Many people who are interested in cars are also interested in modifying their cars. While our immediate reaction to modifying a car might be to think about adding a spoiler, body kits, new tires, etc., there are far more inventive ways of modifying a car than that! One such method is through coding.
If you haven’t heard of coding outside of the realm of computer programming, you aren’t actually that far off. Car coding refers to modifying a vehicle’s software, not just its mechanical components.
This handy article will cover what Porsche coding is, when and where it has been or will be possible, its pros and cons, and what you need to get started! Let’s dive right in with the basics.
What is Porsche coding?
Porsche coding refers to modifying the operating software of your vehicle. This could be the software that controls the ECU, or it could be as simple as altering the onboard navigation computer, sound system, or any other electronic gadget/component accessible on the dashboard.
A good example is people altering the onboard media system to play movies, install rear seat entertainment systems, or installing a better/newer navigation system. Vehicle GPS systems are notoriously dated, even when they first come out, so it is no surprise that some particularly tech-savvy folks have amped theirs up a touch.
Some Porsche media systems do not allow Apple or Android media centers. Since most of us would rather have a media center that integrates perfectly with our phones, there is no surprise that Porsche coding your media system has become so popular for those with the know-how.
Is Porsche coding possible on new models?
Porsche coding is possible on most new models, the most significant factor being whether or not they can be coded is that there is something to code. You cannot code a brake caliper, for example, but you can code most electronic components that are running some kind of software, even if it is only very basic software.
Here’s a list of things that people commonly use Porsche coding for:
|Turning off the seatbelt chime and warning (Park Assist Bug)
|Change the number of flashes for one touch
|Mirror auto retract and center vents colder
|Windows up/down via your keyfob
|Use LED bulbs in sidemarker
|Turn off the tailgate sound when opening/closing
|Auto retract the rear window shades when in reverse
|Use LED bulbs for the license plate lights
|Teardrop wipe for your wipers
|Cornering light coding options
|Adjust ringtone volume
|Set footwell lights to use LEDs
|Disable Start/Stop Permanently (not working)
|Change the boost pressure value limit (custom tune)
|Enable hidden instrument display settings and change Cayenne logo
|Enable Pre Heating and Cooling for hybrid models
|Change auto door lock speed (front-end electronics)
|Change service interval reminders
|Top off engine oil to max level
|Top off engine oil to max level (simplified)
|Check transfer case fluid change history
|Enable fog lights as welcoming light
|Heated steering wheel retrofit (958.2)
|Boost and Accelerometer in MFD
|Battery coding using iCarSoft
|PCM Function Activation (Map Update Disc)
|Parking Brake Adjustment with x431
Is Porsche Coding Possible On Older Models?
While it is certainly possible to code older models of Porsche, it is far less common. Partially because it isn’t possible to code all older Porsches and partially because there are far fewer things to actually code, older models have far less sophisticated media systems; they might not even be anything more than a CD or cassette player. There isn’t much to code there!
That being said, there is a real sweet spot between the 1990s and 2000s, where Porsches had a variety of electronic components that were far easier to code than they are today. For example, changing display settings on their center consoles to make them easier to see, and adding newer options like parking sensors to align with modern standards.
While most Porsche coding is strictly software related, some instances might require installing some physical components too. A cool example of this is when people have installed aftermarket rear parking cameras on older Porsches. Although, most of the time people would install an aftermarket one that will plug into an aftermarket head unit, which will take care of the ‘coding’ aspect itself as it would just plug into the back of it.
Porsches that otherwise definitely didn’t have as many features as they do today, when they rolled off the production line. I guess this makes older models easier to code as there’s less to sift through. On the other hand, you can do far more and far cooler things with newer Porsches.
Are There Any Risks To Porsche Coding?
There are, of course, some risks to Porsche coding, but we would never pretend there aren’t. However, the risks vary, and it is up to you to decide what you are willing to risk and what you are not. The biggest risk for many Porsche owners is voiding any kind of warranty or agreement with the dealership.
But most software available today has an intuitive interface that will make it clear what you’re changing. Just be aware of where the setting was before you apply the coding, so you know where to go to undo it.
Of course, with newer models, you may end up voiding your warranty with just about any aftermarket upgrade you make. Especially if your “upgrade” backfires and you end up breaking something. With older models, there is usually no warranty and since coding is only for basic components you’re unlikely to spoil anything too significant, for example, you’re not tuning the engine to make it go faster, so there shouldn’t be any concerns with your Porsche’s reliability.
However, you might find that if you make a change and cannot reverse it, you might struggle to find someone who can. Even Porsche dealerships will unlikely have someone in their engineering team who knows how to reverse your poor attempt at coding on a later 90s model of Porsche.
This isn’t an uncommon scenario as dealerships these days mostly focus on the new cars coming off the production line. This is where a forum like Rennlist comes into play, as there’s a massive pool of knowledge from owners on every Porsche. There’s a good chance someone has experience in whatever issues you’re trying to solve.
Do I Need Any Special Equipment For Porsche Coding?
Unfortunately, like anything in life, you have to pay to play. You usually need some kind of special scanning or coding tool to be capable of Porsche coding. Some tools remove the actual “coding” from the equation. You can simply plug them into your car and flip through a variety of predefined options without having to type a thing.
Some of the most talked about tools include Launch X431 V+ Pro and of course Porsche’s own diagnostic tool, PIWIS-II or PIWIS-III. Both tools can be quite pricey, but the Porsche tool will probably give you the most options as this is the tool the dealerships use to do absolutely everything coding and diagnostic related.
There may be some more affordable tools out there that allow you to plug your laptop into the OBD port, but I’m not aware of what they are, but with a bit of research I’m sure you could find them.
Our Verdict On Porsche Coding
In the world of coding modifications, Porsche coding stands out as an intriguing blend of tech and mechanics. For enthusiasts seeking to customize their vehicle beyond mere external aesthetics, diving into the available software allows for a vast amount of modifications, catering both to modern and older models.
While newer Porsches provide a plethora of coding possibilities, there’s a nostalgic charm in upgrading a 90s model to align with modern standards. But like anything new, you’ve always got to approach coding with caution; while it presents a new way to personalizing your car, there’s a risk-reward balance to consider, especially concerning warranties and potential software mishaps.
With the right tools and knowledge, the world of Porsche coding becomes a playground for tech-savvy car enthusiasts to code themselves. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, always prioritize having a full understanding of what you’re changing and safety when making any alterations to your cars coding.
I’m Daniel, the founder of YSM Motors. I’ve been living and breathing cars since I was born and got into the online space when I was 16, writing about cars.
My unique view comes from owning several interesting cars, ranging from a Volkswagen Golf R, BMW M3, and, more recently, my Porsche Spyder. Owning these cars and a few others has allowed me to become close friends with other car enthusiasts giving me insight into rarer and more exotic cars such as Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche GT cars, and more.
I’ve been lucky to experience and maintain such a vast range of exciting cars, and in the process I’ve become close with a few car dealers and high-end workshops, which has allowed me to pick their brains on topics you can’t find info about online.
My eye for detail stems from my full time career as a Business Analyst. This all started when I studied a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Information Systems, leading me into my 13-year career.
After honing my online skills with various projects and immersing myself further into car culture, by 2019, I decided to dedicate myself to YSM Motors in my spare time and purely focus on my passion for cars and everything to do with them.