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Do not buy Hypertech products

  #1  
Old 02-08-2019, 04:12 PM
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Default Do not buy Hypertech products

Owned my 2000 Blazer since new, and a 2003 Hypertech Power Programmer III since new. I basically liked the programmer, it let me change fuel grades etc. to play with it, adjust transmission shift stiffness etc. It was probably mostly placebo but it did seem a little peppier especially on 93 octane and there were certainly dumber ways to spend ~$300.

I hadn't touched it in years but recently dug it out to recalibrate the speedometer after putting on bigger wheels/tires. On boot the programmer gave me a Code 24 Corrupt Flash Memory error, which means that the unit is nonfunctional now. Called the 800-number as directed to make a claim on the Lifetime Warranty but Hypetech won't do anything since that model isn't offered any more.

Hypertech DOES have an updated model that would work fine as a replacement, but will only offer a mildly discounted $269 "opportunity" to upgrade to the new model... that only has a 3-year warranty that's probably just as worthless. It might be reasonable to expect me to cover part of the cost of the upgrade when the original device is 15 years old, but $269 is completely stupid and an obviously bad investment.

So don't buy from Hypertech unless you want something that's going to turn into an expensive paperweight soon, because they're a sleazy company that doesn't stand behind their guarantees.
 

Last edited by Rock18; 02-09-2019 at 03:30 AM. Reason: corrected model name to Power Programmer III, not II
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:48 PM
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Pretty crappy to offer a "lifetime warranty" on something, and not honor it
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:40 PM
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Thanks for the warning.
 
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:06 AM
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That's why it's called "Hypercrap" for a reason................
 
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:56 PM
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Update: I still want to program my tire size to calibrate speedometer/odometer, so I picked up another used Hypertech off eBay for a song since it was being sold without a cable. I figured there was a chance it might still be VIN locked to the previous owner's vehicle but it was cheap enough to be worth a shot, and the seller offered a 30 day return policy.

Plugged it in, booted just fine, doesn't even seem to be VIN locked either. It gives the exact same Code 24 corrupt memory error though that can't be fixed.

What garbage.
 
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cleburne red View Post
Pretty crappy to offer a "lifetime warranty" on something, and not honor it
But it's dead, lol.
 
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:15 PM
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Most "lifetime" warranties have an expected end-of-life clause in them after which the company will offer repair or discounted replacement at a cost to the customer. Sounds like they did exactly that with offering you a discounted 'latest model' replacement.

My advice here, if you aren't willing to trade up, then pull at least one of them apart and see if it isn't something simple like a corroded or otherwise disconnected trace on the board inside. What is the worst that happens? You mess it up more and it is now a multi-piece paperweight?
 
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by swartlkk View Post
Most "lifetime" warranties have an expected end-of-life clause in them after which the company will offer repair or discounted replacement at a cost to the customer. Sounds like they did exactly that with offering you a discounted 'latest model' replacement.
Well yeah, strictly speaking it's a limited lifetime warranty and technically they did offer a discount. But they won't repair the old one at all, and $30 is just 10%, hardly much of a discount. They're using a failed unit to as an opportunity to re-monetize me, and are unconcerned since it's an "old" vehicle.

I think I used it all of 3-4 times, and stored in original box in climate controlled environment. It's just a crummy product from a crummy company.

Originally Posted by swartlkk View Post
My advice here, if you aren't willing to trade up, then pull at least one of them apart and see if it isn't something simple like a corroded or otherwise disconnected trace on the board inside. What is the worst that happens? You mess it up more and it is now a multi-piece paperweight?
Did that long ago with no luck. The housing opens easy enough with 4 phillips screws, and there are no visible problems. There's a EPROM chip that goes bad with time and the stored data gets corrupted, and the web is full of people with the same problem and getting treated the same way.

What's really irritating is that since it boots, runs and performs initial diagnostics I suspect that it's not even stored tune programming data that's gone bad, but the stored VIN that lets them lock the unit to the programmed vehicle so the unit can't be re-used or re-sold. It's the stupid DRM copy protection that's failed.
 
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:27 PM
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The realm of vehicle modification is one where you pay to play. Hypertech is and pretty much always has been the bargain basement option. There are definitely much more reliable ways of modifying PCM programming, but they aren't cheap.
 
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:39 PM
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I actually can make a solid suggestion on this- former electronic engineering tech here. You should be able to recover the data using a cheap RaspberryPi like a 3b model with the GPIO pins and read the data, flash to a updated chip and insert back in unit. Getting a hold of the source bin to flash even better, then just start like new. Having two units, one could even compare the checksum of both units chips once read. Not saying super easy but very doable if you want to play with it.

Technically- you would look up the eprom chip specs, set the GPIO to match things like speed and voltage required and which pins to tap the data from. Most of the instructions are on the web and quite easy to follow. Hardest part is just isolating the chip and tapping into the correct pins, being handy with a soldering iron would help. Not seeing the unit itself I canít guess if its socketed like say older PC motherboard bios roms are or hard soldered to board- if socket very easy to work with. Surprised actually if these things are prone to this that someone has not done a write up on fixing one. Lastly, if kinda confused look at reading and re-flashing pc bios chips, it would be very similar.

I want to add that normally those chips do not fail, biggest failure in electronic things like this normally occurs in the power supply area. Personally Iíd look up the specs on that chip, fire up unit and ensure the voltages match the chip specs +/- tolerance (usually only a few points). Most read write commands are based on a voltage shift on a certain pin pulled high or low and corruption is rare without chip being put into a mode where it can change the values. Voltage spikes are another issue and just fry the darn things. (Sometimes you can see a crack in chip usually on bottom).
 

Last edited by Trukntigger; 03-02-2019 at 02:48 PM. Reason: Additional info

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