Originally Posted by DaveDee
The ESS tune may be done at ESS using their workshop programmer, but the ESS Direct flash unit is a handheld programming tool, available to customers outside the ESS workshops, that plugs into the vehicle OBDII port which allows access to the ECU.
If the ESS direct flash has not been used before (or is reset) it will read the firmware of the ECU and store it as a file (along with the VIN) which can be later transferred to your PC (via a USB connection) to a communications program supplied by ESS.
The file is then saved and sent by email to ESS where alterations are made to the ECU firmware to enhance performance, just like a ”remote tune”.
When the Akrapovic Evolution exhaust system is fitted the gas flow and performance changes substantially, plus the factory cats are replaced by small high flow cats that do not use the O2 sensors where the factory cats used to be. The change in performance to the car by the exhaust system, the lack of stock cats and the error (CEL) caused by the absence of stock cats are taken into account by the ESS tune when the Akrapovic Evolution (not the Akrapovic slip on system) is fitted .
The modified ECU firmware is emailed back to you, loaded into your hand held ESS direct flash unit via the PC software/USB cable. You then take the ESS Direct flash back to the car, plug it in to the OBDll port and upload the modified ECU file. If the Akrapovic Evolution exhaust modification is included in the file the cold start cycle will be removed as there are no longer any factory cats to preheat. Much smoother start. Hope that covers it. Andrew at Southern BM is a supplier of these kits and is an expert in this area. He also does the tune on site if you prefer. If you are purchasing the Akrapovic Evolution and are going to tune the car you don’t need to purchase the “delete-R” module.
Great write up and glad you are happy with the Akrapovic. You are very right, if you are tuning the car when using the Evolution, then you won't need the Delet-R - just always make sure the CEL check is removed in the tune. But if you are not wanting to tune it for what ever reason the Delet-R is the easiest way to stop you check engine light coming on because of the hi flow CATS. Its a plug in job and its made so you can update away at your BMW service without needing to reflash. Got to admit I do like the ESS Direct Flash from Andrew