Coding is fun

Auto Coding Workshop - How Much Does It Cost?

Good old coding. If you want to give your car a very personal touch, you can do it very easily with the technology available today. There are numerous possibilities. For example, you can buy a diagnostic device, install software and much more. But today we want to focus on something else. You can also have your car coded in the workshop. We have written everything you need to know about this for you in this article. Have fun!

So, car coding in the workshop - how much does it cost? Depending on how many changes you want to make, the price in the workshop also varies. Coding costs between € 30 and € 50. With 10 codings you can quickly get to 300 to 500 €. But this is only a rough guide, there are of course outliers depending on the workload. But it is also clear that coding in the workshop is a more convenient and time-saving way if you know what you want. You can find everything you need to know in the next few paragraphs.

But if you stay until the end, you will also get an alternative that not only saves money, but is also a lot of fun.

What is a coding?

Basically, one speaks of a coding whenever one changes a function or a feature on his car. To give an example, you can always leave your daytime running lights switched on, for example. The term coding casts a deceptive impression on the matter. By this we mean that when coding is not really the code in the vehicle's program, but much more can be selected from a list of options that are already available. So coding your car has nothing to do with programming. The possible codings for a car are therefore more or less specified by the manufacturers. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not enough.

How does coding work?

More technology than ever is built into our cars today. Miles of cables meander their way past the many challenges of modern cars. All of this technology needs to be monitored and controlled. There are so-called control units for this. We will now take a closer look at them so that you understand the meaning and functionality of a coding as well as possible.

So what are these control devices? These are small units in our cars that coordinate the function and work of individual components within our car. You essentially have 3 main tasks. On the one hand, they are responsible for processing and forwarding information. On the other hand, they also have the task of checking the processes within their unit and, last but not least, recording errors and reporting them if they occur. Let's look at a specific example:

The engine control unit is one of the most important control units in our car. Its function is the precise control of all functions relevant to engine operation. These include, for example, gasoline injection and ignition, or the regulation of turbochargers. In addition, the engine control unit receives requests via sensors, such as the position of the accelerator pedal, and prioritizes them. In addition to these indispensable functions, the engine control unit also makes an active contribution to safety: The engine control unit accesses safety systems such as anti-slip control (ASR) or ESP and thus increases your safety while driving.

All in all, countless such control units are built into every car, each with a different task and function. The exact number depends on the vehicle type, manufacturer and model, although luxury vehicles have built well over 100 units.

But let's get back to our coding. To keep it simple, let's not go into too much detail. That would go beyond the scope of this article and would be irrelevant. As we have already mentioned above, coding is not really something that is reprogrammed, but rather the options that the manufacturer “makes available” are used.

What can I code with myself?

Over the past few years, the number of options for coding your own car has grown significantly. Today we want to look at three ways you can code on your car yourself. We'll also talk about the pros and cons, and how much it would cost you compared to a workshop visit. At the end we also have a list of possible codings, but more on that later. So here are your options.

Coding with a diagnostic device

Our first point concerns diagnostic equipment. Anyone who has ever made themselves smart about coding will find an overwhelming number of offers for diagnostic devices on the Internet. The price spectrum ranges from a few euros to over a thousand euros. However, such expensive devices are not necessary for personal use. Diagnostic devices have the advantage that there is only a single device, which makes coding a bit easier. You connect the device using a cable, which you can find for a few euros on the Internet or maybe even in a local car dealer. This connects your diagnostic device to your car via the OBD-2 port. OBD stands for On Board Diagnostic and the 2 series stands for the second generation. You don't have to know more about it. Then you can get started.

Now we come to the disadvantages of diagnostic devices. These are excellent for reading out errors, but you will run into problems with them if you actually want to code something. This is due to their comparatively small size and the associated very small display. So these devices are not really suitable for today's topic, but they are great for finding errors and also erasing them. So if you only need something to get your control lights in the on-board display in order, you are in good hands with such a device.

Coding with software

The next two points bring us closer to coding by hand. When coding with software, you don't need an external device, but your laptop or notebook. Due to the boom in diagnostic devices, the number of software programs available has also increased in recent years. Find the software that suits you and then download it to your laptop.

Software offers far more functions than a diagnostic device. With it you can reprogram or reprogram error codes. You can look around for the best offer for you, as we cannot say in general what suits each individual and what you enjoy. What we can say is that with software you significantly increase your options in contrast to a diagnostic device and it may also be more pleasant to work on a larger screen.

But let us briefly come to a negative point about software programs. Since these are developed for your laptops, you have to have them with you if you want to code something. This is a little more impractical than with a diagnostic device, but compared to the new possibilities it is still a win. But if you only want to read out error codes, a diagnostic device is also ideal.

Coding by smartphone

Now, let's move on to our last chance to code a car. We built it up chronologically so that the best comes last. Since smartphones are increasingly finding their way into our daily lives, developers of diagnostic software have also come up with the idea of ​​making the whole thing accessible for your mobile phone. We at Carly go exactly this way. We'll tell you how to do it now.

In our case, you download the Carly app from the Play or App Store. Depending on your car brand, the app will cost you € 21 to € 80 per year. You don't have to take out a subscription directly, you can download the Carly Lite app beforehand. This is free and lets you see what options you have with Carly. In addition to these costs, there are also the costs for our Carly adapter. You can find it for € 59.90 on our website. So much for the cost. But you will be amazed how much we have packed into our app.

Let's get to the more obvious benefits. Almost everyone now has a smartphone that they use every day. So why not use the opportunity to code your car anywhere, anytime. And even if you prefer to do it at home one way or another, it's a very practical way to code your car.

You will also find other advantages in the app. Among other things, apps offer even more functions than computer programs. Again, it is difficult to make a general statement as to which functions are now only available in the app and which are not, but basically you have everything in the app that a software program would have.

A big plus for the smartphone app as opposed to software is the simple user interface. The app has a very simple structure, which makes it quick and easy to use. The whole thing is divided into several menus so that you can always quickly navigate between the available functions.

What can I code myself?

Yes, and what are the advantages of coding ourselves now? Well, several:

  1. You only have the purchase cost of 59.90 € for the adapter once. But now it is the case that Carly supports most of the common car manufacturers in Germany. You can also use this adapter for your second car if you have one. This divides the costs for the adapter by two, so when you visit the workshop you would always pay the same. So if you code more often or are not sure whether certain codes work as they should, you can try out as much as you want with Carly. So you are definitely cheaper in the long run.
  2. You get to know your car. With Carly you can read out and view every control unit in your car. If you read a little bit into the subject, you will quickly find yourself wanting to know more and more. You don't believe us? Try it out! You can also point out with expertise at the next workshop visit, or inquire if you do not fully understand something. Everything is possible. And you don't have to go to the workshop for every small error message, as you can delete them yourself.

Finally, we have a few examples of coding. A frequently missed feature is the headlights' coming home function. This function is often missed, especially in mid-size vehicles, precisely because it is so practical and looks really cool. But every car has headlights, so why not leave them on for a few seconds when you get home? Most of the time, this function is just not activated by the manufacturer, because every car has the basics for it.

Let's stay with the locking. Special parents with younger children will be familiar with this problem. On a hot summer day you drive with the window open and park your car. After getting out, you notice that the rear windows are still open. So instead of getting back in, turning on the ignition and opening the windows, you can do that with your key. It does not work? Coding is possible with a few clicks and the windows open.

Those were just two examples, but as you can see, coding your car is really useful. There are tons of other codings, but we just wanted to give you an idea. Depending on the manufacturer and model, you can choose between more or fewer functions. So that you get an overview of supported brands and models, you can visit our website or, as already mentioned, download the Carly Lite app. There we have a list for various manufacturers of what you can code for which model.

You will find that there are a number of possible encodings. Basically, you have pretty much the same options as in a workshop. Of course, it could also be that you can activate additional functions in your workshop, which will then probably require reprogramming of the code. However, there is really enough choice of functions in the Carly app. Well then, we hope you enjoy coding.