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      10-09-2009, 12:43 AM   #67
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Tlud,

Pls see my comments in red below. Its easier to address it this way.

Sorry.


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Originally Posted by TLud View Post
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.

I hate to say this but flashing back to stock still leaves trail on the part number of the software as well as a date stamp. I have seen this with my own eyes and its a way to tell you that warranty is void. Sure you can fight it out but the digital signatures and time prints will be a first layer even if the stock standard software is inside. Unless you get your dealer to reflash it at their end but most dealers wont do it unless you have a problem with the car or pay for it. But its a way before you send it in for warranty.




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



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.

Thanks for your very insightful reply. Yes I am peeved because ultimately its the engine and the drivetrain that makes the M3. Nothing else.

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.

Yeah I agree on this. I have hit 270km/h on my car on stock standard ECU before and I am very sure of this cause I remembered i could not go higher than this on both 6th and 7th gear. Perhaps it could have been higher but not much higher. Still an area that is subject to scrutiny and assumptions.

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.

I am afraid I cant talk much about my tuner and his access to the latest OEM software versions. He has tuned countless of S65 M3's all over the world with very good results. I also know he did not remove the limiter at all because I was next to him when he custom tuned my car for 4 over hours on and off dyno. I knew he did remove the top speed governor and gave me a little more oomph up on top. Also, reduced the sensitivity of the O2 sensors for my Akra Exhaust so that I wont get the CEL. Basically, only these. I could have asked him to push it harder as there was more room but I knew this was a high compression engine and I was also going to track it so I wanted just a little bit more threshold. But obviously the threshold for this engine has been designed to be very low. I had a good 5 months straight with 1 track session, everything was flawless until the second track day.

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.

Yes. That's why I also think that a tune on an existing software version which is recorded by the dealer and reflected in the FASTA database wont throw a red flag. Because the fascia of the software ID's wont create a doubt. But be very careful that if your top speed governor is removed and you have hit 300 over Km/h before, it is already recorded in the ECU. Even if you flash back to stock standard, that wont be erased. And it is a definite IMMEDIATE warranty void.

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).

Yeah the dealer is a cocksucker. They lost the M dealership so thats why they probbably didnt want anything to do with M Cars. Yes its pretty shit here the dealer and we only have one. But I am very confident of getting that re-instated back since my limiter has not been touched. I have seen the fields in the software when he was tuning and even he advised me against it because he said you wont gain much. So I know thats not touched at all.
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      10-09-2009, 12:58 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by rldzhao View Post
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.
Actually, I think its a matter of time before much of the weakness of the S65 comes to light. I feel there has not been enough load calculation done on this engine. And I also feel there is a huge issue with the pistons, valve springs, spark plugs (They are not cold enogh and I had to change mine at 20,000km because it didnt look too good) and certain sensors and parts in this engine. While I am in every way to blame now for touching the ECU and a legal way of disclaiming whatever I did, there are a few people who already knows that this engine has not been built very bulletproof. I forsee BMW will be having a very big problem over time to come because eventually weaknesses in engine will come to light.

While tuning the ECU in a way voids the warranty, it also shows that how ever so marginal a bump in power and variables drastically affects the engine where driving patterns are consistent. I fully agree that even the best tuners can tune this engine properly and safely. But if there is an inherent flaw and weakness in the engine, it is definitely going to show earlier. BMW can be bastard and void the warranty but eventually when a plethora of stock engines w/ stock ECU comes back with engine problems, they will know something is really wrong then. They might or might not know by now something is wrong but I am sure it will happen. Even the the S54 engines concerning cases of damage to the connecting rod bearings leading to engine failure on S54 engines in E46 M3 and M roadster/coupe cars, they were recalled finally. Now if yo were the first one to get this problem and supposedly your car was tuned, you are shit out of luck. But then comes a time where you see this recall and you find out that it was an inherent design issue, what can you do? Nothing. Thats what I am saying. You gotta pay to play. Even if you were right about it, BMW wouldnt care because cost cutting is what everyone is doing right now. And as insignificant I am to BMW, the fact that this engine is built weak will show itself over time. Yes the tuning just brought it forward on the weaknesses of this engine.
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      10-09-2009, 01:02 AM   #69
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Quote:
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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.
sorry to be a little off topic but are you saying the main dealership in singapore doesnt even sell M cars now ?
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      10-09-2009, 01:05 AM   #70
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Mike,

My comments below. It will be nice to talk to you if you are free.

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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.

Dont forget BMW has a very large market share in NA. They cant be seen too hard on warranty claims unless they are absolutely sure they can get away with it. With much protection laws in the US against customers, it is not easy. Plus they have a huge base for absorbing warranty claims so it is a marginal cost to them. And I dont think the N54 is even remotely expensive compared to the S65 engines.

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.

I am afraid I cant disclose much about the tuner and his credentials. But if you want more details, you can PM me.

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.

The first few people with problems with the engines are the biggest losers. Because BMWwill say nothing is wrong. As numbers build up, they will be forced to do an investigation. After that, you will see a nice little recall.
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      10-09-2009, 01:09 AM   #71
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sorry to be a little off topic but are you saying the main dealership in singapore doesnt even sell M cars now ?
Yup they were stripped of the M cars earlier this year. They only sold 26 over cars last year I think. Hell I think thats what 1 dealer in US sells in 3 months??? Not to mention they costs USD$250k for one.

P.S - THE OFFICIAL LETTER FROM BMW ASIA ON FIRST PAGE RE-UPLOADED.
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      10-09-2009, 03:08 AM   #72
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Can the dealerships check if you over-rev?
When something is wrong, they check everything. I'm sure they know their own cars better than anyone else.
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      10-09-2009, 03:09 AM   #73
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Out of curiosity, did you run regular unleaded in there?
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      10-09-2009, 03:23 AM   #74
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When something is wrong, they check everything. I'm sure they know their own cars better than anyone else.
Doubt it. If they did find anything, they would have told me. While I know there is something very wrong with the engine, and confirmed by a few mechanics who have been working heavily on BMW Engines, they highly suspect the exhaust valves are bent. As with some ppl here who have experienced this.

I find it very disturbing that they have told me the car is normal, pat me on the back and whispered in my ear the warranty is void on both engine and drivetrain and send me running along. If they knew something is wrong,they would have taken more time with the car. Record breaking 3 days of seeing the car an voiding it.

I find it shady. It's like I sent in the car just to get the warranty voided. No mention at all of the problem I am having was addressed at all. They claim it's normal. Look at knifegun and snowsm3. They were having main bearing issues and their cars or engines were replaced under warranty. Now if say their car was tuned, would BMW still have replaced them? Obviously not. So inherent design issues or not, as long as the ecu is tuned, it won't be seen in good light for sure.
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      10-09-2009, 05:10 AM   #75
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What are the symptoms that lead you to believe you have a bent exhaust valve? I've only owned 1 car that had this...a 911 after an over rev (done before I bought it)...and it ran fine except when it got hot it was lumpy on tick over. It took Porsche about 6 months to find the problem, they just changed the valves in the end as they couldn't figure what else it could be.
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      10-09-2009, 08:00 AM   #76
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Time to way in on this subject as I do have some 1st hand knowlege on this subject,but it was not my car that this happened to but here I go.This engine had around 20000 kms on it when it started to run rough in normal highway driving and was towed to the the dealer.It was discovered that 1 cylinder had no compression the dealer at that time determined that that the engine had been subjected to an overspeed condition when it had somewhere around 3000 kms and that BMW Canada was refusing warranty coverage because of this.
The dealer refused to tear down the engine to find the source of the problem till the customer accepted the responsiability of the labour for this.My friend went up the ladder at BMW Canada till he got hold of the person who could make the decision to tear down the motor to source the problem and 2 weeks had gone by at this point.
Once it was torn down it was determined that 1 intake valve had had contact with a piston & the valve spring was broken on that valve
.


BMW at this point decided to cover this under warranty as the fault was isolated to 1 cylinder and none of the other components showed any damage caused by an overrev but they did change all 32 valve springs as a precaution..If the car had a "tune",I am quite sure BMW would not have approved any warranty coverage on this problem.My friend was was also very honest with BMW about what could have happened to cause this problem and the DME information was also sent to Germany for a complete investigation.
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      10-09-2009, 08:48 AM   #77
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This all really sucks, but just think about it. If this happens at 51,000 miles (in the U.S.), you'll be paying for it regardless of a tune. I guess it's an additional incentive for us 6MT drivers to be mindful of the gates (money shift).
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      10-09-2009, 09:59 AM   #78
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There's only one thing I have learned in this thread. Don't move to Singapore.
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      10-09-2009, 10:05 AM   #79
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There's only one thing I have learned in this thread. Don't move to Singapore.
Hahahahahaha...You damn skippy. Should have got a C63 AMG instead.
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      10-09-2009, 10:19 AM   #80
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Hahahahahaha...You damn skippy. Should have got a C63 AMG instead.
hhaha... my father lives in singapore right now and he runs a car rental business.. he used to have bmws in his fleet but now the whole fleet are mercedes cars... he kept telling me that bmws breakdown all the time in singapore... maybe the dealership has something to do with this. it seems like all bmw cars command a significantly lower price than the equivalent mercedes car in singapore.
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      10-09-2009, 10:40 AM   #81
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and pay ridiculous road tax for the c63 bro.. hope you sort out the issue.. keep me updated, you got my msn

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Hahahahahaha...You damn skippy. Should have got a C63 AMG instead.
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      10-09-2009, 11:16 AM   #82
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hhaha... my father lives in singapore right now and he runs a car rental business.. he used to have bmws in his fleet but now the whole fleet are mercedes cars... he kept telling me that bmws breakdown all the time in singapore... maybe the dealership has something to do with this. it seems like all bmw cars command a significantly lower price than the equivalent mercedes car in singapore.
Should be the dealer, Performance Motors Limited. So many complains abt their incompetant and shit service. I pray they lose the main BMW dealership too. Alot of cars become worse after sending it in for service. That's why so many people are parallel importing bmws now because the authorized dealer is incompetant. And we got only 1 here.
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      10-09-2009, 11:44 AM   #83
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My rev limit is set to 8.700rpm and I frequently use 8.600rpm on the Nuerburgring to avoid 2 shifts (1 up, 1 down) in front of some turns. No problems at all. BMW M is testing the S65 up to 9.500rpm on the dyno...
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      10-09-2009, 12:01 PM   #84
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Should be the dealer, Performance Motors Limited. So many complains abt their incompetant and shit service. I pray they lose the main BMW dealership too. Alot of cars become worse after sending it in for service. That's why so many people are parallel importing bmws now because the authorized dealer is incompetant. And we got only 1 here.
Sounds to me like a good investment opprotunity during the global economic downturn. Sure BMW sales aren't what they could be right now, but when things come back you'll be in a great position. (Note: I know nothing about the economic status of Singapore or their laws/regulations/barrier to entry, so take what I say with a huge grain of salt.)
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      10-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Checkcaptain View Post
My rev limit is set to 8.700rpm and I frequently use 8.600rpm on the Nuerburgring to avoid 2 shifts (1 up, 1 down) in front of some turns. No problems at all. BMW M is testing the S65 up to 9.500rpm on the dyno...
That's awesome! I assume you know someone at M? : )
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      10-09-2009, 01:56 PM   #86
KiokenM3
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sorry to hear
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      10-09-2009, 04:32 PM   #87
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You know, just in thinking about this, if BMW ever voided my warranty because of an over-rev, I would seriously want to know the date of this event to check against maintenance work. I have a sneaking suspicion that these cars go on quite aggressive QA drives after maintenance and/or other repairs, if my lower mpg after pickup is any indication.

Serious food for thought here.
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      10-09-2009, 08:02 PM   #88
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BMW service can plug in and see the highest speed your car has traveled and the max revs you have had it at. Even if you exceed them by as little as 150 RPM or 10 MPH. This information is stored and cannot be removed by simply re-installing your stock software file. Both of these are red flags that you are currently or have at one point run aftermarket software. We tell every customer who asks us the same thing. If you want to be 100% safe with your BMW warranty dont modify your car or run aftermarket software. If you want to modify with minimal risk run software from a vendor who has a solid reputation and never request a RPM limit above stock or top speed governor removal when you order software. If you choose to have these options or purchase software from a start up tuner then you need to live with the risks involved.
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