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I think I've been chipped.

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Electronics' started by JamesAustin, Mar 7, 2016.

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    JamesAustin

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    Since last May, I've been the proud owner of a 2011 E91 (Automatic, Premium Package, no iDrive). I've gradually realized my car probably has an intriguing backstory I'll probably never know. One chapter, though, is that I suspect one of the two previous owners either did an aftermarket engine re-flash, or bypassed the ECU altogether. And I'd like to at least find out what they did.

    When I first learned about coding, and reading engine parameters, and all the other fun you can have via OBD-II, I was all over that. (I'm an IT support guy... I get paid to fight computers all day... Why stop when I get home?) I decided to start gently with Carly for BMW, so I bought a Generation 2 WiFi adapter, downloaded Carly for BMW Lite to verify that everything was working, and... everything wasn't working.

    I can always connect to the adapter (that never fails, and my first connection updated the firmware). But, I always get a message saying that though I'm connected, my engine did not respond. In at least a hundred tries over several months I read my engine exactly once; this was roughly my third try, and I decided I had everything figured out and would come back later and gather info to send to myCarly. I never succeeded again.

    After exchanging a couple of dozen messages (and sending a dozen session logs), Parvis says my engine responds to normal commands but not BMW-specific ones, which is usually a sign of an aftermarket tune intercepting them. As I know nothing about the previous two owners (or the dealer who imported my car as a demo) I can't rule that out. On one hand I feel like I may have gotten more than I paid for. On the other hand I don't know what I may have gained, but do know I lost the ability to read my engine parameters, which I want to do.

    I don't know whether my engine "feels" tuned or not. This is the only BMW I've ever driven so I really can't tell whether I'm having more fun than I should be.

    So, how can I find out what I have? A local German tuner shop offered to try to find out what's going on in there, but is that really feasible after-the-fact?

    And what Carly communication settings work best under iOS for a 2011 328i xDrive Sports Wagon?
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    If it is a dinan tune you can call dinan with your vin and they can tell you if they tuned there vehicle. If it is a piggy back system you can look at the ecu for extra wiring and modules. There are quite a few companies who have flash programs so I doubt you have custom tune if you have one. To get rid of tune you can have BMW refresh the DME.
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    JamesAustin

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    I didn't know I could do that. I'll call Dinan.

    Where is the ECU? Can I see without taking anything out? I'm still blown away by how tightly packed that engine compartment is. (And to think they stuffed a V8 in there...)

    I've read that dealers don't like re-flashing. The process often fails, and recovering from the failure involves erasing and starting over from scratch, which can take five hours and tie up a service bay all that time. At $149/hr I'll have to think about whether I want to read my engine parameters that badly...
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    charlson89

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    The ecu is kinda buried on the RF cover of the windshield under microfilter housing. Remove the top of the box and you'll see the ecu. Plenty of DIY's on the forums for this. I know my dealership has no problem with programming a module but yes there is a risk any time you do this since a module could fail which is of course expensive.
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    trey.parrish

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    Hello gang, looking for some advice. I have a 2011 550i. Has the M-sport package and RWD, not X-drive. Performance add-ons so far are Dinan Stage 3 Flash, Dinan Cat-back exhaust, and Dinan suspension. Question to the group is......what next? Any recommended performance adders?
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    What kinda direction you looking to go more power, better handling?

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