Car coding: How to unlock your car's hidden features

4 min read

Car coding: How to unlock your car's hidden features
Car coding allows you to use your car's full potential and hidden features using your mobile phone. Here's how to unlock the best kept secret of the car industry
If you’re thinking “what on earth is car coding?” you’re not alone. It has been one of the best kept secrets of the car industry. Previously, in order to make any changes to a car, you would have to take a trip to a car garage. It used to be incredibly technical and potentially expensive. Luckily, this is in the past, as clever technology like Carly, the most superior OBD scanner on the market, allows you to simply plug into your car to unlock its full potential.
It can also increase a car’s value, as it’s not just based on the mileage and the car’s condition—coding and unlocking a car’s hidden features can also make it more desirable. 
If you would like to know more, here are some tips on how to unlock your car's potential and hidden features using your mobile phone: 

1. Understanding car coding  

Also known as car programming or vehicle coding, car coding refers to the process of modifying the software of a car to enable or disable specific features or customise settings. All modern cars (those built after 2005) are run off an internal computer which acts as a central control room for all the functions of the car. Car coding involves accessing the parts of the computers responsible for controlling systems such as the engine, transmission, brakes and entertainment features. 
"Car coding is accessing the systems to control the engine, transmission, brakes, entertainment features and more"
Manufacturers will often restrict functionalities based on the trim level of the car, which in layman’s terms means reserving premium options for higher-end models. Car coding breaks down these barriers, allowing drivers to personalise and unlock previously undiscovered features. There's a high chance exciting features are available to you and all you need to do is turn the setting on in your car’s central computer.  

2. Anyone can do it 

Carly plug-in scanner
Contrary to common perception, anyone can code their car if they have the right technology. Now that cars are essentially computers on wheels, it is so much easier for anyone to make changes as there is no mechanical experience required. Carly uses OBD scanning technology to give users—no matter their technical expertise—access to under the bonnet capabilities using just an app and a plug-in scanner.
However, the features that can be unlocked will depend on the make of your car. The car brands you are able to code are BMW, Mini, VW, Seat, Skoda and Audi and some of these models have increased options compared with others.  

3. How to start 

If you're doing it yourself, coding can be as simple as plugging the scanner adapter into the OBDII port of your car. Turn your car on and from there you simply connect to the adapter via Bluetooth on the app on your smartphone.
"Plug the scanner adapter into the OBDII port of your car and connect on your phone via Bluetooth "
You're then presented with an array of coding options, ranging from exterior adjustments like mirror folding and light customisation to interior tweaks such as speedometer layouts and adding audible locking sounds. Select the changes you’d like to make and safely remove the dongle. It’s really that easy.  

4. Capabilities of car coding and what you can change 

Various car models
Depending on your car make and model you can make changes ranging from altering the frequency of your indicators to enabling features like speed dependent volume control. More sophisticated car models that have more components controlled by the computers will have increased capabilities but in general the possibilities are extremely broad. If you want to adjust the brightness of your high beams, watch movies on your display screen or make interior enhancements like personalised speedometer layouts it can all be easily accomplished, allowing you to tailor your car to your preferences like never before.   
As mentioned above not every car will have the same capabilities, for example brands like Audi and BMW are famed for their high-quality info-tainment displays which have far wider capabilities than a Skoda, for example, where many features are still mechanical. Plugging an OBD II scanner into your car, can immediately tell you what’s possible for your make and model making it easier for you to understand what changes you can make. 

5. You can reverse or make further changes 

You may be wondering if these changes are permanent, rest assured any coding changes you make to your car’s code can be just as easily reversed. 
Car coding devices can also make a backup of your existing settings and store them, so if you do not like any changes, they can be reversed to the original settings with ease.  

6. Does car coding have risks or could it affect my warranties? 

Naturally, you may be worried that changing the inner workings may affect warranties or potentially cause damage to your vehicle, however none of the changes you make need to be permanent. If you have concerns that it may impact upon the amount your car can sell for, just switch back to the original settings. The scanners provide real-time monitoring of changes and ensure error-free coding. 
"As cars become more and more like computers on wheels, it's time to unlock a world of hidden features"
As cars become more and more like computers on wheels, it's time to unlock a world of hidden features and codes straight from your mobile. From exterior adjustments to interior enhancements, the possibilities for personalisation are endless. Technology gives the driver the power to stay on top of your car, not just with its coding capabilities but also with car diagnostics and health check-ups too, without relying on garages. In the 21st century a high quality OBD II scanner is essential for any modern driver's glovebox. 
If you want to check out Carly and learn more about its capabilities, visit mycarly.com
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