Frequently Asked Questions

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. The company has since grown to support a large number of Mazda models and engines and now serves thousands of satisfied customers around the globe. VersaTuner tuning software as well as all our prebuilt tunes and custom ECU features have been designed and developed exclusively by us and we are proud to have more than a decade of experience tuning Mazda vehicles.

What is VersaTuner?

VersaTuner is a Windows software application that allows regular people and professionals to tune the performance of Mazda vehicles. VersaTuner is the all-in-one tool for recording, analyzing, modifying, and monitoring your engine’s performance.

What vehicles does VersaTuner support?

A list of all supported Mazda models and their engines can be found on this page.

If you get a message that your ECU is not supported when you first try to install VersaTuner to your car, but your car is in the list above, don't worry. There is a huge number of different ECU versions used for each supported model and while we support most of them out of the box, some may be new to us. Just contact us, we will add support for your ECU version and send you an update, usually within one business day.

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 tunes/maps obtained from e-tuners or 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.

What are the hardware and software requirements?

  • A Windows™ PC, laptop or tablet running Microsoft® Windows™ 7/8/8.1/10/11 (32 or 64 bit)
    MacOS, iOS and Android are NOT supported
  • A compatible wired or wireless vehicle interface to connect the computer to the OBD-II port of the car

Compatible wired vehicle interfaces:

  • OBDLink SX (recommended)
  • OBDLink EX
  • Tactrix OpenPort 2.0
  • VersaLink USB Vehicle Interface
  • Any other interface that implements the SAE J2534 Pass-Thru standard

Compatible wireless vehicle interfaces:

  • OBDLink LX
  • OBDLink MX+
  • ELM327 Bluetooth OBD-II adapters for low speed data logging only (no reflash capability)

Wireless connections are generally less reliable. We recommend having a wired vehicle interface as a backup.

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

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 the vehicle interface (cable/adapter) used to talk to the car. It uses the same (SAE/ISO Standard) firmware upgrade method as official dealerships. 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 recovery 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.

Once a reflash is complete, the original factory tune has been replaced and the vehicle interface can be disconnected.

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 Windows laptop or tablet makes data logging even more comfortable.

How does VersaTuner compare to "piggy back" tuning solutions and tuning boxes?

"Piggy back" tuning solutions (also known as "tuning boxes") are always connected to the the car wiring and intercept the sensor signals flowing to the ECU. They alter those signals 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 program 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. Once an ECU is reflashed, you don't need to have anything connected and there is no need to mess with the wiring.

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.

Is VersaTuner compatible with other reflash-based solutions?

No, VersaTuner cannot be combined with another tune. VersaTuner completely replaces the program on the ECU when it is installed. If a 3rd party tune has locked the ECU, you will need to remove it before installing VersaTuner. VersaTuner can remove some 3rd party tunes automatically, please contact us for details.

How many times can I flash my car?

The manufacturer’s minimum reflash count specification for Mazda ECUs is 100. However, in practice some users 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.

How will VersaTuner affect my warranty?

The dealership has the technical means to detect an ECU reflash, which would void the powertrain warranty. It is recommended to return the ECU back to stock before service visits. However, the latest Mazda ECUs keep a history of reflashes, so even returning to stock is not guaranteed to prevent detection of an aftermarket tune. In practice, we have not heard of any cases of denied warranty due to a reflash among our customers.

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. If an original backup is not available, VersaTuner has built in official factory tunes for all supported models and will offer to flash one instead.

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

The location of the OBD-II connector in certain Mazda models can pose a safety risk if the vehicle is driven with a vehicle interface (cable) connected to it. There are two options to move the cable. 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 vehicle interface 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 !!

How is VersaTuner licensed?

VersaTuner Personal is offered in 3 edition:

  • VersaTuner Free allows data logging and reading/clearing of DTCs. It works with all supported models and is not locked to a VIN.
  • VersaTuner Lite includes all features of VersaTuner Free, but additionally allows flashing prebuilt (OTS) tunes from our database or tunes built by our authorized professional tuning partners. You can only flash tunes to a single vehicle with the VIN code specified when purchasing.
  • VersaTuner full version includes all features of VersaTuner Free and Lite and additionally includes a full-fledged tune editor that allows access to all relevant tables and constants that govern the ECU operation. You can only flash tunes to a single vehicle with the VIN code specified when purchasing.

VersaTuner Lite/Full Windows application can be installed and activated on up to 5 computers. The vehicle interface (cable/adapter) is not locked to the license and can be used on any number of vehicles.

If you run a tuning business and are looking for a cost-effective way to tune multiple vehicles, please contact us for details about VersaTuner Professional.

What do I get when I order VersaTuner?

An account will be created for you as part of the order process. As soon as your payment is received, you will be able to access your download link and find your activation key on this page.

Your version of VersaTuner will only be able to reflash the car with the VIN you specified during the ordering process, however, data logging and DTC operations work with all supported models.

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

We do not sell vehicle interfaces (cables/adapters). You will need to purchase one separately.

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 can do that by clicking "Transfer License" on this page: https://www.versatuner.com/licenses

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 in an accident).

Can I upgrade my VersaTuner license or add additional vehicles to it?

VersaTuner Lite can be upgraded to VersaTuner Full version. The upgrade costs $150 USD if you upgrade within 30 days from the data of original purchase and $179 afterwards. Click here to upgrade.

Additional vehicles (VINs) can be added to a VersaTuner Lite license for $199/each and to a VersaTuner Full license for $299/each.

To get the discounted price, all cars need to be registered to the same owner/family. If you wish to purchase additional VINs, please contact us.

If you are a pro tuner/e-tuner and need to tune multiple vehicles, you can sign up for a VersaTuner Professional subscription. Please contact us for details.