• Poll of the month - How do you feel about BMW anti-tuning?



      This is our question of the month for September 2010. BMW is increasingly taking measures to make it difficult to tune the cars. This goes against the very spirit of BimmerBoost and the BMW enthusiast. We don't want them to continue taking control away from us as well as hurting the aftermarket. We do understand the need for BMW to protect themselves from people who abuse leases, but what about the person who intends to buy and keep the car? Should they not have the option to buy with an unrestricted ECU foregoing partial aspects of the warranty?

      If BMW keeps this up, I may end up in a different car. Even Mercedes is rumored to be getting in on this with ECU's that won't be tuneable. American manufacturers embrace enthusiasts, Ford is offering factory supercharger options for the Mustang GT. If a user wants to get really crazy with it, they can forego their warranty and get a max performance setup. Ford gives users the choice. Chevy even allows performance engine owners to build their motors themselves if they want to. BMW is making changes that are best for their bottom line but spit in the face of their most loyal, dedicated fans. The best BMW has done for us is offer some Motorsport parts but those hardly consist of superchargers or turbos. How do you feel about it?
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Poll of the month - How do you feel about BMW anti-tuning? started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 70 Comments
      1. Itsbrokeagain's Avatar
        Itsbrokeagain -
        I for one think its bs. I know there are a few warranty claims out there that are done because of the sheer fact that the owner is dicking around and touching stuff he shouldnt be touching...and shorts a wire, fries a DME, etc. Those obviously make us all look bad.

        However, what is the reason they are stepping this up? So far i canmot think of a single tune related issue that wouldnt happen on a stock car, aside from people destroying turbos. Faulty wastegates, failing fuel pumps, injectors, intank pumps, vanos solenoids, camshaft bearing ledges...these all happen on a car thats completely stock. is it our fault that they made one of the best engines in history thats also the biggest piece of $#@! at the same time? It seems like they dont want to admit there were a few things they pushed into production that werent quite consumer proofed....and are turning around and pointing the finger at us to get the spotlight off them.

        I understand that they are also looking to up the emissions ante because of more stringent laws...and they dont want people touching it. This is due to politics. Unfortunatley we have croney captialism surrounding the country and the greenies are in power shoving their ideals down our throats...i could get into the whole obama thing but thats for another story.

        Ever wonder how the new camaro ss passed the emissions laws and got the mpg listed on the sticker? By locking out 2nd gear unless you are over 3500 rpm. Almost all the owners bypassed this little feature that costs 15 bucks and plugs right in to defeat the system...and returns the car to a more enjoyable state of driving.

        All this because the car would have gotten slapped with gross polluter and gas guzzler taxes if it didnt meet the requirements. I have a feeling bmw is going down the same road.


        To me this feels like the end of an era....just like the mid 90s when the last of the great supercars started to get phased out due to emissions and price and the stupid SUV craze that caused their untimely demise.
      1. Itsbrokeagain's Avatar
        Itsbrokeagain -
        I forgot to add that today we live in a world where the consumer that finances a new car is getting less and less...everyone wants to just lease a new car, beat the $#@! out of it and not maintain it, and return it and let the next person worry about it..$#@! them attitude, while I get into my new car and beat the crap out of this one.

        It also stems from the fact that these cars get increasingly expensive to maintain outside of warranty...and with Americas idea of driving something they cant afford to pay for or are paying for at the limit (or outside the limit) of their budget to maintain status quo and be 'baller' or rich, well leasing makes perfect sense. I can be rich, get $#@!es and pussy and look like I have millions without having it. Why should I have to pay more?

        Its bull$#@! that Americans materialistic way of living has been our downfall for a long time. And it hurts the true enthusiasts who buy these cars because they love them and want to own it for more than 2 years. Half the people in the performance section of E90 are all kids, living outside their means to be 'cool'...I never understood the point of modifying a car on lease anyway...you pay more in the end to take it all back to stock anyway. Sure my car was an employee lease vehicle...I had intended to buy it out afterwards and keep it but with the current gf at the time it made me change my priorities during the last 6 months of ownership (had I known the outcome of the relationship I would probably still own the car). But the only thing I did was springs and wheels...stuff that was easily reversible. People are changing bumpers, all bolt ons, full track suspensions, etc....then putting it back to stock after 2 years and getting into another car and putting all the stuff on THAT car. I dont understand the logic behind it.

        Ok I went off on a tangent big time on that one.
      1. Itsbrokeagain's Avatar
        Itsbrokeagain -
        and one last thing. I hate having so many electronic ninnies controlling my every last breath of air, fuel and fire. Which is one of the reasons I went back to an older BMW. Something that is more user friendly and easily modified without throwing codes or CELs. Who cares if I qualify as a gross polluter. There are plenty of mack trucks rolling out spitting black smoke out the pipe that contribute to poor air quality standards than my BMW that has a cat still on it.
      1. Scorpion's Avatar
        Scorpion -
        Hmm interesting, I guess this doesn't effect me much. Since my knowledge about tuning is pretty slim. People will find a way around it, someone always does it seems. If all else does fail, guess I'll be driving a Nissan or Lexus.
      1. MSpiredM3's Avatar
        MSpiredM3 -
        There will always be a way to get past their "protections" IMO
      1. Monster135's Avatar
        Monster135 -
        Again more reason to switch back to a Subaru. Performance friendly well engineered cars and dealerships who are cool with performance mods. BMW really needs to wake up...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Matt@Camber-Toe Click here to enlarge
        It seems like they dont want to admit there were a few things they pushed into production that werent quite consumer proofed....and are turning around and pointing the finger at us to get the spotlight off them.
        This is definitely a part of it. When the DCT had issues early on, BMW sat around and played with software instead of doing the proper hardware recall. With the HPFP I have no doubt they also tried software fixes but those only mask problems.

        I think it is more than just this though. With these turbo motors, there is less of an incentive to step up to the big boys. BMW is protecting their hierarchy as well. Ford on the other hand encourages sibling rivalry.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Matt@Camber-Toe Click here to enlarge
        I forgot to add that today we live in a world where the consumer that finances a new car is getting less and less...everyone wants to just lease a new car, beat the $#@! out of it and not maintain it, and return it and let the next person worry about it..$#@! them attitude, while I get into my new car and beat the crap out of this one.
        Absolutely true, we are living in a world where everything is becoming disposable, including cars.
      1. MHP LLC's Avatar
        MHP LLC -
        Out for over 1.5 years and to date no one has cracked or has even come close to the Siemens RSA 104 byte encrypted controllers with CPU lockout. See 2010 Audi S4 and 2010 Panamera Turbo for evidence. The best and brightest have been working on cracking these since day 1 and have gotten nowhere, and this is just the first gen of super encrypted processors.
        Enjoy it while you can gents, there is pressure from so many sides on this is issue it's not a question of if but when.
        Maybe this will give us reason to buy American again?
      1. DD GT3 RD's Avatar
        DD GT3 RD -
        ^ So nobody can tune the s4 or Panamera turbo?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by MHP LLC Click here to enlarge
        The best and brightest have been working on cracking these since day 1 and have gotten nowhere, and this is just the first gen of super encrypted processors.
        Just like with current BMW processors, they will need help from the inside. Tuning does exist for both that you mentioned.

        Regarding buying American, you bet.
      1. NatAsp-M3's Avatar
        NatAsp-M3 -
        Anything else, Matt? j/k

        I think it's completely understandable that BMW wants to protect their warranty. However, there should be an "unlock" option: you go to the dealer and say you want your ECU decrypted. They decrypt it, and document your warranty as void. Some may argue, but I think that is fair and reasonable. What I think is worse than manufacturers' data encryption is the apparent theft of Tuner's algorithyms. In my mind, that is stealing food off a man's table, and if ever documented, I would never ever ever support that kind of pathetic low-life behavior,
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by NatAsp-M3 Click here to enlarge
        They decrypt it, and document your warranty as void. Some may argue, but I think that is fair and reasonable.
        Not only is it fair and reasonable it should be required by law. Why should BMW be allowed hold something you own hostage?
      1. BattaM3's Avatar
        BattaM3 -
        Well I just go a built older BMW turbo beast. E30 and e36 hear I come. 997tt/gt2/3 is on my list also. So I'm covered for years to come. BMW should have a option to be able to tune for us hardcores. I will be keeping my e46m3 forever!!!
      1. Monster135's Avatar
        Monster135 -
        BMW is a joke. Rather than dealing with real issues like the HFFP failures, they're focused on anti-tuning measures. Way to go BMW!
      1. alq80's Avatar
        alq80 -
        yeah I wish they would support those of us who like increasing performance. especially when they make platforms that beg to be pushed!!
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Maybe once the ODOM hits 50k or 4 yrs, whichever is first, it should just be "unlocked" automatically. and then if you want to get an extended warranty you have to take it in anyway, so BMW would reset the "unlock"timer.. sounds reasonable no..
      1. BattaM3's Avatar
        BattaM3 -
        They should just give us a choice. Like I said my next build are going to be older BMW so I don't even care.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        Maybe once the ODOM hits 50k or 4 yrs, whichever is first, it should just be "unlocked" automatically. and then if you want to get an extended warranty you have to take it in anyway, so BMW would reset the "unlock"timer.. sounds reasonable no..
        That is better than nothing, but really, if buy the car you shouldn't have to wait. Doesn't make sense to me to drive around for 50k before getting to play with it. I think the moment I own I should get to do whatever the hell I please with it.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Of course, its yours, your allowed to do as you wish, but thinkin from the companies standpoint, that is a reasonable agreement. They have to think of the "bottom line" with warranty claims and such.

        of course once YOU pay for it, YOU should be able to do with it what you please. But the flagrant use of warranty claims/fraud has put them in a corner. Not everyone has such high morals when it comes to expensive $$ for repairs.