C13, C15, and C18 Engines Troubleshooting – ECM Software – Install

Use this procedure to troubleshoot the electrical system if the diagnostic code in Table 1 is active.

Table 1
Diagnostic Trouble Codes
CDL Code J1939 Code Code Description
(code descriptions may vary)
253-2 631-2 Personality Module : Erratic, Intermittent, or Incorrect The flash file is for a different engine family or for a different engine application.
The engine will not start. Clearing this diagnostic code requires factory passwords. The personality module code must be reset to zero.

Flash programming is a method of programming or updating the flash file in the engine Electronic Control Module (ECM). Caterpillar Electronic Technician (ET) is used to flash program a file into the memory of the engine ECM.

Note: Customer versions of CAT ET do not have the capability for flash programming. Consult your local Cat Dealer for assistance.

If you do not have the flash file, use the “Flash File Search” tool on the Service Technician Workbench (STW) to obtain the flash file for your engine. Alternatively, use the “Service Software Files” feature on SIS Web to obtain the flash file for your engine. You must have the engine serial number in order to search for the flash file. After locating the correct flash file, download the flash file to your PC. Write down the name of the flash file for future reference.

Table 2
Troubleshooting Test Steps Values Results
1. Programming a Flash File

A. Establish communication between Cat ET and the engine ECM.

B. Select “WinFlash” from the “Utilities” menu on Cat ET.
If “WinFlash” will not communicate with the ECM, refer to Troubleshooting, “Electronic Service Tool Does Not Communicate”.

C. Program the flash file into the ECM.

D. Select the engine ECM under the “Detected ECMs”.

E. Press the “Browse” button in order to select the name of the flash file that will be programmed into the ECM.

F. When the correct flash file is selected, press the “Open” button.

G. Verify that the “File Values” match the application. If the “File Values” do not match the application, obtain the correct flash file.

H. When the correct flash file is selected, press the “Begin Flash” button.

I. Cat ET will indicate when flash programming has been successfully completed.

J. Start the engine and check for proper operation. Repair any active diagnostic or event codes.

Programmed successfully Result: The flash programming was successfully.

Return the unit to service.

Result: The flash programming was not successfully.

Repair any active diagnostic or event codes. Proceed to Test Step 2.

2. “WinFlash” Error Messages

A. If you receive any error messages during flash programming, click on the “Cancel” button in order to stop the process. Access the information about the “ECM Summary” under the “Information” menu. Make sure that you are flashing the correct file for your engine.

B. Record all error messages. The recorded error messages will be necessary if further assistance is needed.

Error messages Result: There are no error messages.

Return the unit to service.

Complete the procedure in the order in which the steps are listed.

Contact your Cat dealer Technical Communicator (TC) if further assistance is needed, your TC can confer with the Dealer Solutions Network (DSN).


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