Current ESS E-Flash Software Suite Version: Build 0654 (v14)
Current BMW OS/Software Version: 240E
Current version of E-Flash can be downloaded here
What is included with E-Flash Package? What specific equipment is needed to flash my M3?
Included will be the E-Flash USB/OBDII Cable, USB Flash Drive with instructions & E-Flash Software Suite pre-installed. A Laptop/Netbook fully charged equipped with Windows XP/Vista/Win7 is required.
Can E-Flash be installed on Windows 8?
WIN8 is a little tricky as the driver signature enforcement used needs to be disabled. Here’s an article that overviews the process:
. Once disabled, the E-Flash program can be installed.
Is E-Flash Apple/Mac Compatible?
E-Flash is compatible with Mac computers running Fusion/VMware or similar installed.
Do I need to use a battery charger or power supply while reading/flashing?
Sufficient battery power is essential when reading and most importantly - flashing. E-Flash will perform a hardware compatibility check upon launch to confirm battery/processor power to warn you of any issues before the process is started. Turn off Bluetooth on your cellular phone before flashing process is started. As an added precaution, you should turn off all loads before reading and/or flashing: headlights, air conditioning/heater, radio, etc. A 2-amp battery charger is recommended for power stabilization for vehicles with 3+ year or older batteries, but not required in all cases.
Is the E-Flash cable intended for only one vehicle? Can I use the cable on other vehicles?
The E-Flash cable can only be used on one vehicle. As soon as a read is performed, your VIN is written to your cable, thus being "married" to your BMW.
I plan on upgrading to an ESS Supercharger in the near future. Can I use my current cable to flash the provided supercharger software file?
Yes, the same E-Flash cable used for N/A vehicles is also provided with the ESS Supercharger systems.
I received a "BETA Version Expired" notice after launching the ESS E-Flash Software Suite. What should I do?
Newer versions of the E-Flash suites are released periodically. If you are receiving this message and are a registered ESS E-Flash user or purchased the cable from us directly, please contact EAS or ESS with your full name and previous build version for a current version of the E-Flash software suite. Current software versions will be posted at the top of this post as reference.
Latest E-Flash version download link can always be found at http://www.esstuning.com/pages/Support.html
FAQ: Reading/Writing Process
How long does it take to receive my tuned file?
Please allow 1 business day for files to be returned. In most cases, files are returned within hours of submittal.
Does E-Flash have OBD2 readiness for those catless setups?
ESS has this ability but chooses not to. Setting up a catless car to have OBD readiness is against federal law and carries a $250,000 fine per vehicle if caught doing so. ESS does not recommend customers doing this and do not offer this option. E-Flash allows you to return the vehicle to it's original stock map if needed. We suggest re-installing your cats and stock file to legally pass state OBD inspections.
Can E-Flash correctly identify my DME's current software version?
Yes! When a [Full program + calibration data only] read is being performed, the software version of the DME is embedded within the file name.
Let's use the following filename as an example, which was saved using the [Full program + calibration data only] option:
= BMW ECU Type
= BMW Hardware Number
= BMW Software Number
= Hardware Reference Number
= VIN Number
portion of the filename is what will determine your ECU Software version. Digits 9-12 show [220E
] which correctly ID this ECU's software version. This would identify that this DME needs to be brought up to date, at ESS's discretion. ESS or EAS may ask for your full file number if other information is required during troubleshooting.
I do not want a tuned file, only a software update. Is this possible?
Yes, you are able to flash only the updated BMW software version if desired. If local to our facility in Anaheim, CA - we can perform this service via autologic, which does not require a cable purchase (this service is also performed as part of our prepping service before ESS Supercharger systems are installed). For those outside our regional area, the ESS E-Flash cable is necessary.
I am currently on software version 231E now. Are there any benefits to updating to 240E?
If 190E or earlier, we recommend updating to at least 231E, preferably 240E. At this time, the update path from 231E to 240E seem to be primarily focused on emissions, with no change in performance. However, there is no harm in updating to 240E if desired.
Does the key/vehicle need to be on while flashing?
Key needs to be in KL30 mode (KEY ON, ENGINE NOT RUNNING) during all interaction with ESS E-Flash. Vehicle with Comfort Access (CA) should have the key inside the ignition.
ESS E-Flash is prompting me for [Calibration data only] and [Full program + calibration data only]. Which should I choose?
Is this is your first time using the E-Flash, a [Full program + calibration data only] read should be taken and sent to ESS Tuning, as well as keeping a backup copy safe - usually on the provided thumbdrive with your ESS E-Flash kit. This file will be needed if you should ever wish to return the vehicle to stock programming in the future.
When would [Calibration data only] selection be used when performing a read?
This selection can be used only after ESS has a [Full program + calibration data only] file archived. When in doubt, always perform a [Full program + calibration data only] read.
How long does does the Read process take?
A [Full program + calibration data only] read should take approximately ~35-40 minutes. For vehicles with a 3+ year battery, we recommend placing a 2-amp battery charger to provide a steady power supply during the read process, remembering to turn off Bluetooth on your cellphone if linked to your BMW.
How large is a [Full program + calibration data only] or [Calibration data only] file?
A typical [Full program + calibration data only] file is 5MB. A [Calibration data only] file is 2MB.
What file format is the [Full program + calibration data only] or [Calibration data only] files saved in? What format is my tune provided in?
Files backups are saved in *.ORG format. Your provided performance tune (and OS update if required) will be sent in *.MOD format.
Can my backup/performance files be shared with anyone else?
No, these files are locked to your specific VIN and cannot be used with other vehicles.
How large is the tuned file that will be provided to me?
Depending on your current DME's Software Version, you may receive an OS update file along with your performance tune. The OS file is typically 5MB with the performance file being 2MB in size - sent in a compressed ZIP or RAR format. Once unzipped, you will see the file(s) needed to perform your flash. If you do not receive (2) files, then you are currently up to date and do not require an OS update.
I received (2) files, do they need to be loaded in any particular order?
If an OS update is required, the files will be clearly labeled in what order they need to be loaded in. Once your OS file is loaded, please retain a backup copy (usually on the included thumbdrive) in case you should wish to return the vehicle back to stock tune in the near future.
I have successfully performed a [Full program + calibration data only] read. What's next?
Your 5MB *.ORG file must be compressed (either in ZIP or RAR format) and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
or directly to us at email@example.com
along with the following information:
Octane Rating (91/93):
Vehicle Engine/Exhaust Modifications (check those that apply, please be as descriptive as possible)
[ ] Performance Air Filter installed and/or Intake System
[ ] UnderDrive Pulley System
[ ] Performance X-Pipe: Please state whether catalytic converters are present or replaced with HFC versions (example: Akrapovic Evolution Exhaust system)
[ ] Performance Muffler: Please indicate brand
[ ] Other: Indicate all other performance modifications that do not fit into above categories such as track-oriented setups
ESS E-Flash optional features
[ ] Optional 8600 RPM limiter (raised from stock 8250RPM)
[ ] Remove Cold Start Catalytic Heat Cycle/Camshaft phasing (for smoother cold starts)
[ ] Remove top speed governor/VMAX
[ ] Remove High Emissions Check Engine Lamp (CEL) for those running catless/Track setups
Free file compression software can be found at www.winzip
for use when emailing. Once received, your performance tune will be compiled and provided to you via email, in which it can be flashed at your own convenience.
What if I plan on changing my current configuration at a later date? How much does this cost?
If you have a desired hardware configuration to be set at a later date, include this info with your initial file request and an additional file will be provided if there is a file required for the change. If the request is provided at a later date, there is a service fee charged for file modification.
The dealer wiped out my E-Flash tune while at a service appointment. What do I do?
Likely, there was an ISTA/P update that applied to your vehicle, which wiped your DME. Simply reapply your [Full program + calibration data only] file that was read beforehand to reapply your flash tune. If an update was applied to your DME, please contact ESS for an updated file that applies to your OS using the steps above to correctly identify your DME's software version/OS.
A Check Engine Lamp appeared on my instrument cluster/iDrive display, what do I do?
Good news! Your E-Flash OBDII cable also serves as a diagnostic cable to read/reset trouble codes. Simply go into the [Diagnostic Option] section of the E-Flash suite and choose [Diagnostics], which can be seen at 4:09-5:06 of the included video. Codes can be read, cleared and saves for archival purposes or to aid in troubleshooting with your preferred technician.
Can my E-Flash cable be utilized for other uses like Coding/Personalization?
The ESS E-Flash cable is to be used with the E-Flash Software Suite only. It is not compatible for coding/personalization.
I am receiving a "Device May Be Incorrectly Coded" error when attempting to read my DME/ECU? What should I do?
For those that receive a "Device may be incorrectly coded" error when attempting to read your DME, you may be using v.9 or earlier software. If you have purchased your E-Flash interface from eas, please contact us (or ESS) for an updated version of E-Flash Software Suite.
FAQ is intended to be an ongoing process and questions will be added periodically. Questions not in this FAQ can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
or posted within the thread.