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      04-17-2013, 02:18 PM   #1
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Drives: 2011 M3 e90
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Chicagoland

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Another Benvo satisfy!

To start, this was a hell of an adventure including restaurant managers, local cops, a tightened sphincter (mine) and a rainstorm from hell. But more on that in a minute.

First allow me to praise the software and more so, the man behind it Mike Benvo. My car is, previous to me, all Dinan'd up. Tune, intake, pulley and L3 suspension. It just came that way along with a full Akra Evo exhaust. I thought it the cat's meow, but the engine just ran rough-ish. That, I just figured, was the nature of the beast and lived with it. The cold start noise it made, however, made me absolutely nuts. The few times my better half pulled the car out while I was standing nearby I felt like I had to vacate my bowels right after due to the low note rumble. It was THAT bad. So I finally got the gumption to get a tune.

I researched the field - sure there are pros and cons and lovers and haters of the various flavors available. I won't go into the merits or cons here, you can (or have already read them). In the end, they're about the same though. Minimal HP gains and some features. BPM adds a feature, however, that I haven't really read about the others delivering - Mike. When people talk about him supporting the product, they aren't kidding and in this case, it made the difference.

The tune did what it advertised to do - got rid of the cold start nonsense, I also lowered my cold-start RPM down and a couple of other things. But a warm and welcome (and somewhat expected) surprise was that driveability improved. Throttle response is a schotche better than with Dinan but the overall feel is just smoother. The car doesn't feel like an old stock-car with a ticking idle. It now just goes and does so very welcomingly. Love the tune - thanks for that Mike.

On to the cops - so the time comes for me to load it up. I live in a condo building on the 5th floor with my garage under ground. No network access there so I run a 50' cable to the window, put my wifi router in the window and wait for the line of sight spot to open up.

It opens up, I run down, drive to the street - spot is taken. GRRRR. Doesn't this local shopper know I have real work to do? Luckily, I found a spot across the street and jumped on it. Not quite line of sight to my wifi, but I still had a 5 bar signal. SWEET!

Get Mike on the phone and we begin. Mike walks through the diags to make sure there are no issues and instructs me to back-up the current code. Since this is roughly a 35 minute copy, we agree that I'll call back when done. Sure enough about a half hour later, I call him up.

It is now raining like crazy. I'm on the street in a restauran/shopping district. Windows are all steamed up because the car is off and I'm in it on a humid raining day.

We decode what was in it - Dinan is using 190 code, so we need a base update to 240. We start loading the 240 update and about 60% of the way through loading, the laptop thrillingly states something along the lines of - USB connection cannot find ECU. Translation: your ECU is now dead and we didn't load the whole code. WHAAAT!?

Mike talks me down off the ledge. We try a few other things and over and over the code load is failing. It's now about 90 minutes into this and I'm freaking out. My cell phone battery is down to 30%. Laptop 35%. Car battery: who knows!?

While we are talking through options, some guy starts knocking on my passenger window. I roll it down (laptop on my lap, windows all steamed up, cables everywhere) and he asks "are you ok?" To which I replied, yes, my car is dead I'm working on fixing it. He tells me "you can't be here, move the car." REALLY rocket scientist? I'd love to! I can't get rid of this guy. He is persistent, I roll the windows up he's still there. WTF?! All the meanwhile, you could stick graphite up my backside and I'd output diamonds.

Finally the dude walks away. We resume trying to load. Fail. Load. Fail. Cop car. Cop car goes past, does a U turn and pulls up along side me. I roll the window down and tell the cop "I live here, here is my DL, my car died while tuning and I'm trying to resurrect it, all my batteries are nearly at 25% and I only have a couple of more shots at it." He looks at my DL, sees that's the building next to it and is actually pretty cool about it. Asks what I'm tuning with, etc... trying to be nice. I tell him - "I'm really sorry, batteries are near gone, I'd love to fill you in but need to get this working." He understands tells me to have a nice evening and good luck.

Load, fail, load, success! It took! So base 240 is now loaded. I'm exhausted. Mike urges me to push on and load the tune itself. Reluctantly I do. Load... FAIL. WTF!?

After about seven tries, it takes. I aged 20 years in the process.

Doing a postmortem on this - what went wrong? Nothing on the BPM side. Don't take this at all as a negative. It was my laptop. I'm on a Mac with VMware and something was interrupting. My best guess for you other Mac guys is that I am running iMessage in the background. Every time an iMessage that went to my iPhone got mirrored to the laptop, it was timed about when the load failed. My guess is that it was interrupting VMware. Killing the wifi for that last load (before starting it) was what was needed.

In any case the take away on this story - while I could have done almost the same thing on my own with the other products, having Mike there with me the whole time and giving me options made the difference.

Right now I have a fantastic tune, a fun story, and maybe I'll get those years back eventually. Many thanks for everything Mike!
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      04-17-2013, 02:30 PM   #2

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Great story! Talk about dedication, satisfaction and frustration in one pop!
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      04-17-2013, 02:37 PM   #3

Drives: 2011 E92 M3
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Location: Houston, TX

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Great story! I'd be eyeing the ledge myself. Way to persevere!
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      04-17-2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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Drives: 08 E92 M3 /07 Z4MR / 99 E36 M3
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One of the best reviews yet hahaha. Very entertaining. Congrats on your tune!

FYI, I was in and out in 20 mins
Current: E92 M3 Sparkling Graphite/Bamboo Beige/6MT. E36 M3 Techno Violet/Dove/5MT. E85 Z4MR Alpine White/Imola Red/6MT
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      04-17-2013, 03:48 PM   #5
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That was a fun read. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the tune .
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      04-17-2013, 04:34 PM   #6

Drives: LSB E92 M3
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Orange County, CA

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Well written and entertaining story. Thanks for sharing!

This also makes me glad I live in SoCal so I can have Mike tune it himself and make sure all goes smoothly...
2013 M3 Coupe Individual | Laguna Seca Blue | 6MT | Black Extended | Piano Black | Moonroof
MS Stage II Intake + Test Pipes | Dinan Pulley | BPM Tune | Racing Dynamics Springs | IND painted accessories | ZCP Knob | OSS Angel Eyes
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      04-17-2013, 04:59 PM   #7
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I would like to know how many other tuners would have given up after a handful of attempts. This is what I call customer service. Great review and another feather on the cap for Mike Benvo. It's very interesting how people passionately talk about his customer service and then about his tune. Has anyone taken note of that? Just goes to show how much we value someone's one-on-one service. There's a lesson to be learnt from this.
E92 M3 2007 - ///PE with Test Pipes and BPM Stage II; CF Interior & Splitters; CIC with Connected Drive
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      04-18-2013, 01:57 PM   #8
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You are a talented writer...very humorous! Thanks for sharing a great review.
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      04-18-2013, 05:02 PM   #9
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Great story tellin there
Congrats on the tune

11' E92 M3 Space Grey | DCT | ESS VT2- 625 | Gintani Race (valved) + Quad Res Catless X-Pipe | KW Sleeve's | GC Camber Plates|Arkym Diffuser | Vorsteiner VRS Lip | P3 Boost Guage | Stud Conversion
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      04-18-2013, 05:20 PM   #10

Drives: 09 e92 M3, DCT.
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Columbus, OH

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Lol, i wouldve freaked too! I had to do mine with an ancient laptop bc my work would castrate me if i used their equipment. It took forever but Mike was patient with me and we got it loaded up. Like your situation, it had nothing to do with Mike but he was cool about my predicament.
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