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General Support and AFM/DFM Disabler
- QuestionWhy do I get a notice that OnStar Diagnostics Report didn't run?AnswerThe quick answer is - the OnStar report occurs once a month and it does not like ANYTHING (Progressive SnapShot, Range Module, DashHawk, DashBoss, etc.) plugged into the OBD2 port when it runs.
HOWEVER, the latest firmware (8.6+) has a more "stealthy" mode and is invisible, so it DOES NOT affect the OnStar report for most vehicles most of the time. HOWEVER, there may be a case where the Onstar hits the vehicle when running or driving, and at those times it MAY give an error.
The longer answer - OnStar runs diagnostics on the CAN bus at the same "address" as a diagnostic tool plugged into the OBD2 port (makes sense, right?) If something else is plugged into the port, it's like the address slot is already filled, so it can't run its diagnostics. (Same thing happens with the dealer Tech II and any other device).
This doesn't hurt anything, but it will complain that it can't run diagnostics ... it usually occurs the same time every month and if you want, you can just update your module to the latest firmware and it should be transparent from then on.Helpful?
- QuestionWhat do I do if I have to do an emissions test?AnswerAs with any device that plugs into the OBD2 port, you should REMOVE THE DEVICE AND DRIVE IT SEVERAL TIMES/MILES before taking it into the center for testing. This will force the vehicle to reset all the "OBD2 READINESS MONITORS" and to be prepared for the emissions testing (whether it be on the rollers or just an OBD2 "sniff" test).
The Range module doesn't affect emissions but because we take control of the AFM system, the vehicle may have an OBD2 Readiness monitor show "Not Ready" because it wasn't allowed to run (no V4 mode with the V8 module, for example). The easiest thing to do is just unplug the module and run the vehicle a couple of days without it to be absolutely sure that everything gets a chance to run.
Another good thing to do is top off your tank and drive 50-100 miles total before performing the test (this has nothing to do with the Range module). This allows the EVAP system to perform a proper "purge test" and pressure cycle, which will allow the EVAP OBD2 READINESS MONITOR to show "complete."Helpful?
- QuestionWill using Range affect my warranty?AnswerNO! That's the beauty (and the innovation) behind this technology.
It DOES NOT alter/reprogram/reflash ANYTHING in your vehicle's powertrain systems. It is ONLY active when plugged into the OBD II port and is its own standalone "mini powertrain controller". The module contains a powerful microprocessor and does all the "heavy lifting" to work in concert with the factory powertrain modules to alter the AFM operation.
It DOES NOT override any factory safety features (such as over-temperature protection, low oil pressure protection, diagnostic fault protection, etc.) It retains all the factory protections and works within the factory system limits.
When it is time for service or warranty work, simply unplug it from the connector and it is totally removed from the vehicle to allow the dealer service tools to be used.Helpful?
- QuestionWhat Version do I have?AnswerModules manufactured after mid-2015 (version 7.1 and later) will blink a distinctive light pattern when plugged in (or waking from sleep).
- First you'll see all of the LEDs cycle in sequence as it runs it's internal diagnostics and transitions to operational status.
- You'll see LED #4 (far left LED when plugged into the OBD2 port) BLINK the major Version number.
- You'll see LED #3 (2nd from the left LED) BLINK the minor Version number.
Version 8.1 would blink LED #4 EIGHT (8) times with a small pause and then LED #3 ONE (1) time for 8 point 1.
NOTE: You will NOT see this pattern on early modules (Version 7 and earlier) and if this is the case, you should send the module to us for updating.Helpful?
AFM/DFM Disabler FAQ's
- QuestionDoes the AFM Disabler affect Remote Start?AnswerThe AFM Disabler does NOT affect REMOTE START (and is "silent" until the engine is started). It WILL disable eAssist Start/Stop as a side benefit.Helpful?
- QuestionCan I use this module on different vehicles?AnswerThe module will work on any GM Active Fuel Management (AFM) equipped vehicle. It's not "locked" to a vehicle and you can move it between vehicles as needed.
One caveat, if you are using an early version of the module, you may need to return it to us to be updated to the latest version of firmware for the 2014/2015/2016 vehicles. It may work just fine, but if you encounter any SES lights on the vehicle, contact us for instructions on how to get your module updated. IT IS NOT NECESSARY FOR EARLIER YEARS.Helpful?
- QuestionWill This Fix my Oil Consumption Problem?AnswerWe have many reports from folks that tell us that the Range module not only improved drivability and made the vehicle more enjoyable to drive BUT it either greatly lessened or even stopped the oil consumption issue.
Naturally, these results will greatly depend on the CAUSE of the oil consumption. In a great many of these cases, it seems to be directly related to the AFM system being in V4. The oil tends to be splashed around on the top end of the motor components and over lubricates the valve seals and gets sucked into the PCV system when in V4 mode.
After a couple of thousand miles using the Range V8 module, being in V8 mode seems to prevent or reduce the oil splash on the valve guides/ PCV system and possible oil ring "gumming up" problems and help burn off deposits and free up the rings. This results in the oil consumption dropping to what most of us consider a more "normal" (i.e. a quart every 2-3K miles or better) instead of 800-1000 miles that some people are reporting.
Of course, that said, there's no magic here ... if there is mechanical damage such as scored cylinder walls, broken components or oil rings that have lost tension, bad valve guides, clogged PCV system, etc. then no electronic gizmo is going to fix that. Unfortunately, that means mechanical measures need to be taken to address the problem.
GM has a TSB that involved redesigned lifters and baffling in the valve covers to address this issue mechanically, but it involves significant engine work to implement and it's hard to get it performed on older vehicles without spending some serious $$$$. The Range V8 can be a cost-effective alternative to lessening the problem with a simple plug-in solution.Helpful?
- QuestionWill disabling AFM make my fuel economy worse?AnswerWe didn't test the Range V8 product for fuel economy, although we have received feedback from a number of our users. Anecdotally, our users are reporting a +1 mpg to -1 mpg range when using the Range V8. This will depend on driving style, conditions, etc. We encourage you to do your own fuel economy testing and let us know the results.
Some of the things that can affect fuel mileage:
- Obviously, driving style and conditions. If you do mostly highway driving and then have a period where most of your driving is in town, then you will see mileage drop (sometimes fairly dramatically). Additionally, if you happen to spend all of your driving time in the range where the factor AFM V4 mode is the most efficient (and the V8 disabler turns it off), you will see an additional hit to the mileage (usually around 1 mpg).
- Fuel type/formulation can affect mileage. Many parts of the country change additive and formulation depending on the season. Winter formulations usually contain more oxidizers and volatiles to aid in cold winter starting, which will hurt mileage (because of the reduced energy content).
- Outside weather conditions can affect mileage. Wind, rain, snow, cold temperatures can all affect how the engine management system manages the fuel and engine operation, sometimes cutting into fuel economy to maintain smooth operation.
- QuestionHow does Range disable AFM?AnswerFactory GM vehicles equipped with Active Fuel Management can disable AFM in a normal operating condition. Range uses factory messages sent over the CAN Bus to "tell" the ECU to stay in V8 mode. We do not trick the ECU with false signal readings. We disable at the source and your truck runs as it normally would in 8-cylinder mode.Helpful?
MDS Manager FAQ's
- QuestionDoes the MDS Manager reprogram or can it damage anything in the vehicle?AnswerThe MDS Manager is NOT a programmer and it does NOT permanently change anything in the vehicle's systems.
If you unplug the MDS Manager, the vehicle will revert to factory settings within about 5 seconds. If you plug the MDS Manager into a vehicle that is not supported, it will not operate as intended and will go into a "Fail Safe" mode, rendering it useless and harmless.Helpful?
- QuestionIs the MDS Manager locked to one vehicle?AnswerYou can safely move the MDS Manager between vehicles by simply unplugging and plugging into the next desired vehicle. It is smart enough to scan the new vehicle, determine the operating system, calibrations and adapt.
It is recommended that you be extra careful about the starting sequence on the first key ON/START after plugging in the MDS Manager, due it needing to scan the vehicle to get itself set up.Helpful?
- QuestionWhat happens if I rush the start sequence?AnswerIf you rush the start sequence and the MDS Manager doesn't get enough time to prepare the ECU, then it will alert you by flashing the BRIGHT HEADLIGHT INDICATOR ON THE DASH 5 times.
At that point, you can either ignore it and drive the vehicle normally but just be aware that the MDS will function normally (as per factory settings). If you want the MDS module to function (i.e. turn off MDS), then you need to turn the vehicle OFF, remove the key for 5 seconds and restart the vehicle being careful to allow the key "pauses".
As a note, the module is pretty tolerant of the key sequence, but it can be "surprised" if the key is turned too fast in some instances. It needs approximately 1 second to prepare the ECU for the MDS Management sequence.Helpful?
- QuestionBattery Draw?AnswerTesting has shown that the MDS manager has a very small battery draw when the vehicle is off and in "sleep" mode. This is because it needs a monitor running to catch when the vehicle is started. This small draw is not enough to adversely affect battery life or drain the battery unless left in place for an extended period of time (i.e. more than a week).
Our testing has shown that in the normal vehicle, it shouldn't affect vehicle starting for several weeks HOWEVER very cold or very hot weather can drastically reduce battery capacity, as well as any other accessories or modules in the vehicle that stay "awake" with the key off. Many security systems, aftermarket radios, plug in phone chargers and so on may also have a slight drain when not in use, so the best practice is to unplug the MDS Manager when you know the vehicle is going to be sitting without starting or driving for several days.Helpful?
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