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Base ECU Calibration: GM Service Programming System

LS-Series control modules are uniquely programmed for a specific vehicle based on a Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN. Through www.acdelcotds.com, GM service departments have online access to GM's Service Programming System (SPS2). The Service Programming System serves the purpose of retrieving the latest calibrations for all LS-Series equipped vehicles.

GM dealership service laptop with TIS2000 software, GM TECH 2 device, CANdi interface module, E38 ECM, T42 TCM, and BenchForce offboard programming system.

In the photo, left to right, you see an old GM dealership service laptop with TIS2000 software, GM TECH 2 device, CANdi interface module, E38 ECM, T42 TCM, and BenchForce offboard programming system. 

Prior to the online system, technicians relied on Windows PC based software called TIS2000 for service programming. This software (shown above) was often loaded on GM dealership Panasonic Toughbook laptops. In combination with a TECH 2 interface device, vehicle control modules can be replaced and/or reflashed with the latest GM calibrations. CAN bus control modules require an additional inline interface between the vehicle's OBD-II diagnostic connector and TECH 2. TIS2000 software supports all LS-Series modules through vehicle model year 2007. Being local software, and no longer supported by GM, TIS2000 can be used to establish the latest calibration for any LS-Series flash-based modules through 2007.

GM's online SPS2 system has replaced TIS2000 and offers support for LS-Series equipped vehicles through model year 2020. Requiring a GM TECH 2 interface, GM MDI interface, GM MDI2 interface, or other supported J2534 programming interface, SPS2 is the current standard for dealer-level service programming. GM has restricted the use of SPS2 to in-vehicle programming only. When connecting to a programmable module on the benchtop, SPS2 prompt the user that offboard programming has been detected and require a vehicle connection.

Why is service programming important? For stand-alone use in an LS swapped vehicle, the PCM or ECM must first contain a base calibration that best suits the equipment being used. A throttle system or transmission mismatch will be a show-stopper when you first start the LS swapped vehicle. While EFILive and HP Tuners workarounds exist for establishing a base calibration for Gen III LS-Series PCMs, this activity is not directly supported by EFILive and HP Tuners. Gen IV ECMs and TCMs require GM's Service Programming System to establish a new base calibration.

Service programming offers no custom calibration changes. Put simply, GM's SPS systems require a VIN to retrieve the latest GM calibration(s) offered for a chosen vehicle. To remove anti-theft, change electric fan on/off temperatures, adjust spark and fuel parameters, aftermarket tuning packages like EFILive Scan & Tune or HP Tuners VCM Suite are required.

EFILive FlashScan V3 see www.efilive.com
HP Tuners MPVI2+ see www.hptuners.com