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    • 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. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BASELINE Click here to enlarge
        Oh....and Sportec has already been tuning the Panamera Turbo as well...and they aren't the only ones. ;-)
        Yes, but I think he was referring to the newer models that have a different ecu. Have they been tuned yet?
      1. alq80's Avatar
        alq80 -
        I agree with alot that has been said, especially that if we tune, we lose the warranty. BUT!! It seems to me that alot of people who lose warranty for their engines also lose it for the rest of the car... is this true? I mean a tune doesnt affect your interior, your suspention etc, but it affects the engine. So, if bmw told me that if anything happens to the engine, I have to pay for it, then so be it. I am willing to take on that risk, provided they still perform the same warranty and maintenance procedures minus the engine's. (God, I wish that was the case)

        But BMW know that they have hordcore customers and enthusiasts who dont like to change one minute detail of their cars, and keep them in their original forms for years and years. I guess BMW has them covered; they provide them with leather cleaning supplies.

        And, I am sure BMW is not oblivious to those who like to increase performance, but the way they see it, they want as many people to lease their cars as possible. That way, they get to charge a percentage that they otherwise couldn't and that seems to be the best deal for them. I dont think that BMW will get the message if we keep buying their cars, because honestly, our options just expanded. The american car industry is putting on a hell of a fight and believe me, everyone is taking notice.

        I just wish that after the warranty is over, bmw provide their customers with a way to read the car, diagnose it and care for it without needing to go to the dealership... that or get dealers to start giving a $#@! about their customers and not about squeezing every last penny out of us. Maybe it comes down to the face-to-face relationship we have with BMW...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by alq80 Click here to enlarge
        I agree with alot that has been said, especially that if we tune, we lose the warranty. BUT!! It seems to me that alot of people who lose warranty for their engines also lose it for the rest of the car... is this true? I mean a tune doesnt affect your interior, your suspention etc, but it affects the engine. So, if bmw told me that if anything happens to the engine, I have to pay for it, then so be it. I am willing to take on that risk, provided they still perform the same warranty and maintenance procedures minus the engine's. (God, I wish that was the case)
        The Magnusson-Moss act was created for exactly this reason. The burden of proof is on the dealer to show that something you did affected the brakes, or coolant lines, or power window mechanisms. They can't simply void your entire warranty for a tune, it is illegal.
      1. alq80's Avatar
        alq80 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        The Magnusson-Moss act was created for exactly this reason. The burden of proof is on the dealer to show that something you did affected the brakes, or coolant lines, or power window mechanisms. They can't simply void your entire warranty for a tune, it is illegal.
        I know this but (I may have just missed this) I don't recall hearing of people with voided warranties going in for anythin basic. The argument being, the dealer won't touch the car with mods even when warranty is voided.
      1. fastgti69's Avatar
        fastgti69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by MHP LLC Click here to enlarge
        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?

        here you go audi b8 s4 been cracked and tuned.

        http://sportec.ch/page7496.html

        worlds first, http://achtuning.com/videos/another-teaser-from-apr-b8-s4-chip-content/

        that just shows that it is possible. you gotta remember, the same ppl that made the ecu "impossible to crack" will be the same ppl to make it possible Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by alq80 Click here to enlarge
        I know this but (I may have just missed this) I don't recall hearing of people with voided warranties going in for anythin basic. The argument being, the dealer won't touch the car with mods even when warranty is voided.
        They will touch the car if the warranty is voided, they just will charge you insane money.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fastgti69 Click here to enlarge
        that just shows that it is possible. you gotta remember, the same ppl that made the ecu "impossible to crack" will be the same ppl to make it possible
        I think he is referring to a specific model year of the ECU, not the first S4's but the most recent ones.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Thought this was interesting:

        With this in mind, SEMA (the Specialty Equipment Market Association), through the SEMA Action Network (SAN), gave us an idea of what the current rules are and what they might become in the future.

        You thought SEMA was the organization that produced the parts-and-accessories trade show in Vegas every year, right? So did we... But it turns out SEMA also has an active lobbying presence in Washington DC, working with federal and state regulators to keep the business and pleasure of modifying cars working on both levels.
      1. encinitas's Avatar
        encinitas -
        I have no issue with BMW taking this route - other posts point out the reasons in this thread. Also, tuners will always find a way to get around this policy, as mentioned. The problem comes with the N54's fuel system IMHO. It fails regardless of what is or isn't done. We all know BMW doesn't want to help out tuned vehicles. The big hurt is that they usually decide to give "Joe No Tune" a hard time and make him jump through hoops to get anything done under warranty.

        This is a business decision that shows that they don't really care about anyone's satisfaction after that person buys this system - it seems that they figure that having this stance will allow the finances to come out in their favor. Other manufacturers can really clean house with sales if they can bring their product up to a certain level and become more tuner and warranty friendly as well. ( BMW's chief argument on the radio to buy their car is the savings that you can find with their extended service / warranty). Yeah, if you are tuned, this is out, but, even if you aren't tuned, you will most likely not have this advertised experience towards your warranty.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by encinitas Click here to enlarge
        This is a business decision that shows that they don't really care about anyone's satisfaction after that person buys this system - it seems that they figure that having this stance will allow the finances to come out in their favor. Other manufacturers can really clean house with sales if they can bring their product up to a certain level and become more tuner and warranty friendly as well.
        This is the key point I think. They want to sell it, and don't care afterwards. That does not promote customer loyalty. That may be why BMW is trying new financing programs to get greater loyalty as people seem to not be buying repeat BMW's.

        Ford is killing them on the tuner friendly product front. If I had to do it over again, I would have gotten a GT500, no joke.
      1. MHP LLC's Avatar
        MHP LLC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fastgti69 Click here to enlarge
        here you go audi b8 s4 been cracked and tuned.

        http://sportec.ch/page7496.html

        worlds first, http://achtuning.com/videos/another-teaser-from-apr-b8-s4-chip-content/

        that just shows that it is possible. you gotta remember, the same ppl that made the ecu "impossible to crack" will be the same ppl to make it possible Click here to enlarge
        LOL, buy one from them and see. Click here to enlarge

        There are canbus tuners (MTM, APR, etc) but they aren't making any power and that's not real tuning.

        Besides the 3.0 B8s make 400-415HP stock, they are horribly underrated from the factory.

        Trust me it hasn't been hacked and the gen II and III SE processors are even worse.

        I've been hearing the same lines regarding (the people that make them at night come home and reverse engineer them), in this case and in the future, no they don't. It's not like it used to be. Leaking out encryption keys is step 1 of 100.
      1. MHP LLC's Avatar
        MHP LLC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BASELINE Click here to enlarge
        Oh....and Sportec has already been tuning the Panamera Turbo as well...and they aren't the only ones. ;-)
        It's called "wind" and no, they aren't.
      1. MHP LLC's Avatar
        MHP LLC -
        10 second phone call confirms, they are simply piggybacking it, that's not tuning nor will it produce nearly the same results as a legit remap.
      1. Mike's Avatar
        Mike -
        Andy, do the dealers/manufacturers need a way to tune/retune these new encrypted cpu lockout processors? What techniques and or software do they use to keep the tunes optimal for stock applications? The theory is if one can tune the processor their has to be a way to retune it.
      1. MHP LLC's Avatar
        MHP LLC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@MHP Click here to enlarge
        Andy, do the dealers/manufacturers need a way to tune/retune these new encrypted cpu lockout processors? What techniques and or software do they use to keep the tunes optimal for stock applications? The theory is if one can tune the processor their has to be a way to retune it.
        The amount of people with access to the necessary software to read out and change a file is highly limited. It's an all around crack down, OEMs realize that the only way for the last gen of processors (ala N54 for example) were able to be remapped was due to a subsidiary leaking out the info.

        The factory can do whatever it wants, but the key to remember is, even with the encryption keys, we're still not even close--and there are no keys yet.

        Bosch has lost a lot of business due to their inability thier info proprietary which is why so many OEMs are switching to Siemens/Continental.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by MHP LLC Click here to enlarge
        10 second phone call confirms, they are simply piggybacking it, that's not tuning nor will it produce nearly the same results as a legit remap.
        Piggybacking off the main ecu with a separate box?

        So no flash tuning?
      1. MHP LLC's Avatar
        MHP LLC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Piggybacking off the main ecu with a separate box?

        So no flash tuning?
        Sportec, yes correct.
      1. Fuerza's Avatar
        Fuerza -
        What is wrong with just piggybacking new BMW DME's? Doesn't HPF use the AEM system in a piggyback style?? HPF cars don't seem to have any problems making power.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Adgar Click here to enlarge
        What is wrong with just piggybacking new BMW DME's? Doesn't HPF use the AEM system in a piggyback style?? HPF cars don't seem to have any problems making power.
        The issue is the ability to tune the main ecu. Active can do that, in these applications, it seems the tuners can't access the ECU to change the parameters they want to change.
      1. Fuerza's Avatar
        Fuerza -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        The issue is the ability to tune the main ecu. Active can do that, in these applications, it seems the tuners can't access the ECU to change the parameters they want to change.
        I would love to know how Active can do it yet others haven't figured it out. BMW Tuning = Black Magic.