Many new vehicles have more capabilities than they come to their owners. In many cases, they’re locked behind orders, but in the case of the Ford F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E, those capabilities are just waiting for someone with the know-how to enable them. A YouTube channel walked us through the process, and it’s easier than you might think.
Right off the bat, we should mention that we’re not talking about added horsepower or brand new features. Modifications made through this process simply enable functions that the vehicle is already capable of. For example, you can brighten up the LED light bar on the front of the F-150 Lightning. You can enable Matrix LED headlights and optimize them as well. And in this tutorial, we’ll see the host add extra blinks to the one-touch directional light feature.
There are three basic components needed to make modifications to a vehicle: a laptop, an OBDII dongle, and a program called Forscan. This software allows you to connect to a Ford vehicle and then enable these features. Of course, the dongle acts as a physical bridge between the laptop software and the vehicle’s OBDII port.
Read: BMW owners have hacked their cars before, and orders could cause them to do so again
Once everything is connected, users can change values to achieve specific results. To find out which values to change, most users follow instructions on online forums. And following that direction is crucial.
As Transport Evolved’s presenter mentions, this should not be done carelessly. Tampering with the process of changing settings or enabling features can cause the vehicle to brick. And you definitely don’t want to end up with a bunch of SUVs or trucks that aren’t doing anything.
It is not known if this kind of hack or tweakability is always available. Many manufacturers have taken the noticeable step of making their vehicles much less customizable through software changes. Ford has specifically closed the door on third-party tuning for its new Mustang, and Dodge says it’s locking tuners out of a new EV muscle car in the works.
Image transport evolved on YouTube