Cat® Remote Flash Simplifies Equipment Updates

Updating electronic control models (ECMs) is vital for keeping your Cat® machine in top running order. Now you can take care of those updates from almost anywhere. With remote flash, your Cat dealer can send the necessary software files to your machine. Then you can update it without having to manually connect wires and cords to the machine.

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

Remote flash is an over-the-air update capability that is a game changer for contractors looking to maximize machine performance while minimizing downtime and keeping maintenance costs in check.

Virtually every aspect of your machine’s capabilities and performance is managed by onboard ECMs. These are essentially tiny computing systems that manage everything from the combustion process inside the engine cylinders to hydraulic system functions.  

But just like your laptop or smartphone, those ECMs on your machine require regular software updates to ensure your equipment is performing at its best. New software updates can enhance performance and functionality on your machine. And keeping critical ECM software up to date is a lot easier thanks to a maintenance technology called remote flash.

Available for target Cat® machines, remote flash allows your Cat dealer to wirelessly upload equipment software files to connected assets, no matter how far away from the equipment the dealer is.  

What is remote flash

The dealer sends software files to your machine’s Product Link™ telematics system. Once those files have been downloaded to the machine, you can begin the flash process to update the software.  

In the not-so-old days, you’d have to pull a machine off a jobsite and take it to a dealership for updates. But now, error-free updates can flash your machine’s software with the simple push of a button.

Remote flash updates are sent out when Caterpillar engineers release new flash files designed to enhance onboard ECM software on your machine. 


  1. Your Cat dealer initiates the flash, downloading the new file to the machine via the Product Link telematics system.

  2. You receive an email detailing the flash requirements, the amount of time needed to complete the flash, a list of specified ECMs that will be updated as well as a link to the remote flash. 

  3. When you’re ready to begin flashing your machine, log into the remote services website via a laptop or your smartphone to acknowledge that the machine is in a safe location, is properly staged (engine off, key on, parking brake on, implement locked) and is ready to accept the update. 

  4. Then simply click on the software update link to begin the remote flash process. 

How remote flash works

Remote flash keeps your machines in top operating order while adding performance and functionality. It also lets you flash your equipment on your own schedule without having to take the equipment to a dealer or sit idle while technicians connect a laptop. You’re cutting downtime and saving on maintenance costs while keeping your machine running on the jobsite.

Some equipment may support display-initiated flash — the onboard display prompts the user after the download completes, allowing them to complete the flash on their own. Talk to your Cat dealer for a full listing of remote flash-compatible machines and what remote software upgrades are available for them. 


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