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Old 01-16-2016, 01:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Upgrading to higher trim level features

I have a 2007 Cobalt LS that has absolutely no options or upgrades that I know of. Manual windows, manual side mirrors, manual locks, no cruise control, no traction control, no ABS, no tire pressure monitoring... To be honest, im surprised it has power steering.
I have noticed other Cobalts have more features in their computer display such as instantaneous MPG and tire pressure monitoring. What would I have to do to get those features on my car that isnt aftermarket stuff?

Things like power windows is easy, since all id have to do is buy the right door panel, a power window motor, and do some wiring. Im mainly talking about things computer related. So for example, if I want to see tire pressure or instantaneous MPG in that little display on the dash, would it only be a simple matter of swapping out the computer, wherever that may be? Excluding the obvious additional hardware upgrades. Basically I want to upgrade my LS to an LT or even an SS.

For those who would suggest buying a whole other car, that wouldnt make sense at all. Id lose a lot more money selling it and buying a new one than doing a few upgrades. Plus this thing has been suspiciously reliable for me, so I dont want to risk no longer having that with a car im not familiar with. I plan on keeping this car for as long as it stays alive (or im able to afford a new car), so it makes sense to do some upgrades on it over time. At least im not asking about major engine or transmission upgrades.

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Old 01-16-2016, 09:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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With an 07, you might be able to reprogram the computers managing the car to enable some features that were not purchased with the car. Particularly displays. It may take some specialized knowledge to figure out what can be enabled and how to do it, though.

I know there are things you can turn on and off on a MINI (or BMW) by plugging a computer into the OBD2 port and running the correct programs...

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Old 01-17-2016, 09:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Most likely can be done, probably just switch out the instrument cluster where the display is.

My intrepid was prewired for power and heated seats, the pcm looked to the instrument cluster to know if the car had autostick, and i only had to run one wire to the serial bus to add the overhead info system.
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antigrav01 View Post
I have a 2007 Cobalt LS that has absolutely no options or upgrades that I know of. Manual windows, manual side mirrors, manual locks, no cruise control, no traction control, no ABS, no tire pressure monitoring... To be honest, im surprised it has power steering.
No ABS in a 2007 car? I thought that ABS has been standard since something like 2000, at least. I'd trade power steering for ABS, otherwise you have a great starter for ecomodding - most of us here would have similar questions to yours, only the other way around - how to get rid of options?

As mentioned earlier, many options you may already have, but have not been activated. I have come across many of these - electrical cabin heat, heated seats, traction control, fog lights, enabling reading mp3's, etc. In each case the hardware was installed in the factory, but not activated.
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[Old] Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Typically the programming is all the same, just different hardware that doesn't use it. Change the hardware and "activate" the software.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Looks like others are much more knowledgeable about your question, so instead I'll just provide comments you don't want to hear.

Skip the TPMS. Owning such a system can be a headache of replacing batteries, pairing the monitor to the computer, accidentally ruining sensors when using tire slime or a careless tire change... Tires pretty much hold their pressure, or they soon become obvious that they aren't.

Power mirrors are nice if you frequently change drivers, but fairly pointless if you don't. Sometimes I'll readjust a side mirror directly backwards if a driver behind me has particularly glaring headlights.

Considering all the stuff you mentioned though, it would be cheaper and easier to sell your vehicle and buy the one you want. On the private party market, zero cash is lost in a sale or a purchase. Also, premium features depreciate rapidly on the private market, so you can get the upgrades for a modest amount more than paying for the base vehicle.

When you go to sell, your upgraded car will get little to none of the extra value out of it since the VIN will say it's the base model. That might make the car easier to sell at it's fair value, but I doubt people will be willing to pay extra for the added features.

I do understand wanting to keep a known vehicle, and there is even irrational psychology at play that causes us to value things we own more than things we do not.
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know you said you didn't want to go aftermarket, but your money would be much better spent getting a Scangauge or Ultragauge that does everything, than adding the factory mileage display. That said, I swapped the tach-less gauge cluster for one that had a tach in the '97 Civic I had, mainly for looks. I also had an Ultragauge in it.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
No ABS in a 2007 car? I thought that ABS has been standard since something like 2000, at least.
Funny enough, I have automatic headlights *shrug*. Unless thats the ONE option that was ticked, I figure it was government mandated. Mandated ABS might have come later, but it does seem weird that it wasnt the other way around. I dont know, maybe someone with car manufacturing law knowledge could chime in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I do understand wanting to keep a known vehicle, and there is even irrational psychology at play that causes us to value things we own more than things we do not.
My previous car was a Neon that I posted about a long time ago. Had all sorts of problems. Now my current car has had absolutely no major repairs since I got it with only a few minor ones. Got it for really cheap because someone at the dealership accidentally put in my Neon twice for the trade in (score for me!). Even if you're right about it costing more money to upgrade a few things over time, it might be best to just hold off for until I can afford an unused or lightly used car in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vskid3 View Post
I know you said you didn't want to go aftermarket, but your money would be much better spent getting a Scangauge or Ultragauge that does everything, than adding the factory mileage display.
For accuracy, you're right. The MPG display that I already have in the car not only is 1-3 mpg off, but doesnt read current MPG, only an average since I last reset it (every fill up). Im sure the instantaneous reader will be just as innaccurate, but I just want the car to look as clean and factory as possible rather than have all these clearly aftermarket things cobbled together around the car. I track MPG by using good old fashioned math after each fill up anyway, so my main reasoning for wanting an instantaneous MPG reader is to know how efficiently im driving in the moment not necessarily as an accurate thing to go by. I mean, having something like a Scanguage isnt totally out of the question though.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Love my TPMS, not that I'd bother trying to add it, -2 this morning and left rear has 32 psi. My 09 XFEs only option is AC. Absolute accuracy of MPG indicaters really isn't important, it's just a learning tool to do better.


Kt's cobalt BCM died, that would be the one you'd have to replace to if a swap would enable stuff, but I think the a GM dealer has to match it with your VIN. If adventrous enouch look at HPturners to see if you bought one of them you can enable the features you want. They generally are aimed at ECM issue (tuning the engine) not sure if they allow you to get into the BCM, but we're talking $600.

ABS/TC/ESC wasn't required till later 2011 or later, TPMS was required sooner, I'm guessing 08 or 09.
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antigrav01 View Post
Now my current car has had absolutely no major repairs since I got it with only a few minor ones.
Could it be that the reason for this is because you do not have any extras? Not only are the additional doodads more expensive to have, they're also more costly to fix or replace. And, being more complicated, they tend to fail more often, and there is less chance you can fix them yourself. Having a base model may actually be a virtue...

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[Old] Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread
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