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      07-27-2012, 09:40 AM   #1
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BMW Detecting Tune

I apologize if this has been addressed before (actually, I'm sure it has), but I am having trouble finding an answer in a search. I am considering the Akrapovic Evolution and an Evolve or ESS tune on my 2012 E92. In researching this exhaust I saw references to BMW detecting the tune if rev or speed limits were changed, etc. My question is: why should I care if BMW detects a tune when I get my car serviced? I mean, it's my car (bought and paid for, no lease). I should be able to do what I want with it, yes? Is it simply a warranty issue? If so, what aspect of the warranty could be affected by a tune? Is it enough of an issue that I should instead consider the OEM performance exhaust, which I am considering as well?

I am likewise considering a supercharger. I assume this poses similar warranty issues, perhaps with respect to the transmission?

Appreciate any input. Thanks.
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      07-27-2012, 09:54 AM   #2
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The general rule is if you change something like exhaust that part is no longer under BMW warranty. So if you go the a full exhaust then your exhaust and any problems from it (most likely none) will not be covered by BMW. A tune is a little different in my eyes b/c it affects the computer and if something goes wrong and your car locks up or an engine goes and they determine the cause was the tune (which they will) you are not covered at all by your warranty. This also goes for the supercharger. So basically if you change it then you are responsible for the issues from it. Just my .02.

Ps: so if you are wanting to keep your entire warranty then stick to BMW Performance parts.
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      07-27-2012, 10:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd67 View Post
I apologize if this has been addressed before (actually, I'm sure it has), but I am having trouble finding an answer in a search. I am considering the Akrapovic Evolution and an Evolve or ESS tune on my 2012 E92. In researching this exhaust I saw references to BMW detecting the tune if rev or speed limits were changed, etc. My question is: why should I care if BMW detects a tune when I get my car serviced? I mean, it's my car (bought and paid for, no lease). I should be able to do what I want with it, yes? Is it simply a warranty issue? If so, what aspect of the warranty could be affected by a tune? Is it enough of an issue that I should instead consider the OEM performance exhaust, which I am considering as well?

I am likewise considering a supercharger. I assume this poses similar warranty issues, perhaps with respect to the transmission?

Appreciate any input. Thanks.
Of course it is your car (property), and you can do whatever you like with it.

The issue with mods is the warranty implications. If you don't care about the factory warranty, then go all out.

Regarding a tune, it could conceivably have warranty ramifications on everything from the engine to the transmission (e.g. DCT software). That said, unless you have the telltale signs like a raised rev limiter, it is my understanding that a tune will not be detected on a routine service or repair. Also consider that most tunes these days come with a personal tuner, so reverting to the stock file is simple. (Velos Designwerks tune, for example.)

Catback exhausts are generally considered warranty friendly. Many members have the Evolution full exhaust and I don't know of any warranty issues there either.

Regarding a supercharger -- ah, transmission, and certainly the engine.. Don't plan on having much of anything engine related covered with a blower.
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Last edited by FormulaMMM; 07-27-2012 at 10:46 AM.
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      07-27-2012, 10:50 AM   #4
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Some of the tunes like the JB3 when it first came out set off tuner faults that the dealers can detect, but most tunes now have looped around that. Only BMW Tech Support (PUMA) can detect if you have a flash tune, increased rev limit, etc., but that only happens when you have a serious issue with the engine/transmission and they are called in for help/authorization for expensive part replacements. As for maintenance services you will not need to worry about have a tune, they have no reason to hunt for it.

As said above, most tunes now have reversible flashes. VF Engineering just released their NA tune for the E9X M3 that has reversible flash and fault code reader.
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      07-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will@PRS View Post
Some of the tunes like the JB3 when it first came out set off tuner faults that the dealers can detect, but most tunes now have looped around that. Only BMW Tech Support (PUMA) can detect if you have a flash tune, increased rev limit, etc., but that only happens when you have a serious issue with the engine/transmission and they are called in for help/authorization for expensive part replacements. As for maintenance services you will not need to worry about have a tune, they have no reason to hunt for it.
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      07-27-2012, 11:07 AM   #6
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Very much appreciate the input. Inclined to make at least the exhaust mod.
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      07-27-2012, 11:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will@PRS View Post
As said above, most tunes now have reversible flashes. VF Engineering just released their NA tune for the E9X M3 that has reversible flash and fault code reader.
Wouldn't the read/write counts be off though? Meaning, wouldn't BMW see that more writes were done to the software than what they had documented during services showing evidence of a tune?

I would really like to run a tune on the car, the only thing holding me back is the possible warranty issue.
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      07-27-2012, 11:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Matthew View Post
Wouldn't the read/write counts be off though? Meaning, wouldn't BMW see that more writes were done to the software than what they had documented during services showing evidence of a tune?

I would really like to run a tune on the car, the only thing holding me back is the possible warranty issue.

If the tune is not present they cannot attack you. I worked at the dealer for a few years and witnessed all of the attacks BMW made on the 335's when the JB3 first came out. If it wasn't there they couldn't do anything even if was shown.
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      07-27-2012, 03:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will@PRS View Post
Some of the tunes like the JB3 when it first came out set off tuner faults that the dealers can detect, but most tunes now have looped around that. Only BMW Tech Support (PUMA) can detect if you have a flash tune, increased rev limit, etc., but that only happens when you have a serious issue with the engine/transmission and they are called in for help/authorization for expensive part replacements. As for maintenance services you will not need to worry about have a tune, they have no reason to hunt for it.

As said above, most tunes now have reversible flashes. VF Engineering just released their NA tune for the E9X M3 that has reversible flash and fault code reader.
Pretty much sums it up. BMW would have to prove that any mod directly caused a fault in order to void your warranty which exhaust and cosmetics most likely will not do.
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      07-27-2012, 09:57 PM   #10
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DONT

-Remove Cold Start
-Raise Top Speed Limiter
-Raise RPM limit

You should be golden if you do this. They'd have to dig real deep to find a tune if the above three haven't been modified. The above three are dead giveaways and are not reversible if you surpass max factory RPM and or Speed.

Last edited by Rekrul; 07-27-2012 at 10:07 PM.
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      07-27-2012, 10:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rekrul View Post
DONT

-Remove Cold Start
-Raise Rev Limiter
-Raise RPM limit

You should be golden if you do this. They'd have to dig real deep to find a tune if the above three haven't been modified. The above three are dead giveaways and are not reversible if you surpass max factory RPM and or Speed.
^ I guess you meant do not raise top speed in one of your statements.

I have a question: why the cold start? I mean, don not take the car to the dealer without the cold start, but otherwise how they will know (other than digging deep enough, which probably they won't do on a routine maintenance visit)?
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      07-27-2012, 10:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIdriver View Post
^ I guess you meant do not raise top speed in one of your statements.

I have a question: why the cold start? I mean, don not take the car to the dealer without the cold start, but otherwise how they will know (other than digging deep enough, which probably they won't do on a routine maintenance visit)?
LOL.. good catch.

Benvo has stated that the cold start is also a dead giveaway with regard to software memory storage.
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      07-27-2012, 10:10 PM   #13
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LOL.. good catch.

Benvo has stated that the cold start is also a dead giveaway with regard to software memory storage.
Oh well, I'm done then. Thanks for the info.
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      07-28-2012, 12:15 AM   #14
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How would cold start be a giveaway if you flash it back to stock before taking it in for service. Does it log an error code?
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      09-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rekrul View Post
DONT

-Remove Cold Start
-Raise Top Speed Limiter
-Raise RPM limit

You should be golden if you do this. They'd have to dig real deep to find a tune if the above three haven't been modified. The above three are dead giveaways and are not reversible if you surpass max factory RPM and or Speed.
I'm in the same boat, seriously considering an ESS tune, but their tune is reversable, so it would put all of these back in pilace. If you reflash stock before taking it in, wouldn't bmw not know? Or is there some log that records when the engine goes above rev limit & speed limiter that isn't wiped with the flash? Would really like to know how this works if there's any bmw techs or car engineers who know how ECUs work. TIYA

I'm probably going for it anyway tbh, it seems like a great mod to really trim everything up for not much $$$
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      09-22-2012, 04:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KmndntKlink View Post
I'm in the same boat, seriously considering an ESS tune, but their tune is reversable, so it would put all of these back in pilace. If you reflash stock before taking it in, wouldn't bmw not know? Or is there some log that records when the engine goes above rev limit & speed limiter that isn't wiped with the flash? Would really like to know how this works if there's any bmw techs or car engineers who know how ECUs work. TIYA

I'm probably going for it anyway tbh, it seems like a great mod to really trim everything up for not much $$$
Your Max RPM and Max speed are recorded. Flashing the stock tune back won't remove these records.
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      09-22-2012, 05:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KmndntKlink View Post
I'm in the same boat, seriously considering an ESS tune, but their tune is reversable, so it would put all of these back in pilace. If you reflash stock before taking it in, wouldn't bmw not know? Or is there some log that records when the engine goes above rev limit & speed limiter that isn't wiped with the flash? Would really like to know how this works if there's any bmw techs or car engineers who know how ECUs work. TIYA

I'm probably going for it anyway tbh, it seems like a great mod to really trim everything up for not much $$$
Flashing it back to stock before taking it to the dealer is a waste of time (unless you're dealing with a catastrophic issue and they had clear indications that there may have been 'tampering'.

A proper tune will not cause fault codes or show any indication that the file is modified.

Putting it back to stock does not modify the freezeframe data, it is stored in a section of the left processor that can not be modified without opening up the DME. The only reason you might want to flash to stock (or flash to a different revision of the tune) is to turn the secondary air pump back on. But most dealers wouldn't notice that the car wasn't louder on startup.
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      09-23-2012, 11:24 AM   #18
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I see! thanks Mike & m0da!
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      09-23-2012, 01:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Benvo View Post
Flashing it back to stock before taking it to the dealer is a waste of time (unless you're dealing with a catastrophic issue and they had clear indications that there may have been 'tampering'.

A proper tune will not cause fault codes or show any indication that the file is modified.

Putting it back to stock does not modify the freezeframe data, it is stored in a section of the left processor that can not be modified without opening up the DME. The only reason you might want to flash to stock (or flash to a different revision of the tune) is to turn the secondary air pump back on. But most dealers wouldn't notice that the car wasn't louder on startup.
But what if you're catless? No check engine light? Wouldn't you then perhaps want to flash back to stock as to not raise suspicions?
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      09-23-2012, 01:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KmndntKlink View Post
I'm in the same boat, seriously considering an ESS tune, but their tune is reversable, so it would put all of these back in pilace. If you reflash stock before taking it in, wouldn't bmw not know? Or is there some log that records when the engine goes above rev limit & speed limiter that isn't wiped with the flash? Would really like to know how this works if there's any bmw techs or car engineers who know how ECUs work. TIYA

I'm probably going for it anyway tbh, it seems like a great mod to really trim everything up for not much $$$
As stated the max rpm and speed are stored permanently.

Love the ESS tune btw.
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      09-23-2012, 03:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rekrul View Post
But what if you're catless? No check engine light? Wouldn't you then perhaps want to flash back to stock as to not raise suspicions?
I'd say so, but if you're catless you won't be passing emissions so don't you have to reinstall your cats anyway?

On warranty ramifications, I don't think it would matter. Exhaust shouldn't cause problems in other systems, just increase emissions. I think its safer to just flash back, it takes 5 minutes apparently. If you have your stock pipes, I'd flash back and put em back on so they don't have reason to dig further and possibly try and wrangle their way out of the warranty coverage. To me catless is great source for power gains, but not worth the hastle tbh, unless its a track only/ autox you want.
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      09-24-2012, 10:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I'd say so, but if you're catless you won't be passing emissions so don't you have to reinstall your cats anyway?

On warranty ramifications, I don't think it would matter. Exhaust shouldn't cause problems in other systems, just increase emissions. I think its safer to just flash back, it takes 5 minutes apparently. If you have your stock pipes, I'd flash back and put em back on so they don't have reason to dig further and possibly try and wrangle their way out of the warranty coverage. To me catless is great source for power gains, but not worth the hastle tbh, unless its a track only/ autox you want.

Oh I'm not referring to passing emissions testing.. I don't have to worry about that. I have the Dinan X pipe... and the power is very substantial, especially when paired with the tune.

I meant if you went to the dealer with no check engine light on and a clearly catless vehicle, it would likely raise suspicion and lead to them perhaps flagging your car.
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