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Thread: BMW is secretly de-tuning the n54

  1. #1
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    BMW is secretly de-tuning the n54

    I bought a CPO 335i 5 weeks ago. I really like it. Very fast. Nice drive. I had what I consider to be a minor issue last week with SOS call system failure. I took my car in to the dealership for a TCU replacement. It took longer than expected but the operation was successful. I noticed however that my car was much slower. I brushed it off for a couple of days until I was sure it wasn't just me.

    I called the dealership today several times and left a message with the service manager outlining my suspicion that somehow my car seemed to have been de-tuned. I finally got a call back from the service manager who told m straight away that I was correct and that they had de-tuned my vehicle. It seems that BMW's new code update tuns down the turbo boost to compensate fo complaints about the wastegate rattling. They were instructed by BMW that in the event a customer notices the performance degradation, thatthey are to roll back the software to the previous version. I have to go back to the shop.

    I asked if there was a pending upgrade to the OEM wastegate and they had no information.

    Be aware, if you get the latest code upgrade on your n54 vehicle, you secretly will have your engine de-tuned. The difference in pre/post acceleration was dramatic.

  2. #2
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    interesting. See if they can give that to you in writing? I'd love to ask my BMW dealership about why my car seemed so different after my HPFP replacement.

    When I brought it to them first, they did a software update but it didn't feel any different.

    Then, the 2nd visit was the HPFP replacement. That is when I noticed the car was a little "off"

    When I womp on the car though it still feels just as powerful as always. It's when I'm just coasting in low to mid power that it just doesn't feel like it has the same amount of power or torque.

  3. #3
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    Nothing new here. Been hearing this on here for 2 years almost. Thanks for sharing though.
    "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens", Friedrich von Schiller
    "Life is simple, people make it complicated"
    About me: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...82&postcount=4
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    Previous Cars: 2013 F30 335ix 6MT Msport (Nov 2013-17); 2011 e90 328i 6MT ZSP (Aug 10-Nov 13); 07 e90-323i ZSP (May 07 - Aug 10); 97-318ti ZSP (Feb 97 - May 07)

  4. #4
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    It my understanding that this is a brand new updae.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by granger View Post
    It my understanding that this is a brand new updae.
    I don't know, maybe your update is new. But wastegate rattles have been an issue since 2007 or 2008 if I recall correctly and back then BMW came up with a software update to fix the rattle but at the expense of more lag or less power. I can see if I can dig one of the earliest posts on here.

    Ok maybe my memory was a bit fuzzy on dates, I found this from the beginning of 2009, could have been some others earlier. Regardless, it is not a new issue, almost 2 years since this post was made and the issue was being reported much earlier:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1163880
    Last edited by mryakan; 12-17-2010 at 04:26 PM.
    "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens", Friedrich von Schiller
    "Life is simple, people make it complicated"
    About me: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...82&postcount=4
    Current Car (delivered 15/12/17): 2018 F30 340i xDrive M-sport; 6MT; TanzaniteBlau(X10)/Black Dakota w/Oyster stitch(LCL8); M-perfPkg(Z5Z)+MPPSK(ZP2); 704M wheels; Premium(Z4E)+Premium Enhanced(Z4F); MODS: OEM CF trunk spoiler
    <click to view album>
    Previous Cars: 2013 F30 335ix 6MT Msport (Nov 2013-17); 2011 e90 328i 6MT ZSP (Aug 10-Nov 13); 07 e90-323i ZSP (May 07 - Aug 10); 97-318ti ZSP (Feb 97 - May 07)

  6. #6
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    OK then. Just be advised that even if you have no rattle and went in for something entirely out of scope, your turbo performance will be downgraded if you receive a code update.

  7. #7
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    is there a way to ask the dealer to put the original code back in? even if you did the update weeks/months ago.

  8. #8
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    Yes. I have to go back in next week for a roll back. Service department stated that BMW advised them that if the customer noticed a performance impact, they should roll back. Thats pretty shady.

  9. #9
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    Good to know I'm not crazy. Ever since I got the car back I felt a decrease in performance. Just called my dealership and scheduled an appointment. It's a little messed up how they compromise performance to pick up the slack for their parts.
    Quote Originally Posted by hurrican5547 View Post
    I would def. put her eyes in a jar on a shelf in my room.

  10. #10
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    Does this apply to newer models, too? I just bought a 2011 335is, which uses the N54 engine. Just wanna know how proactive I should be when I go in for a service. I don't want to have to bring the car back....

    Thanks!
    2011 335is
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  11. #11
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    I honestly dont know. Since I haven't heard of a replacement for the Borg Warner wastegate I would think you'd be in the same boat. Unfortunately, you may never know because your car may have come pre-neutered.

    I would ask your service department what code version you have. I will ask what code they gave me when I go in for the rollback tomorrow and post back to you.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by granger View Post
    I honestly dont know. Since I haven't heard of a replacement for the Borg Warner wastegate I would think you'd be in the same boat. Unfortunately, you may never know because your car may have come pre-neutered.

    I would ask your service department what code version you have. I will ask what code they gave me when I go in for the rollback tomorrow and post back to you.
    Thanks! The car is hardly pre-neutered...lol. It's a beast, but I don't want a dealer screwing with my software. I'll await your data....
    2011 335is
    6sp manual
    Sapphire Black/Black Dakota Leather
    269-style 19" rims
    Premium/Cold Weather/Convenience
    Harmon-Kardon sound
    iPod dock

  13. #13
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    last time i went to the dealer there was mandated software update that supposedly save the hpfp (dealer's kindda vague...).
    but is it possible that they won't roll back my software since it might kill my hpfp (which could be deemed as preventative with the new software) ?

  14. #14
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    ajeff,
    I have a 335is as well. Even though we have the N54 engines the HPFP is not the same as the ones recalled from the 335i (pre-2010). Not sure what wastegate assembly is installed on them but the performance enhancements in the IS were achieved primarily through software changes. I have telephoned our local dealer to ask about this but do not anticipate they are planning for any sort of "de-tune" on our cars.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowline335is View Post
    ajeff,
    I have a 335is as well. Even though we have the N54 engines the HPFP is not the same as the ones recalled from the 335i (pre-2010). Not sure what wastegate assembly is installed on them but the performance enhancements in the IS were achieved primarily through software changes. I have telephoned our local dealer to ask about this but do not anticipate they are planning for any sort of "de-tune" on our cars.
    Thanks, man. Good to know!

    So, what's your game plan around 1k oil change? Is that something you're planning on/have done?
    2011 335is
    6sp manual
    Sapphire Black/Black Dakota Leather
    269-style 19" rims
    Premium/Cold Weather/Convenience
    Harmon-Kardon sound
    iPod dock

  16. #16
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    OK so I got the work done. They rolled back the wastegate code and put in a new update to the DME that came out as a recall today. Long story short, its fast again!

    As far as the 335is. I would think that since the only difference in the motors is a hotter tune (as far as I can tell), that it would have its own unique software updates.

  17. #17
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    Just coming up on 1000K - still undecided. The answer to the de-tune question may play into it. Would like to know before having the thing there long enough for them to mess with it.

  18. #18
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    are 2011 is's still using the n54?
    Last edited by hateface; 12-22-2010 at 11:23 PM.

  19. #19
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    The "standard" 335i is using the new single (twin scroll) turbo N55. The 335is, new for 2011, has gone back to the twin-turbo N54.

  20. #20
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    Does this de-tuning apply to the 335d (twin turbo diesel) as well?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmer3diesel View Post
    Does this de-tuning apply to the 335d (twin turbo diesel) as well?
    No. Although there has been a software update, it appears to be for emissions systems, not wastegate issues.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by granger View Post
    OK so I got the work done. They rolled back the wastegate code and put in a new update to the DME that came out as a recall today. Long story short, its fast again!

    As far as the 335is. I would think that since the only difference in the motors is a hotter tune (as far as I can tell), that it would have its own unique software updates.
    So what code had they given you initially and what are you running now? I'm taking my car in tomorrow and I know they'll be updating it to solve the jolt and delay issue with my brakes. I know that I have to put on an ISTA/P later than 2.34 to fix that. I also know that ISTA/P 2.40 came out recently, is that what you are currently on?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mryakan View Post
    I don't know, maybe your update is new. But wastegate rattles have been an issue since 2007 or 2008 if I recall correctly and back then BMW came up with a software update to fix the rattle but at the expense of more lag or less power. I can see if I can dig one of the earliest posts on here.

    Ok maybe my memory was a bit fuzzy on dates, I found this from the beginning of 2009, could have been some others earlier. Regardless, it is not a new issue, almost 2 years since this post was made and the issue was being reported much earlier:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1163880
    To my way of thinking the implication here is that if the wastegate rattles it portends future problems. Is that the case? I don't recall having any rattles in my car but I have a CPO '07 335i 6sp. Maybe they already "deturned" it before it was put on the CPO for sale lot. Is there a way of knowing if it's been deturned?

  24. #24
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    All 335i/xi and 535i/xi models built from June 2006 up to September 2007

    The updated software causes a small amount of increased "turbocharger lag" under certain circumstances and, while not substantial, the lag may be perceptible to the most sensitive BMW drivers. X6, 135i, 3 Series and 5 Series vehicles from March 2008 production onward are not affected. If said "turbocharger lag" is a customer's complaint, then the vehicle's DME software can be retrofitted to the original waste gate operation.

    After the "Waste gate valve conversion" has been completed, some waste gate-related noise may be detected.



    There ya go.
    Last edited by Critter7r; 12-27-2010 at 01:45 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by B4SH View Post
    If anyone knows, it's this guy who knows literally nothing about everything.
    Quote Originally Posted by fcvapor05 View Post
    Do you even OT? The mean 401k around here is probably about $6, what with all the shiny cars and $1,000 watches and donations to get other members' Volvos running.


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critter7r View Post
    All 335i/xi and 535i/xi models built from June 2006 up to September 2007

    The updated software causes a small amount of increased "turbocharger lag" under certain circumstances and, while not substantial, the lag may be perceptible to the most sensitive BMW drivers. X6, 135i, 3 Series and 5 Series vehicles from March 2008 production onward are not affected. If said "turbocharger lag" is a customer's complaint, then the vehicle's DME software can be retrofitted to the original waste gate operation.
    thanks for the explanation!
    does anybody know if the dealer will charge me to roll back the change? mine just got out of the 4 yr warranty...

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