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      10-08-2009, 06:08 PM   #45
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This thread is really playing into my reasoning to not get a tune. The dealer is voiding the warranty because the ECU was messed with, no matter if that was actually the cause of the problem or not.
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      10-08-2009, 06:13 PM   #46
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Can the dealerships check if you over-rev?
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      10-08-2009, 06:15 PM   #47
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Just wanted to throw this question out.

Who's to say that if you did get it flashed back to stock, that the dealer wouldn't be able to detect that as well? aka last saved date? created date? last modified date?
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      10-08-2009, 06:18 PM   #48
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It really doesn't matter whether a dealership can detect an over-rev or not. In the event of a possible engine warranty claim, the data will be sent to the "higher authorities" for evaluation before approving the claim.

BMW hasn't allowed dealers to crack open their engines for quite some time. Thus, every engine warranty claim is reviewed upstairs.
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      10-08-2009, 06:25 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foosh View Post
It really doesn't matter whether a dealership can detect an over-rev or not. In the event of a possible engine warranty claim, the data will be sent to the "higher authorities" for evaluation before approving the claim.

BMW hasn't allowed dealers to crack open their engines for quite some time. Thus, every engine warranty claim is reviewed upstairs.
This is the reason why I have been reluctant to tune my car. It's the "what if", and do I want to be SOL.

This is exactly what had happened to some folks with the E60 M5s with bad SMGs with Tuned ECUs. The claim gets pushed up to BMW NA and they will go through the protocol and check the ECU. The dealer won't even touch it until it gets approval from BMW NA.
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      10-08-2009, 06:32 PM   #50
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      10-08-2009, 06:45 PM   #51
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In this day and age, I will never mess with an ECU on a car under warranty.
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      10-08-2009, 06:55 PM   #52
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BMW singapore is a butt load of crap!! (also known as performance motor group) i think they have one of the worst aftermarket service out of all the cars brands in Singapore...

I'm from singapore myself and the whole warranty concept in Singapore is f*cked up. I have an 08 m3 in the states, tuned and modified, 13,000 miles for the last 14 months. Everytime I even have the slightest issue, I bring it back to the dealership - they take good care of me. Quick turn around and I've never paid a single cent. Because if I don't like them, I'm going to drive 20miles west of them and find another dealership that is more than willing to service my car.

In Singapore, I still remember bringing my STOCK 335 vert into the dealership. It took them half a day to diagnose what's wrong with it, and then they charged me $1200 for suspension issue.

FYI, there's only one bmw dealership in Singapore and it's called performance motor group.. if not you'll have to parallel import
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      10-08-2009, 07:01 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noxredna View Post
BMW singapore is a butt load of crap!! (also known as performance motor group) i think they have one of the worst aftermarket service out of all the cars brands in Singapore...

I'm from singapore myself and the whole warranty concept in Singapore is f*cked up. I have an 08 m3 in the states, tuned and modified, 13,000 miles for the last 14 months. Everytime I even have the slightest issue, I bring it back to the dealership - they take good care of me. Quick turn around and I've never paid a single cent. Because if I don't like them, I'm going to drive 20miles west of them and find another dealership that is more than willing to service my car.

In Singapore, I still remember bringing my STOCK 335 vert into the dealership. It took them half a day to diagnose what's wrong with it, and then they charged me $1200 for suspension issue.

FYI, there's only one bmw dealership in Singapore and it's called performance motor group.. if not you'll have to parallel import
I suspect you've never had an engine warranty claim in the U.S. That's what we're talking about here, and that's a different situation than what you've likely experienced.

Yes, dealers in the U.S. do have discretion on routine things, but not when it comes to replacing or rebuilding engines. Your tuning won't cause you any trouble until/unless you try to make an engine warranty claim.
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      10-08-2009, 07:08 PM   #54
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Would a Dinan tune be able to cover the problem if a valve float does happen to a tune from them?
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      10-08-2009, 07:09 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvagusta View Post
Would a Dinan tune be able to cover the problem if a valve float does happen to a tune from them?
Valve float can not possibly be caused by the tune. Even with changes to the vanos programming in the software, it's still impossible for the valves to hit the pistons without overreving (I'd say 8700RPM or more). It would make absolutely no sense for DINAN to cover that.
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      10-08-2009, 08:45 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@Powerchip View Post
Valve float can not possibly be caused by the tune. Even with changes to the vanos programming in the software, it's still impossible for the valves to hit the pistons without overreving (I'd say 8700RPM or more). It would make absolutely no sense for DINAN to cover that.
I tend to agree with you but the problem is that BMW will not give a crap if the tune REALLY caused the issue or not. They will use anything, the smallest thing, to void your warranty. Yes you can fight it but they are betting that you will not and frankly 99% of us wouldn't have the time or resources to fight it.

This is why I want a tune that I can flash and flash back to stock myself. Mike you come up with that and I will be your first customer for it. The only thing I remember being like that back in my E36 days was the Conforti Shark Injector.
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      10-08-2009, 08:48 PM   #57
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I think the bottom line is that we have proof now that the dealer (at least in Asia), without physically sending the ECU to Germany, can detect a tune if they are persistent enough. I understand that the dealer has to prove that the tune caused the damage to void the warranty for that part of the car...but the risk is not worth getting the tune in my opinion if your car is under warranty.

If you are trying to sell your car, that should still be under warranty, but not because it was voided by the dealer, that makes for a very tough sale.

I'll let Mike respond to this but, even if one could flash and reflash the ECU for themselves (i.e. before go to dealer, flash to stock...after dealer, flash to custom tune), the dealer or the local region rep can probably detect when and the number of times the ECU has been flashed. The car is a computer...there is a log of activity for a lot of things that we don't know about.
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      10-08-2009, 09:21 PM   #58
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Yep, but that was known long before this thread appeared. It's been going on with numerous performance-oriented engines for a number of years now. The manufacturers are constantly trying to stay ahead of the tuners, and they're getting better at it.
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      10-08-2009, 09:31 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMPowerJ View Post
I tend to agree with you but the problem is that BMW will not give a crap if the tune REALLY caused the issue or not. They will use anything, the smallest thing, to void your warranty. Yes you can fight it but they are betting that you will not and frankly 99% of us wouldn't have the time or resources to fight it.

This is why I want a tune that I can flash and flash back to stock myself. Mike you come up with that and I will be your first customer for it. The only thing I remember being like that back in my E36 days was the Conforti Shark Injector.
You are absolutely correct that the dealer will use ANYTHING to try and deny coverage. They are no better than insurance companies.

Regardless of this situation that has transpired in Asia, I'm not worried about the dealer finding out or any issues arising out of the tune. Out of thousands of cars tuned, I have not heard of ONE that has had a warranty concern. The fact that my friends 335 just had the entire motor replaced is proof in the pudding. BMW is MUCH more likely to void coverage on a 335 and check for DME tampering due to the fact that it's a boosted car. I stay in very close contact with my customers - I would know if there was an issue.

The OP has neglected to tell us what kind of tune he has, what credentials the tuner has, what kind of program it was (BDM program or OBD flash or possibly other methods). I would not let this occurrence deter me from having the car tuned. Not only are we talking about something that happened in another country on a car that was clearly modified and tracked, we have no substantiated information about the tune itself. Therefore this holds no weight with me, although it may mean something to you.

There is no danger in tuning the DME if it is done by a qualified professional. BMW would NEVER get away with voiding warranty coverage for a bent valve on a motor that was not over-revved. We'll see in due time if this is infact a BMW defect that is present in a number of vehicles, or just a freak issue that's happened a few times here and there.

I'm sure you all remember the days of the E46 and BOTH recalls on that motor.
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      10-08-2009, 09:41 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyeatsworld View Post
Just wanted to throw this question out.

Who's to say that if you did get it flashed back to stock, that the dealer wouldn't be able to detect that as well? aka last saved date? created date? last modified date?
That's how it happened apparently. WhEn my tuner flashed my car, he updated my DME and DCT to the latest version. Every update done to the car has a part ID. Because the part ID was not done at my dealer, they concluded that I have tempered with the ECU. The reason I did it this way is because my dealer did not want to update the car because they said the lag I was having in te car was normal and the new software won't help much. That's why I got it updated and tuned. If it was tuned on the software put in by the dealer, I think they would not have found out. Not sure if speed limiter was removed but I hit 270 thereabouts max this far so I don't know why they think it's removed.

I am of a strong opinion that while I accept responsibility of what's happened, there is something very wrong with the valve springs and some other stuff in the engine. It does not seem strong. Also, I am cock sure my limiters were not touched at all. Even once I hit the limiter in 2nd gear, it was the same as before tuned. Well, shit has hit the fan but I think the way the caress diagnosed was very poor to give a warranty void in just 3 days and on top of that, to void the drivetrain ESP. when the dealer it up before.
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      10-08-2009, 09:45 PM   #61
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Mike,

You sound like a good, honest guy, and I have no doubts that you know your stuff well. I also have no reason to believe that your tune puts an S65 in any particular jeopardy.

However, that is really not the point, and it's not about what a dealer decides. Engine problems occur on untouched, stock engines, and that is what a warranty is for. The point is what happens when an engine problem occurs, and the engine has been tuned. And, it's the manufacturer, not the dealer, who can detect whatever they want to detect.

My view is that it is a risk everyone must understand. That's only fair. It's not fair to convey the impression that there is no risk. The odds are very great that you will not have an engine problem. But, if you do, you need to be prepared for the consequences.
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      10-08-2009, 09:45 PM   #62
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Sorry to hear this man.

I understand the frustration but when you mod a component, and it breaks, it is very hard to argue with the dealer/BMW unless you want to spend a lot of money finding the root cause by third-party qualified professionals...

Stay away from modifications of high-technology components: engine, gearbox, ECU, etc... Just my 2 cents as an engineer. This is not to say that there aren't qualified, good tuners out there - there are - but just think through what you are gaining and putting as risk.

Good luck my friend.
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      10-08-2009, 10:42 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foosh View Post
Mike,

You sound like a good, honest guy, and I have no doubts that you know your stuff well. I also have no reason to believe that your tune puts an S65 in any particular jeopardy.

However, that is really not the point, and it's not about what a dealer decides. Engine problems occur on untouched, stock engines, and that is what a warranty is for. The point is what happens when an engine problem occurs, and the engine has been tuned. And, it's the manufacturer, not the dealer, who can detect whatever they want to detect.

My view is that it is a risk everyone must understand. That's only fair. It's not fair to convey the impression that there is no risk. The odds are very great that you will not have an engine problem. But, if you do, you need to be prepared for the consequences.
Bingo. Exactly on point. It's the risk. To me, spending $800-$1000 on a tune for that extra HP and TQ is not worth the possibility (no matter how slight) of having to spend $10,000 on engine or drive train damage out-of-pocket.
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      10-08-2009, 11:33 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foosh View Post
Mike,

You sound like a good, honest guy, and I have no doubts that you know your stuff well. I also have no reason to believe that your tune puts an S65 in any particular jeopardy.

However, that is really not the point, and it's not about what a dealer decides. Engine problems occur on untouched, stock engines, and that is what a warranty is for. The point is what happens when an engine problem occurs, and the engine has been tuned. And, it's the manufacturer, not the dealer, who can detect whatever they want to detect.

My view is that it is a risk everyone must understand. That's only fair. It's not fair to convey the impression that there is no risk. The odds are very great that you will not have an engine problem. But, if you do, you need to be prepared for the consequences.
Foosh, I think almost everything you've had to say in this thread has been to the point (without getting caught up in all the drama that is typically associated with these types of announcements) and dead accurate. There are really two types of risk involved when you tune your car: (1) that the tune itself will be harmful to your car and will either cause or contribute to a failure; or (2) that regardless of whether the tune is at fault or not, if the dealer has any indication that the car is or has been tuned, it can void the warranty (you're basically at the dealer's mercy).

I'm fully comfortable from talking to Mike and others that the PowerChip and the other major vendors' tunes will not harm the engine, especially if the rev limiter is not raised. That said, there's a risk (1) that my engine (like any other) has manufacturing defect or that the S65 motor in general has a design defect. If that's the case, there's a risk (2) that the dealer (or if they escalate it, the regional rep or BMW AG) will be able to tell that I have or had a tune. And if that's the case, there's a risk (3) that they'll decide to void my warranty as result. For one to end up on the hook at the end of the day, each of those 3 risks must become a reality, which is certainly very rare. I think most of us have either modified our BMW ECUs, engines, and/or powertrains or known someone who has and the issue of warranty voiding is exceedingly rare. When it does happen, there are generally extenuating or unusual circumstances, like we're starting to learn about the OP's situation (see my comments below).

Of course, that's not to say that there is no risk or that the potential ramifications aren't enormous.

I've researched this and talked to many people about this, and I've decided to get a custom PowerChip tune, but I'm being honest with myself about that fact. Really, only two things trouble me. First, although all we have so far is anecdotal evidence, there are signs that the S65 motor isn't as bulletproof as we'd expect from a BMW engine, especially when tracked aggressively. Unfortunately, this is precisely why I bought this car, which was perhaps a mistake on my part in wanting to believe that I could get a daily driver/weekend track car in one package. Second, although the 335 is much more likely to be tuned, it seems that it will not be scrutinized nearly as closely as the M3 when engine problems arise. This is likely due to a number of reasons, including the fact that the M3 is one of their "halo" cars, the fact that the issues that the E46 M3 had have made BMW more sensitive, and the small fortune it costs to replace the S65 motor.

I am minimizing the risk of sharing the OP's fate by taking the following steps: (1) going through a reputable tuner like Powerchip; (2) avoiding obvious red flags -- I'm not going to change the redline, I'm not removing my primary cats (the lack of a CEL would be a dead give-away), and I don't anticipate ever taking my car above the speed limiter; (3) I will continue to be hyper-anal about my maintenance and pay extra to take my car to the dealer for the non-scheduled fluid changes so that I'm very familiar with them and I develop a reputation for taking care of my car; and (4) if it becomes evident that the S65 motor has an inherent design defect, I will immediately flash back to stock regardless of whether my car has shown signs of that issue.

Sorry to ramble, but I've thought this through extensively and wanted to share what I've come up with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elmariachi View Post
That's how it happened apparently. WhEn my tuner flashed my car, he updated my DME and DCT to the latest version. Every update done to the car has a part ID. Because the part ID was not done at my dealer, they concluded that I have tempered with the ECU. The reason I did it this way is because my dealer did not want to update the car because they said the lag I was having in te car was normal and the new software won't help much. That's why I got it updated and tuned. If it was tuned on the software put in by the dealer, I think they would not have found out. Yes speed limiter was removed but I hit 270 thereabouts max this far so I don't know why they think it's removed.

I am of a strong opinion that while I accept responsibility of what's happened, there is something very wrong with the valve springs and some other stuff in the engine. It does not seem strong. Also, I am cock sure my limiters were not touched at all. Even once I hit the limiter in 2nd gear, it was the same as before tuned. Well, shit has hit the fan but I think the way the caress diagnosed was very poor to give a warranty void in just 3 days and on top of that, to void the drivetrain ESP. when the dealer it up before.
OP, let me first say that I'm very sorry to hear about your circumstances and I certainly agree with some of what you're saying, especially in regard to BMW voiding your entire drivetrain warranty. That said, there are some gaps and issues I have with what you've told us.

For example, you wonder how the dealer suspected you have a tune because even though you have the speed limiter removed, you've never exceeded that top speed. But then in the same paragraph, you tell us that you've only hit 270 km/h (168 mph) or thereabouts, which is a pretty good indication that the limiter has been removed even accounting for speedometer error. Even the dealer can figure that out with their more limited resources. Not surprisingly, that's exactly what the letter you received keyed in on in determining that you'd modified your ECU.

Second, the little info you've given us about your tuner raises more questions than it answers. For example, how does a non-BMW tuner obtain access to the latest OEM software versions? Did he pull them from another car to upload to yours? Also, as for the tune itself, what did he specifically modify other than removing the speed limiter? You say you're sure that he didn't change your redline because afterward it felt the same as before when you hit your limiter, but I doubt most of us can tell the difference between a few hundred rpms when bouncing off the limiter at WOT. I wouldn't trust my butt redline, and I'd want to know upfront for sure exactly what was being done in connection with the tune. Lastly, does your tuner have significant experience tuning BMWs generally and the E9X M3 specifically? These are just a few of the questions I still have 3 pages into this thread.

Regardless, if your tuner did in fact update the DME like you say, that of course is an obvious red flag that a normal tune alone won't raise. Although I fully acknowledge the risks in tuning our cars, I think your unusual circumstances are being blown a little out of proportion and given over-reaching application here, especially given the little information we have.

I'm definitely not saying that you brought this all on yourself or that you're being treated fairly. I do think the dealer is taking advantage of you (I think it was shady that the dealer never even diagnosed the actual engine problem, regardless of whether they planned to warranty it, it was crappy of them not to discuss this with you in person, and this shouldn't be grounds for voiding your DCT warranty unless you over-reved).
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      10-08-2009, 11:47 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@Powerchip View Post
BMW would NEVER get away with voiding warranty coverage for a bent valve on a motor that was not over-revved.
Unless you happen to have a jury picked out of a Nascar/F1 pit lane, your customer would most likely lose, and be out the cost of the engine in legal and expert fees... plus the new engine. The issue is not if what you said is true or not, but if a judge/jury would side with your customer for tampering with the ECU. Just think about that for a moment.
You're not going to be impartial when you make your living out of this, so smart potential customers should assume they'd lose their engine warranty if something even unrelated to the tune happens to their engine. If they don't, great, but it's a gamble, however small it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankzlin79 View Post
Exactly on point. It's the risk. To me, spending $800-$1000 on a tune for that extra HP and TQ is not worth the possibility (no matter how slight) of having to spend $10,000 on engine or drive train damage out-of-pocket.
Mine too. Caveat emptor.

Last edited by elp_jc; 10-09-2009 at 12:02 AM.
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      10-09-2009, 12:28 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by noxredna View Post
BMW singapore is a butt load of crap!! (also known as performance motor group) i think they have one of the worst aftermarket service out of all the cars brands in Singapore...

I'm from singapore myself and the whole warranty concept in Singapore is f*cked up. I have an 08 m3 in the states, tuned and modified, 13,000 miles for the last 14 months. Everytime I even have the slightest issue, I bring it back to the dealership - they take good care of me. Quick turn around and I've never paid a single cent. Because if I don't like them, I'm going to drive 20miles west of them and find another dealership that is more than willing to service my car.

In Singapore, I still remember bringing my STOCK 335 vert into the dealership. It took them half a day to diagnose what's wrong with it, and then they charged me $1200 for suspension issue.

FYI, there's only one bmw dealership in Singapore and it's called performance motor group.. if not you'll have to parallel import
I concur. They already lost the M dealership there due to poor sales and their after sales sucks to the core. They even have technicians race the 335s and had an incident recently where 2 of them got into an accident. Customers were peeved and threatened to make it a big thing. They offered them a brand new car so that they will keep quiet.

Their workshop too has the most incompetent mechanics who dont even live to the minimum level of what a mechanic should know. When I first brought in my M3, they said that the aircon gas pressure was too high bla bla bla. I know its fking bullshit because that ticking sound is throttle induced not passive where it comes on without any gas. I am surprised really that BMW is able to let this kinda dealer run. Even for me, when i have a problem, I always research the problem and read abt it before sending it in. Because I know they will touch unnecessary things. And i hate it when they tell me its something else which is totally unrelated.

Same as the post 1200km service for my M3. I told them DONT TOUCH THE TRANNY fluid. In the end when I collected the car, it was the wrong fluid and I immediately declined to collect the car. They got in some Pentosin liquid and flushed it out many times. I dont have an issue with the tranny YET but its scary knowing there is no more warranty on this because they voided it. Pretty fucking shit.

Anyway, most of the ppl there are paper pushing punks climbing the corporate ladder. They dont know alot of things a dealer ought to know.
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