Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is VersaTune?

VersaTune started as a company founded by two Mazdaspeed6 owners who wanted to build a better tool to unlock the true potential of the Mazdaspeed MZR DISI 2.3l engine. As owners of Mazdaspeed vehicles and long time members of the Mazdaspeed community, we are dedicated to making the most of the platform. We have also used our knowledge to expand the list of supported platforms.

2. What is VersaTuner?

VersaTuner is a full-featured performance engine tuning software toolset. VersaTuner is the all-in-one tool for recording, analyzing, modifying, and monitoring your engine’s performance.

3. What vehicles does VersaTuner support?

VersaTuner currently supports these vehicles:

  • 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed6, Mazda 6 MPS or Mazdaspeed Atenza (all regions)
  • 2007-2013 (1st and 2nd generation) Mazdaspeed3, Mazda 3 MPS or Mazdaspeed Axela (all regions)
  • 2007-2013 (1st and 2nd generation) Mazda CX-7, turbocharged gasoline engine editions only
  • 2003-2011 (1st and 2nd generation) Mazda RX-8 (all regions)
  • 2012- Mazda CX-5 (all regions, 2.2l SkyActiv-D diesel engines only)
  • 2013- Mazda3 (all regions, 2.2l SkyActiv-D diesel engines only)
  • 2013- Mazda6 (all regions, 2.2l SkyActiv-D diesel engines only)
  • 2016- (4th generation, ND) Mazda MX-5 Miata (2.0l SkyActiv-G engine only)

4. Who can use VersaTuner?

VersaTuner will be useful to different types of users:

  • People who are new to engine performance tuning can use it to load pre-built maps onto their cars and enjoy increased performance. They will also be able to use maps obtained from fellow enthusiasts with similar modifications.
  • To those with some tuning experience VersaTuner provides an easy-to-use yet extremely powerful toolkit to guide them through the entire tuning process: starting with data logging, graphing and analysis functionality and ending with tuning tips and flexible map editing tools.
  • Hardcore enthusiasts will find features giving them serious control of the vehicle platform. VersaTuner makes it possible to edit more than 150 tables and constants, responsible for ECU operation, tune for loads up to 4.0 and up to 8000 RPM (only available for Mazdaspeed6/Mazda 6 MPS and 1st generation Mazdaspeed3/Mazda 3 MPS), disable certain self-tests, extend preset limits and accommodate modifications providing huge power, such as big turbos, large injectors, oversized intake parts and sensors, etc.

Intuitive interface and high usability of the software is one of our primary goals. No previous technical background is required - VersaTuner adapts to your skills and only provides relevant controls, resulting in a pleasant and effortless tuning experience.

5. What are the hardware and software requirements?

  • A Windows™ PC, laptop or tablet with a USB 2.0 port running Microsoft® Windows™ 7/8/8.1/10 32 or 64 bit
  • VersaLink USB Vehicle Interface or any other J2534 Pass-Thru device with version 04.04 DLL (DLL and driver are provided by the device manufacturer) for flashing
  • OBDLink LX, OBDLink MX or a generic ELM327 bluetooth OBD-II adapter for wireless data logging (optional)

Validated adapters are:

  • VersaLink USB Vehicle Interface (recommended)
  • Tactrix Open Port 2.0
  • Drew Tech Mongoose ISO/CAN, (Ford) VPW/CAN

Other adapters that are compliant with the standard, should work, but have not been tested.

IMPORTANT: Chinese Mini-VCI/MVCI J2534 interfaces (cables) are known to brick the ECU when flashing. Do NOT use them with VersaTuner!

6. How does it work? Is it safe?

VersaTuner is a Windows™ application, so it runs on regular computers and requires no fancy hardware apart from VersaLink USB Vehicle Interface (or another J2534 Pass-Thru device), used to talk to the car. It uses the same (SAE/ISO Standard) firmware upgrade method as official dealerships and the same hardware approved for use by third party service facilities to access the ECU (engine control unit). This method has been used by dealerships to update hundreds of thousands of ECU’s firmwares. It also has safeguard mechanisms to allow for a second reflash attempt in case of a failure.

VersaTuner uses the easily accessible datalink connector (also known as OBD-II port) located on or under your dashboard near the steering wheel to connect to the ECU. There are no wires to cut or splice, and you do not have to take your ECU out. The whole process can be carried out in your garage.

7. If VersaTuner is a software product, will I have to carry a laptop with me all the time?

No. A PC or laptop is only used while flashing a tune or logging live data. Once you have a tune that you are satisfied with, it is saved to the car and replaces the factory program. It stays on the car even after you disconnect your battery and until you replace it with another tune or return the vehicle to stock.

In data logging mode keyboard shortcuts and audible alerts are provided to keep distractions to a minimum. A compact netbook or tablet PC makes data logging even more comfortable.

8. How does VersaTuner compare to "piggy back" tuning solutions?

"Piggy back" tuning solutions intercept the sensor signals flowing to the ECU and alter them to trick the ECU into thinking that the current conditions are different than they really are. For example, when increasing the airflow sensor readings, "piggy backs" hope that the ECU will increase fuel flow. However, modern ECUs have sophisticated control algorithms and "fooling" them is challenging and often leads to suboptimal results.

In contrast, VersaTuner works on a different level. It directly modifies the logic that is contained in the ECU. The result is the same as if done by the manufacturer. The possibilities are only limited by mechanical constraints.

What is more, VersaTuner is compatible with all "piggy back" solutions, so if you have one that you like, but would like to remove certain ECU limitations, this is possible with the addition of VersaTuner.

9. Is VersaTuner compatible with other reflash-based solutions?

No, before you use VersaTuner, you will have to uninstall any 3rd party reflash-based solutions from your car. While VersaTuner is installed onto your vehicle, it will not be compatible with other reflash solutions. The dealer will not be able to upgrade your firmware either. However, upon uninstalling, the car will completely revert to stock state without any trace of VersaTuner. Uninstallation from the car only takes a minute and you don’t have to uninstall VersaTuner from your computer.

10. How many times can I flash my car?

The manufacturer’s minimum reflash count specification for Mazdaspeed ECUs is 100. However, in practice some users with similar hardware have had more than 1000 flashes without any side effects.

Most people will find a tune that works well with their vehicle after trying only a few maps.

11. Can VersaTuner be detected by emissions testing equipment?

No. A vehicle with VersaTuner installed looks completely stock to emissions testing equipment and allows for accurate measurements. However if you have your catalytic converter removed and/or your tuning results in violation of emissions requirements, this may be detected.

12. How do I go back to stock?

During the installation process, the original OEM flash image is backed up to your hard drive. When you decide to uninstall VersaTuner, the backed-up original calibration will be written to the ECU, thus returning it to stock.

13. Hey, this cable is in the way! What can I do about it?

The location of the OBD-II connector in the Mazdaspeed is a mixed blessing. It is easy to access for the type of diagnostics intended by the manufacturer. But, if you intend to drive the vehicle with VersaLink or another J2534 pass-thru adapter connected, you need to move the cable for safety's sake.

There are two options available. A right angle adapter cable is available from numerous sources, typically for under $20. This will substantially reduce the distance that the cable protrudes from the factory OBD-II connector. Search for a J1962M - J1962F right angle adapter.

The other option is to remove the factory OBD-II (J1962F) connector from it's mounting location. There are two tabs, one on each side of the connector, which when pressed in allow the connector to be backed out of the mounting bracket. Once removed it can be connected to the J2534 pass-thru device and safely tucked behind the center console. Be sure to secure and support the cable so it does not hang from the wires or come loose while driving.

Whichever solution you choose, be certain that the pedal assembly is unobstructed and that the cable is not able to become tangled around your feet. SAFETY FIRST !!

14. How is VersaTuner licensed?

VersaTuner is licensed per VIN code. A single license of VersaTuner will only install and operate on the vehicle with the matching VIN code. The VersaTuner Windows application can be installed on any number of computers, though. A VersaLink or different J2534 PassThru cable can be used on any number of vehicles.

Volume licensing for professional tuners will be available soon.

15. What do I get when I order VersaTuner?

Within 1 business day after your payment is processed, you will be provided with a personal download link for VersaTuner. Your version of VersaTuner will only work for the VIN you specified during the ordering process.

We don’t provide VersaTuner on CDs or DVDs, but your download link will always be available.

If your order includes a VersaLink USB Hardware Interface, it is normally shipped the next business day after your payment is processed. You will receive a separate email once it is dispatched. The package will include the interface with a USB cable and a driver CD. Depending on your location, VersaLink interfaces may be dispatched from our United States or European facilities, so you might have to pay import duties, depending on local regulations.

16. Can I resell my VersaTuner license to someone?

If you sell a car that has a VersaTuner license, you can transfer the license to the new owner free of charge. You should contact us and provide the contact data of the new owner. At this point it is not possible to transfer a VersaTuner license to a car with a different VIN apart from certain exceptions (when your car gets stolen or totaled).