendor in my area to do a protune
    --I like the look of cool flashy devices I can mount in cab for display.


    Go OS when:

    ---I want to tune my car, Me.
    --I have a laptop and am a computer savy person.
    --I can afford to take time to troubleshoot items, this isn't my only car.
    --Cobb doesn't make a map relatively close to my application, its gonna take 3 weeks to tune and I can't afford to pay someone $100 a hour to tune it.
    --My dyno tuner is not a Cobb vendor.
    Last edited by 06wrx4me; 04-11-2008 at 09:18 AM.
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